Friends Make Adventures Even Better

 

Once in awhile I will go through my Facebook pictures and look at everything I have done over the course of the last few years and as I did that tonight it dawned on me that I have one hellova support group and adventure team!

It amazes me how different of a person I am now. Sure, I went on vacations with my family, or did some sporting events with the kids, or even an occasional meal with a friend, but I wasn’t a social butterfly. **I think I have made mention to this in a past blog.

Anywho, over the past couple of years I have lived by the motto “nothing cool happens within your comfort zone” and I have truly embraced that.

To be fair, some of my adventures have been non-physical, but they are adventures none the less. When you spend an evening revealing your inner most fears, or sharing stories of your past that still haunt you and bring tears to your eyes – that is still personal growth… and what is personal growth if not an adventure into a new and better you???

Since hanging with these gals I have gone to a Masquerade Ball for Halloween, gone swimming at the drop of a hat, spent a weekend in Florida just because,  been front row at a Joan Jett concert, bunked up for a week long work trip, walked two miles in a Wonder Woman costume, hiked Turkey Run, hiked Plainfield parks, had numerous laughs, numerous meals, and numerous heart to hearts.

These girls brought me out of the comfort zone in their own little way, and I hope some day I can help them the way they have helped me. I have seen several times in my life where females look down, and put down their fellow women. What is the point? What is actually gained by that? The answer is simple – NOTHING.  These ladies need to be celebrated, so that is what I am doing.  This blog is about the good, the bad, and the ugly of #becomingabetterme and maybe sometimes I don’t praise those around me enough… especially when they are the ones who inspire me to do more, and continue on this journey. So here’s to you – Angel, Kait, Jennifer, Jami, and MiMi (ok, Mindi) – Cheers! Love you all, and look forward to so many many more adventures!

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I Don’t Know!

FullSizeR (3)Have I mentioned my job change lately?  Yeah, I believe I have… and with all new jobs, there is always a learning curve, but tonight was WAAYYY different.

Let me start by saying, I have been in housing for 10 years, and in those 10 years have just constantly added to my knowledge base.

Tax Credit, got it. HOME, got it. AHP, got it. Section 8, got it. CoC, got it. HUDVash, got it. I have just taken each section and built on it.  Never at any point did I ever feel like I was completely learning something new. Just built further on what I already knew.

Now that I am in a totally different arena within the housing industry I am reminded what it is like to not be 100% aware of what I am doing, and this is territory I am not used to!

I do not mean to sound conceited, I promise! I just remember rules and am good with detail, and as I have said since I found myself in housing, “Housing is either in your blood or its not… and it is in mine!”

Tonight had me way out of my comfort zone. I was seriously at a loss. This branch of housing has a lot to do with legal jargon and understanding of bylaws, covenants, and voting quorums. Every question for the first 20 mins, and then every 5 mins for the rest of the 2 hour meeting was about the legal side of things.

I had to step back, recognize my shortcoming, and ask for help… and thank goodness I had something with me that could handle what was being thrown at us.

As I have spent several of those 10 years training and assisting others, I have received compliments like, “I hope I know as much about housing as you do at some point.” Or, “Ask Heather-pedia, she knows housing!” and I really never thought anything of it, until I looked at my coworker tonight and thought, “I cant wait until I get to that point.”

I know this isn’t my traditional style post, but I do kind of have a moral to this story… I felt so out of my element, but it is ok to not know. It is ok to ask for help. It is ok to have a new knowledge goal – just like a physical goal. It is just one step in #becomingabetterme, and I will continue to exercise my brain and one day I will reach that goal too!

Hello May, June, July, and August – Making the Miles Count MORE! (Log Blog)

I am not going to sit here and bore you with the details of why I have gone off the grid for the last few months, but I will say I think I am back.

I can say that with the craziness of the old job (yes, I said old job – and I will get into that here shortly), and starting at a new place (again I will go into that too), I have not really logged every mile like I was. I can say with 100% certainty that I made my goal! I promise.

