LASIK Update – As promised

Alrighty, it’s been almost 5 months since I had my LASIK and I promised an update, so here it is.

I was having issues in my right eye for a few weeks after my surgery. Anything that involved me being in a room with lots of white was not good. Everything was blurry and it hurt to focus. Eventually though, it got better.

By 2 months after my surgery I was pretty much back to normal. I didn’t even need eye drops. Everyone got used to me not having glasses, even me. It’s crazy how quickly you take it for granted.

My right eye isn’t as strong as it once was and maybe in a year I’ll go back to have it re-evaluated. I think some of my frustration is because it had been my stronger eye for 34 years and now it’s not. 🙂 Lefty is more powerful now. Damnit Lefty!

Driving at night is still somewhat unpleasant, but it’s because I can see. Things are more clear, therefore my eyes get burned (not literally) by all the fancy new LED headlights. I see more stars than I ever remember which is super amazing now that it’s camping season!

Some things that I have to pay attention to now that I didn’t used to: shit getting blown into my eyeballs. Yes, that’s right, now I have no protection unless I’m wearing sunglasses, so when the Caltrain comes rushing into the stop, I have to turn the other way or dirt and crap get blown into the air and into my eyes. My eyes are way more sensitive to light, therefore I need to have sunglasses all the time.

I would still highly recommend this surgery to anyone who wants to be free of glasses. It’s so nice to not have to worry about forgetting my glasses or smashing them. I can wear ski goggles and they don’t fog up!

I just went to the DMV yesterday to remove my restriction of corrective lenses, so I suppose that means I’m official now. Just a normal person with laser eyes. 😉

Next up, seeing a Orthopedic Surgeon… Looks like surgery for my tendons/nerves on my right hand. Oh yay!

The metabolism joys of my mid 30’s

As I have re-started my efforts to be healthy yet again, I thought it would be a good time to write a post about how things have changed with my body now that I’m in my mid 30s. It’s a warning to those of you in your 20’s, perhaps a friendly reminder you’re not alone to those of you in your 30’s, and a fond look back for those of you older than your 30s.

In the age of amazing technology, I, like many other people I know, have a digital scale that tracks my weight and body fat. This is how I know exactly when things changed. I had maintained a really decent 140-145 (yes, that’s true), for a couple years. Even when I was in Malaysia and not exercising like I was used to, I weighed around 145. Then in March of 2015 during my training for the death ride, that’s when it all changed.

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In  Malaysia (pretty damn skinny!)

My weight started to creep up. It was 147, then 149, then over 150. What the hell? I was riding my bike 60+ miles in one day, up massive hills! I convinced myself it was just muscle because muscle weighs more than fat. Right. That had to be it. I peaked at 155 in August of 2015, right after the death ride. I barely fit into my bridesmaid dress. I had to have it taken out and wear spanx in order to fit. I still looked like a stuffed sausage at my sister’s wedding. I felt really bad about that. 😦 It was then I decided that just biking wasn’t enough. I downloaded My Fitness Pal and started going to circuit training classes at Linkedin.

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Training for the death ride

Kim's wedding

Sausage

 

Over the next 2 months, I lost almost 8lbs, down to 147. Thank goodness because I wanted to fit into my ski clothes for Antarctica. I looked great and felt great during that trip. I could keep up with the cardio (climbing up mountains) and fit into my clothes. Once I got back, apparently I fell off the horse again. By January I was back to 153.

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Christmas 2015

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Antarctica 2015

Throughout most of Q1, I was somewhere between 153 and 155. I wasn’t biking anymore, but I was making an effort to go to circuit training classes 2-3 times a week and be active on the weekends. Then in May, I got sick. For those of you who remember, I may have licked my phone because chocolate dripped on it. NEVER lick your phone. EVER. I was sick for 6 weeks and that is when I stopped working out.

When I finally recovered in June, Carolyn and I decided to start running together twice a week. I also continued to go to my workout classes twice a week. It was hard to maintain as we added more and more mileage, but by August I started to see a small downward trend on the scale. That trend continued for the remainder of the year as my running continued, reaching my lowest weight in 2 years in November of 2016; 147! Of course, by then I had stopped going to the workout classes and stopped running.

