Summer Sabbatical

Let me just clarify one thing here–I did not move away from Nashville!  Not permanently anyway…just for a few months.  This is my “summer sabbatical” as I’m dubbing it.  Am I in college, you ask?  No.  I’m 34 and well out of school.  Did I move back to my hometown for a job?  Well, no.  But I do have to find one.  Quickly.  So, why the hell did I quit (for the second time in my life I might add) a perfectly good job to do…nothing?  I don’t really know.  Timing was right?  Yeah?  Good answer?!

With a good friend subletting my place in Nashville for a few months, I’m hanging out in my beachy hometown of Pensacola, Florida…living with my parents…and (hopefully) working a temp job on the beach.

My first official morning here, I woke up today with an initial “what the EFF am I DOING?” thought going through my mind.  That lasted all of about an hour–after which my toes were in the soft white sand and my eyes were on the crystal blue water.  No regrets!

I’m hoping to chronicle this “sabbatical” of mine through this blog, if for no other reason than to sort things out for myself.  And my adventurous, busy-bee parents always provide entertaining fodder so you never know, you might get a laugh out of it too.  More later, but just so you know I’ve been here a day and have already been assigned to garden duty–on Mom’s THIRTY-THREE tomato plants.  Yes I said thirty-three.  By the way, my parents live in an 80’s ranch house neighborhood, NOT on a 25-acre farm.  Again, more later.

So until then…right now, I’m pouring a glass of wine and turning on Sex and the City.  Seems life here isn’t so different yet than life in Nashville!


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The Minivan Diaries: Day 3

Ten reasons why Colorado > Kansas:

  1. I don’t know how it’s possible, but Western Kansas has even less to look at than Eastern Kansas.
  2. This time of year (apparently harvest season–I can only imagine they are harvesting corn since that’s all we saw today while in Kansas) something gross called a chinch bug swarms and takes over every bit of the state.  They look like huge black beetle/roach hybrids.  They are EVERYWHERE.  Including INSIDE our hotel room.  Here, I’ll use the word “hotel” very loosely.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
  3. The vast majority of the exits off 70W through Kansas are not actually what most of the general public is used to…you know, with restaurants and gas stations and such.  They are just other roads to nowhere.  It really sucks when you’ve downed 2 liters of water and 32 ounces of Diet Coke, and keep seeing signs for these alleged “exits”.
  4. I don’t care that Bob Dole is from Kansas.  That’s what most of the billboards advertise though.  Not restrooms or restaurants AT THE NEXT EXIT.
  5. Speaking of restaurants, according to my favorite iPhone app (Chick-Fil-A Locater) the only living Chick-Fil-A in the entire state of Kansas is at a university (KSU?) in Wichita, which is NOT on 70W.
  6. When we left Kansas at 8:30 this morning it was 107 degrees, and felt every bit of that.  When we crossed the border into Colorado, I’m not kidding, it was 67 degrees.  A whole FORTY degrees cooler.  Enough said.
  7. Colorado has cell and internet reception through almost the entire state.  I could always squash my opponents in Words With Friends, no matter where I was.
  8. Colorado’s rest areas (we stopped at 2 today, by the way) are far superior to any other I’ve seen.  I mean one even had a general store and ice cream shop.  I’m still against rest areas, but if I had a gun to my head and had to choose one visit, it would be one in Colorado.
  9. You can legally drive 75 miles an hour on the interstate in Colorado.  Which by my standards, means at least 85 or 90.
  10. Last but not least, Colorado is home to some of my favorite people–including Dana and Jeff, who I get to see tomorrow YAY!!!!  Let the real adventure (sans minivan and kids) begin!
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The Minivan Diaries: Day 2

# of rest areas visited: 3

# of tantrums thrown in car: 2

# of tantrums thrown in car by kids: 1

Things I learned on day 2:

  • Missouri has a lot of rest areas.  They are all junky, even for rest area standards.
  • If it’s even possible, Kansas has more rest areas than Missouri.  And double that amount in truck stops.
  • There is nothing else in Kansas except what is mentioned above.  Oh, except windmills.  And Jock Ewing-era oil rigs.
  • I don’t know why anyone lives in Kansas.
  • I CAN drive a minivan without my head exploding.  And I have to admit it’s a pretty smooth ride.
  • Kids can watch the same episodes of Dora the Explorer over and over and over.  But, that is not unlike me and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Lucky 7, and Something to Talk About.  And every episode of Sex and the City.  No judgment here, kids!
  • Even Applebee’s tastes pretty damn good after 8+ hours in a car with 2 toddlers.

