On July 16, 2007, the two partners of the advertising agency I was working for brought me out to lunch. I had been working there a little over three years and this was the first time in probably three years that just the two of them took me out. They were smiling and excited when they asked, “Are you happy here?” followed by, “would you want to try something new?” By the end of the day it was announced that the agency was closing at the end of the month.

At the agency I was a media buyer, which basically meant I purchased commercials for our clients to buy on various forms of advertising (broadcast television, radio, cable television, etc.) but my father had sold media for years, so I decided that this was my chance to branch out to try what I felt I had been destined to do. I interviewed with two broadcast stations and the local cable provider and would have given anything to work for cable. I knew someone who worked there who absolutely loved what he did and raved about the company. My interview went extremely well and I loved the guy who I interviewed with. If I got the job I was going to have a client list (the holy grail of media sales) and my expected income was tens of thousands of dollars more than I was earning. A week or so later when they offered me the job, I danced to my car.

Fast forward to May 29, 2013, my final day at a phenomenal company. I learned so much about the industry, about advertising, about numbers and about how to sell. I learned how to be the type of salesperson that I would have wanted to deal with when I was a buyer. I established relationships with all of my clients and became friends with many of them. But the hardest, hardest part of leaving, was saying good bye to my coworkers. When I started I was a naïve 25 year old two years in to my marriage, when I left I was a 31 year old mother, now married to the same man for over eight years. They saw me blossom into an adult and I was there for them too. I went to their weddings, funerals for their spouses and parents, baby showers for their first, second, or fourth kids, they visited me in the hospital when Chase was born, they came to our house warming, and we had playdates with our kids. I had pool dates and happy hours and dinners and beach days and brunches and trips with these people. My friends at work have become my family through the years.

There is the guy who was my GO TO for career advice. The woman who calls me “sugar,” and always asks about my son. The guy I jokingly called my work husband. My former teammates who became my co-conspirers, and whose husbands get along with mine. The guy who was my constant lunch companion who kept it real for me in terms of life and work. There was my first manager who made me laugh. My second manager who helped me spread my wings. My third manager who inspired and encouraged me. My mentor who came and went but who provided (actually provides) me with all the support I could ever need. The friend who gave me bags of clothes after a former executive criticized our work attire. My girl who I could always depend on to talk jewelry or handbags. My coworker who was readily available to hand out free financial advice. My pal who was always good for a laugh. My friend who from the outside we look like complete opposites, but upon closer inspection, we have more in common than most people. My running buddy who keeps me sane and honest. The chick born on the same day as my mother-in-law who I love like she was my mom. I will miss all of them.

The company afforded me the opportunity to take three months off when Chase was born. They sent me to the Bahamas for an all expenses paid trip. The money I made doing what I loved to do helped us to buy our dream home. I had as much vacation as some Europeans and was able to spend more time with my friends and family because they wanted us to have a work/life balance. It was a fantastic company to cut my teeth on for sales and for a real corporate job after working at a family owned, small advertising agency.

So why did I leave? The industry is not the same as when I started. There were internal changes made that didn’t gel well with me. There were a couple other personnel issues. And truthfully I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue my career in sales, specifically in media sales. I had the requisite 3-5 years of experience under my belt and it was time to move on. I’m sad, yes, but I am so excited about this new chapter in my career.

If you have been following this blog for very long, you know that I’m very sentimental and I need closure. This was my closure. The company where I spent more time than college deserved more than a passing mention in a post about some time off, which is why I had to write what I wrote tonight. I love you guys and will miss you all!

100 Miles Until 2013

Well, actually it’s currently 73.75 miles until the New Year, but 100 sounded a lot better.

