Simply Getting By

Simplifying my life & taking back control of my choices, possessions, lifestyle, and nourishment in order to salvage my finances, the environment, and my sanity.

Changes January 21, 2009

Filed under: career,change,fitness,Uncategorized — Raine @ Simply Getting By @ 3:28 am

There have been a lot of changes in my life in the past few months, and I haven’t had much time to blog. I’d debated whether or not to keep updating, because I know that doing so would probably mean some changes in the content and overall tone of things.

I’ll try to keep things more honest, rather than holding back as I tend to do. I try to keep a positive attitude not not to make posts that will drag people down, but that means I tend to censor myself and not to write about emotional turmoil or issues that are bothering me. I don’t mean that I’m going to start blogging all bad moods and depressing news from here on out, just that I’m going to try to be more real and share both the highs and lows of life, and probably a few more personal opinions as well.

As far as the life changes, they’re mostly in the career field:
My husband lost his job at the beginning of November – they day after the election. He’d worked there one year and one month, after being laid off from his previous job of 13 years due to the plant shutting down. He works in the furniture industry, which has been in steady decline for years, and is looking for a new job, but not having a lot of luck.
Two weeks after he was laid off, the real estate office I was working at announced that they were closing their doors, with very little notice. I am keeping my license active as a referral agent for another office in our company, but am no longer actively engaged in the real estate business. I don’t know if I will try to go back into it when the economy picks back up or not – I liked parts of it, but am not sure how well I’d like it as a career.
I have re-discovered my passion for cooking, and my husband is encouraging me to go to culinary school. I realize it’s a little crazy for my to consider a career in that field [long hours, low pay, probably having to move, and at least several years before I could look for any sort of advancement], but I feel like I’d be happier cooking than I am at the prison or doing office work. I guess the only way I’ll know for sure is to do it.

As far as some of my other goals, I got pretty far off track on everything during all of the changes and turmoil this winter. I pulled my chest wall while running towards the end of August, took some time off to heal, and never got back on track with the exercise program. I gained the weight back, plus some, and let the house get pretty rough again too. I did get some nice kitchen things for Christmas, which inspired me to clean it pretty well, but the rest of the house is in need of serious work. Same for the finances – I had a budget and was starting to pay down the debts when Billy lost his job; now we’re just trying to make ends meet until he gets another one. I’m sure this is just one of those cycles in life, and I already feel like I’m getting back on track but, in many ways, I’m back to where I started.

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Welcome! (Again…) September 10, 2008

Filed under: career,decluttering,fitness,money,weight loss,work/life — Raine @ Simply Getting By @ 10:56 am


Whoops!

Somehow I ended up deleting my whole blog while trying to update the look. Sorry about that.

Maybe I needed a “fresh start” anyway. I’ve been pondering a few new things lately, and procrastinating on many others, so I guess I can use this blog as a place to track my progress and keep myself a little more accountable. I was a little concerned about posting some of this publicly, because I tend to fool myself into thinking that clients might be put off by this blog if they read it and see that I’m not perfect, but then I realized that’s that’s all part of being human, and I’d rather be myself than put on a front anyway. I have a feeling it’ll be a lot better for me in the long run being honest with myself and others and maybe connecting with some people going through the same things than it will trying to be perfect, so please feel free to comment.

You might have noticed the new header lists a few rather ambitious goals, so I’ll break them down into a little more detail here:

Losing 100+ Pounds
Right now, I weigh around 284 pounds [fluctuating between 280-285]. My goal weight is 165, but even around 180 would be on the larger side of a healthy weight range for me. I don’t have any health problems from the weight, yet, but I figure now is the time to get it down before I develop any. My plan right now is to follow an 1800 calorie a day diet, exercise at least 3-5 times a week, track my progress at The Daily Plate on LiveStrong.com, and keep consulting with my doctor to stay on track and to adjust this plan as necessary.

Becoming A Runner
I was w
orking on Couch to 5k a few months ago, and had a couple problems, including 2 stress fractures and a pulled chest wall, so I decided to tone things back some. For now, I’ll be walking 3-4 days a week and doing either yoga or strength training on the other days. Once I can walk 3 miles at a 15 minute pace comfortably, I’ll start adding jogging intervals back in slowly, and will probably work my way back into C25K from there, then build a running program from that point on. I would ideally like to be in shape to run a marathon before I turn 30, but I’m taking things slow right now so I don’t end up getting injured again. As the weight comes off, and the walking progresses, it should make running much easier as well.

