Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sorry guys...

I honestly, really, and truly have been writing. And I even came really close to posting one...I just couldn't. Every time I start to write what's on my mind, I end up sounding sad and grouchy and even more long-winded than usual. So, here I will try to keep it short, yet meaningful.

Two weeks ago, I felt the lowest I have in probably the past year. I did not get the job that I interviewed twice for, and what bummed me out even more was that I realized I really DID want it. The whole practice of getting ready for an interview and reviewing the details of my life to see if this job was a good idea made me realize that I have come so very far in my recovery. I want to go back to work. I'm ready.

So, here I am - sad that I didn't get the job, happy that I wanted it, and now I'm getting headaches that are some of the worst I've ever had in the history of EVER because of the stress. I don't have any migraine meds with me because I haven't needed them in a long time. So, I was curled up in the dark praying for a quick and painless death, and that was when I got the calls and e-mails from the landlord. Someone wants to look at the house. On the INSIDE. They drove past and STILL decided they were interested. I tried to convey with every fiber of my being that my house was a complete disaster and embarrassment but this lady was serious about this house buying business. I did the best I could to muster the troops and do a quick crisis clean (which is impossible because a potential buyer will always open every cabinet, closet, and drawer.) As they pulled out of the driveway after a short 15 minute tour, I was confident that my disaster of a house would send anyone running for the hills.

Yeah... apparently not, because she bought the place. Yes in spite of the mess and in spite of the fact that we are still here and aren't the least bit ready to move.

So, now we have about six weeks to find someplace new to live. I already know there aren't any reasonable choices here in town because I have been looking for months - even before we moved here. I did some quick calculations with a loan officer and she thinks we can be ready to buy in the next month or so. That opened up a few more choices since we now can decide whether we want to rent or buy. But still, there just aren't enough houses in this place to have any real choice. Everything is too small, too run down, or too expensive. Every time we thought we'd found the perfect one, someone else bought it before we even had a chance to look at it. I was so frustrated! All I wanted was a place that was big enough that we could stop paying for a storage unit and close enough that I didn't have to make my kids change schools AGAIN.

I said a prayer in my heart for God to PLEASE show me what on Earth I am supposed to do at this point and tried to relax. Then, it occurred to me that the reason we have so few options was because I didn't get that job, so maybe I should keep looking for another job so that we can afford something nicer. (I know, it takes a while for the light to go on for me.) I jumped online and started my job hunting again and I applied to almost a dozen jobs in one day. I even wrote custom cover letters for each one. Normally, I don't get any reply back from my application flurries, but it makes me feel like I am doing something other than sitting around.

The next day, the In-Laws told us that they are moving to Colorado (which we knew) and they have found a place and it will be ready at the end of October (which was a surprise.) Their house probably won't sell, but they want to rent it out so if we know of anyone looking for a house to let them know. Ok, fine. I can see what is happening here. They are moving out of their house exactly the same time we have to move out of this one. Ok, but will the house work for us? Yes, it will. It is big enough that LH will get her own room and that DH will still have an office to himself. Then, they told us about the repairs that were being done and mentioned the rent she was offering. Then she told us that for us she would work us an even better deal. Like basically the same price as we are paying out here. DH looked at me and I looked at him and we both knew. Our days in this little country town were coming to a close. 

We spent a few days discussing it and trying to come up with any alternative, but nothing has shown up. There are no jobs here and no place for us to move to. If we go back to the city , we will be in a house we know, the kids will go back to the same schools with the same friends they had before. The deal that his parents offered us on rent made this the most affordable house we could have hoped for. DH's commute will be cut 2/3 and there is a far larger chance that  I will find a job out there than out here.

We took another week to really decide before we told the kids. They were each overcome with emotions, each in their own way. All of them cried and then decided they would make the best of it, because they are the absolute coolest kids in the whole world. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to go back now. LH wants to be with her boyfriend. TD wants to be able to cheer and dance again and she will have the coolest teacher ever. EG is the least excited about it, but we told her that she can paint her room whatever color she wants and that seemed to help a bit.

No sooner had panic set in than  I found out two different companies were trying to get a hold of me to interview. One was close to here in the country, but the other one was very near the house in the city. Talk about dilemma! Should I pursue both of them and see what happens? Do I focus on one and choose to let the other one go? Which one?

It took me a little while, just because I am afraid of making decisions. I mean, I make them all the time, but I always have a fear that I made the wrong choice, should I change my mind, will it cause even more trouble to change my mind, and so on. Eventually, I decided that because we have made a decision, we should stick with it and not pursue opportunities that would distract us from our goal. Getting a job out here in the country would serve no purpose since we would have no where to live close by. Spending more than  1 1/2 hours to commute EACH WAY every day is not the way I want to spend 1/2 my paycheck. So I turned down the interview for the company out in the country and set one up for the place in the city near where we will be moving to.

I will be going to that interview tomorrow afternoon. I am nervous, of course, but not a nervous as I was before. Going back to work is a change I am embracing. That change will help us be more comfortable once we move back to the city, and that is even better.

