Time to Change – Day Eighty-Four

I’m back again! ¬†Another long gap between posts full of long days at work and trying to squeeze sleep in between. ¬†How’s everyone going?

The last time I posted was the day prior to my new store opening. ¬†Wow, that feels like months ago. ¬†Hard to believe it was less than two weeks. ¬†I’m really settling in and starting to feel like one of the team, and getting used to how everything runs there. ¬†There are still teething problems and small issues here and there, but for the most part I’d say it’s going really well.

Launch day wasn’t as big as I (and probably the company) thought it would be. ¬†I mean, it was busy, but not chaotic like I thought it would be. ¬†It was actually kind of good that it wasn’t, as it gave us time to properly adjust to the new store and take our time with each customer like we’d been trained to. ¬†If it had of been busy, it probably would have been a lot more stressful.

In general, the job is great and I’m really liking it. ¬†One of the phone reps who I knew from my previous job even told me that I look a lot happier here than I did previously, and although it caught me off guard for a bit, I realized she’s right. ¬†I love the store, I love the team, I love how there’s no pressure to get customers out the door. ¬†I mean, they don’t want you wasting time but there’s so many staff on that it’s okay to take an extra five or ten minutes if you need to. ¬†Plus, like I may have mentioned in previous posts, the atmosphere is just more professional. ¬†The management team actually feel like managers. ¬†The store manager actually feels like the leader that everyone looks up to and can trust. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, at my previous job, we tried to emulate that, but really, we were just kids faking it til we made it…and we just didn’t quite get there. ¬†I also find it more professional in the sense that they’re very clear about what their expectations of you are – what your monthly targets are for everything, what else they expect from each sale (eg, leaving notes on the customers account). ¬†They follow up on things if you do something wrong and explain clearly how to do it properly. ¬†It’s worlds apart from what I was used to, and it wasn’t for our lack of trying as managers. ¬†The company itself just didn’t explain itself clearly, didn’t have procedures in place to allow managers to check things, didn’t put enough emphasis on things they should have. ¬†It’s where a lot of my frustration stemmed from, so it’s wonderful to be in a job where all this is not only in place, but seen as completely normal.

I think I’m also doing well in sales. ¬†We have a tracker we get sent each morning and I’ve been up and down a bit, but overall, for my main targets, I think I’m doing better than expected. ¬†I was nervous about this as although I know I can sell, I’m competing with dozens of others who have similar targets to me. ¬†I just wasn’t sure how I’d go up against so many people. ¬†It turns out, it’s not really as big of an issue as I thought it might be, mostly because the store is busy enough for it not to matter.

Aside from work, there isn’t much else new. ¬†I feel like all I do is go to work then come home and sleep, sometimes fitting in a little catch up TV, sometimes not. ¬†It’s exhausting, not just work itself, but the travelling to and from. ¬†I’ve been catching public transport most days, with the occasional exception where I’ll drive. ¬†Either option usually takes around an hour to an hour and a half, depending on how long I have to wait for the bus and/or train. ¬†Driving is sometimes faster if it isn’t peak hour, but then I pay more in parking (and petrol), which is why I’ve been avoiding it.

One of the most painful things about working so far away, I worked out, is that my train doesn’t run after 8.20pm weeknights. ¬†I mean, I know I’ve said previously I don’t want to be on a train at night – and I don’t – but when I have a 2-9 shift, I don’t have anywhere to park that won’t cost an arm and a leg (if I get into the city before 10am, I get ‘Earlybird Parking’ rates, which is basically a flat fee of $17 provided I leave after 3pm). ¬†I looked into Uber, but even that would cost me $40+ each way. ¬†From January, I’ve had to put in that I can’t work after 7.30pm for this reason. ¬†In the meantime, I’ve got two choices – I either go in early and get Earlybird rates and kill time until my shift starts, or I park somewhere close to the city, then train it the rest of the way. ¬†I took the first option last week, and killed time by seeing¬†Mockingjay¬†for the second time. ¬†This week, I’ll probably do the latter option.

Last night, I went and saw Taylor Swift as part of her 1989 World Tour. ¬†I’ve reviewed the whole event here.