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November 2016

Very quickly I gained back all the weight I lost. Back up to 155 by January. Really though, that’s a no brainer. If you’re aren’t working out and you’re drinking and eating a lot, what do you think is going to happen?? Luckily I started training for my half marathon in January, so I was hoping my weight would go back down and I would have more energy. In April, I weighed around 152. I also decided to cut down drinking so much and stop eating so much sugar (not that I really do that, but sometimes, when I’m having a bad day, all I want is a piece of chocolate!)

2016 Christmas

Christmas 2016

I started doing circuit training again and committed to working out three times a week in mid April. I was maintaining 152, so I was feeling pretty good. Then I had a minor health thing come up and had to stop exercising for 2 weeks. LAME! At the same time, I started a new job and wasn’t in the area. I’m not really sure I did anything in May. I may have worked out once. Though I did hike Yosemite falls.. 🙂

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Yosemite falls

I peaked at my highest weight on May 29th; 155.6, so I decided to follow in the footsteps of one of my good friends. She committed back in January to work out six times a week. She looks amazing and she’s a fucking inspiration. So starting June 1st, I signed up at a local studio (they do Barre, Yoga, TRX, and Circuit training). By the way, Barre is incredibly hard. You should try it sometime. I’ve been going to classes three times a week and my amazing husband helped me get all my old Jillian Michaels DVDs on a thumb drive, so I can do those on my “off days”.

I put the classes and workouts on my calendar. It gives me motivation to go. On the days when I’m really sore, I continue to push through the pain, because guess what, being healthy isn’t easy, it’s a commitment. It’s only been 2 weeks, but I am feeling better. Slowly. I have more energy and my body doesn’t feel as jiggly as it used to. I have a long way to go, but I’m hoping this time it sticks. Brian and I are eating healthy. We both don’t drink as much. We should really hold ourselves more accountable for that extra drink or that froyo, but you know what? Life is short. It’s ok to indulge on occasion.

I’ve also realized that I’m never going to look like I did when I was in my 20s. I’m just not, and that’s ok. Actually, it’s better than ok, it’s great. I should celebrate how I look when I’m healthy. My goal weight used to be 140. That’s what I weighed after I got divorced and wasn’t eating. That’s not reasonable. You know what else it’s reasonable? The scale. Clothes sizes. So what, I’m a size 10. I still have that pair of size 6 skinny jeans my sister gave me back in 2014. I’m never going to fit into those again. If I fit into any jeans and I feel good about myself, that’s what matters. But I have to have reasonable expectations. Finding those reasonable expectations is the hardest part. I have to guess because I really don’t know what they should be.

Things change in your mid 30s. Your metabolism just isn’t as fast as it once was. Accepting that and finding a balance is the goal. What kind of body will I be comfortable with that is actually attainable without having to give up things I really like? I could give up carbs, cheese, chocolate, and booze, but what’s the point? Moderation is key. I can’t have cheese every night if I want my thigh size to decrease. I can’t have chocolate every day if I want my arms to stop waving back. I definitely can’t have a glass of wine every night if I want to sleep well and not have my buttons pop on my jeans.

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Here’s the scale measurements

I took my measurements on June 1st. I’m willing to post them here so that when I update in early July we can see if my commitment to myself is actually paying off.

Arms: R: 11 3/4, L: 11 3/4, Chest: 37, Waist: 30.5, Hips: 41, Hips: R: 24.5, L 24. Weight: 155

The one thing I’ve learned, cardio alone isn’t good enough. Strength training for me is a must. It’s not optional. Besides, who doesn’t want Michelle Obama arms? 🙂

This journey is ongoing and I’m sure my metabolism has a LOT in store for me in the coming years, but I refuse to give up. I will find a balance. Something that makes me feel good but isn’t overwhelming and not sustainable. Oh yes!

