A whole new beginning!

by Christine on October 4th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Remember when you were a little kid, and people would ask you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

My answer was always unwaivering. I never flitted from dream job to dream job. Being a ballerina, teacher, firefighter, or astronaut held no interest for me. I knew from birth what I wanted to do, and I’ve held onto that silly dream for 32 years now. I’ve wanted to be a writer.

I’ve felt fortunate in the last few years because I have found jobs where writing is one of the primary job descriptions. First, I was the Director of Marketing for an architecture/engineering firm, and my days were spent writing proposals, award nominations, grants for municipalities, and press releases.  Most recently, I wrote and edited technical documents related to the field of lighting design.  Very technical items, not always interesting, but I was paid to write, and for that I was extremely grateful. On my free time I kept this blog, created my own forum, commented and caught up with other weight-loss bloggers, etc. I write all the time, even on my free time.

All that being said, those jobs were not exactly what I wanted to do: I wanted to write novels. Books. Make my daydreams come to life on the page.

Today, I have been given that opportunity on a silver platter. I am newly unemployed, so today I am hiring myself to try to fulfill my life’s biggest dream: to be a writer. If someone asks me what I do for a job, that’s how I’m going to answer: “I’m a writer.”  That’s who I am to my very core. Furthermore, I pledge to dedicate the next several months of my life to making that dream come true.

I am going to write. Monday-Friday, for no less than six hours a day. I’m going to get words down on the page, create characters and hopefully recreate this amazing historic building that I have been in awe of for years.  I will create action, drama, romance, and revisit a beautiful era of time that was both captivating and dangerous.

Unemployment is one of those strange life situations that can be either devastate a person or create a whole new opportunity. I want to use this time not to sulk and wallow in self-doubt and wonder, “why can’t I be happy in a job?” or “why don’t they like me?”  You know what they say about life handing you lemons: today I am going to make lemonade. Really freaking good lemonade. (But for all of us diet-conscious people, I will make calorie-free lemonade, of course.)

“Making it” in the literary world is next to impossible. I’m going to have to get really lucky if I’m going to be able to find an agent and make anything of this dream. But here’s the rub — I can spend my entire life daydreaming about “what I want to be when I grow up,” or I can grip this animal called Life by its mane, hold on, and go for a ride. I don’t want to grow old with a bunch of “what ifs” squeezing my heart. I need to give this a try.  I WILL give this a try.

And so I find myself at my local library, books and notes spread out on the table, with a cup of coffee in hand and my laptop in front of me. Wish  me luck  in trying to make my very biggest dream come true today.

I'm a writer.

And yes, that’s Patrick’s blog that I was reading this morning. Remember, if you want me to read and comment on your blog, please leave a comment with your blog’s URL. I lost my list of blogs when I left my last job.


Rocked it out! (plus…gazpacho + excess skin)

by Christine on August 11th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Yup, major score. It went great. I was prepared. I had good answers. I think I said the things that she wanted to hear. The job as she described it was different than I imaged; it apparently involves a lot more business development and client management than editing. That’s all good with me. Plus, it involves some really fun travel. She said she just got back from a trade show in Alaska.  Could this be my dream job? Needless to say, I’m totally excited about it, and I definitely look forward to learning more at my in-person interview on Thursday.

I felt so good about the phone interview that I was blasted with some serious energy afterwards!  I dove into the kitchen and tried my hand at making homemade gazpacho. It turned out really yummy, but the recipe needs to be tweaked; it was way more olive oily than I would have liked.  But the soup was close, really close.  I was a little clueless about how to guesstimate the calories. Aside from the olive oil, it’s all fresh veggies, so it must be very low in calories. I blended 3/4 of the veggies in the blender, then put the veggies through a seive and eliminated the pulp, leaving a really light, watery broth. (Delicious, too!)  What are the calories, in say one tomato or one cucumber, if you eliminate all the pulp? The sugar and juice is still there. I can’t figure out if it would still keep a substantial amount of its calories or if it would be substantially reduced in calories; I can make an argument either way. Hmmm. It looks a little something like this, but not quite as chunky and more watery… (EDIT TO ADD: My Ph.D. scientist replied to my question above about the calories in juice-not-pulp. He says that you’d lose half of the calories, if not more, by juicing the fruit/vegetables, even considering the residual sugars. So if a tomato has 30 calories, assume that by juicing in you’re only consuming 15 calories.  Limitations of this analysis: my friend a stem cell researcher and not a dietitian, but he did ask around the hospital for me to ask about this question.)

I’ll post the recipe when I work out the ingredients properly!

Then I went on a cleaning frenzy. I scrubbed my laundry room from top to bottom, until the floor was gleaming and the washer/dryer (oh my, they are so old!!) were sparkling. It felt fantastic to make that room so shiny and new!

Then our honeymooning friends called to say that they were back in town, and did we want to get some ice cream? Hells yes I wanted some ice cream! I went, and I indulged. I had way, WAY more than I should have (I ordered a small and ate it ALL — normally I’d eat a third and stick the leftovers in the freezer), but it was hot out and the ice cream was delicious.  What a treat! Now, I need someone to remind me of this ice cream if, in a week from now, I start bitching about the scale not moving.  No shit sherlock. It might have something to do with your eating choices.  I don’t think it’ll be a major problem, especially if I can make it to the gym tonight, but I also need to take responsibility for my actions and own up to them, you know? In this case it was worth it, but I also don’t indulge like that very often.

Now onto my last point for the day: skin excess.  This is what has been bothering me for the last few weeks. My husband is bothered a lot by my droopy boobs (he brings it up several times a week and tells me he wants me to get plastic surgery on them), but it seems that I’ve been far more pre-occupied by this leg-skin. This isn’t fat people, this is excess skin. I’m THRILLED to have lost almost 90 pounds, and I wouldn’t take it back for anything in the world. But this is one of the consequences that I either need to live with or deal with.  If anyone is out there that has had surgery to tighten up skin…is this “serious” enough that insurance might pay for it, or no? (Sorry everyone…I would have taken a pic of my droopy boobs but I didn’t want to horrify you guys more than I already have.)

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