Aside from that, I don’t think there’s anything else worth writing about. ¬†I’ve spent a majority of today sleeping (as I do most Saturdays). ¬†Tomorrow I’ll go grocery shopping and wash my hair. ¬†Nothing really interesting, but it has to be done. ¬†I wish I had more to write on, but with all the travelling, it doesn’t leave room for much else. ¬†If I didn’t love my workplace like I do, I’d probably be asking for a transfer to somewhere closer. ¬†Instead, I’m gritting my teeth and dealing with it. ¬†At least I’ve started reading on the train on my tablet, which is making the trips go quicker. ¬†I’m still rereading¬†the Hunger Games, but I’ve almost finished it. ¬†I’ll have to find something else after that!

As for Christmas shopping, I have no ideas and no money. ¬†Standard for me really. ¬†I know I’m gonna have to start making some decisions soon, but right now I’m trying not to think about it.

My diet still hasn’t really gotten back on track. ¬†That’s another issue with working weird hours and all the travelling – it makes having regular meals difficult, and makes having Lite n Easy even harder. ¬†I’ve had maybe two LnE meals in the past two weeks because for the most part, I’m not home for dinner (at least 3 shifts a week I finish around 7), and even if I finish early, by the time I get home I don’t feel like eating. ¬†It’s tough. ¬†I know I’m going to have to find a way around it, but I just don’t see how. ¬†I can’t really take the meals to work because the trip in will cause them to melt. ¬†I’m just going to have to try to pack a healthy lunch (which I have been doing) and actually eating it (which I haven’t been). ¬†At least I haven’t put any weight on, and am sitting right on 90kgs, which is still the lowest I’ve been in a long time. ¬†I just can’t seem to get under it.

Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, working in the city and catching public transport is at least giving me more exercise. ¬†I’m averaging anywhere from 6-9000 steps a day, up from an average of 4-5000. ¬†I also run up and down a huge flight of stairs many times a day, and each time I can feel that I’m getting slightly less breathless. ¬†Maybe sometime soon I won’t even get winded at all.

Last night after Taylor Swift, I checked my step count and I’d done almost 15000 steps for the day. ¬†That’s blown my previous record of 9000 out of the water. ¬†I guess that’s what happens when you go to work then walk to and from the concert. ¬†I was really happy that I wasn’t even winded after the walk back. ¬†I mean, I know it was cold and we weren’t walking particularly fast, but it would have been a good couple of kilometres (maybe more). ¬†I really do feel like I’m getting fitter, slowly but surely. ¬†Yay!

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Screenshot of my fitness tracker prior to my walk back

Anyway, I think that about wraps up everything worth talking about. ¬†How’s everything going with you? ¬†Hope y’all had a good week too!

– JD

Make Me Smile

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Make Me Smile.”
If you’re feeling blah, what is the one thing you do that you can count on to put a smile on your face?

If I’m feeling upset or lonely, there are two things that make me feel better.  One being my puppy, which is obvious.  She loves cuddles and when I was going through one of the worst nights of my life (to the point I was shaking uncontrollably all night) she cuddled right up next to me and didn’t leave my side, even though she gets really hot and usually sleeps away from me.

  
The second is a present I got for my last birthday from two of my closest friends.  It’s a build-a-bear named Plebalina.  She’s so soft and cuddly, but more than that, it was designed just for me.  They took time out of their day to think about what I’d like, and spent some serious cash on it.  Most of all, the three of us each have one each now.  I always feel close to them when I look at it, and it reminds me of all the good times we’ve had.  Even in my darkest hours, I know they’re always going to be there for me.  Plus, who wouldn’t smile looking at this plushie?

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-JD

Time to Change – Day Ten

Well, I’ve officially hit double digits in my challenge! ¬†I’m feeling really good today, much better than I have for a little while. ¬†I think the healthy eating and regular exercise are starting to help, I feel cleaner and healthier than I have in awhile. ¬†It’s a weird feeling to describe, but I guess my body was so used to junk that I didn’t know any better.

I went for my walk nice and early today, and it was perfect weather for it. ¬†Cool but not cold, overcast so the sun wasn’t burn-y, a slight breeze. ¬†For the first time in four days, I enjoyed the exercise instead of just doing it because I knew it had to be done.

