Looking Ahead

I’m not sure what happened to January. I mean, it FLEW past. For me, anyway. But then there’s a lot going on.

The pace at work may be leveling out, which is a very good thing. Maybe I can actually make some progress on the huge job-related to-do list. Having a lot of stuff hanging over your head that you know you really need to get done, stuff that will make your job easier in the long run, is stressful. Add that to the usual stress of the multiple, more-immediate deliverables. And the long hours.  It can become a bit of a powder keg. Hopefully I’ll survive, job intact.

K is still hanging in there, and we are still taking that whole situation one day at a time. Trying not to dwell on the sadness of it all so that her final time in her physical body is well-spent.

Now that February is here, it’s time to look ahead, focus on some positive stuff for a change. Looking ahead for me almost always involves travel plans. I went to visit my Dad last week, driving up Thursday night then coming home on Friday. Hubby stayed home with the girls so I didn’t have to worry.

Just a random pic from a previous adventure.

In a few weeks, I’ll be heading to Pennsylvania with a girlfriend or two for our annual getaway. Hopefully, two. Sadly, one of my friends has been dealing with some serious health issues.

In mid-March, we will all be heading to Maryland to help my MIL move into a new apartment. At the end of March, I’ll be meeting up with another girlfriend, somewhere between here and Wilmington, North Carolina.

From an old trip with Hubby.

We were supposed to go to Hawaii in April — our 25th wedding anniversary trip — but that’s been pushed back to September. Maybe we can squeeze in a long moto weekend to celebrate that milestone. Parties aren’t really our thing.

Moo!

I have no idea what will come up after that. There wasn’t much on my agenda this time last year either, and I ended up getting around quite a bit. Although I did not make it to Mississippi as I’d planned.

Another pic from a previous ride.

I did have fun looking through old pictures this morning. Not “old” per se, just pics captured while on previous adventures.

I foresee many new, fun selfies in my near future.

If Hubby and I were owls.

Or maybe not.

I hope you are all well!

Uncertainty

This new year has slithered in with an air of uncertainty. It seems to be hanging over me in a dark cloud. Decisions pending, some of which are life and death. Others may “only” be life-changing. Sigh.

I’m tired of adulting. Really.

But whining never helps anyone, does it?

There is some positive news. Sort of. K seems to be holding her own. It’s a real roller coaster, mentally. I know the worst is coming, I just don’t know when.

I’ve been taking the girls for walks, weather permitting. The other day it was 65 degrees! K is very excited to go, but walking tires her out. She’s never ready to head home until she’s REALLY tired. So, I could force her to turn around sooner, but she doesn’t want to stop.

She LOVES walking.

The way I look at it, we could keep her safely tucked away at home, making her rest and take it easy. Or, I could let her do the things she enjoys, taking one day at a time, until she absolutely cannot do those things anymore.

If I were K, I’d want to do what I love. So we walk.

It’s gut-wrenching.

L-R, K and Belle

For now, we will just continue taking things one day at a time.

Catch-up and Other Stuff

4_CTDummy

On April 24, I started this post, but never finished. The purpose was mainly to catch up and let y’all know I’d be leaving for my solo adventure on Saturday. As in LAST Saturday, April 29. But then I had the busiest work week ever, leading up to the trip, and never got around to finishing the post. So here it is…

Holy cow. How did it get to be so close to the end of April already?!? So much for me trying to get all of the 2016 vacation catalogued before my 2017 adventure begins.

It has almost been a month since my last post. On one hand, it feels uneventful. On the other hand, a lot has gone on.

Let’s see, there was the visit to my friend Tracey’s farm, which provided a chance for three friends to catch-up with each other AND an opportunity to meet, feed, and love-on four three-week-old baby goats.

That was followed by another brief trip to Charlottesville, Virginia, . where my employer’s headquarters is located. I got to enjoy some face-to-face time with existing co-workers and meet a few new ones.

There were a few weekends of yard work, each followed by five to six days of very sore and achy muscles.

We even managed to squeeze-in a motorcycle ride on Easter Sunday!

When I was blogging regularly, I could look back at a variety of posts as a reminder of what happened, when. I’ve lost that. Now, I have to rely on things like Instagram and Facebook. Of the two, I prefer Instagram. Its only downfall being that images are not dated. I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I love being able to keep up with friends and loved ones. I hate that there’s so much negativity. I’m torn between wanting to pull the plug on my Facebook account and maybe whittling down my list of “friends” to people I care about, with whom I share at least some sort of valid connection. There are many folks on that list who I rarely, if ever interact with. I suspect many of them probably have just unfollowed me (elected NOT to see any of my posts, often the last step before actually removing oneself from a friend list and/or severing the cord of friendship).

In other news, I learned a fun new word — pareidolia — after receiving an email from Ry (from Two Wheels to There) containing a link to a web page with a funny collection of images. In that case, the word refers to seeing faces in everyday objects, but it’s apparently an all-encompassing term to describe a “psychological phenomenon” wherein one perceives familiar patterns, like faces, where none exists. The image shared below is one of my favorites among a nice collection that made me laugh out loud on more than a few occasions.

half_of_face18

There are lots of great pics on that page. You should check it out.

