Monday, July 21, 2014

Big Girl Pants

The toilet has new innards. The tires are aligned and rotated, and the oil has been changed. The laundry is done and the dishes are (mostly) washed and the clothes are folded and I'm sorting out my really bad allergies. I am on top of everything.

And shit,  I am exhausted.

I spent a lot of last week navigating some new (surprising and unwanted) work responsibilities and dealing with some drama in a couple of organizations I volunteer with. Everybody else's needs are met, and yet I feel a little like I'm teetering on the brink of being completely overwhelmed.

My bike commute is pretty.
So I'm taking a couple of steps back. Begging off of an organization that's bringing unpleasantness into my life. Focusing more on the things that make me happy. Spending more time with friends. Being personally productive and letting the work stuff slack a little. Stress cleaning, even, because if I'm going to be worked up about some stuff, I might as well vent it productively.
Last night's sing-along showing of Grease. In costume.
And I'm breathing easier today because of it. The balance may be hard to find, but I always know how to regain it when I'm losing it.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

The inner monologue

I'm sitting in the airport waiting for my flight home from an East Coast tour. I've crammed the past eight days full of family, food, and tons of fun. 

And for the first time, I'm leaving the DC area wondering how much easier life might be if I were to move back. If I could meet my sister for dinner once in awhile, or drive up to NY for a weekend with family, without taking on the hassle of a coast-to-coast trip.

I am so very rooted in San Francisco, and I can't imagine what leaving would be like, but I really hate maintaining my most important relationships over the phone. 

I'm so happy for the time we had together, but for the first time, I'm not as happy to be heading home. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

The high road is is a hard and lonely place to be

My boss retires in two weeks. Three weeks ago, she told me that nobody in our organization pays attention to the work I do and it's not important. She told me this in a conversation planning for my annual review.

Two weeks ago, she sent an email to all staff praising my accomplishments this year (I have busted my ass in this job) and putting me on the leadership team in recognition of my good work. After she circulated draft updates of my job description to several colleagues - without my knowledge - asking for their feedback on the scope of my job.

Is your head spinning? Mine was. 

The job description led a colleague to send excoriating emails to our board of directors telling them that he wants me demoted and reporting to him so that he has more control over my job functions. I'm not supposed to know this happened, but things were getting so weird in my office that a colleague shared some details with me.

I don't even know what to do about all of this, but I've got to be honest, three weeks of taking the high road - continuing to go to my office and trying to do good work while not talking about any of this - is exhausting. And it's becoming demoralizing.

My boss retires in two weeks. My vacation overlaps with her last week in the office. I think I can make it.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The secret society

It's like a fraternity almost, full of inexplicable camaraderie, inside jokes and late-night text messages and whispered questions nobody else ever hears. "You have plans on Sunday, right? You won't be by yourself?"

Some of us even, for a short time, had our own hashtag. The ladies of the #ddc united around Father's Day and the fact that our dads weren't here any more to celebrate.

And it's easier this year. Time, no matter how much you don't need to hear it at the beginning, really does heal.  And then a new friend asks if I have any suggestions for a Father's Day gift. Or a dad walks down the block carrying his kid on his shoulders like my dad did me, and for a couple of minutes, my heart breaks so violently I'm sure it'll never be whole again.

And yes, I have plans tomorrow. And no, I won't be alone. And has become my practice, I'll be with friends in the club. Wishing we were part of bowling club or a bird-watching group instead.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

And then the rice burns

Things are good lately - my team this season is awesome and being back on my bike makes me very happy. Training is easy right now, and I'm still able to balance time with friends. I'm going to two baseball games this month, and planning an east coast trip. Life is good. 

Except when it's not: when a friend lets me know she has cancer. Or when things at work go pretty badly (though temporarily) out of control. Or when stupid sandbox politics hurts my feelings. 

Or when I burn the rice, like I did tonight. I'm a great cook, but I cannot cook rice. But the rest of the meal is terrific. I guess that's life. 

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

I am not a tumbler

When I was in elementary school, my mom enrolled my in a weekly gymnastics class run by our town's recreation department. I'm not sure why she did it, but each week we went to the high school for an hour or so of gymnastics - the balance beam, parallel and uneven bars, the vault, and all the requisite head/handstanding and tumbling.

Maybe because my vision was really poor - and I have no depth perception, or maybe because gymnastics just wasn't my thing, but I hated it. I especially hated the floor exercises. I could do a solid forward roll, but anything more than that was a disaster. I just couldn't make my body cooperate. And I was constantly getting banged up.

Happily, I hung up my pink leotard before I hit double digits. And I don't think I've thought about those hours in the gym in a really long time. Until Sunday.

I signed up a few weeks ago for a free class offered at a local yoga/martial arts studio called falling for cyclists. The class promised to teach us how to safely hit the ground, using principles taught in martial arts. I don't have any martial arts training. Turns out, that would have been helpful.

This workshop should have been called tumbling for cyclists, because that's what we spent most of the class trying to do - to practice tumbling to safely avoid the ground.

I am not a tumbler. There's little chance I will ever be a tumbler. And I will not ever tumble backwards. I am, however, really great at falling. And at barrel rolling.  And while I probably won't ever be able to tumble over my handlebars and hit the ground on my feet, I've now seen other people do it. It's a pretty cool trick if you can tumble.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Apri. Oof.

I've spent most of this month not sleeping well. Some stress has been dragging me down, which led to a lot of restless nights. I also haven't been feeling well much this month - from bad allergies to a gluten-intolerance flare to a stomach bug, I feel like I've spent a lot of the month lazing on the couch with a stomach ache.

This is not how I prefer to spend my time, and now that I'm starting to feel better I'm looking forward to a much different May. April, I will not be sad to see you go.

But between the sneezing and the stomach aches, some noteworthy things happened away from my couch:
  • I taught a hugely successful Twitter 101 workshop to some colleagues - including my boss. That was super stressful and a little terrifying, but it went really well. And my boss, thankfully, will not be taking on the work Twitter handle any time soon.
  • I committed to the summer Team in Training cycle team. Round two of being a mentor will go much better than my failed first round, and I'm excited for the Konocti Challenge in Northern CA in the fall.
  • Related, I finally got my bike fit fixed, and between bouts of not feeling well, I've been on some pretty good rides. I'm trying not to mourn my lost fitness.
  • Again related, I finally (after about 18 months of consideration and a year of frugal living) bought a commuter bike. I'm both expanding my Cannondale family and hoping I can spend more time on bikes, and way less time on the bus.
We marked three years since my mom's death on Sat. I celebrated her with ice cream and some volunteer work. And to all the friends who checked in on me that day, I could honestly say life is good. It's not without its struggles and aches and pains, but it's really good. And I try to be thankful for that every day.