Okay…time really does fly. Or in my case, it just goes by faster than I thought. I can’t say that it has all be fun and games. To be honest, 2018 was definitely a year of transition for me. I left a job, enrolled in school and tackled my health head on. Hmmm…that seems like a lot.
So last year I made the decision to leave a job that I loved in the beginning, but by the end, I knew that I needed to leave for my own health. I’m sure some people would have a hard time understanding that, but trust me, when you work your butt off and are then given the duties of employees that don’t work, it creates anger and hurt feelings. It also creates tremendous amounts of stress. Some people excel at stress. Me, I am not one of those people. I tend to internalize stress and it can consume you.
Walking away from my job after another disappointing meetings with the higher-ups who listened to what I had to say, but I knew they were just going to continue on, so I continued on right out the door. It was the best decision that I have made in terms of work. My plan was to go back to school and try to learn something new that might lead me in a new direction. I will admit that I took a few weeks to try to de-stress and did nothing but relax, sleep and try to find me again. Apparently it worked because my husband said that he is finally seeing the person that I was instead of the person that I had become in my job. Good to know that it was working.
Last summer I enrolled in school and started my classes. I have completed two and will be starting the next class next week. I still worry that I made a mistake. What if I can’t find a new job? What if? What if? There will always be doubts when you are facing major life changing decisions. Things are going well and hopefully I will end up with a new job to show for it.
I have also been getting healthier. While I had started eating cleaner and cooking more at home last year, I still didn’t address my doctor’s concerns that my blood sugar was higher that he would like it to be. I was just of the mindset that if I didn’t address it, then it really didn’t exist. Of course, I know that isn’t how it works. Ignoring things only makes them worse. So I decided to tackle that issue head on and get rid of food that might spike my blood sugar. I am now home everyday, so cooking has been something that I do all the time now. In October, after we returned from a very short vacation, I started cutting out foods that don’t work for me or just aren’t good for me and it is working too. As of this morning, I have lost 45 pounds and feel better than I have in more than 10 years. I still have more to go, but for the first time I feel positive that I am doing what works for me.
One of the reasons that I refuse to use the word “diet” is that I realized that every time I would say the word, all I would think about was what I couldn’t eat. So for me, if there has to be a term for it, I guess you could say that this is a lifestyle change. A lifestyle change for the better. My blood sugars are down and clearly in the normal range. I also learned that when I stopped eating foods that were sweet, when I did eat something sweeter than usual, it just didn’t taste good. I even made holiday cookies with sugar substitutes and didn’t even finish them. They just didn’t taste good anymore. There are studies that say that people’s tastes change quite often and that just because we don’t like a food now doesn’t mean we won’t like it the next time we try it. I actually made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas and still lost weight.
So, I’m back. Hopefully it will stay that way. I plan to start blogging again. It really is something that I enjoy and I am sad that I let it get away from me for so long. So what’s everyone else been up to while I’ve been gone?
So…work….I said earlier that I would post one last time about work and then not say anything more until I have a new job. I used to enjoy my job and looked forward to going in to work. I still enjoy some parts of my job, mainly those involved with taking care of the patients, but the other things have taken a toll, not just on me, but on the whole department and it is a struggle to just go into work each day.
Late last year I wrote about my former manager telling me I should look outside the department for other job opportunities. At the time, we didn’t know that she was doing the same thing. The search began for a new operations manager and I hoped that the new manager would come in and work to get things back on track. Ummm, no. In fact, it’s been seven months and things are worse than they ever were. We aren’t being managed because it has become apparent that she is in over her head and doesn’t know what to do. So as a result, she isn’t focusing on the main issues, but is taking small things and working on those while the bigger issues remain unresolved. We have staff being written up, staff being terminated and others, like me, looking for other jobs.
I knew that things would be different when the new manager didn’t meet with the individual sections to learn what they do and understand what a typical day is for them. She cut the weekly staff meetings to once a month and for the meeting agenda, she completely eliminated my section as well as others. We were no longer given time to discuss changes that were coming down or concerns that we might have. I still had a weekly meeting with her and during our first one, she told me that the previous manager had “spoken very highly of you and told me that you are the one to go to when I need help because you have been here from the beginning.” I quickly learned that meant I was there to dump all the things on that she didn’t know what to do or didn’t have time for. The first time your manager says they appreciate you, it feels good. The twentieth time they say it to you it means nothing. They are just meaningless words being said to pacify you.