I wish that I didn't already miss this place so much. I am afraid that LH's grades will slip after spending a year out here getting the highest grades ever. Watching all three of the girls struggle through making friends and fitting in is simply heartbreak, and more so every time they have to do it again. I hate to pull them away from the truly special people they have met here. Between the church, the schools, and the band, I have made so many more friends than I have ever had before and it just kills me to have to let them go. I have never even visited someplace where everyone was just so nice as they are here.

I had to promise my girls that we would be back up here often to hang out. WP still lives here and DH has his Indian Drum practice out here once a month. I fully plan on taking advantage of this schedule to coordinate play dates and hangouts and all sorts of other get-togethers. We are going to have to get some additional phone lines to keep up with all the long-distance talking, but I think it is a small price to pay for kids who are happy, and friendly, and social. They won't be getting FB accounts or anything like that until they are older, but I think they will all be able to keep in touch just the same. I have a stack of envelopes and stamps!

I guess this ended up being long winded and boring anyway. I guess that's just me. It hasn't changed in the more-than-a-year of been posting, so none of you should be surprised. One request though, if you haven't become a "follower" please do so or at least leave a comment so I know who you are.
Thanks for reading!

Deb "Mover and Shaker" Lollar

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I suppose it is sacrilegious but I am not going to church today. It is September 11 and everything on the TV, radio, internet, and even church will be totally focused on reliving the nightmare that happened 10 years ago this morning. Yes, I am still aching inside at the horror of it. My stomach is knots at the thoughts of another planned attack, set to take place today while everyone is still mourning and gathered together. I can't wrap my brain around that kind of insanity but my heart doesn't seem to have a problem understanding that level of fear.

I know many people go to church to find comfort and peace in the words of the Bible and the sermons of the minister. I can't bring myself to do that today. I am having enough trouble fighting back the memories of my own. I do not want to be regaled with the stories of the heroic, the brave, the tragic, and the shocking. For ten years I have heard stories piled upon stories of those who died, survived, helped, got sick, and lost loved ones. It doesn't bring me comfort. I don't need another reminder. I have plenty of my own.

It was probably the most stressful time in my life. I was staying in the hospital with LH while she was recovering from her third open heart surgery. TD was just three months old and I was trying to nurse her while caring for the other one. I hadn't been home in over a week. DH had been coming to the hospital after work to keep us company for a few hours a night but he was spending half his nights at home so he could get some sleep and still get to work on time.I woke up to the commotion of the nurses turning on TV's to watch the coverage. I called DH on the cell phone and he turned on the car radio. No one worked. Everyone just sat, staring at the TV, wondering how much worse things were going to get.

I am so very thankful for the medicines LH was taking at the time for pain. They have caused a sort of amnesia of the time so she doesn't truly recall that morning and the events that were replayed over and over on the television in her room. She only remembers flashes here and there of that entire hospital stay. I remember every minute of it, but she shouldn't have to.

That day was just the start of a horrible downward spiral in my life. Because of the attacks, my husband's company lost a lot of money. He was laid off less than a month later and it took him a long time to find a job. About a year after that, just when we thought things were getting better, I was laid off. Of course this was right after we signed the papers on our first house and then found out I was pregnant with EG. I never did find steady work again and we lost the house, the car, and fell into a downward spiral that we are only just now starting to stabilize.

That day marked the end of a lot of hopes and dreams for me. The fear and shock and the affects of it have lasted throughout the last ten years. In many ways, the terrorists got exactly what they wanted. The goal was to cause fear, panic, and financial stress for the most powerful country in the world. They did all that and more. I am ready to move on and move up and stop giving this moment in time so much power over my life. I don't want this fear and pain to continue on day after day, aching and stabbing.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with the memories of that day. I prefer to spend today in peace and quiet with my family. I don't want to turn on the radio or TV. I am staying home instead of attending church. It may seem like I am hiding from the truth and ignoring the reminders. That is not my intention at all. Rather, I want to have time and space to process all my feelings at my own pace, in my own place.

I can't protect them from the media and the constant reminders of what happened 10 years ago today. I can't stop them from hearing about the atrocities of the world and wondering and questioning and fearing. I would not attempt to hide from it, and I should not attempt to hide my family from it either. It is important to acknowledge and respect and honor the loss of that day. That doesn't mean, though, that I want to sit through a sermon about it or watch countless memorial specials on TV on it. We will talk about it together later this evening, but it will be done carefully and truthfully, and  without images of people falling out of skyscrapers.

Above all, I do not want to help perpetuate the commercial gains of the companies and individuals that are benefiting and profiting from the attack. Flags made in China to decorate the yard, commemorative plates painted overseas, t-shirts made in sweat shops in Mexico - these are not ways I want to honor the memories of the thousands of PEOPLE that died that day - whether American or foreign. Certainly, I do not want to watch any TV special where every five minutes I am bombarded with commercials paid for by corporations that I wouldn't buy from to begin with. 

