Haven’t had much to say

I’m not sure why I stopped blogging. And I’m not sure if this will be the first of many blog posts to come, or the last forever.

Or maybe I’ll start a new blog. I’ve thought about that.

I’ve been working a lot this year at the new job. It’s been over a year. Love the company, many of the people, but not all of the people. They is a clique of four people making my life there less enjoyable than it could be. It’s complicated. Regardless, as hard as its been, it has taught me a lot, and there’s value in that. Painful value, but value all the same. And personal growth.

We lost our yellow lab, Luna, this summer. Cancer. It started with a small sore on her lip, which was misdiagnosed by a vet, then grew daily – fast. I’ve never seen my wife cry as hard as she did at the vet when we put her down. Putting dogs down is a memory I could live without.

We have a new pup. A mutt we adopted. He’s part German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd, Collie, and pure happiness. That last part is the best part. He’s a happy little guy and puts smiles on our faces daily. My daughter loves him and he loves my daughter.

Luck rains down on us again.

The Universe slaps me

I tempted fate with my last post. And fate punched back. Hard. And there was blood.

Sunday the Broncos lost; Monday I coughed up blood. What a surprise. Can I blame the Broncos for this?

I thought it was odd that I hadn’t sprung a leak in a long time. And bang, there it was. It started slowly and by Tuesday I was standing over the sink watching blood circle the drain. That night I checked into the Hospital California.

And, as a bonus, c diff infected my gut two days into my stay. Wow. Well done, Universe, well done. The 1, 2 punch I hate the most. Coughing up blood and endless amounts of sitting on a hospital toilet. It doesn’t get better than that.

I’m a human sprinkler head.

The bleeding subsided today and I will be going home soon with a DIY Home-IV kit. Nice.

I think one of the meds is causing my brain to recycle vivid memories. I close my eyes and select them like computer files. They’re so clear; I can almost smell them. I know, it’s crazy. Maybe. But the ones I like watching are of my wife when she was pregnant. Our chocolate lab across her lap next to the baby bump. Her belly sticking out beyond her pea coat as she filled her lunch bag with peanut butter pretzels. Driving to the hospital and yelling at the dogs to stop barking before dropping them off at my mother-in-law’s house. The long day of giving birth. And my daughter appearing on the scene, a black head of hair, stunning, perfect.

I have no complaints about life. It has given me more than most.

Why I stopped blogging at the end of 2014

Superstition. That’s the one word answer. And my fear of breaking a winning streak of no CF hospital stays in 2014.

Every time I’ve been doing well in the past and gone to my blog to write it about it, the Universe has struck me down. A day later I’m coughing up blood or I get the flu and off to the hospital I go. Bang. Lighting strike because I tempted the gods of hospital stays or something.

So, like a pitcher pitching a no-hitter, I stayed quiet about the streak as the end of the year neared. No talking about my good luck, which is the first calendar year I’ve gone without IV antibiotics in . . . well, I don’t know how many years. 10 or more? Usually I’m in two or three times a year.

But not in 2014. With the exception of an overnight visit for a hernia repair, I did not see the inside of a hospital room. No CF exotic-animals floor for me in 2014.

I look back on the year in disbelief. Did that really happen? How?

Luck. And a lot of antibacterial hand gel. But mostly luck. Though I have to thank my treadmill desk and the six Chobani yogurts a day I eat. They get the assist.

So to my new pal, Luck, I thank you for a year away from IVs, nurses, doctors, RTs, X-rays, blood draws, and the general misery of being locked up in a hospital for weeks at a time.

Thank you, Luck, thank you. I’m grateful.

One month at my new job and the results are . . .

1) A lot less email each day to deal with. This was an unexpected bonus.

2) Fewer hurdles to jump through to get work done. This killed me at my old job. Swimming up a waterfall is what it felt like to move projects forward. How many people does it take to make one decision?

3) Great people who are creative, talented and hard-working. This is similar to my old job. I did work with great people. It was the myriad processes that made it hard.

4) More time spent on work that matters = more writing of curriculum, research and proposals. No more constant rewriting of, and agonizing over, PowerPoints for the president to use one time. We called it disposable work. Or, writing on toilet paper.

