Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oops! Always double-check the calendar!

Now that a ginormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders (the layoff that didn’t happen), I can focus on more important things – training!

I already signed up for a 10k in St Augustine on November 17.  I am going to use that for Proof of Time to submit to Disney.

BEWARE - It starts playing music as soon as you load the page!

However, I saw a race on today that I thought I wanted to do. It’s a 5k on Veteran’s Day that benefits the Gainesville Fisher House. A Fisher House is kind of like Ronald McDonald House, but for Veterans and their families, while they (the Vets) are receiving treatment at the Veteran’s Hospital.  How can I NOT do this one?  As a daughter of a Vietnam Vet (who never talked about it when I was a kid), I try to always honor our Men and Women in uniform.

I read the description of the event – tee, route, time, etc, and my eyes about bugged out of my head when I saw that JEFF GALLOWAY – yes THE JEFF GALLOWAY – will be there to give out the awards!!! OMG, are you kidding!?!!  I quickly shot off an email to the race director, and he confirmed that yes, JG will be there. I signed up ON THE SPOT and was on cloud 9 the rest of the day. I’m gonna be able to meet Jeff and shake his hand!!!  I can’t describe how awesome I felt!!

Jeff Galloway!!!!
I grabbed my Sharpie and turned around to add this race to my calendar in my office and realized…There are only FIVE days between this race and my St Augustine 10k….


I was so blinded by the awesomeness of the Galloway that I may have just screwed myself.  The 10k is for Proof of Time – I want to be able to kick ass on this race. Will the 5k slow me down? 


Monday, September 17, 2012

How about some Progress Pics?

So, I've been at this a little over 7 months, and while I haven't dropped a massive amount of weight, I'm going all slow-and-steady-wins-the-race over here.

Here's a little refresher for you - this is me in December 2011 at Animal Kingdom. Size 18w jeans (really tight, a 20w would have fit better) and an XXL tee shirt.

Here is me in April 2012:
What's with the face? Geez!
 Here is me on September 16th:
Excuse the back sweat, I just got off the treadmill!

You can really see the difference here - my gut is rapidly shrinking!

There's a muscle there, you just can't see it....
In a society that applauds The Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeovers, it's disheartening to see how SLOW the progress is, but I know I'll get there.

I'm close to being able to say that I've lost 20 pounds.  When I hear other people say they've lost 20 pounds, I'm like "Wow!!!  That must have been so hard, that's so much weight!" but in my head, when I say I've lost almost 20 pounds, it doesn't seem like very much to me, and it doesn't seem like that big of a deal, especially because I know how much more I have to go...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Crisis Averted!!

I work as an Administrative Assistant for the county I live in.  Every year, the county has to set a budget, and every year cuts are usually proposed.  Due to the economy, the cuts proposed were very deep this year.

And very personal, as I was one of the positions put up on the chopping block. 

On May 14th, me and 5 other employees (just in this building!) were called into a meeting. We weren’t told what the meeting was about beforehand, but there were some big cheeses at that meeting, so we were very nervous. 

We sat down, and Big G (I’ll call her that) tells us that all of the Managers and Supervisors ranked positions in order of importance, and our positions were lower on the list than others, thus putting us on the chopping block for budget cuts. Of course, we were upset, and it’s very hard to not take it personally – you just told me I’m not important or helpful to you!

Big G told us that if we were cut, we would be able to slide into another open position within the entire county, if any positions were open. If there were no positions opened, we would be put on a Wait List type deal for positions that we qualified for.  This put a serious dent in my day, my week, my year!!!

I was laid off in August of 2009 from a local construction company, and was unemployed until May 2011. I got a grant-funded job through the Florida Back to Work Program (FBTW), but that was slated to end September 30, 2011. Luckily, I got the job I have now before the FBTW program ended.  I didn’t LIKE being unemployed. I’m one of those people who LIKE to work and be productive members of society!  The idea of having to go BACK on unemployment and back to the task of finding a new job and scoring interviews and whatnot pissed me off.

And, hey, what about my annual Disney trip!?!  I already had my room booked and paid for! I don’t want to have to cancel that!!!

Once I got over the anger, I did what I always do – I began making plans.  Saving money (we still hadn’t gotten out of the hole from the LAST time I was unemployed!!), beefing up my resume, updating my references, etc.  I told my husband what may happen, but didn’t tell my daughter, as she is a worrier.  I felt kind of bad, but since I didn’t want her to worry, I didn’t feel THAT bad about it…

In that meeting, we asked when we would hear something definite (as in, when will I know for sure that I have to pack up my desk?).  We were told that in recent years, we would know something definite by the end of June.

The end of June came and went with no information.  The 4th of July came and went with no information.   The beginning of August came with very little information.  I don’t’ think it was until the middle of August that the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) met and finally began to REALLY discuss the budget, including my job. 

Behind the scenes, my boss, her boss and the Director of the department were fighting with the BoCC to keep me, saying that I was vital to the department, I was a great employee, etc.

The board decided to NOT raise the Millage Rate, keeping property taxes low for County residents. Yay, as I’m a resident, but Boo, because raising the Rate would have ensured that I kept my job!

I began searching job listings on the internet and local job boards, all but certain that I would be leaving at the end of September.

The Board met a few more times between the beginning of August and September 4th.  It was recommended that, if the board doesn’t give anyone a raise, they could keep most of the positions that were on the chopping block.  There was hope for me yet!  A lot of pissed off county employees, since we haven’t gotten raises now in FIVE YEARS, but it looked like I was going to be able to keep my job!

On September 15, the Director of the department stopped by my office to let me know that, even though it wasn’t ‘official’ yet, I was safe and I would not be laid off! Yippee!!!!  I was very professional, and thanked him very much for fighting to keep me, then joked, “Oh, and I’m on vacation in 2 weeks!”  I got to keep our annual vacation!! I was so happy, but man, let me tell you, I don’t ever want to go through that again!!!!!

**On a side note, I have to say how proud I am of how I handled myself during this time – I kept training and didn’t use food to dull the pain or stress!!!