The turning point for me came just before the holidays. One of my employees went to cover the morning meeting and came back extremely angry because she had basically been made to look as being totally incompetent at her job in front of other employees. She was told that if she couldn’t do her job in 40 hours “you will need to look at being retrained because apparently you have problems with time management.” Really? So it doesn’t have anything to do with our clinic increasing from 2 doctors to 4 which meant the workload increased while staffing didn’t? The answer is no. It doesn’t matter to the manager. That employee began looking for a job that night after work.
A few days later, my manager made the comment that “I don’t understand why your section is struggling with the workload. You did this job for a year by yourself.” Hmmm, yes, I did the job by myself for a year. But I had 2 doctors that were only there a total of 4 clinic days. I now have 4 doctors, each with 3 clinic days, so I have a total of 12 clinic days a week to cover. I also didn’t have any of the Administrative Assistant duties that were passed on to me when that person quit and they decided not to fill the job. I also didn’t have to complete so many meaningless reports, most of which were repetitive, but have to be done separately to keep other people happy. We also weren’t required by the government to capture all of the Meaningful Use data in order to meet the guidelines for insurance reimbursement. So yes, I was able to keep up with the workload. It was much smaller then.
Going home that day I told my husband that it is easy for her to say what she did because she has never taken the time to sit with us to see what we do. She hasn’t even asked to see the spreadsheet that breaks down my sections tasks for daily, weekly and monthly. She hasn’t done that for the other sections either. So I began looking for another position. I have started with internal job openings and will eventually look outside the organization. Last week I was called for an interview. The job I applied for and the description of it from the director were completely different, so that wasn’t for me. But fingers crossed that I will find something soon.
If not, I can always hope to win the lottery.
I am not one for New Year resolutions. I feel that resolutions are things that I never complete. The intention is there, but they always seem to fall by the wayside and then I feel like a failure. Instead, I have put together my Wishes for the New Year. After all, wishes can come true.
I Wish to Find a Healthier Me
I have tried to adopt a healthier way of eating. This year I want to continue making better choices and maybe reach a point of doing it without having to think about it. Vegetables are still my biggest struggle, so I will continue to try to find ways to prepare them and hopefully they will get easier to eat.
I Wish to Say No to Dunkin
Okay, I love Dunkin Donut’s coffee. The only problem is that it is hard to stop at ordering just a coffee when you are presented with all the delicious donuts that just go so good with the coffee. So, I have decided to stop visiting Dunkin. I will take my coffee from home and just keep on driving. It’s the only way I’m going to do this.
I Wish to Drink Less Coffee and More Tea
It is hard to believe that I didn’t used to like coffee. That changed when my husband would leave for work. He would fill up his thermos and take a travel mug with him, but there was always enough coffee left in the pot for a cup. So I began to drink coffee. Unfortunately, I have never been able to drink coffee without sweetening it and adding yummy, flavored creamers to it. I have decided that I need to find more flavored teas and replace my second or third daily cup of coffee with the teas. So far, I haven’t been doing too bad. I found a tea by Stash called Christmas in Paris and it smells like Andes Candies Mint Chocolate and it tastes good too. It is a special edition for the holidays, but I am going to try other brands and hopefully will find others that I like as well. I don’t have to add all of the added sugar and flavored creamers, so I am saving calories, which is a good thing. And is should be pretty easy to do if I succeed at the one above, stop going to Dunkin :).
I Wish I Can Drink More Lemon Water
I recently read an article where it said that drinking lemon water has many health benefits. The first was that it works to ease inflammation. If it can ease the pain in my joints that I have it will be worth it. It is also supposed to help with digestion and keep you hydrated. More positives in my opinion.
I Wish I Can Find Exercises That Don’t Hurt
Two years ago I fractured my hip. Don’t ask me how. Neither I or the many doctors that I saw could tell me how or why. Some said I could have sneezed or coughed too hard. Another said I could have bumped it several years ago. Regardless of how I did it, the goal is not to do it again. So I have had to limit the way I exercise, which means not doing anything that can cause a break again. I want to find something that allows me to exercise without a big impact on my bones and joints. It is a work in progress.
I Wish to Learn How to Crochet Left-Handed
I have always wanted to learn how to crochet. My mom and grandma tried to teach me, but as they were right-handed and I was left-handed, they always became frustrated that I couldn’t learn from them. I have done simple crocheting in the past, but I want to learn how to do more complex patterns and maybe make something. I found a website that teaches how to crochet left-handed, so I am going to find time to watch and learn. First, I have to see if I still have my crochet hooks and then pick out yarn. I’m looking forward to that.