 

 

 

The Silicon Valley World

Anyone who has lived in the bay area or knows someone who has knows this place is it’s own reality. It’s nothing like the real world. Traffic is horrendous, public transportation is less than ideal, people change jobs every 6-18 months, housing costs millions, and there are a lot of fake people who only care about money. But there are also people who care about our environment, who care about equality, who care about animals, and those who want to make a difference in our world.

It’s hard to want to live here when you know you’ll never be able to afford a house. A condo, maybe, but a real house with a yard that’s not in a scary neighborhood; not in your lifetime. If I were single, I have no idea how I would have been able to stay here. The price of everything is more expensive here. Food, gas, water, insurance. Just to survive you have make at least $60,000/year, which will allow you to do just that; Survive. Barely. If you want to live on your own, you have to make at least $100,000/year. Again, this is just surviving, not saving, not splurging, not owning real estate. This is just renting and paying for food, etc.

Luckily most of the Tech companies here have their own reality. Food is free. Transportation to/from work if you use public transportation or their shuttle is free. Insurance is paid for by them. Those perks alone are worth upwards of $10,000/year (that’s the low end). Not everyone is lucky enough to work at a Tech company though, so I’m not entirely sure how they live here. Well, they don’t live “here”. They live in Manteca or Monterey, or Stockton. They commute for over an hour so they can afford a house. Of course now, those places are becoming so expensive that the communities are suffering.

It doesn’t seem right to me that the condo Brian and I bought almost 3 years ago is now selling for almost $250,000 more than when we bought it. That’s just stupid. There is no way my condo is worth 25% more. Have our salaries gone up 25% to keep up with this absurd growth? Nope. We couldn’t afford to buy our own condo today. I used to work at Linkedin and Brian works at Google. We have really decent paying jobs for the real world, but for the Silicon Valley world? Lower class. Lucky to have bought when we did. If we were renting, it would cost more than our mortgage!

People keep saying it’s a bubble. That it’s going to pop one of these days. People have been saying that for 4 years and it just continues to go up. Amazon’s stock is over $1000, Google’s stock was over $1000. What the hell is going on? This place is crazy. There is nothing anyone can do, except hold on tight as the roller coaster continues to go up. Eventually it will come back down. It has to. Right?

Adventures in Camping – Portola Redwoods

This past weekend the husband and I, along with a few friends went to Portola Redwoods for what turned into a pretty fun adventure that included multiple river crossings, a four leaf clover, trolling leaves, freshly baked cookies in the woods, rude neighbors, tick removal, and a jolly good time.

Friday:

After about an hour of driving, Ethan, Brian and I showed up to the main entrance around 5pm. We set up tents and started a fire because the mosquitoes were attacking in droves.

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We had ourselves some beers and then some pasta with sausages after Kimberly showed up. No cell service meant we were taking bets as to when Thomas and Allison would arrive. So we decided to make cookies while we waited. That’s right, my husband bought an oven that runs off of propane, so we made cookies in the woods!!!

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By Sunday people were stopping by our campsite to see this little oven! We were famous. 🙂

Anyways, eventually Thomas and Allison showed up and we all went to bed at a reasonable hour. There would be little to no sleep for me though. Our neighbors snored so loud it shook the ground. Note to self: car camping = ear plugs. Always.

I ended up getting up in the middle of the night and sleeping Brian’s car because I couldn’t take it. Of course, kids on their razor scooters woke me up around 8am.

Saturday:

Breakfast. Bacon + Eggs. Tasty. So much bacon. Made sandwiches for our hike and headed out around 10ish, mosquitoes in tow looking for a tasty meal because apparently my face wasn’t enough. I ended up with around 7 bites on my money maker. Oh well. Up up and away. Into the beautiful redwoods. Thomas discovered a leaf with a face. We decided it was a very creative caterpillar.

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The redwoods were so beautiful. We had the trail mostly to ourselves. I think we saw one other person the entire 5 hours we were out hiking, which is ridiculous.

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We noticed a metric ass ton of clover as we were hiking, so we started searching for a 4 leaf one. I have never found one, but apparently others in our party had. I wanted some good luck so I became determined.

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In the end, I was the only one to find one. I plucked it from the earth and within minutes it was droopy and sad. 😦 But still, I WIN!

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Once we reached the grove (our destination), we had a lunch break near a creek. Then we headed to the junction where we would decide whether to come back the way we came or go back another way. Of course, there was a river crossing involved.

 

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I did forget to mention that Thomas discovered another leaf with a face so we decided we were, in fact, being trolled by someone.

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After a brief discussion we decided to head back to camp a different way than we had come. Even though the trail was supposedly closed. We were positive we could overcome any obstacle that was presented. Those obstacles would be one more riving crossing and some busy beavers cutting down trees.

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We managed to make it back to camp in one piece. We started a fire and gathered around the fire to relax. That’s when I noticed Brian had a black growth on his arm… of course it turned out to be a tick. He was super prepared and tried to get the tick to back out by heating up a bottle opener and holding it near it. Sadly, that didn’t work, but he did manage to pull it out with tweezers.

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We all checked ourselves after that. Ethan had 3. Luckily only one had bitten. The other two were just chilling. It was determined that the ticks had come from the firewood bought at the visitor center. Note to the reader: check yourself for ticks after you buy firewood!!!

Dinner was frankfurters and hamburgers. A tasty end to our adventure.

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Of course, our adventure was not over. Long after we had all gone to bed, our neighbors showed up at 3:30am with a crying baby, yelling, and obnoxious snoring. Another night in the car for me. And in the morning, no apology from them. They talked loudly about inappropriate things and walked in and out of our campsite as well as others. Completely rude. I was glad to leave them.

I had a great time with my friends. It was incredibly nice to disconnect and my hair still smells like campfire after at least 2 showers! 🙂

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I look forward to our next adventure!

LASIK – My story

For those of you who don’t know, I had LASIK surgery on Thursday, February 9th. I had decided to look into getting it done after my fiasco on top of Mt. Shasta when my glasses froze and I couldn’t see at 13,000ft. That was not fun, not safe, and not something I never wanted to repeat.

At my last eye doctor appointment back in November, I asked them about LASIK and they told me I would have to find a doctor who specializes in it to make sure I was a candidate. I started asking people at work who they used. I’d say about 30% of my team has had LASIK. Some have had PRK as well. Of those who had LASIK, most had gone to see Scott Hyver or Craig Bindi, so I decided either one of them would be great.

During my chats with co-workers, I learned that in order to get the best price, I should open an FSA, which you’re only allowed to do once a year in November. My account was funded as of January 1st with $2,600 before taxes, which will be taken out every paycheck from now until December.

Thanks to Linkedin, we have great vision care, so VSP pays $2,000 towards LASIK, on top of a 20% discount on the full price, which brought the entire price down to $3,295 for both eyes. Subtract my FSA, and I was left with $895. Not bad if you ask me. Yes, it’s still a lot, but my life was going to be changed forever, so worth it!

Let’s move on to my thoughts on Scott Hyver, my surgery, and finally, my recovery (still ongoing).

From my first appointment at Scott Hyver, to my follow up day after surgery, I’m not going to lie, I felt like just another number. His business is a well oiled machine that’s designed to get you in, get you approved, figure out your financial situation, and get you in for LASIK. I went into it knowing this, so for me, not really a big deal. If anything, it made me chuckle on surgery day as every 15 minutes he called the next patient in for LASIK. Popping em out like doughnuts at Krispy Kreme.

My first appointment with Scott Hyver was an initial consultation to make sure I was candidate. They run all kinds of tests, including one where they numb your eye and poke  your cornea (SO UNFUN). It took about an hour/hour and half. After which they tell you if you’re a candidate or not. In my case, yes, so off to talk to the financial person. They run all the numbers and explain how much everything costs and ask how you will pay. Once that is determined, they ask when you would like to have your surgery. I could have opted to have my surgery (which they call a procedure) the next week, but I opted to wait as I had a bunch of upcoming trips.

Once scheduled, you have to come in a week prior to have them run more tests and dilate your eyes, which if you haven’t had, it super awesome. NOT. But we’re talking about lasering your eyes, so damn straight they should be thorough. You also have to start taking anti-biotic drops 24 hours prior to your “procedure”. All of which I did, of course. And of course, I started to get sick 2 days prior to my surgery. I called them day of and asked if I should still have LASIK and they told me it was fine.

Surgery day. Thursday, February 9th. Go in 15 minutes early with Brian so I can get some valium because I’m freaking the fuck out. I mean, it’s my vision, so if they mess it up, it’s not like I can get my eyeballs fixed. Get some new ones via a catalog. By the way, I did forget to mention that they have you read multiple documents about how they could mess it up and you have sign all them. Including the one that says the “procedure” is elective, so you can’t sue them.

Once they finally called my name around 8:45 (yes, my appointment was at 8:30), I get whisked into a room where they iodine my eyelids and put drops in my eyes. They tell me exactly what to expect once I’m in the laser room. Peachy I say, but I’m still freaking the fuck out. Can I get more drugs? No, sorry, but you’re going to be ok. Right. I totally believe you.

Then they tell me it’s time. And here comes the gory details, so look away if you don’t want to hear about it. I’m going to be open and honest about every part of the surgery because it would have actually benefited me to know… instead of people telling me it wasn’t so bad and discovering, holy crap, this is pretty awful.

They bring you into the room where there’s a table similar to an MRI table. They tell you lie down with your head facing the machine. They put your head in the top area that’s designed to keep you from moving (understandable as they are about to laser your eyes!) At this point, I’m actually shaking because I’m so nervous. They give me stress balls to help ease my anxiety. Right. Cause that’s always what I do when I’m having an panic attack, grab the closest stress ball.

You look up at red light. At this point Scotty (I’m gonna call him that from now on), explains what’s about to happen. First, we’re going to put this thing in your eye to keep it open (aka the part in a clockwork orange where they keep his eyes open). Look up. Tape your eyelashes. Look right. Insert some kind of contraption to keep your eye open. Look down. Tape your eyelashes. Whew. That was relatively ok. No pain, just a weird feeling. Now comes the hard part. First, numbing drops. All the drops. Next, stare at the red light, and as you stare at it, there will be some pressure and then darkness. This is the part where they are cutting the flap in your cornea. And when they use the word pressure to describe it, I call bullshit. Try to imagine if you had goggles on and then someone starting smashing them into your eye socket. Yes, this is what that felt like. That hurt. They don’t numb your bone around your eye socket. For 20 seconds of hell, Scotty counts down. And then it was over. I may have forgotten to mention that he held onto my head for this part because I was still shaking.

Next up, stare at the green light. Ok. Staring at the green light. You’re going to hear some humming noise and a smell, but it should only last about 10 seconds. Yes people, this is part where they are lasering your cornea. It’s a LOUD humming, and it smells like you’re burning. Because you are. It’s all good though. I’ve done things like that before. This part didn’t actually bug me that much. What did bug me is once that’s over, they basically paint your eyeball with a paintbrush. This is Scotty cleaning up and then placing your flap back. It’s very un-nerving, but pretty quick. Then they remove the torture device from your eye and you’re instructed to blink. Exciting. One done. One to go. At least with the second one I knew what to expect. Still unfun, but it went by quicker.

Once you’re done, they bring you back into the holding room where they give you your parting gift; a bag full of the world’s crappiest sunglasses, natural tears for days, prescription eye drops, and a fabulous goggle mask to wear at night for the next week. They send you home and say your vision should get progressively better as time goes on. The first 4 hours they want you to keep your eyes closed, then after that, a strict regiment of antibiotics and anti-inflamatory eye drops.

For me, I could see right away, but it was super hazy. I did keep my eyes closed for 4 hours and after that, it was still sort of hazy. Light of any kind made things feel blurry. I had to take pain killers the first day once the numbing eye drops wore off because my eyes hurt too much.

The next day was the best day for me. Everything was in 4k. It’s like being re-born. I read so many license plates on my way to work. So many details. Leaves on the trees. Blades of grass. OMG! Amazing. Life-changing.

Since then, my right eye has given me the most trouble. It’s blurry most of the day. Working on computers is the worst. And here I am, writing a blog post. LOL. Night driving is hard. Night driving with rain is really a no go for me. Everything has such a ridiculous glare or halo or starburst. I’m told that this will go away eventually. I hope they are right. I did call them about my right eye and they say it’s still healing and to wait until my appointment in March when they will re-evaluate. It feels like the flap isn’t right. It feels like there’s constantly an eyelash in there. I tried to compensate by using more natural tears, but it really doesn’t help. My left eye is amazing, which is strange as it was always my worse eye. Now, it’s the dominate one. Yay! Go left eye! I also can’t see super close up anymore, which is hard to lose, but worth it if I really do see 20/20 now.

Was it worth it? I’m going to go with yes. If there is, in fact, something wrong with my right eye as I suspect, they will fix it, free of charge. I’m not super interested in going back under the laser, but if it comes down to it, I will.

One of the things I love the most is I can go walk around in the rain and not need to worry that I’m going to get drops on my glasses. I love that. I love that I don’t have switch back and forth between my prescription glasses and sunglasses anymore. If I walk into a store, I put my cheapy sunglasses on my head and, guess what, I can see!!!

The moral of this story is, when they say it’s pressure and slightly uncomfortable, they’re lying. When they say you’re most likely going to have side effects, you will. Count on it. But when they say you won’t have to wear glasses, they aren’t lying and it really is amazing. I hope my recovering ends without this random blurry vision and I will update once I have my follow up in mid March. Until then, laser eyes are awesome!

Utah, you surprise me

What can I say? I’ve been to Utah so many times in the last 3 years it’s hard to count. They have awesome national parks and amazing ski resorts. The landscape is beautiful, the people are nice, and the prices are affordable.

Over the past 3 days, I’ve paid closer attention to things in Utah than I usually do when I’m here. Why? Because I suspected something was up. Turns out, I was right. I’ve seen more ads for getting solar panels or something with clean energy than I have in a year in California. I went to a Fun Center where I went roller-blading with Brian. Signs everywhere on how many calories per hour it burns. There was also a jump house, and laser tag; both had signs on calories.

I’m super impressed with Utah. People apologize when their kids fly off the handle and accidentally run into you. Sure, they have weird alcohol rules, and are WAY more conservative than I’m happy with, but they certainly are ahead of the game when it comes to clean energy and being healthy. So yay for you Utah. You pretty much Rule. 🙂

Work/Life Balance?

Yes, that’s right, I’m going to talk about the big, pink and white polka dotted elephant in the room. Work/Life balance.

I guess it’s a little funny that I’m thinking about this so much on Administrative Professionals Day. The day people are supposed to remember to thank their admins for all the crazy stuff we do.

I’ve talked and worked with many admins over the years. One clear theme seems to always be present; working pretty much constantly. Checking email on your phone, booking travel for an exec on the weekend, staying up to 4am working on presentation for the board of directors, going on “vacation” but still answering emails, stepping out to answer a phone call during a romantic dinner with a partner. The list goes on and on.

And it isn’t just admins. It’s recruiters, bankers, TPMs, teachers, engineers, executives, sales people, PR, marketing. It seems like it’s almost everyone. And everywhere you look, you see people checking their phones, or iwatches. People are engaged, but they’re not really engaged in the world around them. They don’t see things. They take pictures and look at them afterwards trying to remember what it was like to experience something they never actually looked at.

What happened? When did it happen? Why did it happen? And how the hell do we keep it under control? Especially when it begins to effect our health. Not just mental health, but our bodies as well.