5) Fewer processes, which is good and bad. There is no on-boarding manual at my new job. No roadmap or thick book of “rules not to trip over.” No one-day new hire workshop. Luckily, I feel comfortable figuring out stuff on my own. Otherwise, I would have been hosed.

So, that’s life at my new career. It doesn’t mean it’s been frustration free. Every new job comes with challenges, but I’m glad I made the move.

I haven’t blogged because I worked every day for the first three weeks to make a good first impression. But I enjoyed it. That was the best part.

I’m more engaged and the effort I give feels like it matters more. Whereas at the corporation, constant turnover at the management level meant starting over often and the complete destruction of past successes and sacrifices. Here, I think it will be different.

On the downside, my medical costs will be higher, but it seems like a small price to pay for a happier work life.

So far, so good. Luck is on my side. Knock on wood (I’m tapping on my head right now).

Major change is almost here

I had my exit interview with HR today. I wish I could bottle up all the great things the wonderful woman said about my time at the company, especially that I’m welcome back anytime. It was a nice way to exit, but emotional. And it made me question my decision to leave.

But leave I must. And change I need. And growth in my profession.

Maybe I will return one day. I’ll be better and more knowledgeable if I do.

So, two more days to go.

I plan on starting my new job on Thursday, which I didn’t think was odd, but others have asked why I’m not taking time off. It’s not because I’m the super employee. I’m just excited to get started and to prove myself as soon as possible.

I’ll probably have to get Cobra for a month. If I don’t there could be a period of 5 to 6 days where I don’t have insurance. Hmm, in the worst season for me, Autumn, would I want to be uninsured? I think not. I can guarantee that would be the week I go to the hospital.

To be continued . . .

And the decision is . . .

I stepped off the cliff and quit my job Wednesday. It’s the first major decision I’ve made that I didn’t second guess.

I’m all in.

It’s a risk, but I took it. Two weeks to go at my current job and a great 15-year chapter of my life closes.

What is there to say?  © ArtFamily - Fotolia.com

What is there to say?
© ArtFamily – Fotolia.com

After I told some of my work friends, it’s been a draining experience. First, telling them was hard. Then hearing the very nice things they had to say about me – well, some tears and choking up.

The part that surprised me most was the respect people had for me jumping ship at this stage in my life to improve my skills and try something new. It caught me off guard. I work for a great company with fantastic people, but it’s full of processes to be followed and is rigid. For some, I believe they would like to escape and do something else too.

Again, I’m grateful for my luck in life.

So that’s it for tonight. I’m tired because I haven’t been sleeping well. The stress of this situation keeps me up late and wakes me up early.

I am so lucky. Thank you, Universe, for my good fortune.

 

One of the biggest decisions of my life

I’m stressing. I have to decide whether to change jobs. My answer is due Tuesday.

I’ve been with the same company for 15 years. It’s a large global company and one of the most recognized brands in the world. And it’s been great to me. I’ve worked out of my house and the pay and benefits have been fantastic. With cystic fibrosis, it has been the perfect job.

In return, I’ve worked hard for the company. It’s been beneficial for both of us.

But . . .

After 15 years in the same position, and because the headquarters is located on the east coast, and I’m on the west, the work has become tedious. And the process to innovate is painful. Creativity grinds to a halt. That’s the downside. It’s also not much of a challenge.

A few months ago, one of the smaller companies we hire to help us with large projects, approached me to work for them. As I was working on a major event at the time, and didn’t want to leave and hurt my current team, I postponed the conversation.

Well the project ended and they made me a formal offer this week. I have until Tuesday to decide. The pay is better and I get a nice signing bonus. And I can work out of my home. And the work is exciting and envelope-pushing. And they want me for my creativity, which appeals to me a great deal.

Yes, I have a tiny bit of ego in my head, I guess.

If it weren’t for cystic fibrosis, I’d jump ship right now. Take the risk. But the overall benefits are not as good as I have now. I still need to check out the health care in detail this weekend, but I do know the prescriptions will cost twice as much. And I have a possible pension I’m giving up by leaving now.

Will I really live to see that pension? Can I grind out the years it would take to get to retirement?

I’ll stop there. I like change. I hate big decisions.

To be continued . . .