Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gratitude 11

Today I am grateful for:

- my husband being able to be home with the kids while they are off for 2 weeks
- maintaining boundaries around Christmas and keeping it to the four of us
- light commuter traffic during this holiday period
- generally light workload during this holiday period
- Santa
- my husband's Xmas presents arriving in time
- my daughter's increasing computer/software skills
- lunch yesterday with a friend
- the rain, which will be great for my garden
- my children's willingness to write thank you notes and knowing how valuable this will be for them in the long run

Monday, December 22, 2008

Do I Really Want to Work?

This past weekend we visited with a group of friends we camp with each year. All our children are roughly the same age and we have similar backgrounds - it is a fun group and we've shared a lot of memories over the years.

One interesting demographic is that 2 of the 4 women work full-time and the other 2 are full-time homemakers. Well, one is starting to go back to work part-time, but has been a full-time homemaker for the past 10 years. She had a couple drinks and it became clear that she didn't want to go back to work, but is doing so under financial stress - she said her husband was "making her".

Then on Sunday, another girlfriend mentioned that her husband would probably like her to work more (she has her won business), but she doesn't want the stress. I marveled on how she had a choice.

So, it got me thinking, do I want to work? If given the choice, would I quit and stay home. Because, I can give myself that choice. That I know.

Talked with the husband about the concept of a sabbatical, and he was open.

But what do I want?

Thought for the Day

“All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.”

– Blaise Pascal

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Self Sabotage

Lately I have been thinking about self sabotage and the ways we keep ourselves from coping in a healthy way with our challenges and stress.

We each have a way of coping, a comfort mechanism, and the healthier they are the better.

The problem is that the healthy ones rarely have the instant comforting effect we feel we need. Healthy solutions are long-term and take repetition to feel their effects.

This past week or so, I've slipped back into the following pattern:

Come home from work frustrated and demoralized
Have glass of wine while making dinner to unwind
Sit down to dinner and find that I'm still stressed and upset
Have 2nd glass of wine
Feel more relaxed and with reduced inhibitions, sometimes I reach for a 3rd glass
Go to sleep, relatively peacefully, but with a nagging feeling like nothing is better
Wake up in the middle of the night
Maybe due to alcohol
Maybe due to unresolved stress
Lay awake mulling through problems that were covered up with alcohol earlier
Vow not to do it the next night

I am desperately looking for a new job as I have pretty much hated this one from day one, and just this week I celebrated 3 years. The boss is pretending that he didn't promise to finish my review by Friday of last week and that he didn't promise me a 5% raise. I am afraid to call him on it for fear that he will entirely revoke it. Meanwhile, he is talking about restructuring reporting structures, cutting me out of the administration chain of command.

So, I found a couple jobs to apply for this past week. Both referred to me by others. The problem . . . less money and maybe not in line with my original goal of not having a boss, but becoming the boss. My husband was critical of my choices and thought they were not steps up. I got upset and said I just want to stay here, have a reasonable commute and bearable job. I explained the money pressure to make more in a bigger job stemmed from being the bread winner and that we can refinance and he can get a job to make that go away. My husband then explained that I am more ambitious than him. I took that to mean I am stuck being the bread winner. I explained that I could meet my original goal of being in charge at a smaller agency for less money at any time. He was silent.

The pressure and lack of support for my job is insane. My peers have wives making their dinners, cleaning up the house and providing emotional support. I don't and I never will.

Here's the rub, I know I am good. I know that I would be a great general manager/CEO somewhere. But at what cost to me? And why? Do I have to do it just cause I can? Do I have to do it because you are supposed to reach for your potential?

I feel like I'm tired of being the money maker. That I want a job with a good boss. That I deserve a good boss and need to stop being macho and pretending I don't need or deserve those things. I deserve a job with clear boundaries. I deserve a job with stability. I deserve to be appreciated, even if it is not with bonuses, but instead flexibility to leave in the afternoon without getting grilled. I deserve not to be pushed out the fucking door by an insecure micromanaging bully.

And yes, I probably deserve to make more money in the process, but at what cost? More time in the job search? Longer commute? Moving my family? Playing with the big boys who have a better home support structure only to bang my head against the glass ceiling over and over and over?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I saw this over at Smile Play Dream, and was flattered she mentioned me.

Five names you go by: Tish, Squish, Honeybunch, Momma/Mom, Mrs. Berge

Three things you are wearing right now: red sweater, gray pants, black shoes (I'm at work . . .)

Two things you want very badly at the moment: a great job opportunity to surface and to become better at being authentic and using my voice

Three people who will probably fill this out or maybe will or maybe won’t: yertle, sierra, ???

Two things you did last night: picked out new plates, ordered Christmas presents for relatives

Two things you ate today: breakfast burritto (every work day . . .), a piece of dark chocolate

Two people you last talked to on the phone: my husband and a our new technician

Things you are going to do tomorrow: go to the school book fair, have breakfast with my husband, shop for a festive dress, get a haircut, go to a campfire at the beach - can't wait!!!

Two longest car rides: In 1994, I drove 1560 miles to escape Texas - it was a long drive with a soon-to-be ex-boyfriend. When I was a teenager, I drove 2500 miles round trip to visit my mother - can't believe my dad let me do it.

Two of your favorite beverages: Diet Coke, wine

Thanks Yertle!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I am grateful for:

- Passing my SDA exam and adding another certification to my resume
- Having the guts to ask for a raise
- Dinner with a friend on Saturday night
- My husband watching all 4 kids for us
- My new friend I see on my walks and how our dogs play together
- Getting this Friday off
- Being able to identify and describe my feelings, even when they are negative
- Having the courage to speak my mind at last week's board meeting
- Friends who pass on job postings to me
- Amazon.com

Monday, December 1, 2008

Being Hostess

We just sent off our last guests from the Thanksgiving holiday and I must admit that I am ready to stop being a hostess. We were blessed with two sets of grandparents and 3 aunts/uncles to share our day and we made a wonderful Thanksgiving paper chain with gratitudes from all written upon it. But as wonderful as family is, it can be tiring to be around others so much.

What I loved about the visits:

- watching the kids interact with their relatives
- watching the grandparents interact with eachother and the playful kidding between my dad and my mother-in-law
- finding ways to make the grandmothers feel involved and part of the process, even if it meant having to compromise
- making things ahead so I could relax a little during the day
- my dad helping with the dogs who desperately needed some outdoor time, but I couldn't give it to them as I was trapped in the kitchen
- my kids dressing up
- Uncle Dave and his dry sense of humor and strong connection with my daughter
- getting to know my "new" borther-in-law even better
- compliments on the meal
- feeling like a team with my mother-in-law and having my step-mom join in at the end
- not doing dishes, hardly ever, as I prepared all the meals

Thought for the Day

“Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson