Recent Changes

Saturday
Feb242018

Two blogs in two days....

I tried to make a conscious effort today to actually do something and make my day off not a complete waste.  I think I actually did pretty well overall.  Could it have been better?  Sure, but things can always be better.  I played 700 hands of poker, played some League, cleaned a bit, made dinner and watched some TV with Jess.  I think that overall that’s a pretty big win.  Sure, most of those things sound small, but they are all part of a balanced life.

Tomorrow I work for 6.5 hours, so I won’t get as much done, but I can still be productive.  Those are the days that I really need to work on reclaiming.  When I work in a day, I sometimes know that the chances of me getting anything else done are pretty much slim to none.  When I work 6.5 hours, I think it’s completely reasonable to expect myself to still get 4ish hours of productive things done.  Some of the stuff I would like to accomplish aren’t anything super great, just small things.  Like working out, playing a bit of poker or something similar.  I’m not looking at writing 2,000 words or something like that on days I work over 6 hours.

I’m really happy I decided to get the iPad.  It is making work so much easier for sure.  I can not imagine working without the pencil though.  I thought it was kind of a gimmick and planned on just getting on and returning it after realizing how worthless it was, but I was completely wrong.  It makes using the UI and everything in the apps just so much easier.  Fingers are just not nearly as good to use when trying to use the iPad for any major leant of time.

I don’t use the stylus with my phone all that often, and I think a lot of that has to do with not wanting to get real work done while using my phone.  I just don’t see my phone as a tool to get super productive with.  It’s not that my phone is worthless, but it’s only going to be for quick tasks.  Anything that is somewhat intensive is just not going to be something I want to do.  The one thing I do miss on the iPad is my keyboard.  I have a decent one, but not having the key travel and clicks feeling from my desktop keyboard does make me a bit sad.  I have some options for low profile mechanical keyboards I could do though.  So it’s pretty possible I invest in one of those sometime in the future.  I did not get the type cover and do not plan on doing so.

I think my next big purchase is going to be a decent pair of shoes to wear during the days I work.  I need something that is going to make my feet feel at least okay when I work 3 or 4 days in a row.  I walk about 13,000 to 15,000 steps while I am at work and that’s a lot on the hard floors.  So I need to find.a shoe that is insanely comfortable.  I was looking at stuff guys who work in warehouses or on construction sites use.  While this might be a bit overkill because of the industrial design of the shoe, it would be really comfortable.  

I did buy a new pair of Nike shoes recently, and I have to say that I was pretty disappointed with them overall.  My feet still hurt at the end of the day and while they feel good for the first 5,000 to 7,000 steps they just don't hold up over heavy days.  They also don’t feel good when I have to wear them for lots of days in a row.  So right now, I am using a rotation of shoes.  It’s actually working out okay, but I would rather just get one pair of really good work shoes.  The only thing holding my back from pulling the trigger right now is the price.  I just have such an aversion to spending another $100 on shoes, after I spent $70 on the Nike shoes that isn’t get the job done I wanted them to.

I was hoping to have my major debts paid off by the end of March and that’s clearly just not going to happen at this point.  I am going to have made some progress, but I am still going to be at least 1.5 months away at the end of the month.  I’ve been spending things a bit more freely than I wanted to.  It’s not exactly the worst thing in the world, it’s just that I have had fun things I would rather buy come up and have wanted to enjoy my money from working a bit more.  I think that when I saw I wasn’t going to quit this job early on, spending all the money to pay off the debt just didn’t seem as important.

I’m going to be changing that at least slightly here in the next couple of months.  We got Jess’s CC paid off before it even started accumulating interest, I paid off my Paypal amount and have made a dent in my CC.  That’s good, but it’s not good enough.  I would like to have my CC completely paid off by the start of summer and have a decent idea how I am going to pay off a few more long-term pieces of debt will be ideal.  I think by the end of 2018 I can realistically have all my revolving debt paid off.  If that does happen, then my credit score will be back above 700 and that is where I need it to be to set up a couple of things I would like to do in 2019/2020.

I have 2.5 months until I turn 29. I feel like a lot of being 28 was wasted and that sucks.  I had big plans for when I was 28.  I really wanted to get things back on track and make my life a better thing.  I have failed pretty much at every step.  The things I have tried didn't work out well and then other failures just followed it.The last month has been better, but I look at things and I am still so far away from anything really useful.  I work a part-time job at a retail store.  That’s really not the life I wanted for myself and I don’t think it’s the life anyone would have really thought I would have either.  Pretty sure I have come up short on everyone’s expectations at this point.

