The Rosie Bee

Starring Grizzy and Sophie

Oh, 2015…

2015
This was an interesting year, to say the least. There were some big work changes (one that broke my heart and one that just about gave me an ulcer), a serious crisis of confidence, a major death, but when all was said and done, I started and ended the year at jobs I enjoy, with a roof over my head, with enough to eat, and with two healthy kitties, so that’s good.

Sophie and G curled up on the paw print blanket

A year with these two small fries; what could be better than that?

Still, I’ve learned some life lessons in 2015:

Trust your gut. See a red or even yellow flag followed with a reasonable explanation? Think twice. Sometimes it’s best to turn around before the explanations start pouring in.

Nothing is worth getting an ulcer over. My body went haywire from stress and ulcers aren’t worth it. Bodies break down on their own with age; why hasten it? (Yes, easier said than done, but not a bad reminder.)

Plan ahead. It’s never a bad idea to have a nest egg or a Plan B just in case.

Things work out. Things may not work out exactly as you’d hoped, but they will.

True friends are worth gold. I knew this already, but it deserves to be said again.


In random things:

I started reading again! I don’t have a set number of books read, but I’m excited to be reading at least one a week these days. For a good chunk of the year I couldn’t focus (stress, body out of whack) but the last quarter or so things calmed down and voila! Concentration back! Books were read!

I ran a bunch of 5Ks and one 7K. My best time was 30 minutes but I hope to get it under in 2016. Right now I don’t have a set time, but seeing a time start with a “2” would be cool.

I painted a lot of furniture. It’s such fun and very therapeutic.

I watched a lot of Boardwalk Empire (Richard Harrow ❤ ❤ ❤ ) and A Chef's Life. Also PBS and QVC. I love me some commercial-free tv that doesn't move at the speed of light.

I finally signed up for online dating, mostly to tell people "I told you so", and yeah. The experiment is still in its nascent stage, so more to come (maybe).

I freelanced, and once I got into a good rhythm/schedule, I found I really like it! (Now to learn how to make really good money at it, lol.)

I made it halfway through my first term as president of my Toastmasters group. What a learning experience. I'm told my year has been an anomaly but wow. I've had to handle a lot of sensitive situations. Good leadership experience, but I've got to admit, I enjoy giving speeches more.

In “life” events that broke my heart and changed my life
My grandma died. I don’t mean to tuck this in the middle, like it wasn’t the biggest even of 2015, because it was huge. In fact, I’m still processing it.

The whole job thing. Even now I miss the job I had at the beginning of the year. I spoke to my former boss after she left, and she said leaving broke her heart. I feel the same way. I loved what I did and I loved my team, but I didn’t love the craziness all around me. It’s sad, but it’s time to let that little bit go because I know it could never be the same; literally 95% of my team–we’re talking the larger group department here–is gone. But I’m happy to be at a place I enjoy and I look forward to a long future there. That’s definitely a very good way to start 2016.

Next year’s keywords: Balance and mindfulness. I’d like to focus on both, since I didn’t have either this year. Time to get more focused and not so reactive and frankly, I’d like to be a bit calmer and get my confidence back up where it was at the beginning of the year. I think focusing on a good balance and being mindful of keeping that balance will help.

Next year’s goals (do/see/be). A little reminder list for myself:

  • More yoga (specifically, I’d like to be able to do the ashtanga primary series on my own. I love yoga, and I enjoy my DVDs, but it’d be nice to have it be a little more “portable” and committed to memory)
  • Daily meditation
  • Canning! I will can this year!
  • More sewing (I’d like to try for four pieces)
  • Knit a sweater
  • Knock out two speeches and (finally) earn my ACS with Toastmasters
  • Visit a new-to-me state
  • Continue learning Illustrator
  • Volunteer regularly. Probably with a shelter or animal rescue.
  • Make a book of photos for 2016. I had planned to do that this year and it fell off my radar. It’s too easy to let images just sit on my phone; 2016 will be the year they are put in book format so I can enjoy them for years to come.
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    Happy Gotcha Day Grizzy!

    (Note: Grizzy’s Gotcha Day was actually this past Friday, July 11. Due to the crazy of last week, I didn’t get my post up, but I did spoil him all weekend. :))

    Today is an exciting day–it’s the anniversary of me and Grizzy being a team! (And a month later we adopted Sophie and became a family.)