Yesterday, I spent most of the day in bed, relaxing and recovering from a very stressful week. Today I am planning to spend the day at home with the kiddos, enjoying the thousands of little pleasant moments that happen by watching and listening to them when they don't know I am paying attention. I love every moment I get with them, from funny and exciting, to boring or frustrating. Even though there is a long list of chores and duties to be done, we are all going to do it together and that is my entire goal for the weekend. I want to have a little bit of family togetherness and normalcy to balance out everything else that is out there.

Deb "The Mom" Lollar

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Total Insanity!

Again, life and the craziness that ensues has interfered with my hobbies and leisure activities (how dare they!) I want to write and be creative but instead, I get to write about stuff like car a/c systems and how to rent a luxury SUV. At least it makes a paycheck, although a pitifully tiny one.

Speaking of seems that someone out there has decided that I might just be qualified to work. In their office. For real. Like every day. Scary!

I applied for a job on a whim early last week.. I really haven't been applying to many jobs lately. I don't even know what inspired me to look at the listings that particular day. Was there an unseen force nudging me towards a goal I had not yet discovered? Eh. Probably I was just bored.

Either way, I applied for a position from a job posting that I found in the local paper's online classified ads. By early the next week, I had an interview. That alone was scary enough. I haven't been in an office in any professional capacity in a year and a half. The last time I worked outside the home it ended badly. Very badly. Fighting the fear and self-loathing enough just to get dressed was an amazing feat, in itself, but I managed to do it with some amount of style.  The fact that I managed to lose 20 pounds over the last six months was a big boost along the right path. Not having to squeeze myself into a suit like some corporate sausage was the biggest relief I have felt in a long time.

So, I get all dolled up and I actually feel like I am presentable, only to realize my favorite shoes are still in storage. (It always comes down to the shoes!) So, now I have to wear my second favorite shoes which is a scary thing, because while they look smokin' hot, they have the tendency to deposit me rump-first on slick tile floors. Yeah, not a way to make a good first impression. Since I really didn't have a choice, I head out the door walking v-e-r-y carefully, hoping I look graceful instead of constipated. In any case, I didn't fall down, even a little, in spite of the entire office having slick, marble tiled floor.

The interview went very well, even beyond staying upright. I was on time (amazingly!) and I seemed to get along with both the male and the female interviewer (not an easy thing.)  It turns out that I was one of the few applicants that was willing to work for the salary they were offering. Who am I to complain about ANY sized paycheck, especially in this job market and in this tiny corner of the country? I was appalled (and also pleased) to find out that many people LEFT THE INTERVIEW because the salary was too low. Fine. Look a gift horse in the mouth. I'll gladly take the job that you snubbed.

As the interview went on, I found out that the low salary was balanced out by incredible, amazing, drop your jaw kind of benefits (I'll bet the walk-outs didn't even stick around to find that part out.) Then, I find out that the actual job is easy enough that I believe I can do it even on a bad day, but it will keep me busy enough that I won't fall asleep at the desk. I managed to ask pertinent questions they gave me good answers. Then. I wrapped up the Q&A with my favorite zinger - Is there anything that you think would knock me out of the running for the job? I love putting the interviewers on the spot after being grilled on my skills for an hour.

If they say no, then we are both agreed that I get the job. If they say yes, it gives me the chance to change their mind before I walk out the door for good. It also has the benefit of actually letting me know if they like me or if they already have someone else in mind and are just going through the motions of interviewing other applicants. In this case, they couldn't find any reason not to hire me, and they looked pleased that I thought enough to ask.

One more hurdle behind me. Suddenly, I feel like Superwoman.

Within four hours I get a call back asking me for a second interview. I was actually shopping when I got the call, but I whipped out my handy purse sized calendar and confirmed the time and date. I hope I managed to sound professional enough, even with the sounds of registers and checkouts in the background. They seemed very pleased that I was still interested. I don't know whether that is a good thing because they like me, or a bad thing because I am about to walk into a hell of a job without a clue.

The second interview is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. I don't know if I am more scared that I will get the job than I am of continuing to be jobless (in most respects.) Starting a job means continuing to do that job every day and showing up on time every morning. Consistency is something I have been more than terrible at for the last several years. Am I ready to start over and attempt to become "normal" again? Or, am I just setting myself up for failure - AGAIN? Could I possibly survive losing another job?

How awful is it that I am worried about getting before I even get through the second interview? I guess (even beyond my horrible track record) that I would hate to waste their time and mine when so many people are looking for work. If I screw up this opportunity, I might not have another chance. This is a direct hire job. I can't blame losing it on the contract agency.

I am going to try and put this all out of my mind right now. I have to finish a few more articles for my freelance gig and I still have to feed the galloping horde. I have to remember that my new 100% is not the same as my old 100% I am better at some things, even though I am not as good at things I used to think were important. I am putting this in God's hands. If it is meant to be, then it will be.

I wonder how much more insanity I can take?

Deb "The Candidate" Lollar