Ok, before we talk about that, let’s talk about this.  So, it’s been a minute since I last wrote and I’m not really sure that I even have a decent excuse.  I could say I’ve been so busy with the new house or I’ve been spending all of my free time on a new hobby or baking or that I’m so busy working out and losing weight that I haven’t had time.  But none of those are true.  I’m not even sure what I’ve been spending my free time on.  Nothing productive, that’s for sure!  I have had something somewhat miraculous happen in the past 60 days or so.  I’ve started to enjoy running again.  I’m not going to drop the l-word or anything, but I don’t hate it or dread it quite so much.  That’s not to say that I’ve been acting on this new “like,” but nonetheless, it is a step in the right direction.

Work kind of sucks.  This is not a permanent thing, just something that happens at every job no matter how much you enjoy it.  I’ve started having trouble falling asleep because I’m thinking too much about work.  And life and money and all of that.

All of this got me thinking while I was on a run (shock, shock) last Saturday, which was December 1st.  Maybe, just maybe, I could start a streak.  They have always intrigued me, but I’ve never had the guts to start one.  I thought about what kind of a streak I could do, and I thought about 100 miles.  That’s a lofty number, but not an impossible one.  I thought maybe 100 miles by Christmas, but that I thought that might be pushing it.  What about New Years?  It roughly works out to 3.25 miles per day, which isn’t horrible.  I obviously won’t run everyday, but I will run more than 3.25 miles some days.

So far, I ran 3.1 last Saturday, 4.15 on Sunday, 2.25 on Monday, 3.5 on Tuesday, 3.25 on Thursday and 10 today.  The 10 I ran today was a race and it was fun and wonderful and I did it all by myself and it was the fastest I have ever run that distance!  I am not sure I could tell you the last time I ran 4 days in a row, which I did earlier this week, let alone run 10 miles by myself with no music!  That has been my secret for all of it, no music.  It gives me some alone time and time to think about whatever I want.  It has helped me tremendously!

I really want to accomplish this feat and I know that I can.  I want to prove it to myself and to my uber-runner husband (who claims he’s never broken the centennial mark in a month, but I don’t believe him).  I want to lose some weight along the way (which I have so far) and get on a healthy track again, especially during this time of year.  I’ve kind of veered off of it the past couple of years and I need to get that back for a bunch of different reasons.  Now, I realize that life isn’t perfect.  ‘Tis the season for not only gluttony, but illness and excessive time consumption with family and friends, so I will not beat myself up if I don’t make it.  But I have something to work towards.

Wish me luck!

The SAHM Project, Take 2

So we are at the end of the 48 hour experiment known as The Stay At Home Mom Project and truly, I am sad. Really. I was not expecting that at all. A couple of weeks after I went back to work after being on maternity leave for 12 weeks, Chase came down with a cold, so I stayed home with him. He was 15 or 16 weeks old and I nearly died. He was sleeping a lot anyway, so with a cold he was sleeping even more, and I spent the entire morning on the computer working and wondering what on earth I was going to do with him when he woke up. Mere days earlier I had relished in every minute we were together and would check one or two things off of my “To Do” list in an entire day. At 3 I called my mom begging her to come and relieve me. I didn’t expect this, I thought I would be a better SAHM than this was turning out to be.

A couple of weeks ago I had to come home during the day to watch him for a couple of hours because our babysitter had to go to a funeral. Again, a near death experience for me. We “walked” around the house a little bit. We read a couple of books. We played. And it had been 10 minutes. Finally, he took a nap. Rhonda picked him up. I went back to work. The end. I told my boss that she would not have to worry about me ever quitting my job to stay at home because I wasn’t cut out for it.

These two days are the longest time that it has just been the two of us since I went back to work. I found my swagger. Yesterday afternoon we went to the pool with some friends. Then I baked cookies. This morning we brought those cookies to the NICU where Chase spent the first 10 days of his life. I worked out (again!), we played around the house, I made dinner for our family and a friend’s family. We had another playdate with a 2 ½ year old and an 11 month old. And I still had time to play on Facebook. I almost became domestic. But tomorrow, it’s back to reality.

