Exhausted

I am officially exhausted! I’ve been working 10-12 hour days since last week, trying to get everything done for the end of month. My plan was to work like a dog last week so that this week I could work normal hours and not be freaking out. I ended up working crazy hours this week, too.

Thankfully though I am now also officially on vacation. I don’t go back to work until June 7th. I’m beyond excited.

We have plans, plans, and more plans. Way back in the early 80s, when spending your Friday nights at the local roller skating rink was the thing to do, Rick Springfield came to my area. I did not get to go. I had no way to pay for it and I know my mom would not have spent money on something so frivolous. Besides, I’m not sure who I would have gone with. I still remember my classmate coming to school the following day wearing her concert t-shirt. Tomorrow night I get to right that wrong. We are going up to the casino in New Buffalo to attend the Rick Springfield concert. My co-worker has a Cricut and she has mad skills. We have custom made t-shirts. The mobster’s says: Jessie and mine says: Jessie’s Girl. Oh, I’m still buying a concert t-shirt if he has any for sale. I’d like the ones with the tennis shoes on back, if possible. If not, I’ll take anything. I’m also starting to realize that even though I had his first two albums (on cassette no less!) I don’t know a lot of his songs. There are maybe four, five of them. I mean, everybody knows “Jessie’s Girl”. Side note: That is the way it’s spelled on the album. My co-worker checked before making the t-shirts. I’m also a big fan of “I’ve Done Everything For You,” and “Don’t Talk To Strangers.” That’s it, off the top of my head. Damn- I’m not even up to four. It’s going to be a great time even if I don’t know all of the songs.

Tuesday we are heading down to French Lick. Yes, that’s really the name of the town. Home of Larry Bird. We’re going down to check out the wineries and the caves and who knows what else. I’m just looking forward to getting out of town and spending some time with my sweetheart.

We’ll be there through Thursday and then Friday is Rock Star’s 22nd birthday. We’re going to Muncie, visiting a winery down there and then eating at a Japanese steakhouse. From there we are heading off to Chillicothe.

That weekend is a big Pokemon Go event called Pokemon Go Fest. We’re going to spend the weekend playing Pokemon in beautiful Yoctangee Park, eating bismarks, and visiting our favorite places and then on Monday he’ll head to Virginia and I’ll head back to Indiana.

This is not ending on a sad note. I am good. Really. I’ll miss seeing him every day but I’m okay. I got all my crying out. I’ve made my peace with the situation. I can’t really explain it but I feel invigorated. Excited about what’s coming next. The things I can do and the changes I might make. We are both horrible at maintaining good eating habits when we’re together. I’ll be getting back on the low carb bandwagon because I’m like 98% sure I’ve gained every pound back that I lost. I also won’t feel guilty when I’m putting in a 10 or 12 hour day (not that I’m hoping to be doing that regularly). I plan on writing more regularly. I have a whole new mindset and it’s going to be fine. We’ll be meeting up again regularly. I still love him madly and he still loves me. We’re just going to do this long distance thing for a few more years.

I think I’m going to go chill a bottle of cranberry wine and jumpstart this vacation of mine. 10 glorious days!

Mother’s Day 2022

As mentioned previously I had a splendid Mother’s Day. 

Rock Star came up on Saturday because we went to the Garth Brooks concert. It was so much better than the concert we went to in October of 2019. That one was good; make no mistake. But the weather was miserable.This was the beginning of his stadium tour. It was outside in October. Which could have gone either way. The weather had been quite nice actually up until the time of the actual concert. We dealt with freezing rain and temperatures in the 30s. My feet were frozen. And since this concert was being filmed for the special that aired in December of that year we had to do a lot of stopping and starting and repeating.

This time though the weather was perfect. There were no cameras for filming so the concert flowed. He didn’t come on until 8:30, I believe, but he proceeded to entertain us for 2 and a half hours. He made his entrance hanging off a piece of stage equipment. He joked. He sang. 

I have to tell you, if you’ve never seen him in concert, the man is an amazing performer. He plays all of his big hits. At one point he was talking about a band member and how this band member had taught him to play the guitar, taught him three cords. He played those three cords and the crowd went wild. It was “Friends In Low Places”. He even sang the third verse. 