Decluttering and Organizing
My house is a wreck right now. I know most women say this, including my grandmother, whose home usually looked like she’d just got done doing a Better Homes & Gardens cover shoot. I’ll say it again – my house is a wreck! – I’m talking, call Oprah Winfrey, bring in the dump trucks, this girl has some serious clutter issues going on! I have family that may be coming to visit in a couple weeks, so it’s sort of kickstarted my cleaning plans. So far, I’m working things throwing away stuff I don’t need and trying to put things at least in the room where they belong, and by decluttering and straightening things up in 15 & 30 minute intervals. I’m starting to follow FlyLady to get all the normal cleaning done.

Working My Way To A New Career
Ive spent the past 5 years working a night shift job as a Correctional Officer [prison guard]. It’s not all that hard, but all of the drama is stressful and it leaves me mentally worn out because I get bored pretty easily. The pay and benefits are pretty decent, but that’s not really a good incentive for staying in a job I dread going to every night. I got my NC real estate license in February of 2007, and I have been working part-time at Keller Williams Realty. I absolutely love working there and helping people find the perfect home, but it’s been a struggle juggling this with my other job’s schedule, finding the money to pay for fees and advertising, and managing my time to get everything done so I can be successful. I’ve decided that I am going to really work on my business in the next year, and hopefully quit the prison and go full-time in real estate only next year.

Edited to add: The office I was working at closed down, and with the economic downturn, a full-time career in real estate is not working out at this time. I was thinking about taking a break already, but the closing of the office sort of sealed it for me. There are parts of it that I really enjoy, but I’m not sure if I’m suited for office work as my only career. Thinking back to the past, the most fulfilling jobs I’ve had were hands on [in a restaurant kitchen & in a furniture factory], so maybe I need to feel like I’m producing something tangible to really feel fulfilled by work. Since the office closing, I’ve had a lot more time to cook at home, and for the local soup kitchen, and I had forgotten how much joy I get from that. I am considering culinary school, with encouragement from my husband. Even if it doesn’t translate into a new career, a lot of the things I learn will be useful at home and for part-time work or seasonal catering jobs.

Getting Out Of Debt and Saving for the Future
Like many people my age, I left college deep in debt and dug the hole even deeper from there. All of this debt, and the high monthly payments that go with it, have kept me in a job I dislike and have held back my real estate career and many of my other dreams and plans for the future, plus made it hard just to make ends meet some months. I don’t know who came up with the idea of giving college students credit cards with 20+% interest rates and credit limits of $20,000-30,000, but I believe that the person had to either be really stupid or very heartless and conniving [I know the plan here is that their parents will bail them out if/when they get overextended, but it’s still just wrong]. I still can’t blame it on all on the credit companies though, because it is my fault that I ended up over my head with credit card debt, student loan debt, and a car payment that’s twice what I should reasonably be spending, so it’s up to me to get it paid off. At this point, I’m still playing “catch-up”, but I will be selling items on eBay, having yard sales, and finding ways to cut costs so I can put as much as possible towards paying down my debt. I will be doing this using the debt snowball method and following the advice from Dave Ramsey‘s website, books, and podcasts.

Finding New Ways To Enjoy Life
This is really what all of the above come down to. My life is pretty good as it is. I have a wonderful husband, our own home, and a secure job with a steady paycheck, my health is much better than to be expected [I’m a leukemia survivor], I have a good start on a career that I love, and I have the power to change most of the things in life that I am not satisfied with right now. Still, I am always looking for ways to make life better for myself and my husband, and for reminders to keep a positive mental attitude and to keep on reaching and making progress towards my goals. Life is overwhelming at times, but I feel like if I can work on things one small step at a time then it won’t all seem so big, and the small goals will motivate me to keep going until I reach the larger ones.

For anyone who reads this, please let me know how you found my blog, and if you are working on any of the same things. If so, good luck, and got any good tips?