Finally, I am excited to say that I’ll be leaving on Saturday for my Big 50 Adventure. I figured I deserved to celebrate making it to my fiftieth birthday, and a solo adventure seemed like a great idea.

I’ve told y’all before that Hubby and I enjoy riding together, but we have different riding styles. He likes to cover long distances in short periods of time and I like to meander, stop often, and look at stuff. Oh, and take pictures, too.

Periodic solo trips are good for the soul. I’m not planning ahead either. All I know is that my first stop will be Monterey, Virginia (there’s a new LOVEwork there). I’ll plan the route as I go.


For those who are interested, there’ll be a Spotwalla Tracker Map. That’s how Hubby can keep an eye on me.

Nothing Feels Good

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Random, fun image.

Tuesday was the first day in a long time that my workday ended with no future deadlines hanging over my head. After hitting SEND on Tuesday’s final deliverable, I pushed my chair back away from my desk thinking, “tomorrow, I have nothing due.”

Nothing.

It was awesome. It’s been a crazy-busy few weeks.

Nothing really does feel good.

Thats not to say I don’t have anything to do, just nothing that MUST be done Wednesday or Thursday.  Working under tight deadline pressure can be mentally exhausting. And I’m finding that the older I get, the harder it gets. Yes, I can still do it, but it’s draining. All-consuming.

Here’s an example of just how consuming. Last week, I was supposed to pull a homeless nine-month-old Brittany puppy named Gus from the local SPCA shelter. I was supposed to do it on Thursday, to be exact.

Thursday morning, out of the blue, two important work deadlines shifted. That meant I really had to hustle to get several things done much sooner than anticipated. I was working away Thursday afternoon, so focused on meeting those new deadlines, that I completely FORGOT to go get the puppy.

Okay, I didn’t forget, I lost track of time. But still. That’s just forgetfulness with a good reason.

What kind of person forgets a puppy!?!

I was mortified. What if he was handed over to someone else? His new family would have been devastated!

Luckily, he was still there on Friday. I showed up 30 minutes before they opened so I’d be the first person in line. All worked out, thank goodness. I really would have felt horrible if I hadn’t been able to bring him home. His new family had already planned to come pick him up Friday evening.

He was a cutie, but a handful. He weighed 40 pounds (same as my K), but was about eight inches taller than K, and about 10 inches taller than Belle. Both of my girls are petite Brittanys, and Gus is tall for a Britt. The difference was quite amusing.

He may have looked like an adult, but he was all puppy. He rarely sat still, and was quite mischievous.

puppy1
This cracked me up. Accidental pic that looks like one of my selfies!

 

Belle was like, "WTF? Get this crazy boy out of here."
Belle was like, “WTF? Get this crazy boy out of here.”

K just stayed under my desk. LOL.

I picked him up at noon, and had a deadline to meet by the end of the day. Talk about adding a little extra stress.

puppy3
Frog Legs!

 

Thank God I had a deer antler handy.
Thank God I had a deer antler handy.

Seriously, giving him something to chew saved the day.

What a cute face!
What a cute face!

Orange and white is the most-common color pattern for Brittanys. My girls are less-common.

He was much taller than my girls.
He was much taller than my girls.

He really wanted to play, but my grumpy old ladies were having no parts of that.

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Grumpy Old Ladies

It made for an entertaining afternoon, but I wasn’t sorry to see him go. Especially since he went to a young, hunting family with a two year old Brittany sister for Gus. It’s a match made in Heaven for Gus.

And a happy ending for me. 🙂

 

In Absentia

It’s been an interesting year. One during which I’ve largely been absent. You know, here but not HERE.

Great new-to-me home decor. If I wanted a gold man mannequin.

A photo posted by Kathy Kirkpatrick (@vatoadmama) on

I’ve given up trying to understand why. Truth is, I just don’t know.

One thing I do know is that I am thankful for each and every one of my followers. Folks like you. Blog friends who haven’t given up on me. Even though I’ve been noticeably absent from your blogs, too. If you follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram, you know I’m still alive. Still getting out and about in the world, more on four wheels than two.

I’m going to make a real concerted effort to be more present for all of you. Both writing more posts here and reading what you all have to say.  You folks “get” parts of me that other friends and loved ones don’t understand.

So, thanks for sticking with me. You may never know just how grateful I am for each and every one of you.

Gobsmacked

Um, what!?!
Um, what!?!

That’s how one co-worker described her feeling upon hearing the news, a week ago today, that I’d been laid off.

She’s a Brit, and they have some fun words, don’t they? Well, it would be more fun if it weren’t being used to describe last Friday’s announcement that my employment had suddenly been terminated.

I was told it wasn’t performance-related. It was because our sales team hadn’t met their goals. So the CEO decided to completely eliminate about half of the proposals staff (me) and 17 other people across the firm.

Yep, I am currently unemployed. I am not bitter; it’s business. Was I shocked? Absolutely. Am I worried? Yes and no. I have lots of good prospects, a strong track record, and great references, but the search process takes time. I have been putting in lots of hours networking frantically all week. I’ve even had a couple of good phone interviews already.

Having a good, responsive recruiter on my side would help though. So, if you know of anyone who works as a life sciences recruiter, let me know. Please.

Now I need to get back to “work” finding a new job! I’ll get back to vacation re-caps once I make some more progress.