    From being in a tiny cube to stretching out watching the wildlife. :)

    From being in a tiny cube to stretching out watching the wildlife. 🙂

    I will never forget the day I saw him. He was pawing on the window of his cube like crazy. I knew I had to look at him, as well as his buddy in the adjacent cube. I looked as his friend first…seemed like a good fit, so as I waited for them to bring in G, I worried. How would I make a decision?

    Grizzy came into the room and cautiously took inventory. Then he started rubbing up against me so I was able to get in some good pets–and unleash a lot of fur. It was humorous, kind of like Pig Pen in the Peanuts comic, only G had a cloud of fur following him around. Then he jumped up on my lap and the deal was sealed. I knew he was mine.

    I signed the papers the next day and picked him up. I will never forget how he peed in his crate. He had just been neutered so that smell is forever burned into my memory, haha. For the first several days I’d come home to find him hiding under the couch. I was able to coax him out and then we would hang out together. He wasn’t too keen on being held, but he always had to be touching me when I was on my bed. It was very endearing.

    He still likes hiding on occasion.

    He still likes hiding on occasion.

    I was so, so, so worried at first when he started to lose weight. At first I thought it simply due to an ear infection. We cleared that up, only to have him get a yeast infection in the ears. That cleared up, then the worm. Finally my boy started putting on weight, his coat grew in nice and shiny, and he became quite the handsome man cat! He enjoys playing in his tube, jumping into bed around 9:45-10, and chipmunk watching. He is my first boy cat, my first black cat, and my handsome G. I am thrilled to say he’s been with me for a whole year now. Here’s to many more!

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    We’re back!

    Well, we were always here, just locked away doing the action research project. Basically, it’s like a thesis for the master’s program. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be getting a master’s in Adult Education and Organizational Development this month. OD covers a lot of things, but the most succinct way I heard it put was “It’s the (behavioral) science of managing change within organizations.”

    It’s a neat program in that it can be applied to lots of different things. Training, teaching, human resources. In my class, there is a nurse, a project manager, an instructional designer, a few teachers…the program is applicable to a wide variety of professions. It’s helped me personally navigate through some organizational change (e.g., mass layoffs). I don’t know that I’ll get a job as an OD practitioner (that’s what they like to call us at school, hehe), and I highly doubt it’ll make me a millionaire, but I have enjoyed most of my classes and I have found a lot of them quite useful. Handy bits of information…worth the money? Hmm…lol.

    At any rate, it’s been a long road, and I’m very happy to be done!

    You see, I have finished my action research project! The project that I’ve been working on since January. I emailed an electronic copy yesterday and handed in two hard copies today. I started the research part of it back in January. Before I could do the “action” part, I needed to compile previous research then “synthesize” (lord, am I over that word) the research into a new idea that I could research. That was my proposal.

    In May, my proposal was approved and I was given the green light to do my research. I was told “This part will be easy. All you have to do is go through your paper and change ‘I will’s’ to ‘I did’ and then add on your data analysis.” Mm-hm. And I’m the Queen of France.

    My final paper ended up being 75 pages. Pure insanity. This Saturday, I have my poster presentation*, which means I stand for an hour and a half in front of my 3′ x 4′ poster and answer questions about my project. Then a couple weeks later I graduate, woo!

    It’s still surreal that it’s almost over. In a way, I feel like 2013 was “The Year That Wasn’t,” because everything was seemed to be all about the research project/paper. But big things happened, too: Rosie getting sick, losing Rosie, adopting Griz, adopting Sophie…good and bad…and a lot of big things. I’ve been thinking about all that stuff lately, so I’m sure I’ll process it a bit here in upcoming posts (which won’t be written a month or two from now, I promise).

    Currently, the two black bebehs are passed out by my feet. They had a rousing game of Chase the String, followed by Fetch the Fake Mouse. It’s funny how quiet is gets when they decide it’s naptime! It’s extreme spazz-out time for an hour or so and then silence. Too funny.

    This is long, so I will leave more for my next posts. I have much to share! Pictures, a Gigi (our feral visitor) update, and info on building a shelter for Gigi, which she has been using.

    Sophe and Grizzy zonked out

    Similar to their current state – only they are now both passed out cold.

    I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    -SG&S

    *Yes, in addition to writing a 75-page paper, I got to design a giant poster presentation, too. So much for “You just need to change the tenses and you’re set!” :p

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