I got some cleaning done today too, which for me, is no small fete. ¬†I fucking HAAAAATE cleaning. ¬†Like, I’ll avoid it at all costs, even if it means I’m surrounded by grossness. ¬†People ask me how I can stand it. ¬†Honestly, I just don’t really notice it. ¬†I know that must sound crazy to most people, but it really doesn’t concern me at all. ¬†Safe to say, if I was a sims character, I’d have the “slob” trait. ¬†So for me to feel motivated enough to clean is saying something.

I guess I feel so good today because when I stepped on the scales this morning, I was officially under 91kgs! ¬†Not by much, but still! ¬†I’ve almost lost a kilo, and although it’s definitely a slower process than I’d like, at least all my determination and hard work is finally starting to reflect on the scales a little bit. ¬†Next aim is to officially be out of the 90s, which is something I haven’t been in at least a year (possibly two). ¬†I’m so close, I’m sure I can manage it!

The other reason I’m feeling good right now is that I signed my contract for my new job today. ¬†Like I mentioned¬†yesterday,¬†it’s not the ideal job, but after hunting and being knocked back over and over again, it’s finally nice to know someone wants to give me a chance. ¬†I dealt with the Regional Manager for both my interview and again today, and she’s one of the loveliest people I’ve met in a long time, all smiles and compliments that you can tell are actually genuine. ¬†I’ve had a very different experience with Regional managers prior to this, so I’m looking forward to the new change.

I’m picking up my best friend tonight and we’ll probably wind up eating out. ¬†This is going to be my first big cheat meal since I started this, and while part of me is concerned I’ll fall off the wagon afterwards, I’m determined not to. ¬†Like I said in one of my first posts, my rule isn’t “absolutely no junk ever” – I’m just going to have it sparingly, and when I’m out. ¬†After 10 days of eating healthy, I know one meal isn’t going to hurt too much. ¬†Plus, I’ve allowed for it by having smaller meals earlier today and leaving more calories left over for tonight. ¬†No guarantees I’ll stay under my daily limit, but hopefully I won’t completely blow it out either.

Hopefully y’all had a great day too!
-JD

Summer’s Coming

I’ve had a terrible year. ¬†The worst of my life. ¬†It hasn’t just been one big thing – that stuff happens but doesn’t make the whole year awful – but one bad thing after the other. ¬†It feels like I’m a character in the Sims, where the game is being run by a bored 14-year-old boy. ¬†Every time I find my feet and try to get back up, something comes along to kick me back down again.

It’s all a lesson right?

A lesson in accepting what comes. ¬†A lesson in appreciating what you’ve got. ¬†A lesson in trying to find the positive in everything.

RIGHT?

I don’t know.

The start of this year saw me in a job I was comfortable in, with great friends, a super cute crush I got to see 5 times a week, a healthy family, a reliable car and a gorgeous young dog.

And now?  A mere 9 months later?

I’m unemployed. ¬†Not by choice. ¬† My family has been touched by cancer. ¬†I’m lucky if I¬†see my crush once a month. ¬†I’ve upset about half my friends unintentionally (my friendship group isn’t huge). ¬†I had a car accident on my 25th birthday, though luckily (if you could call anything like that lucky) it wasn’t off the road too long.

It’s all a test, right? ¬†If I survive this year, I’ll win a great 2016?

RIGHT?

And yet, despite receiving yet another phone call saying “sorry, you didn’t get the job, we found someone better” for the seventh time in two weeks, despite having no income with an upcoming mortgage, despite going stircrazy sitting around all day every day at home, I’m OKAY.

I’m not great. ¬†There are days where I just want to throw in the towel, crawl under a blanket and refuse to participate in everything. ¬†It’s only fair, right? ¬†After everything I’ve been dealt?

But there are days – days like today – where the sun is out, the breeze is warm, and I feel like I can get through this. ¬†That things aren’t so bad. ¬†That I’m alive
and healthy and able to appreciate the fact that even if everything else in my world is shit, that summer is coming. ¬†After a freezing winter, summer is coming. ¬†Even if I don’t find a job, even if I get more bad news, the warmth is approaching and the days will soon get longer. ¬†Nothing is going to change that.

And for some reason, today, just knowing that, is enough.

– JD