On the docket for tomorrow–more Kansas, surely more rest areas, then finally Denver YAY!

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The Minivan Diaries: Day 1

I’m headed West.  In a minivan.  Brief background: my sister, her husband, and their 2 kids (who are 3 and 1) drove from Denver, CO to visit our family in Florida, Alabama and Georgia.  After a week, Husband had to leave and go back to work.  I was recruited to make the drive back with Sister and the kids.  I figured, while I generally can’t stand road trips longer than 7 hours, and that don’t end with white sands and crystal waters, this would be a great chance to spend more time with family I don’t see often.  And, my niece and nephew are REALLY freakin’ cute.  And, after we get them safely home, I get to visit one of my best friends who also lives in CO.  YAY!

So I’m blogging the trip, more to help me remember it than anything.

Day 1:

Left Nashville.  First pit stop, Metropolis, IL.  Oh and I should mention–not only do my sister and I differ in that she loves a road trip while I generally do not, but she also loves a rest area…think the kids are the main reason for that (so she claims), but I usually avoid them at all costs.  So, I may see every rest area between Nashville and Denver.  Exciting.  Glad I stocked up on Purell before I left.  Anyway, Metropolis…home of Superman.  I should’ve bought a shirt at the gas station that we also visited.  Couldn’t get the nephew to pose with the probably-built-in-1972 wooden Superman cutout.  I don’t really blame him actually.

Second stop–Fairview Heights, IL.  Arby’s.  Dinner.  I don’t think Fairview Heights is known for anything other than being a random strip mall city on the outskirts of St. Louis.

Third and final stop for day 1–St. Louis.  West side of town.  I did see the arch though.  I’ve actually been in it before, on some high school trip, and would not do it again.  Tiny, slow, old elevator.  Enough said.

Tomorrow’s adventure, Kansas.  Hoping we don’t run into what Kansas is famous for–tornadoes.

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Ahhhh…back to nice hair products!

Reading over my last post of January 2009 (wow–over a year ago?  What have I been DOING?!) I realize I’ve come a long way.  Well, I’ve circled back anyway.  In a half-circle.  I’m making money, but I’m not miserable!  To recap the past 2 years in a few sentences:

I left my well-paying job in April 2008 because, well, it just wasn’t working.  For me or for them (left on good terms I must add; still friends with the old boss!).  Took a part-time writing job which I loved.  Fell into personal assistant work by word of mouth.  Worked for up to six different clients at one time.  Found my calling, and made such good friends in all of my clients (very blessed!).  And, drumroll please…

Got hired on full-time by one of my clients!  To work from home (mainly)!  With regular salary and benefits and everything!!!  Dream come true?  Sounds like it, huh?!  So, in December of 2009, after almost a year and a half of “roughing it” (scrounging for every penny but loving every minute of it) I left all my other clients and part-time work, and here I am.

I’ve heard so many “you’re so lucky”s and “wow I wish I could do that”.  I really do love the work.  Errands, scheduling, organizing, event planning, interacting with people (mainly over the phone), and even some minor PR/marketing work.  I am lucky.  But not surprised this is where I landed.  I just knew it would happen.  And it did.  AND I just know bigger and better things will happen too from here on out.  I love my job, I have a great “boss”, and I know that this is just the beginning.

And one of the best things that’s come out of this?  I can buy my NICE shampoo again!  And make-up!  And socialize with friends without feeling guilty of money I’m spending!  All the while, paying my bills.  Life IS good.

Posted in Nashville, Work | 1 Comment

The Bean on the Job Scene: Cheap Hair Products and the Unemployed

Today I had to buy shampoo from Walgreens.  The drugstore.  AAAAAHHHH.  For the past, oh, 15 years I have been obsessed with fancy schmancy hair products.  I mean, it could have been anything from Paul Mitchell (yes in high school, this was kind of fancy) to Fekkai to Pureology to Kerastase…the list goes on.  Anyway, a few months ago I finally ran out of my shampoo so I decided to buy cheap from Target.  Well, to my delight, Target now carries Bumble and Bumble!  YAY!  So yeah, back in November when I might have mentioned that I had to buy shampoo from Target (and I LOVE Target for everything else–don’t get me wrong) it actually was B&B…

