Thursday, July 31, 2014

I gotta try and change how I'm thinking about this.

Warning:  This is a motivational speech to myself that you might find saccharine, just letting you know. 

As I said earlier, I've gotten a great new job.  A set schedule with weekends off, paid holidays, more money per hour and more hours per week.  I'm going to almost double my income and that's just starting out.   I'm working with the Korean cuisine team.  The rest of the team is Korean and I'm excited to watch them cook.  Had you asked me to look at a list of available stations and asked me to choose the one that would be the biggest challenge, I'd have selected this one.  The executive is from Hawaii and has this very mellow, happy aura about him. 

When I told my mom about it she said "See?  The world doesn't always shit on your head."   

Yeah, I tend to be pessimistic when it comes to myself and my abilities.  It made me realize that I haven't been thinking "How am I going to rock this?"  I've been thinking "How am I going to fuck this up?"

Oh, wow.  Well, this is not cool.  My self-esteem issues are somewhat more serious than I thought.

I'm one of those people who succeeds with success.  Yeah, that thing.  I shudder when I say things like that.  Dale Carnegie, Tony Robbins, Vince Lombardi, Norman Vincent Peale stuff that feels insincere when you hear it but resonates later. 

The point being, I do well when I receive positive feedback.   I can take correction just fine, I don't have a problem with that.  The thing I need to learn is to give myself props.

My first day seemed to go well.  I'm going to need to work on my speed, but that's a given in any new situation.  I wasn't given anything beyond my ability.  I was able to work on auto-pilot.  The Korean chef I'm working with is very motherly.  When she came to check my work she patted my back.  I've already gotten the theme of her feedback.  If I need to do something different she'll tell me.  If I'm doing an acceptable job, she won't say anything.  If I'm doing well, she says "Good."

My big challenge is going to be keeping myself from telling myself I'm going to fail at this, that I'm going to sabotage this somehow. Or that I'm not going to live up to the expectations my supervisors have of me.

I may have to try and get over my aversion to self-motivation, positive thinking stuff and give it a try.
Man, nothing like uncovering a major emotional issue in the face of a great opportunity.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  Don't use a toothbrush to exfoliate your face, although some people recommend it, it's entirely too harsh. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Making a change, one that should be for the better

Okay, by the time my boss is on Facebook, she'll know what's happening.

I gave my notice at Starbucks yesterday.  I've secured a position at the restaurant inside the Samsung campus here in Austin.  It's more hours, $1.75 more per hour, 8-4 Monday through Friday and it's in a kitchen.  A real kitchen.  Where I will get to work with food.  Where I will be applying what I learned at the Escoffier.  I won't be working directly for Samsung, but for the company that is contracted to do the catering. 

The Banging Barista is becoming the Cookin' cook.

I'm going to be learning to cook Korean.  I'll be assisting a Korean woman who makes authentic Korean food, which makes sense as Samsung is a Korean company. This is really exciting for me.  And, as The Husband was stationed in Korea for 3 years and learned he really liked the food, he's excited too. 

The trick now, is to make sure I don't freak myself out.  I keep flashing back to the crash and burn I had 2 years ago when I attempted to be a baker at a supermarket.  I loathe excuses, but I don't really have excuses for that, I have reasons.  The department was three people short.  I was given training doing the assistant baking job, which I was doing well, but was tossed in to doing the lead baker's job.  I didn't know how to do that.   The kitchen was filthy, I wasn't given a tour of it, shown how to work the dishwasher or where to find the supplies I needed.  The manager didn't shadow me to make sure I was doing things correctly, he just let me lose and then yelled when I didn't get things right.  I wasn't exactly set up for success.

My tendency is to remind myself of all this and tell myself to expect I'll crash and burn again.  The difference?  The executive chef and director of food service know exactly how much experience I have.  They know I'm coming in as a newbie, but I want to learn.   One of my strengths is that I learn quickly.  The kitchen is sparkling clean and organized. 

And I love food.  I love to work with food.  I love to learn about food.

I'm very excited about this.  This week:  Practicing my knife skills.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  You can save money on haircuts by getting them at your local school of cosmetology. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

I look like I just ate a lemon. Our heroine continues to question why she insists on emotional self harm.

Allow me to explain.  First, I want to get out of the way that I LIKE lemons.  Lemons make me happy.  But, when I eat one all on it's own it causes me to make a face.  A friend of mine in high school would bring a lemon and a salt shaker in his lunch.  He'd salt the lemon and bite into it while I looked on in horror.

Anyway,  I look like I sucked on a lemon because I had an issue pop up again in the last couple of weeks that I've been dealing with for years.  I haven't cracked this nut yet.  It's starting to make me crazy. 

I tend to hoard jealousy and resentment.  I know that being jealous and resentful is like shitting in my own pants. The only one it makes uncomfortable is me. 

I know where it comes from.  It comes from me seeing good things happen to people I don't like.  I find them to an odious human being so why the fuck do all these blessings rain from the sky on them? 