Here are the basic breakdowns and why I know I did it:

MAY – I was still in Kokomo. Yes, Kokomo. Like living away from home to get the community up there leased. I was walking the building at least 3 times a day and there were three flights, two wings, and 64 apartments… so at the end of the day (which was sometimes not over until 10pm), I would look at my Garmin and see 3+ miles. This was my life Monday – Friday and then home on the weekend. So even if I did NOTHING on the weekend I was still looking at minimum of 15 miles a work week… and we all know I don’t do NOTHING. Even going to Walmart requires walking so “no steps on the weekend” was an impossibility. Lets just call it basic math… 3miles/day times 5days/week times 4weeks/month (3x5x4) equals 60 miles. See GOAL!

JUNE – June was a busy month. Not only was I still kind of in Kokomo, but my daughter graduated high school, we moved our main office, my birth month, my daughter’s open house, and I know I am missing something… but I can get my point across with this. As I stated, I was still in Kokomo training the woman who would be the manager there, not only giving her the tours, but still showing and renting apartments there. I will say that I didn’t walk as much once I started  training, but I can say, there were 2 miles a days every day I was there. I had to squeeze in Kats grad and the open house… the shopping for that put me at a total of 6 miles over the two shopping days. Then coming back to Indy and trying to get things packed and ready for the move, I had a few days in there I racked up 5 miles. Crazy I know, but true. As a matter of fact I worked on my birthday to get the main move done and between that Friday and Saturday I had 9 miles in. Now I know I am throwing small numbers at you, but those numbers add up. So for simple math sake, lets say I only did 2 miles every day… 2miles per day times 30 days in June equals another 60 miles. GOAL AGAIN.

JULY – I am not going to pretend I have an specific dates that give me more miles than the norm, but I did manage to stop working 60-75 hours a week and get back to a more regular schedule and get in some gym time. As I put in my notice for the 28th o f July as my last day with Partners, I did get to do a little more than just work and sleep, so I am just going to say 1.75 miles a day for 31 days = 54.25 miles…  I added an extra .25 miles per day because the new office put the bathroom WAAAY at the other end of the hall so there was a lot of walking after drinking my 2 cups of coffee and my big bottles of water everyday. So I am still claiming  goal.

So here we are in August… Aug 1 was the start of my new job. This I can do a little more mathing to get to my numbers (I know the month isn’t over, but I can still average it all out in the end. To start I didn’t get a parking pass on day one… or even day 10 for that matter, so by day three I was looking to see exactly how far from the lot I had to park in to the office door it really was…. over .41 miles. yeah… so walked from my car to the office and then back  – A MINIMUM of .82 miles a day. Yeah, damn near a mile a day just to and from the office! Then on day 14 I got my pass. It knocked down my miles from .41 to .28… so still a half mile from car to door. Then you add in GenCon (glorious glorious GenCon) HOLY COW! In 3.5 days of this gaming extravaganza we racked up more than 18 miles! So, math – 18 plus (gonna say 2 miles per day – minus the GenCon days) two miles times 31 days minus 3.5 days = 2×27.5+18 = 73 miles for the month. GOAL ACHEIVED.

As I head into another month and continue on the journey of  #becomingabetterme and continuing to learn more about housing – just in a different form, I know I am on the right path and September will prove to be another successful month. Just wait and see faithful readers. I got this.

When Life Gives You Lemons… or However That Goes

FullSizeR (1)

I do not know exactly how this is going to turn out because honestly, I have so many things swimming in my head that I do not know where to begin.

After stepping off of the boat from the cruise I found out that everything at work had gone HAYWIRE. I am not going to go into any details, but trust me, it was not good.

When you are the Director of Property Operations, and a property isn’t operating, its up to you to deal with it… whether I liked it or not, it was the only option, I was going to be going to Kokomo (an hour and a half away from my house) to handle the problem.

I wont bore you with compliance details or info on what Low Income Housing Tax Credit is, but since that is the core of my job, I had to take care of it because losing money at a nonprofit is not an option.

Going into the property knowing I had less than 20 days to get an specific number of residents was a heavy load to carry. I knew that I would be able to get the applications –  it was just the processing and the moving in that I was concerned about. Sure 20 days seems like a long time, but when you only have nine days to sign the leases, the 20 is cut down rather quickly. Truly, sincerely, legitimately scared I was not going to be able to make it happen. I do not think I have ever been so stressed in my life and being away from home, in a strange town just added to it.IMG_3327

Since my blog always has something about gym therapy or working out the stress with exercise, I feel like I should add that in as well. Working from 8am until 10pm some days left little time to sweat out my emotions, until I realized how many stairs there were in the building. At the end of a rough day (again sometimes at 10pm) I would put on my tennies and just walk the stairs. Over the course of 13 business days I was at the property I would get in over 3 miles a day. I wish my Garmin counted the actual flights of stairs, rather than just plan steps taken, because I know I went up and down those things at least 50 times! It was not enough to work out the stress, but it did take the edge off.