He has a way of making every crowd feel like they’re the best he’s ever experienced. And seemed genuinely shocked when he would play the real old songs and the crowd would burst into song along with him. He also loves reading the signs and singing the songs the fans are begging him to sing.

I said he played for 2 1/2 hours. I’m pretty sure a solid hour of that was the encore. He came back on and sang a few songs before starting the cover of “Shallow.” Up pops Trisha Yearwood to join him. She ended up singing one of her songs, “She’s In Love With the Boy,” as well, and then sang backup on a few more songs for her husband.

Then he did a second encore! The second encore was pretty much all sing alongs. It wasn’t his stuff but they were all well known songs, like “Piano Man”. We’d all sing with him and it was usually just one verse and a chorus before he’d go on to the next one. He did that with his first encore, too, where he was signing the songs the fans had written on poster board.

Anyway, it was amazing. It was probably the best concert I’ve ever been to. I’m so glad I got to share the experience with my daughter, my mom, the mobster, and Sweet J.

Earlier that day I treated myself because it was Mother’s Day weekend. I bought myself a new pair of Hokas and a new computer. It’s still not set up, primarily because it didn’t come with Windows and I’m trying to decide if I want to spend the money to lease it. I’ll also have to remember what my password was to my blog.

We had biscuits and gravy in the morning on Mother’s Day. My brother came over later and made beef stroganoff for us, with a little help from me. My daughter gave me flowers and some really great pictures of the two of us. She made picture frames, too. My son couldn’t wait for me to open my gift so he had set it up in my bedroom when I got back from the concert. He bought me a gold plated rose.

I don’t know if any of you remember The Rose of Death story I told about my 20 year anniversary gift from Jerry Lee. The cliff notes version for those of you who have never read it or have perhaps forgotten it is this: For our 20th anniversary Jerry Lee bought me a platinum plated rose mounted on a wooden stand. He paid over $100 for this. I was not a fan. It might not have been so bad except when I was opening the package I saw something about a family tree with little picture fames for the family so I thought that was what I was getting. And also, really? 20 years together and your gift is a platinum dipped rose? I was very disappointed. It would have been a perfectly fine gift for my birthday or Christmas or even Mother’s Day.

Back to present day. My mom told me he had showed her what he bought. She said he was so proud of it. “I finally have money so I can buy her something really nice!” he told her. She said she debated telling me about it because she knew how I had felt about the platinum dipped one years ago. Even Rock Star later admitted that when I brought it out she was inwardly dying. She, too, knew the story about the Rose of Death.

I love the rose my son bought me. It hits a lot differently when it’s your kid buying you something. I love that he wanted to buy me something really special. I love that he put time and thought into it. And I love that he was so proud of his gift. I love that he thinks I’m worth it.

Along with the rose he gave me a handwritten note. Basically it thanked me for being there and supporting him through the rough time he has had the past year or so.

How was your Mother’s Day?

A Belated Mother’s Day Message (Or An Early Father’s Day Message)

Mother’s Day has come and gone. Mine was splendid but I’ll write about that later. It’s a little late to save the moms this year but if I have any male readers dealing with cheating wives maybe I can save you some heartache this coming Father’s Day.

I saw so many people this year hurt and bewildered by their ex or soon-to-be-ex not wishing them a happy Mother’s Day.

I’m the mother of his child(ren) and he didn’t even wish me a happy Mother’s Day! You’d think the least he could do is acknowledge that. We were together for X number of years. I’m the one raising his kids, the ones he left behind. Is it that difficult for him to do this one small thing and recognize me on Mother’s Day?

Yes! Yes, it is asking for too much to expect him to acknowledge you on Mother’s Day. He couldn’t keep his dick in his pants while you were married/living together/in a relationship. Showing you any sign of respect is not his strong suit. What makes you think he’s going to treat you better now than when you were actually together? Before you at least served a purpose. You cooked his meals, kept his house, did his laundry, made sure the bills were paid, kept his life in order, had sex with him. You made him look like a stable, normal human being. Now you’re just a nuisance to him.

I know that sounds harsh and I’m sorry. There’s simply no way to sugar coat it. As Chump Lady says over and over, “You cannot look to the person who hurt you to help you heal.” That’s like asking your kidnapper to help you escape.