I’m not sure if technology is fully to blame here, but it definitely plays a role. It allows us to stay connected. All the time. No matter where we are. Even in Antarctica. Satellite phones and internet were available for a cost. I’m sad to admit, but that was the first time since I gave in and bought a smart phone in 2011 (yes, I waited a LONG time before I gave in) that I disconnected completely. In fact, I don’t have as many pictures as one would think because I took the time to experience what I was doing and actually look at things. I remember what the penguins sounded like because I sat there and listened to them for hours. I can recall the sound of skiing down a mountain in fresh un-tracked powder because I wasn’t recording it. I was living in the moment. I was mentally present.

Once back on land though, I synced my phone immediately and was checking emails, messages, Facebook, etc. Wondering what I missed. Especially for work. I was offline for 13 whole days. The world must have imploded. What did I discover? Nothing. That’s right, absolutely nothing had happened. And if it had, there was nothing I could have done anyways. I was in Antarctica!

Thinking about it now, I know when and where I developed this insistent need to be in constant contact with my job. The company that bought me my first smart phone. I was supporting 6 executives there and they had needs. Busy travel, calendars, errands, and meetings that needed attention on a whim. And so I became available 24 hours a day and I never looked back.

My x husband didn’t seem to care much that I took phone calls any time of day, booked travel on the weekends, and stayed up for 28 hours working on presentations for the board of directors. Sometimes I wish he had said something. Sometimes I wish I had more courage to speak up and say no. Instead it became “the norm” for me. I would go out to lunch with my fellow admins at different companies and it was expected that you would be on your phone the whole time. No one ever said anything and I continued to be on call 24/7. Until one fateful day. I don’t remember much about that day, except it was the first day of my life I actually wished for someone to smash into me in traffic so I could take a break from work. This thought was the beginning of a journey that continues to this day. Finding a way to be good at my job, but also being able to disconnect.

No one seems to disconnect completely anymore. No one. Not the executives, not the engineers, not TPMS, not the bankers, and certainly not the admins. I’m pretty positive, other than analysts and investment bankers, admins are the worst when it comes to disconnecting. We are always on our phones. We check our emails constantly. We check in when we’re “on vacation”. It’s almost like an addiction of sorts. We’re addicted to knowing what’s happening and what needs to get done. Prioritizing, organizing, helping. I’m so guilty of this, but I’m also not extremely proud of it. There are times when it is, in fact, an emergency and a meeting needs to be scheduled for the next day immediately, but most of the time, it can wait until I get into work at 7:30am.

Back in the day before the invent of smart technology, people went home and spent time with their families. They left work at 5 or 6pm and didn’t talk to people until 8am the next morning. Sure, sometimes there was an emergency, but generally speaking, I’m pretty sure everything was ok.

Some people like working all the time. So I’ll shout out to them and say, awesome for you, but that’s not for me. After a bazillion years in the admin role, I’m really over the overtime and the constant checking in. My stress and unhappiness and time spent working has manifested itself in anxiety, eczema, blood pressure, a cyst in my wrist, and re-curring trigger finger (the last two are also caused my incorrect posture and keyboard/mouse setup).

So here I am. I find myself wanting to back out of checking emails constantly, and being able to take real vacation. You know. The one where you go someplace amazing and experience new things… without my phone. I don’t want to constantly be worried about what’s happening at work after I leave. I don’t want to wake up at 2am in a cold sweat hoping everything goes smoothly for some meeting my exec is having the following day. I want to go home and focus on me and my family. My husband, my cats, myself.

But I don’t know that I can without being criticized. So many people seem to think that if you turn off work you’re not doing a good job. I disagree. I think if you have time to recharge, you’ll be able to do a better job when you are actually at work. I know there probably isn’t a job without any overtime, but perhaps there is one that allows me to de-stress more often so my body/mind can go back to it’s equilibrium. Or maybe, just maybe, I can find a better balance in the job I’m currently in.

My boss is pretty adamant about spending time with his family and it does trickle down to his directors/managers. Perhaps I need to take a good, hard look at myself and step back from the attachment I have to always being connected. I’m fairly certain that disconnecting more often will lead to improved work quality as I’ll be able to look at things with more clarity because my brain won’t be overloaded. It’s worth a try because option B is continued health issues and ain’t nobody got time for that. 🙂