I Wish I Can Find a New Job
I have decided that it is time to look for another job. I had hopes that things at my current job would get better, but they have not, so it is time to find something else. I want to be happy at work and that is something I am not any longer. I will write about what has happened recently and then I will not write about work until I have something new to tell.
I Wish my Family and Friends Continued Good Health and Happiness
Okay, I have to admit that I have become a little obsessed with the eagle camera that is showing the Fort Myer, Florida bald eagle couple, Harriet and M15 and their little eaglet that hatched last weekend. Sadly, one of the eggs did not hatch and it is rather heartwarming to see Mom and Dad still taking care of the egg and their new baby. There are two cameras that record the coming and goings of the family 24 hours a day, even at night with the help of night vision. If you get a chance, stop in to watch the activity at the site here, which is hosted by the Dick Pritchett real estate company in Florida which has hosted the cameras for several years and have followed Harriet with her previous mate, Ozzie, who died in 2014.
It is something to see Harriet squawking at her mate, M15. Sometimes he listens and other times not. At times I find myself laughing because they seem like such a normal couple. It is also interesting to see these big predators feeding their little one. Both mom and dad bring fish to the nest to feed the little one. Sometimes the fish is still alive, so if you are someone who gets queasy easily, this might not be for you. It is nature and sometimes nature is not pretty. The cameras make you think the eagles are rather small, but the nest is about six feet across and the birds are about 2 feet tall, maybe more, so they are much larger than they look.
It has been such a stress reliever. Last week at work, during lunch, I clicked on the link and watched for a few minutes. It was just so relaxing. At night, I check in to see how big the little eaglet is getting.
There are several eagle cameras set up around the country. If you do a Google search for : Eagle Cam, you will find links to several others. There is one in Northern Florida where you will see Romeo and Juliet with their two eaglets that are just over two weeks old. The President and First Lady are the Washington, D.C. eagles that are getting their nest ready and will be laying their eggs in a few weeks. One click and I’m sure you will be hooked like I am.
You can find their links below:
This is going to be a work update. Our new manager started in August and while she has been settling into the job the office has been in chaos. It has been interesting to see how people are trying to make themselves seem wonderful in her eyes, as if they are the perfect example of “Employee of the Year.” Oops, maybe they are trying so hard because the new manager actually was selected as “Employee of the Year” at her previous job. Anyway, it has been more of let the backstabbing begin and then the mudslinging starts.
Our office has been in transition for a while. We had the old manager leaving and the new manager coming on board. The plan was for the old manager to continue to come to our office for two days a week to help the new manager learn her position. That idea, while great in theory, lasted about two weeks. The old manager has done much of the training by phone and teleconference. Another area of transition is with our doctors. One is leaving to work at another community site. His replacement, while we know who it will be, has not been fully credentialed at our facility or with the insurance companies, so that has caused a delay. The physician leaving wants us to slow down on giving him new patients and our other physician is taking on the majority of the patients and is feeling overwhelmed and overworked. Our head nurse doesn’t like our new manager and has already complained about her to the director of the center. Added to this are rumors of cutting staff and people are worried about their jobs.
Employees are trying to get the attention of our new manager and they don’t necessarily care if they throw another employee under the bus in order to do so. Tension and animosity is growing in the office. I had one employee straight out lie to try to get out of doing a task that she was given more than a year ago by telling our manager that she “volunteered” to do it because my section was too busy and it is time we took it back. Of course, I was called into the office and questioned about this. I explained to my manager that the task the employee was given had never been my sections to do and that she was given the task because she didn’t have enough work to do and they were trying to justify keeping her position full-time. I also let the manager know that there had been a nasty, hostile confrontation with the former manager and the employee in June during my weekly meeting and to please verify it with her. She did and now she knows the truth. As for the lying, co-worker, I discuss work and only in front of witnesses. Any further conversation doesn’t happen. I keep our interaction limited and the door to my office closed.
I had high hopes that things would be different and sort themselves out once the new manager came on board, but that isn’t the case. A number of co-workers are looking for other jobs. They used to hide that fact, but now it is being discussed out in the open. Their feelings are if the manager knows, maybe something will change. I’m getting tired of waiting for the change to come. In my opinion, the wrong people are looking for other jobs. The one’s causing the problems are the ones that should be looking elsewhere. I spoke to my husband and he knows that I have set a date in my head of when I will have enough. Either things get better or I start the search for a new job. As always, he is supportive. And I love him for that. It makes it easier to go into work every day. Until then, I have made the quote below my new motto and have put it on the bottom of my computer monitor where I can look at it each day. I also have it written it Italian, which makes it harder for people to know what it says:
“Sometimes it’s better to react with no reaction.”