Maybe I am blessed with the ability to shut things off when I see them going south. I was all in with Jerry Lee and our wreckconciliation until I got the news from The Saint about Jerry Lee lying about where he had been. When I found out Jerry Lee was messing around with Harley again I was done. I wasn’t looking forward to what needed to happen but I knew it was over. I had warned him two years prior.

I remember my first anniversary post separation. Rock Star bought me candy and flowers. I took my kids to Olive Garden (ironically, an hour’s drive away from where we were living). I focused on making the day about them. Never in a million years was I expecting Jerry Lee to even mention the day in passing, much less send me a message acknowledging our anniversary or send me flowers.

I didn’t expect him to recognize my birthday and I wasn’t sitting on pins and needles wondering if he would do anything for me for Mother’s Day. Most of the time he half assed it while we were married. Why on earth would I expect him to pull out all the stops now that he was fucking his cousin?

Is it because we’ve been fed this constant stream of conscious uncoupling bullshit? Are we really buying into this narrative that “divorce doesn’t mean you’re no longer a family; it just means your family has been rearranged slightly,”?

I’ll say it again. You cannot expect the person who broke you to help put you back together. They are not capable of it. They have no vested interest in doing so. There’s nothing in it for them.

Protect your heart. Don’t expect anything out of them. Don’t expect humanity. This is your ex for a reason. When you no longer expect, or better yet, don’t even want acknowledgement from them on your birthday or Mother’s Day or Christmas you take away their power to hurt you.

Gentlemen, if you were wishing your cheating ex’s a Happy Mother’s Day- STOP! They don’t appreciate it and they don’t deserve it. It ends up making you feel bad because your acknowledgement falls on deaf ears and frequently is met with dead silence. It’s no longer your job to celebrate your children’s mother. Someone else can do that, and if she’s got no one else, well, she’s got no one else to blame but herself for her circumstances.

Ladies, I failed you on Mother’s Day but keep in mind, the above message goes for you as well on Father’s Day. You aren’t taking the high road by celebrating him when he ignores you. You are eating a giant shit sandwich and telling yourself it tastes wonderful. Please stop.

If your kids are old enough to buy a gift for him on their own, let them. If your kids aren’t old enough to do that, and they actually want to do something for him I’ve heard many people suggest letting them make him a card or draw him a picture. If you’re feeling rather generous maybe take them to the dollar store or some big box store and give them a budget of $5 or less. If your kids don’t ask to do anything, or maybe they’re not even old enough to do anything, don’t do anything for him. It’s not your job.

Take back your power. Take back your sanity. Don’t let them hurt you this way anymore.

Shock and Awe

My boss: Do you have time for a quick call?

Me: Yes.

Inwardly I’m groaning. Oh shit, what have I fucked up? Am I not doing the new task correctly? Am I too far behind on my alerts? Oh boy! What have I done?

She called me right away and asks, “Do you remember during our one on one how I told you I was going to make you an Analyst II?”

I replied that yes, I did remember that and once again I’m inwardly groaning thinking, “Oh crap. It’s not going to happen. She didn’t get approval.”

Well, folks, I’m an Analyst II now. One fucking week after she tells me she’s going to flip me over to a 2 in the next six months! Best part? I kinda figured I would get somewhat of a raise. Keep in mind I”m used to Deposit Services offering me $0.25 an hour as a generous raise. Yearly raises of around $1300-$1500. Yeah, that’s right. Per. Year. With that in mind I was thinking that maybe I’d get a 5% increase. Remember, I just got a raise a month ago. When I let myself go crazy I’d think maybe I might get 10% and that would be real nice. 18.74% is what I got. She told me my new annual salary and I just about cried. I don’t know why, because I already knew what 10% would be.

She laughed and said, “It’s a lot better than when I plucked you out of Deposit Services.”

I told her she was my fairy godmother.

She told me I deserved it and I work for it. She never has to worry about me or fear that I’m not going to get my work done.

I am making double what I made in my last year in Deposit Services. Slightly more than double. I am making over three times what I made when I first began at the bank.

Remember when I first got hired in this department and I said that I had almost closed the gap? I have completely closed the gap now. The next step is to get CAMS certified and get another nice bump.