I wonder if I were to not work would I really stick with the expectations I set out for myself. Would I eventually end up in the rut I sometimes find myself in at my job? Would I resent having to sit at home and have the same things happen every day? Or better yet would I resent my husband having somewhere to go everyday while I sat at home with my grouchy/teething/sick/sleep deprived/or even perfect kid? Would I turn into one of those women on Facebook that gripes about their kids all day? Am I a better mom by working? Or have I already turning into one of those nightmare parents that breaks all of the rules on the weekends and expects the babysitter to get their out of control child back into a routine? And then justify it because “that’s what we pay her for”?

When I was still undecided about having children I always fought with the notion of whether or not I would work once/if I had them. I still have that internal debate often. I don’t think that there is a right or a wrong answer. It seems to me that those who work wish they hadn’t and those that don’t wish they had. I read something just recently that (finally) made me feel better about my current situation. This woman said that although it was a big sacrifice for her to work while she had small children, she did it so they could afford the life that she wanted for her family. They were able to go on vacations, she could put healthy food on the table and live in a nice, safe neighborhood. The unfortunate (?) part is that right this second, I can’t afford to not work. Maybe in a couple of years when we have a house in a part of town where we want to live and our car is paid off, then I’ll really consider it.

There is also something to be said about my job. 90% of the time I LOVE it. I love what I do for a living, I love the company that I work for, and I love the people I work with. I love interacting with adults every single day. I love getting “dressed up” for work. I love putting on makeup and having somewhere to go. I enjoy not having to rely on someone else for income. I like having a 401k and contributing to it. I love going on nice vacations. I like spending money at Target on something stupid and not really thinking twice about it. Dare I say, I enjoy working? So given the opportunity, I am still not sure I would take it.

Whatever side I am wavering towards today or tonight or five years from now, tomorrow I will be at the office bright and shiny and regale everyone with my story of once upon a time being a stay at home mom.

The SAHM Project

That’s Stay At Home Mom for all you youngsters out there. So our daycare provider (also known as my Aunt Rhonda) had the nerve to go on a vacation. In the summer. During the work week. And has stranded me with my own child. I know, how dare she. So now for two days, I am a stay at home mom. My mom was a stay at home mom and it was always my dream to be a stay at home mom too. The economy/housing market/life got a little bit in the way, so instead I am a career woman, and I’m ok with that. I know if/when they throw me out of the company where I currently work, then I will re-evaluate this decision, but as for now I will continue to do what I do.

I have a lot of pipedreams when it comes to being a SAHM. For example, I would be skinny (duh) because I would have time to workout! My husband would come home to a delicious, nutritious dinner every night! We would go to the zoo, the aquarium, the beach, parks, pools, museums! I would become an extreme couponer and spend $5 a week on groceries! We would go on hour long walks every day! I would devote my free time to baking/blogging/writing! We would have playdates all of the time and my son would be most popular kid in town! I would raise a child who would already be walking and talking at 9 months and reading by a year! I would be supermom and a domestic goddess.

In reality I know what would really happen. I would spend the majority of my day obsessively checking Facebook and e-mail and spent every other waking moment watching television. I know this because I did it for 12 weeks. I realize that half of that time I wasn’t allowed to exercise or go out in public and I was only getting sleep in three hour increments, but still. When I was awake and Chase was asleep, I did nothing productive.

So I have been quite surprised that the first seven hours of the “new” (and temporary) me, I’ve done well. I ran 3 miles during his morning nap (my treadmill is in the garage, don’t turn me in for child abandonment). We ran an errand to BJ’s and we’ve kind of stayed on a schedule. He’s had one good nap and is working on another one AND we have a playdate in less than an hour. I emptied the dishwasher and have cleaned up after myself all day. And I plan on baking some cookies tonight to, wait for it, drop off with a friend whose husband just had surgery. And, I’m (obviously) working on my blog too.

Tomorrow should be just as busy. Chase has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning and then we have another playdate scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. So there is hope after all.

Ok, I get that this is just a day so far, but, this is progress people!

Now, on to tomorrow : )