Before the holidays, I was discussing with my husband that I wanted to find things that I could do that would help to get rid of stress. I have been getting headaches and normally do not get them, so no matter how much I tried to say they were caused by the weather, I knew they were actually caused by stress. I tried some stress relieving tea, but I have never tasted anything as awful as that. I like to read, but sometimes reading doesn’t help get rid of stress, and depending what I’m reading, it may actually stress me out more. I read about the popularity of coloring books for adults as stress relievers and I told my husband that I used to love coloring when I was younger.
So for Christmas, he and my son bought me a couple of coloring books and several different sets of colored pencils. Pick a picture and color your stress away. It should be instant stress relief right? Uh, hmm, not so much. I couldn’t decide what picture to color first. And then when I finally decided on a picture, I hesitated over how to start. Do I want to do bright colors? Or dark colors? Do I want to stay within a color family, such as all blues or all pinks? Or do I want to use many different colors? What if I choose the wrong color and I end up not liking it? I can’t just erase it and start again. So it seems like my coloring books for adults are actually stressing me out. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.
My son keeps asking me if I’ve colored anything yet and I keep saying no. But I may have found a solution. I found an Adult Coloring App for my Kindle that lets me pick what picture I want to color and then, if I don’t like a color, I just click the back arrow and it erases the color. Yea!!! I’m not stressing over the colors, and if something doesn’t look good, I just start over. Little steps, but it works for me.
So today, when my son asked me if I colored anything yet, I not only said yes, I emailed him one of my completed pictures. He just laughed and saved the picture to his phone. I told him that was only fitting since I have storage boxes filled with pictures he colored for me when he was younger. He wasn’t sure how to take it when I asked him how big his memory card was in his phone. I’m thinking I have a lot of catching up to do.
As we moved into the New Year, it seems the question that everyone kept asking was, “What is your New Year’s resolution?” If I replied that I didn’t have any or didn’t make them, some looked at me like I was from another planet. One co-worker replied that “Everyone makes them.” Of course my reply, with a hint of sarcasm was, “Who is everyone? I want a list.” To me, a resolution is something that you must succeed at, and when you fail, as I have done in the past, I end up feeling like hmm, a failure. And for me, I do not want 2016 to be a year of failures.
So instead of things that I knew I would fail at, I thought of things that I would like to do or try for the new year. If I try something and it doesn’t work for me, then that isn’t a failure. It is a success because I will have tried something I haven’t done before. If it is something I end up liking and decide to keep doing, then that will just be success times two. I made lists of things that I would like to try for 2016. Some of them were to focus on the positives, find ways to relieve stress, make health a priority and focus on family.
I realized that negativity always has a way of bringing me down. I tend to focus on the negative and then it starts causing all sorts of issues, from stress headaches, stress eating and not being able to sleep. One of the ways I decided to deal with the negativity was to not focus on it. Instead, I have decided to try to write down something positive each day. Whether it is something someone said or just a positive quote that will carry me through to the next day. I have an inexpensive journal that I picked up for the holidays, so I have started to put the positive things in there. I realized that I missed a couple of days, not because nothing positive happened, but because I wasn’t used to writing things down. So I have put writing in the journal a part of my daily routine. I actually had several sticky notes that I put in my lunch box to remember to journal after work, so hopefully it will be something I can do every day.
As for things I would like to try in 2016, I want to try to eat healthy vegetables that I usually avoid. My plan is to try one new veggie a week. I know that it is all about the taste, so I plan to search out recipes that are not labor intensive and if they taste good, then maybe I will add them to our list of healthy foods. If they aren’t then I will have tried something I haven’t before. So far, I am learning to like sugar snap peas and green beans (as long as I have some low-calorie ranch dressing to dip them in). There are many foods to conquer and many weeks left in the year.
I also want to find things that help in stress relief. I had read an article a few months back about how coloring books for adults were becoming popular for stress relief. My husband and son bought me several coloring books and pencils for Christmas, but I haven’t used them yet. My son asked me why and I explained that I was stressing about choosing the right colors for the flower. His response, “I don’t think you are supposed to stress about coloring. That would defeat the purpose.” And of course he is right. I did find a free app for my Kindle that allows me to color. If I don’t like a choice, I can click the back arrow and it disappears. I finished one pattern and it let me email it to my husband, who printed it off and hung it on his bulletin board, so I have colored something, and it did make me feel better, so that is a positive.