I have to not think like that though, because it doesn’t do anyone any good to think like that.  I can only control what is in front of me now and can only make things better in which I have control of right now.  That is working hard at what I do have and making the changes to my life outside work that will pay rewards in the near and long term future.  If I can make these last 2.5 months good, then at least I can hang my hat on that and say that even though I fell short on 28, I at least am further along than I was when I was 27.

Thursday
Feb222018

Come back with some music!

Thursday
Feb222018

I didn’t know it had been 3 months....

It’s been a pretty wild ride since i last wrote in here.  I’m not going to bother rehashing everything that has happened, because it’s just not worth it.  I will fill in gaps where needed.  I’m not even sure where to really go with this blog right now, but i know i need to write, because i can tell i just haven’t been myself since i stopped.  I am internalizing too much and just not letting things go off quite like i should.  SO off to writing I go, because it’s the only thing that has consistently helped me get my emotions and thoughts out in a constructive way.

I’m trying to write from my iPad on the couch, because i have not had any luck writing while i am in my office. I guess i just haven’t felt motivated enough to try to write anything out.  I actually got rid of Microsoft Word last month, because I just wasn’t writing anything.  It felt kind of pointless to be paying $9 per month for something i wasn’t using.  I told myself if i start writing enough against, then i can get it back.  We will see if i actually start doing that though.

Work has been something interesting.  I’ve been there just over 3 months now and am going to start getting trained on how to do team lead stuff.  I really didn’t think that it was going to be that quick, but i had a meeting today with HR who said that they are going to start the ball rolling on it.  I guess if you get promoted from within Target it’s a 6 months process normally to get to the point where you are eligible to become a team lead.  It sounds like it’s actually a pretty nice process that should teach me a lot.

If I decide to go along this path then i will likely have to forgo my loan forgiveness, but I would also be willing to do such, because I would be getting paid enough.  From what i understand is i would be making $15+ per hour at 40 hours per week.  For me, I think that’s good enough to give up the loan forgiveness.  That would make my take home pay in the $900 per two week period.  I would be willing to send one check to the loan people and keep one for myself.  That’s still an extra $900 coming into our family at that point.  We could pretty much live anywhere we wanted to at that point.

The thing that would kind of suck is that I could end up at a different store.  I like where i am right now, because it is so easy to get to, but i guess we could easily just move and make it worth it.  We could afford.a place that is like $1.2k or so per month and not really sweat it too much.  If i end up closer to $17 an hour, which is totally possible, then it would be awesome.  With raises every year too, i could end up in a pretty good place.  It wouldn’t be as much as an ETL, but not making quite $65k a year isn’t so bad.

I’m just excited to finally be good at something i really want to be good at.  While being good at Target isn’t exactly something to brag about, it’s nice that I can do something i really put my mind to.  If my June or July I can be ready to get to be a team leader at a store, that would be fantastic.  I’m not going to count my chickens yet, as they could think that i actually wouldn’t make a good leader once things happen.  I just need to keep trying and keep focused on the prize.  It’s much easier said than done though.

I’m glad that part of my life is going well, because i feel like everything else is kind of sucking or at least not where i want it to be.  I have been doing a bit better this week with eating the good things.  I’ve still slipped up more than a few times though.  I also haven’t been working out at all and that is something that needs to change soon.  Not working out is one of the worst things i can do for myself.  Yet i still find myself falling into this lull again and again.

I also haven’t made any progress on any of my internal goals for other parts of my life.  Whether that is poker, writing, reading, meditating or anything you can think of.  I have things I would really like to do, but I just can’t seem to make myself do it.  I can’t even make myself get up on time and that’s one of the most easy things to do.  I think that if I want to be a good team lead though I should try a bit harder to get the rest of my life a bit better sorted out.  I realize they don’t sound like they work together all that well, but crushing one part of your life can easily lead to crushing another part of your life.  It all builds on each other.

I think that’s going to be all for now.  Getting some words out has been nice.  We will see if it continues.  I want it too, but I have to be realistic about who I am.

 

Friday
Nov242017

One of the very, very few Cash songs I like.

Friday
Nov242017

It's alive!

A lot has changed since last time I wrote, most notably that I started working at Target.  Why did I start working at Target?  I’m not really sure.  I walked in one day to get food for Renshi and saw that they were hiring seasonal staff.  I decided to apply since they had someone handing out applications.  I think got an interview that day (after waiting like 1.5 hours) and then offer a permanent job in electronics.  I decided to take it, because I really was feeling out of sorts overall and hoped that it could help focus me a little bit better.

Overall, I have to say that it’s done a great job of helping me focus on things.  I’ve worked out more, played more league and overall just been happier since I have started working.  I’m not perfect, that’s for sure, but I am doing a lot better.  I have some goals for what I want to do with my money, mostly surrounding paying things off.  I have a few fun things I want to get, but I think saving and paying off the debt I have is going to feel way better than anything else.