I cannot even begin to tell you how good this feels. I have gone from being a stay at home mom who was convinced she would never make enough money to support myself and my kids to a freaking BSA Analyst II. Between spousal support and my own salary I am almost bringing in six figures. Me! The party of the second part who relied upon the party of the first part to supplement my lifestyle because I was incapable of living on my own merits. Jerry Lee is still supplementing that. The asshole tax remains high and he’s still got another 12 years of paying. But I truly believe that if I’m willing to keep working hard and willing to take chances I can be making close to six figures, or better, in the next 3-5 years. And that sure as hell beats the last 5 years!

I still remember those first days after finding out about Jerry Lee and Harley. I had no idea what I was going to do, how I would make it, who would hire me. I remember applying for job after job and not even being called for an interview. Then finally I got lucky and got hired on at Target. I remember getting up at 3:30 in the morning to go to work at 4. I remember going in at 2 am when we had double trucks. I remember working 2 jobs during the Christmas season in order to make sure my kids had a decent Christmas. I remember getting 36.5 hours at $11.00/hour when I first started working at the bank. I remember going into work at Target from 4 am until 7 am, running home to pick up my daughter to take her to school, and then returning home to get ready for my day at the bank. I clearly remember those days when I didn’t have enough money to take my kids shopping for new clothes. We couldn’t go out to eat or to the movies like we used to do. I was exhausted all the time. And then I transferred over to Deposit Services and thought that I had hit the jackpot. Only I really hadn’t. I still didn’t make enough money to support myself and my kids without Jerry Lee’s help. I remember that day he told me he hadn’t sent the second half of my spousal support because he had lost his job. I remember sobbing in my car in the garage because I just couldn’t deal with the thought of returning to Target and having to go into work at 4 am once again. I remember him modifying spousal support for over a year and me just being so grateful in the beginning that he was at least paying something. I remember being dependent upon him. And I remember feeling like a failure because despite everything I had endured I still wasn’t where I wanted to be financially.

That has all changed. I’m so excited and yes, so proud of myself for all I have accomplished. I was promoted from Analyst I to Analyst II in just over a year. Never in a million years did I think that would happen. I planned on a solid two years before I got bumped up. I spent three years in Deposit Services and never went from Rep I to Rep II. So I find this promotion to be amazing, especially the speed with which it happened.

Anyway, that’s all I have for you right now. I promise to write about something else in the near future. I’ve got lots of things to tell you and I even got a new computer. Just need to set things up. Until then….

In Other News, Part 2

I do actually have reason to dance in the rain. I am excelling at work.

Last week we had our remote workers come in for the week, which was awesome. It was my first time meeting these people in person. We had lunches together. We had meetings. We got together after hours three of the days. It was a lot of fun, although I was exhausted by the end of it.

Anyway, my boss had one on one talks with each of us during the week. It’s not a new thing. She tries to do this on a regular basis. But during this particular meeting she let me know I was doing a fantastic job. She continues to be amazed at how well I manage my work and get it all done (see the previous post about working those extra hours). They apparently interviewed a lot of people for this position and I was the hand-picked favorite. She’s giving me a new responsibility and because of that increased responsibility she is making me an Analyst II within the next 6 months. And with that comes another raise. She also told me to plan on taking the CAMS classes around 2023, 2024 and get ready to take the test to be certified.

I cannot tell you how psyched I am about all of this. Seriously. CAMS is a big deal. It’s a certified anti money laundering specialist. My boss told me a few months ago that once I was CAMS certified I could write my own ticket. This is definitely something I want to do and I’ve talked about it with both my mom and the mobster. It’s a big time goal with an even bigger payoff.

The caveat is my boss won’t send anyone to the classes until they’re an Analyst II. I’ve also heard that there are certain qualifications you have to have before you can even sign up. Extra training and classes and such. So, being promoted to an Analyst II was a big step in reaching my goal. I thought it was going to be at least another year before I was bumped up and then who knew how much longer until I was finally sent to classes?

Now I have a date and a timeline. I’m getting *another* raise sometime in the next 6 months. It won’t be long before I can write my own ticket. I can go pretty much anywhere I would like and I can ask for a whole lot more money once I’m CAMS certified.

I’m dancing, folks.

In Other News

This was written about 2 weeks ago. I’ve got another update for you.

