A game plan for when the game becomes a complete shit show.
It has been a hell of a week, so it seemed fitting for me to resurrect the blog. Sorry for the extended hiatus. A baby, a new career and a remodel project all but eliminated my free time.
This week my company was forced to lay off 55 employees. I, for better or for worse, was retained. My friends lost their jobs. My office is a ghost town. Of course I am grateful for my continued employment. But wow, the emotions that come with it are overwhelming. There’s guilt, but then confidence. There’s heartache, but then hope. I’m comforting my friends and also building my plan of attack. It’s a difficult dynamic to say the least. Some days I feel like an asshole. Other days I feel like a rock star.
Because that wasn’t enough drama, we also had to put our cat down this week. Macy was 15+ years old and her health started deteriorating rapidly over the last few days. We’d tried several measure to prolong her life over the last year, but ultimately, we knew it wasn’t fair to her. Having to explain that to a three-year-old is one of the shittier things I’ve had to do as a mom. Sometimes she’s more together and mature than I am, which she reminded me of when she said, “You don’t have to cry, mom,” as I wiped snot and tears from my face over and over. That kid is my rock, or as my friend likes to say, my anchor. She’s keeping me sane during insane times. Saving me from just totally blowing off course.
Today, I’m trying to see the little things that make this kind of bullshit worth it. I’m reading a good book, I’m thoroughly enjoying Stranger Things, and I swear I heard my youngest say “mama” today. I’ve survived worse things in my life, so I’ll persevere.
My friend has been helping me through this very stressful, anxious time by teaching me to take small bites. If you’ve ever eaten a meal with me, you know that sounds very out of character. But, thinking about what I need to do only in the immediate future is what’s keeping me from totally losing it. What can I do in the next hour? What can wait until tomorrow? Small bites = big wins.
If you’re a mom, you probably only have time to read when you’re locked in the bathroom or in the middle of the night when all the other humans FINALLY leave you alone. And if you’re a working mom like me, you sometimes need a little extra reassurance that being a woman with a career is okay too. These two books helped push me through a tough stretch of work and helped me refocus on what I want out of a job. So if you’ve got a few minutes alone (I got the stomach flu, that helped), check these out.
Before I read this book, I wasn’t familiar with the story of Nasty Gal and the amazing path of its CEO. A big takeaway for me from Sophia Amoruso is that sometimes unconventional education is the best education. I have the stereotypical B.A., liberal arts education that you’d expect from someone who has a blog for fun. She doesn’t and she’s killing it. When she didn’t have money and didn’t know how to do something, she just Googled it and watched free videos on YouTube. Don’t get me wrong, I am pro-school. I come from a family that deeply values education. But I do think there’s something to be said for teaching yourself something on your own. When I was like, “I think I should start a blog,” I had no idea how to do that. I bought a book, read some articles online and when things started to get technical, watched some YouTube videos. Figuring shit out by yourself is what you do if you’re a true #GIRLBOSS and I’m definitely on board with that.
I also dig Amoruso’s ideas on functioning in the workplace. In my current role, I’m often asked to do things that are not quite on par with what I believe my position entails. Amoruso describes scenarios where she’s out packing inventory, working in the warehouse. She’s the CEO. This was kind of a kick in the ass for me, reminding me that nobody likes the co-worker who won’t lend a hand. Last month, I was thoroughly disgusted when I was asked to warm up the tea of an upper level manager, thinking (not saying) something along the lines of, “I’m not a personal assistant.” But the reality of this is sometimes you’ve got to suck it up for your end goal of being a #GIRLBOSS and I need to do more of that.
I devoured this book in a week. Put it on your list, working mom. We need more #GIRLBOSSES.
Better Than New
If we talk about these books in terms of their similarities, Better Than New and #GIRLBOSS are both about women paving their own way. But where #GIRLBOSS represents what I’m capable of achieving in the future, Better Than New is a glimpse back at what I’ve left behind and kind of want to forget. Curtis had a string of bad jobs, terrible boyfriends, cross-country moves and tough parenting decisions that hopefully do not represent where I’m headed. What Curtis does is definitely bad ass, and she looks like a babe doing it (Rehab Addict is the only Andy-approved HGTV show, wonder why…) but she still seems like she’s not super together. Maybe there’s something redeeming in that. Sometimes it’s good to know that celebrities are real people and we’re all kind of in the same boat when it comes to being a hot mess. I mean I can totally relate to the terrible jobs (minus the Hooters experience). And I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a single parent, let alone one who is on TV. From Better Than New though, the takeaway for me was that women can venture into uncharted territory, like rehabbing houses, and come out alive. It might not be pretty, but Curtis did it, and so can you, reader of the mommy blog.