One thing I do plan on doing is saving up money for Jess to buy a few things she has been wanting.  She doesn’t know this is part of the plan, but I want to do that.  We have not been tight on money for a while, but we also can’t spend it however we want really.  All the money I make is going towards things, because we can easily live on just what she wants to make.  So, I have some pretty big plans for some of the extra.

Overall, I plan on staying long enough to make enough to spend about $12k.  I was pretty aggressive with my deductions, so I get to keep a pretty large chunk of my paychecks.  Since I know I can only make a pretty small amount before hitting my cap for the year, I figured I wouldn’t really run into tax issues by not having them take a 0 from my checks in terms of dependents and what not.  This is also going to allow me to make sure we have enough to pay the tax bill at the end of my loan forgiveness which is going to be a pretty big bill (but, I also think I might be able to get a decent amount of it waived, because of some forms I found while poking around the IRS website.)

I decided to take the Target offer even though HR Block also called me back about going in for another season.  I thought about it for a little bit, but after working at Target for 2-3 days I realized that the stress and ease of job is going to be a lot less at Target than what I experienced while working for Block.  In reality, it was a pretty easy decision and despite that crap that happened the last two shifts, I am perfectly fine with my decision.  I won’t get into what happened the past two shifts until next post, because that’s a tangent for another day.

I have some things I still want to get into doing over the next couple of weeks, but my hours worked per week has been between 25 and 40, so it’s a bit hard to plan some things, because I just don’t know how much free time I have.  Also, we went to a wedding in Jefferson City last weekend which took two days out.  Lots of stuff going on right now.  This week, I work 32 hours and most of those days are days Jess doesn’t work and I have off days she does work.  So, the plan is to workout, play some poker and play some league.  I’m hoping by beginning of January I am working 3 days a week and can just plan stuff around that kind of schedule.  That would really be optimal.

The job itself is so easy that I feel like I can do stuff before and work and after and not really feel like I am taxing myself.  Each day I have done at least some stuff on the bookends of work and don’t feel ill effects from it at all.  I do feel a bit more tired than I would have 5-6 years ago, but that’s kind of expected when you get older.  Your body just isn’t able to really bounce back like you want it to.  I also need to start eating better, I’m pretty sure that would help a lot.

Anyway, I think that’s going to be it for now.  Glad I got back to writing at least something.  I’ve not slept a lot in the past two days, so time to catch up a bit on that.

Wednesday
Sep062017

Music!

Wednesday
Sep062017

The first step is complete, now the hard part starts.

Well, I finally decided what I am going to do with my life.  It was kind of a long road coming, actually.  I had it narrowed down, but was waiting for that last little push to tell me exactly what I needed to do.  I’m going to go back to school and become a teacher, most likely in English, because I know I can do that.  I’m not 100% sure when I will go back, but I am kind of hoping to do it within the next 12 to 18 months.  A lot depends on me securing some kind of financing to do so. 

FASFA isn’t an option for me, so I am going to have to get a job to make tuition payments while I am going to school OR going to have to save up enough beforehand.  One of those is much more realistic than the other.  The other issue is I need to decide what school I will be going to.  University of Missouri Kansas City is an option, but it’s not a great school.  University of Kansas is also an option, but that becomes pretty difficult not living in Lawrence.  We could move to Lawrence, but then Jess has to commute 45 minutes for work, and that’s a pain for her.

There is also that she wants to go back to school, so maybe moving to where she wants to go to graduate school eventually would be a smart thing to do.  There is a lot of things that still need to be decided.  It’s very early in the planning stages, but I am using this reset button I was gifted to the maximum that I can.

The next steps are going to be figuring out some of this stuff, and hopefully we can figure out a bit more about that over the next couple of weeks as Jess and I have time to talk about it.  I also need to decide what I think would be best for me.  The good thing about the options is that all of them are options and we can make the best decision for us, and not the only one that is available.  It’s nice to have those options.

I also worked on what my goals for next week are going to be, and I am going to make them simpler. I got a bit too far out on what I wanted to do.  I knew I should try to avoid that, but I did it anyway.  I actually deleted a few podcasts, took chrome back off my phone and unsubscribed from Audible again.  I’m just spending way too much time on things that don’t matter.  It’s not going to get me where I need to be, and will only hurt me long term.

I think one thing I got addicted to was trying to improve my process, but I wasn’t actually doing anything with all that improvement.  I was improving this theoretical thing that I could implement, but that really doesn’t do me any good.  Theories don’t actually get you results.  They are fine to tweak things once you have something going, but trying to build something all these fancy theories is just going to cause you to lose site of the forest in the trees.  That’s what I did.  I knew better, and I still did it.