I’m really beginning to hate that phrase: Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning how to dance in the rain. And yet I persevere.

While the love of my life happily treks back to Virginia I’m doing my best to dance in the rain. My daughter will graduate from nursing school in December. I am so excited for her. She seems to really be excelling in school. Her instructors love her. One of them asked her to be a student instructor for her class next semester. So she has a paying gig along with the many references that have been offered by various clinical instructors.

I finally have good news on the Picasso front. If you remember back in December he was having a meltdown. He had quit his job at the grocery store, tried Chick-Fil-A and quickly quit that job, and he had run out of medication.

He is doing fantastic right now. I got the prescription refilled, he saw our nurse practitioner and he finally got his referral to a psychiatrist who has since put him on two different medications.

That’s not even the best part. He suddenly decided he was going to get his driver’s license and was going to join the carpenter’s union. I think within a day of announcing his plans he had made an appointment to get his license. He scared the shit out of the driving instructor but she passed him. He’s had his license about two months now.

Once the hard copy of his license was mailed to him he went down to the carpenter’s union and signed up. He’s done everything he needed to do and he’s actually working a job now. He’s been on it for a week and a half. His very first full time job. He makes his lunch the night before and gets up at 5 in the morning to drive an hour to the job site. He’s such a big boy now!

It’s odd to think that next year at tax time I will only be claiming one child, and that this is the last year I’ll be able to claim head of household. As of 2023 I believe both kids will be off my payroll. Quite frankly, I’m hoping to be on theirs. LOL

I’m really hoping Picasso inquires about insurance soon. It’s not so much that I will suddenly have a huge payday (I do still carry Rock Star). It’s more that I’m sure his insurance will be cheaper and will undoubtedly be better than what I can offer him.

My mom just got back from Florida a month ago. She has a birthday coming up on May 13th.

My kittens are growing. They can’t share the little basket on the cat tower anymore. Or, if they do try it one of them usually leaves pretty quickly because they don’t have enough room. They are little stinkers. Holly loves her wet food. She cries and cries in the morning until she gets her way. She thinks every time I walk near the kitchen it’s time to be fed. Noël is a lot more chill and not nearly as food motivated.

I got them a bubbling water fountain because cats are supposed to drink more water when it’s moving. Milo may be drinking out of it, too. Really all three of them can share. It’s not like it’s a cats only drinking fountain.

I am working from home two to three days a week. Milo loves it. He’s my little shadow. I try to remember to bring his little pop up house into the office so he can sleep.

Work has been crazy lately. It hasn’t helped that I haven’t been able to focus until just recently. The past week I’m sure I worked more than 8 hours Monday-Thursday but I know for certain I worked until 8:30 on Friday evening, taking about a 30 minute break to eat dinner and then logged on again on Sunday and worked another four hours. Fortunately, that had me pretty well caught up with all of the end of month stuff.

I just got my raise and it was actually decent. I mean, it wasn’t another almost 50% but it was decent.

I began this year with four weeks of vacation and 2 banked holidays. It’s almost May and I’ve only taken my 2 banked holidays, although I do have the day after Thanksgiving reserved to be taken off. Still, 3 weeks and 4 days of vacation left. I’m not sure what to do with it.

I’ve always wanted to go see Multnomah Falls in Oregon. Apparently there is hiking and an additional waterfall or two. I’d probably end up as one of those lost hikers that ends up dead.

You know, the funny thing about travel is I don’t find it to be something I want to do all by myself. I mean, I guess I could take a fucking cruise on my own but how much fun would that be? Sitting at a table full of people that are coupled up and where I know no one. Lounging about on the deck and sipping cocktails by myself wouldn’t be so bad, but I don’t think I’d leave the ship. I’m not very adventurous on my own. I love going to the movies by myself. I could even go out to eat by myself. But a vacation? Uh. no. There is not a single vacation I could envision going on by myself with the possible exception of the beach. Maybe I’ll end up just taking a road trip one week. Find some tourist-y things to do in a few cities and enjoy my own company. Or I can just sit on my ass at home for 3 different weeks. We’ll see. The year isn’t over yet although I’m sure my boss is probably going to be pulling her hair out in another month or two.

If anyone has vacation ideas I’m all ears.