I know it's because I had my birthday this week.  I was so disappointed on my birthday for so long that I just stopped celebrating for six years.  I was sick of getting my feelings hurt so I 100% removed any expectations I might have for almost a decade I had to treat it just like any other day or I'd end up in tears

I don't get birthday gifts on my birthday.  I haven't gotten an actual gift on my birthday in years.  I'll get a check in the mail from my in-laws, which I love to get because it means I have money to 100% squander. 

I lifted my ban and tried to make my own celebrations to great failure. I try to toss myself parties and no one shows up.  I get a lot of 'I don't know maybe'. 

People wish me happy birthday on Facebook and I feel like the cat's meow until I see how one of these odious people got over 200 wishes on their birthday and they gush about the presents they got, how humbling it is.  I want to scream "YOU POSTED A LINK TO YOUR AMAZON WISHLIST ALONG WITH YOUR PAYPAL ADDRESS!!".  I could post a link to my Amazon wishlist with my paypal address and I wouldn't get anything because that's the way my life rolls. That's why I don't do it. And I tell myself "It's because nobody likes you. Get over it.  Embrace the bitch because it's what you are! Jesus, it's about time you figured out that you have 3 friends." 

Then I emotionally shit my pants and refuse to get in the shower. Why the hell do I respond this way?  The only one that gets upset is me. 

This year, it's all compounded by the fact that I am currently in the Austin airport waiting to board a flight Home.  I refer to Upland, California as the capital aitch home.  I'm heading west because my dad's dad, my last surviving grandfather (I was born with two grandfather's and one great-grandfather.) who will be 98 in October, isn't doing well.  He could still rally and make it to 125, becoming the world's oldest, recorded, living person.  But, he's doing poorly enough that my parents called to say if I wanted to come see him I should come sooner than later. 

This is the third trip in a row I've taken Home that involved a grandparent dying.  I went to see my Grandpa Grant 8 months before he died and then went back for the funeral.  Now, I'm off to see my Grandpa Art for, I'll be brutally honest here, a last look at him. 

I'm really scared.  I don't know how he'll be.  I don't know if he'll have any energy.  I don't know any of that stuff. He could be fine and dandy and we'll have a great visit.  He could be depressed and out of it.  And I'm scared.  I intellectually understand that he's had an enormously good run and is probably ready to let go.  But I also don't want to deal with how it will make me feel when he's not here anymore. 

My kids are in San Diego with my parents.  I won't see them while I'm in the same state, they don't come home until the 22nd and I miss them.  Some fuck up with our health insurance company left us with a huge financial issue this month that will easily take 60 to 90 days to resolve.  Right after the kids get home The Husband leaves for a con in Pittsburg and will be gone for our wedding anniversary.  All the time off I'm taking means I'm not bringing in any money and that doesn't help any.  No, I don't make a ton, but it does make things a little more comfortable in our house. 

I'm ready to burst into tears at Gate 8 of Austin-Bergstrom airport waiting for my flight to board dealing with all of this.   

And I didn't pack a handkerchief.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Giving it a shot

As I said previously, at my last check up I was advised to lose 40 pounds.  I did start eating healthier while I contemplated this undertaking.

I have a whole lot of issues wrapped up with my weight and body image.  They go back pretty far, into my early teens for sure.  I have spent a great deal of my time beating myself up for being an undisciplined, fat slob.  I'll admit that I look at women who are anorexic and envy their discipline.  How fucked up is that?

But, when I think I'd like to change my bod, I beat myself up for buying into the message the media has shoved down my throat.  I tell myself that I can be healthy and pudgy!  I don't have to conform to the rules!

Now, I'm looking at a high-ish cholesterol level and I have no cardio endurance to speak of.  I really don't relate to people who talk about how running is a spiritual as well as physical exercise.  I've always seen exercise as something to do to burn calories in order to lose weight.

Here I am, stuck between a rock and a hard place.

But, I decided to give it a shot.  I joined a neighborhood weight loss contest.  Everyone participating chips in 10 dollars and the person who loses the highest percentage gets the pot.  This month it's $180. I don't know about you, but I think that's a lot of money.

The kids are on the west coast visiting my parents for 2 weeks.  I'm taking a bunch of days off for my birthday and to go visit my Grandpa Art in California.  I've been able to take the dogs for walks and hikes on my own.  I end up walking more than I intend to on these excursions.  I've averaged 70 minutes a day so far.

While we were in Dallas for my cousins wedding we had regular television in the hotel room.  I caught about 45 seconds of an infomercial for something called The 21 Day Fix. I did some web searches and was able to get the gist of the program.  Calories are kept between 1400 and 1750 for a person of my weight combined with 30 minutes of daily exercise.  If you buy the package, you get a set of containers to measure out your portions and are given a number of servings of each category per day.  Vegetables have the most servings, fats the least and a moderate amount of lean proteins.  It's pretty easy.  I have a little notebook where I'm keeping a food diary.  I'm making sure I eat all my calories, since I know too few can be an issue.

I have swings between being proud of myself and extreme self loathing.

But, my waist is down about 1/2 an inch.  This means it's working.  *sigh*  Onwards we go.  Come on pooches! Let's go hiking!

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  Keep your spray perfume in the fridge.  It will feel wonderful on the back of your neck.