Going back to the problem I was facing: how was I going to accomplish this goal???? What the EPH was I going to do?!?!

The answer turned out to be – JUST DO IT! More than that, do IT – and then some. FullSizeR

Now, instead of being behind and worrying about whether we could make it all happen, I am ahead of the game. Still have a long way to go, still have to be away from my family, but trying to do right by the people we serve, make a difference in the community, and support my organization.

Is it hard, hell yes its hard! Have I cried, hell yes I have! Will I break down again? I am sure of it… but I am not a quitter and failure is not an option.

Feeling Like A Monday

StressI have been debating on writing this one for awhile now, but I promised I would be honest about the good, bad, and the ugly of this journey, and for the last few months I have been in the middle of the ugly.

When I wrote a couple of months ago, I mentioned my job morphing and it continued to do so… I am now titled: Director of Property Operations… and I love it. My struggle, however is the stress… I have been putting in roughly 60 hours a week and still being so far behind I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This is when I take a minute, step back and regroup. You know that one way I do this is via the gym, but I also use music to get me through.

Yesterday on my way home from work I was playing vehicle karaoke – don’t judge me – and listening to my husband (Jon Bon Jovi) and this song came on…

I know that it is just a song, but sometimes singing at the top of my lungs and remembering that I don’t have to keep it together all of the time…. and right now I do not. I am so far from together it isn’t even funny. So until I get myself back on track this is what I am going with the idea that Someday I will be Saturday night.

Happy Blogiversary

I started this blog one year ago today and I am so proud of myself and what I have accomplished!

Although 2016 was not completely as I had hoped, I have been putting in some thought as to what I wanted to get out of 2017 and I have a list.

First:  I decided I that I am going to do the 50 miles a month challenge. That is 600 miles in a year! With that, I can say “I will walk 500 miles…” Hehe, sorry, I love that song.  Anyway, to do this, it will require me to log my daily steps/miles – which I plan to do in a Log Blog  – stay tuned!

Second: I will sign up and do some random 5ks with my teammates and of course my bestie – Angel again. 2016 had me doing a few virtual runs, but I really need to be out there with the group making this happen. Accountability and all of that.

Third: September is the Nashville Spartan Sprint, and I going to make this happen! Angel, Chris, and Tim are with me… and I hope to meet a few out of town Spartans as well! (Joe, Scott, Ashley – if you are reading this, I am so stoked! Hanging with you guys will make being a Spartan even more real!)

Finally: To continue to be work through my hashtag … I want to be a better me, all of the way around. Lots of things changed over the last year and I know it has tested my patience and even my strength, but I got this… moving forward I will continue #becomingabetterme13173596_10208974174892185_3840443906967224278_o

 

 

 

I Can’t Unsee That

A good friend and I were having a nice conversation today. We talk daily, so we are always sharing things we have seen. Somewhere in our conversation he pops off with a “Hey, did you see the article about the Playboy Playmate body shaming a woman at the gym?”  I had not seen or heard about it, so he sent me the link. Before I read it, I was a little annoyed, thinking that someone was getting shamed AT THE GYM, stupid – but then, I read the article. I WAS LIVID!

(To start I will say it was posted on TMZ, so feel free to give it a read for yourself)

The long and short of the story is this Playmate, Dani Mathers, is at the gym, in the “locker room” and took a picture of a naked gym goer taking a shower and body shaming her on social media. Her Mean Girl antics have got her into some seriously hot water (and I personally vote for jail time), but the kicker is her public apology that basically said, “I am not sorry I am a b*tch and meant what I said, I am sorry I got caught saying it out loud!”

