Unfinished business

Why losing my job is one of the best things that’s happened…

Four weeks ago. Four weeks ago, I walked through my front door, freshly revived from a sunny holiday in Devon, to a letter on my door mat. No doubt hastily shoved through the letter box a matter of hours earlier, it basically said; don’t come back into the office.

Was I shocked? Well yes, a just little bit. No warning, no meetings, no conversations. Nearly two years of hard work was ended by a piece of paper.

I spent the first few days determined but thinking that they’d made a mistake. That they’d write to me again to say there’s been an error. That they’d call me and apologise. Then I realised, that actually I was the one making a mistake.

I was making a mistake by assuming that they valued myself and my skills enough to have me back, let alone keep me. Any company willing to drop me at the push of a button without warning is certainly not worth dwelling on. I cannot focus on what’s behind me, when I need to forge on ahead into my future.

I had to make myself see this for the opportunity that it is. Not the time to ponder on the past or mope around the house, but the time to explore not just my employment options but myself too. I’ve applied to over two hundred jobs, sent my CV out to a variety of companies, attended 6 interviews and not yet got anywhere. Yet, despite the job hunting and the trekking into town, the extra time I’ve had has allowed me to put my thoughts into order, to rediscover forgotten things and enjoy new ones.

I guess what I really want to say, is if you’re out there and you’ve lost your job or something like that… Just breathe. Yes, you may need to look for jobs and opportunities, but use this opportunity to learn a little about yourself, to rediscover something old or learn something new.

I may have lost my job, but I’ve found a little of myself.


Mikado Monday 

I like Mikado, like, really, really like them. Two boxes between three friends is probably not enough. But we do have scones and cream and jam as well. 

Tonight is the last night of our “Twiathalon” as H calls it. Not at my flat for a change, so no tidying up for me tonight. Instead I’ll be going on the exercise bike once I get in, after I’ve set it up so I can read whilst doing so. 

With this cold (almost) firmly behind me, it’s time to get back on it. So this week’s plan is;

  • Today: 30-40mins bike
  • Tomorrow: 30 mins run
  • Wednesday: gym or 30-40mins bike
  • Thursday: karate
  • Friday: gym
  • Saturday: 6 mile run
  • Sunday: rest (I may swap this with the nexthe Monday though)

I am back on it.

Motivational Music

There’s something about music that makes me want to dance. I stand at the crossing on my way to work, music playing in my ears and travelling down to my knees and inducing them to bounce. It makes me happy. That’s what I’m going to be doing later; listening to music while on my bike. Something to sing along to and keep me going.

I was thinking earlier – I have been saying a lot of “I should be doing this…” and not “I am doing this…” So, tonight I am going on my bike for 30 – 45 minutes as my training plan says. Tonight I am going to do some of the things I keep saying I’m going to do; like practice my German and message my friends, plan my sister’s birthday surprises etc etc etc.

I’m sure someone once said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today”.

Keeping going 

What with one thing and another as well as feeling under the weather, I never did the get on the bike yesterday. Nor am I running today. That’s two days in a row that I haven’t done the training I had planned and I admit to feeling slightly let down with myself. I was worried that I was losing my resolve to train, my will power to keep motoring forward and then I remembered the things that I have planned – karate tomorrow (depending on how I’m feeling), the gym on Friday and various exercises over the weekend. I’ve made plans, appointments with friends and family that I don’t want to let down; motivation. 

There are also 73 days until the half marathon, 2 or 3 days in one week may seem like a lot right now but it’s only a small part of the bigger picture.  

A set back might slow be down, but it certainly won’t stop me. 

Time for Tuesday

Today started with a dose of stuffy nose and scratchy throat, but I’ve managed to get through the day. I am sorely tempted to ditch 35 minutes of exercise biking in favour of an early night. On the other hand, I think that something is better than nothing so I will probably attempt at least 10 minutes or so.

Yesterday was a great day for reflecting – when I was shopping on Saturday I came across a notebook with sections to note done any exercise, any food I’d eaten and there was a section for ‘mind exercise”. That got me thinking, with everything that goes on and is going on, I rarely take time to learn or practice something. While it is good to acknowledge the needs of my body, I also need to think about the needs of my mind. With that in mind, I pulled out my sketchbook and pencils and did some drawing. Taking time out to relax and do something different really helped me feel better yesterday.

Anyway, short and sweet post for today – I have dinner to cook and a bed to crawl into.

(Mon)Day of rest

If I’m early or it’s raining on my way to work, I might occasionally pop into Greggs and get a second breakfast. Usually a pain au chocolate which gets eaten as soon as I’m sat at my desk. Today I bought a granola bar (seems more like a fruity flapjack to me), placed it on my desk and there it stayed until 10.45am when I decided to eat half of it. That’s a new one, or two. Anything I’ve bought in the morning to eat is normally gone by 10am and I never save half for later.