I’m redoing my music library right now, and it could not make me happier.  I’m taking only what I listen to the most and moving it over to Spotify and then just going to burn the old thing down.  My music collection just got so big and I was having it just to say I had a lot of songs.  I wasn’t really enjoying it.  So, I am going to move the most important pieces and enjoy that.  I’m discovering some new music along the way too.  It’s been really refreshing, and I am glad I finally decided to do it.  It’s taken some time, and a bit of pain, but it’s nice.  I feel like I need to hold a funeral for my iTunes.  It’s been with me for a long time, but time to burn it down!!!!

I feel freer and light right now. I feel like I am getting rid of a lot of burdens that I have felt for a while now.  I’m just trying to make everything in my life feel good and more completely.  I know which direction my future is going to go, but I also feel like I know more about what I want as a person and what I need to do to be who I want to be in the future.  We will see.  The easy part is done, the hard part starts now.

 

Sunday
Sep032017

It's not an interesting post, and it's not anything new, but it's some writing of words.

Well, it’s been sometimes since I have written much.  Life continues to be up and down for me.  All the positive feelings I had at the beginning of the month died and I pretty much resorted back to doing nothing.  I was pretty disappointed in myself.  Then some weird stuff happened, which I will get to, and now I find myself 1 day into being productive again.  I guess overall everything worked out, but I just don’t know how to feel about everything.

So, the weird thing that happened was that around Mid-August, the 18th or something, I got call from H and R Block wanting to set up an interview with me for a job in the IT department.  I had not applied for anything with them, but I suppose that my file was still with them from when I worked there two years ago.  It was a pleasant surprise, so I decided to accept the invitation and had an interview.  I wasn’t very excited about it.  I knew the money would be good, but going back there and doing that stuff again sounded awful.

After the interview, the feeling of dread just increased and worsened with each passing day.  I was basically unable to do anything else as I went back and forth in my mind considering if this was a good opportunity or not.  Thinking about what the money would mean and if it was worth being that unhappy.  It was a constant struggle from one side of my mind to the other.  Both constantly waging war on my and neither winning.

Well, the days come and went from when I was supposed to hear something.  I never got a call back.  I also didn’t have anything updated saying I didn’t get it either.  They have this online portal that has your resume status and stuff.  They created an entry for me to track this job.  It still says under review, but I am thinking that it is unlikely I get it now.  They want the people to start Mid-September that they were brining on.

As I mentioned though, I’m actually going to take this as a good thing.  While I am still not sure if it was a good thing for us to get the job, I know it is a good thing for me mentally to not get the job.  I didn’t want to go back there and I didn’t want to be stuck in a cubicle or 8 hours a day doing menial things.  I must make something out of myself, because I can’t go back there, or anywhere like it.  Coming this close to getting the job has cemented that in my mind.

I took this reality check and made doctors appointments for myself, got everything cleaned up, made a list of goals for this week, did stuff today and overall have tried as hard as I could to not be a waste of life.  There was something about this experience that just made me realize that I have been a waste of life for way to long now.  I’ve failed basically at everything for the last 8 months.  It’s pretty much unacceptable. 

I have also really accepted that I am afraid of success.  This is going to be a much harder thing to work past.  I’m not sure why I am so scared of success, but there is no doubt in my mind that I am.  I love being mediocre and doing what I need to do just to get by.  Working crappy jobs for 2 years to support Jess worked well for me, because I had a simple goal and I did it.  Now that I am left to my own devices, I try hard to not succeed, because I don’t want expectations.

Here’s the rub though, going back to HR Block wouldn’t be continuing this, because it’s not something I have to do to get by.  It would be a purely beneficial thing, yes, but it isn’t needed.  So, if I am going to have to do something that is not needed, I need to really look at what I am doing.  Do I want to force myself into a situation I know is going to be bad?  Do I finally take control of my own life and make something of it?  The answer is obvious, but the path is not.

Realizing I am scared of success at least gives me some place to start from though and lets me try to unpack a way to combat it.  I think figuring out where it is coming from is likely an important step to unlocking my true potential, but that’s going to stir up a lot of things I would rather not think about.  It’s going to force me to realize some pretty tough things about myself.  Realize some pretty start failures through the years for myself.  It’s something I might do in the future, but it’s not something I think I need to do right now.

Right now, I need to just work on working smarter, and better.  Right now, I need to take it one day at a time and work for the goals that I know are important.  Today was a good first step.  It was the best day I have had in weeks.  Tomorrow will be better and will even better for my mental feelings.  Just need to take it one day at a time.

Sunday
Aug202017

A bit of Sunday motivation

Sunday
Aug132017

Old School Music