After talking telling my friend I read the article, and finished practicing my swear words, we changed the tone of the chatter. We talked about the big what if…

What if that were me??  I have been going to the gym for about two(ish) years now, and am past the initial ‘everyone is watching me’ feeling that I had at the beginning of my visits… but what if I wasn’t… what if someone actually shamed me in my first visit… WHERE WOULD I BE??

The answer to that is sadly simple, I would be exactly where I was two plus years ago, unhappy, overweight, and unhealthy. Those thoughts alone make me tear up. More than that, I would not be where I am. I know that sounds like a “duh” statement, but there is so much involved in that. I would not have met my new friends (and family) on my Cornfed team. I would not have had enough self confidence to go on adventures without a responsible adult to be my security blanket. I would never had the belief in myself to finish – not one, but tw0 – Spartan races. I would not have been able to better myself enough to become a trusted and respected coworker to my team. Above and beyond all of these things, I would not have found myself. Yes, I found me. I am now the person I knew I could be… or at least am pointed in the direction of becoming that better person I am striving to be.

It scares me to think I would lose my sanctuary. I use the gym as my outlet for daily stress, I go and walk my negative thoughts away, I lift away the ugliness that I see going on in the world, and come out stronger and lighter. I need that.

What Dani Mathers did to that poor woman is the lowest of low, and I only hope that it does not turn her off from #becomingabetterher … and take away whatever it is that the gym does for her. I hope that she has the inner strength to give Dani the middle finger and go right back to doing her thang, and doing it her way!

When I thought about writing this post I was so mad, I was worried that I would just use this as a rant, and I finish up (I am still mad, don’t think for a second I am not) it shows me how lucky I am to go to a gym where everyone is friendly. Thank you for being awesome, AnyTime.

Keep it classy, Dani Mathers… hope orange is your new black!

Sticks, Stones, and Words

I have said from the beginning this journey of #becomingabetterme, it was more than just the physical changes that needed to occur. I talk about them the most as they are the easiest to fix. Now, do not get me wrong, it has taken a lot of work, a lot of tears, and whole lot of whining to get where I am now, and it was not easy, but changing your weight or your muscle tone is definitely easier than changing who you have been for the majority of 39 years.

I have not always been someone to say how I felt, believe it or not. I would get mad and cry, but a lot of times I would hold back what I really was feeling for fear of hurting the person I was talking to. My MoMo believed in the “sticks and stones” things and preached regularly how bruised go away, and physical scars healed, but those words… good, bad, or hurtful… are always out there. She even told me one time that it was like a constant word bubble over your head, and the one you hurt always saw it, no matter how many times you apologized.

Anyway, without the details I will just say that my life changed, and I decided I was going to be the one in charge. I was going to make sure I said how I felt when I felt it, so never again would I wish I had been honest.

As I have gotten even older my brass ways have gotten the better of me. Sadly, in my quest to be honest, I forgot that some people struggle with brutal honesty, either positive or negative. As a supervisor I would just say “yes, you did it right” or “no, you did it wrong” no difference in my tone, just a simple matter of fact way of saying how it was. I didn’t look at this as negative really, I felt that if I was giving as much emotion to the “yes” as I was to the “no” I was not being harsh. My mistake.

After a few (or more than a few) conversations with a fearless leader of mine – someone who also has a knack for telling it like it is – I realized that maybe this was the next box I should check? The me that interacts with others, the Mom, the Friend, the Coworker, the Employee… that me, she needs to soften the edges. Although my job is 100% figuring out the black and white of the issue, and how it fits into our MANY rules, I still needed to work on my delivery.

Since I have been more conscience of this decision, I can see a change in how my coworkers receive my words. Even in how they ask me for help. I have seen a difference in my children, they are less afraid of “being in trouble” and more realize that I am their mother and correcting them is my job. I would even go as so far to say I have changed as a friend. Being asked for advice and/or my perspective on a situation is really a form of respect, and I see that now.

Overcoming my fear of failure was hard. Overcoming my self doubt was hard. Overcoming my urge to fire back was really hard… but keeping calm, speaking in a way that does not come across as know it all (which, I have been accused of being), this has been the hardest thing I have ever done. Each day I try just a little bit harder, speak a little bit slower, and sympathize a little bit deeper.  I will never be any less passion driven, or feel less of a need to succeed, but I am trying. Trying to become a better me.

 

PS. Fearless leader, if you have read this, thank you.