Cut to today when I’m officially out of B&B Gentle again.  I really had to bite the bullet and step into Walgreens and buy…wait for it…Herbal Essences.  I mean, I didn’t even know enough to decipher the good cheap from the bad cheap!  I do know this kind smells good though.  And I think I’ll live.  Although the next time you see me my hair will probably be completely frizzy and gross, even though it never looks amazing I guess.
I don’t think I can get a job soon enough.  Next thing you know, I’ll be buying Kroger brand deodorant.  Ick.
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The Bean on the Job Scene: Adventures in Unemployment

I have fond memories of the days when I was sitting at my desk in a small office with nothing to do work-wise–or nothing interesting to do, anyway–so I happily spent my time penning daily editions of The Bean on the Scene.  You know, updating all the important news–Britney’s pregnancies (or speculations of), Paris’ wild nights out, which Laguna Beach stars were fighting, the premiere of the sure to be a hit new show The Hills, who Lindsey Lohan was hooking up with that day.  I commented on so many other ridiculous celebrity shenanigans that I can’t even begin to remember all of them.  What I DO remember though, with unusual clarity (for me anyway) , is how much I enjoyed writing.  And how much I enjoyed being able to write while I collected a more than decent paycheck for a job I should have left two years prior.  I did end up ditching this job–for another that I ended up hating just as much; one where I had to sit in an actual CUBICLE.  My previous small office was palatial compared to that little nook of hell– it came complete with Successories posters just to drive home the fact that I was buried in corporate America.  But, again–I came home with a steady paycheck.  

So, how do I now find myself clipping coupons (what are those?!), eating sandwiches for every meal (no more dinners out with the girls) and–the WORST part–not shopping??  Ugh.  Well, it’s called “chasing my dream” or something.  Although, I really don’t remember any part of my dream centering around cutting up my credit cards or trying to collect unemployment.  But here I am.  In the virtual unemployment line.  Yeah, there isn’t even a line to physically stand in these days–a positive change, even though for some odd reason that I can’t wrap my head around, I kind of wanted to do it at least once.  Call me crazy.  I’ll just chalk it up to wanting comic material to write about I guess.  

The one question I get almost every day is “what do you want to DO?” and “what kind of job are you LOOKING for?”.  While I suppose these are legit questions, if I knew the answer to them, I wouldn’t be trying to get the government’s money.  And I’d have a much cuter, newer wardrobe.  Because I’d already have another steady paycheck.  So in the meantime–while I continue to write, run errands for fabulous folks, and decide what to do with the rest of my life, I’m left to come up with various ways to make extra money.  LEGAL ways to make money.  Thanks to BFF Sarah, who compiled a list of odd jobs she diligently researched online, all while I’m sure she was supposed to be making spreadsheets and doing her MBA work.  She will someday write up my business plan, whenever I decide what that business will be!  But, I’m rambling again so here are a few of my favorites (and I mean no offense by any of these–I’d actually be in awe of any person who actually holds one of the jobs below!):

>School Crossing Guard–I’ve always wanted to have a job that involved a whistle.
>Rickshaw Driver–Kramer style.  This could TOTALLY be the new cool cab in Nashville!
>Lipstick Reader–huh???  I have no inkling what this involves, but I like lipstick.  And I like reading.  
>Ice Cream Taster–I mean, we do have Purity right here in town.  I should really look into this!  But as Sarah pointed out, I could only do this if I also operate the rickshaw.  You know, to burn off all the ice cream calories.  
>Human Scarecrow / Worm Farmer  / Fire Lookout–I don’t even know what to say to these, but they are apparently jobs that people actually have!  The Successories cubicle is starting to not look so bad…

If I wanted to relocate–which I’m not necessarily opposed to–I could do one of the following:

>Ski Lift Operator–or “liftie”.  But, I don’t know if my inability to ski, or hatred of cold weather and massive amounts of snow, would secure me the job.
>Alaskan Dog Handler–see above re: cold weather and snow.  Although, I do love dogs.  
>Shell Picker–I’m assuming this is on a beach?  Sign me up!  

And my favorite, and one that I’ll actually pursue:  Game Show Contestant!  I’m really hoping the Wheel of Fortune bus decides to roll through Music City again.  Don’t think I won’t be the first one in line.  

I know 2009 is MY year to figure out my life.  And I will.  In the meantime, stay tuned for the adventures of my unemployment.  Hopefully I can at least stay away from worm farming.  

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