With no exercise planned, today has been a day for tracking what I eat. It’s something I’m used to (as part of Weight Watchers), but very lax in doing. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to eat Party Rings and the large Galaxy bar, with a cup of tea, while watching or reading something. It totally doesn’t count because I wasn’t paying attention, and I’m not even sure how many Party Rings I ate…

Not that you want to know what I’ve eaten today, but I think I’ve done rather well (maybe apart from the Greggs flapjack-pretending-to-be-a-granola-bar). A few nuts, some home-made muesli, fruit, salad for lunch and the Husband is making shepherd’s pie for dinner. Not to bad, even if I do say so myself.

Stairs are not my friends

You would think that Sunday’s would be  my day of rest (and according to my training plan they should be), but church finished and off I went to the gym. It was almost nostalgic, going back to the gym. Except that everything seemed a little bit grubbier than last year.

I had forgotten what it was like the first time I went as I watched my sister fumble with the controls of the exercise bike and listen to my instructions. Leaving her to it, I headed to the treadmills and started a 35 minute run. Well, at least I ran most of it, and it was easier to pace myself. The original plan was to stop after 35 minutes, but my sister was so excited by the rowing machines and the cross trainers that that’s where we headed next. 10 and 15 minutes later and we were finished with the gym and ready to head home.

The rest of my day has been a lot less energetic – cooking lunch (which didn’t require much effort because it had been in the slow cooker all morning) and watching iZombie with my sister. Now she’s gone and at 7.30pm – I’m tired and already contemplating my bed.

I forgot how much I used to enjoy going to the gym, but let’s just say that stairs are not my friends right now.

Running away with time

I ran further than I expected today. It was supposed to be a five mile run but, being unsure that I would manage that, I planned a 1.5mile loop that I could repeat if I wanted. One loop and another later and I had gone three miles. I nearly stopped after the first one (the frosty start to the day was off-putting), but I talked myself into another one. My fingers were numb and I could feel burning in my thighs but 3 miles in 38 minutes – some walking, most running – I’m pleased with that.

After that (I had gone early this morning), I went about my day – Coffee with the Grandparents, Lunch with Mum and my youngest sister. We also did a little shopping after lunch. I don’t usually enjoy shopping but I had a few things that I wanted to get and we popped into sports direct for some gym gear (my sister has joined the gym with me).

I have already done my exercise for the day, but I may do some stretches before I go to bed. That’s something I really do need to remember before and after training. That, and pace myself. I noticed this morning that I was really struggling. I’ve always been a sprinter, the starter in the relay race so running slowly is not something that I am used to. In an effort to run more than I walked, I was setting myself targets ie. run to that tree, get to that bush… but once I gave myself an option I found my speed increasing. Tomorrow I am planning a 35 minute run at the gym, so my targets will be time rather than location based so maybe I’ll manage to pace myself a bit better. Anyway, practice makes perfect, right?

Right, now, I am going to go back to playing Sims while the Husband is playing Halo with friends in the front room.

It’s not a freaky Friday (yet).

Well, Karate was good yesterday but I’m certainly feeling it today. There’s a slow burn across by shoulders, down by back and drifting down my legs. Walking to work was slow, not because of the snow but because of the stiffness I’m feeling all over. It’s not a bad ache though. It’s an ache that speaks of achievement, if I can only manage to keep going.

I got back from work to tidy the flat while I waited for the Husband to swing by with some bits and bobs for dinner I’d asked him to pick up for me. I’ve always struggled with eating; I’m a picky eater in that I pick at everything whether I’m hungry or not. 

I’m making bean burgers (might post the recipe later if anyones interested), with my own bread rolls tonight (and maybe some sweet potato wedges) to eat after my work out today. 

Today’s training should be another 30 minute run but I’m opting for some stretching and a session playing Just Dance. Not as useful I know, but I do have a 5 mile run planned for tomorrow morning. 

I could tell you more mundane things about my day (such as my excitement at the new Sims 4 update), but I’ll leave you to it and do some dancing while I wait for my dough to rise. 

Sometimes us Ninja’s like to run

Thursday’s are my favourite days (at least most of the time anyway). It’s the day before Friday for one thing, but it’s also the day of my karate lesson which means that the Best Friend (A.) will be coming over for food and whatever else we can think of beforehand (usually a game of some sort). Plus, I really enjoy karate.

Today she has bought a new game called Expedition Altiplano. I haven’t played yet so can’t say if it’s any good or not but we’ll see. A. says it’s good and she enjoyed it.

I cheated today and defrosted a “freezer prep” meal that I prepared last week (chicken fajitas). Usually I spend the hour between my getting home and A. arriving preparing food and cooking as I am (nearly) always hungry when I get back from work. Having already prepared the food, I ended up wandering around the flat for something to do. I could have had a look through the new Weight Watchers recipe book that I bought yesterday, but just as I sat down the buzzer went and made me jump (as usual). Cue 30seconds of saying “hello” into the handset before the doorbell rang announcing the Best Friends arrival.

Right now, having finished dinner, we are both sitting in front of the TV screen that I use as a computer monitor as I type this. We’re looking up what ‘virtual running’ is and maybe completing a couple of races. Still, training to come first! Training today will be the hour long Karate lesson – somehow I don’t think I could do both karate and 35 minutes on the bike.

See you tomorrow!