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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Big News

This may come as a shocker to some ... but to those that really know me ... it is something that's long overdue. After 2 years of working in this company, I finally turned in my resignation. Yes! I finally did it. I had a long heart-to-heart with my boss on the 21st and told him I was leaving. He wouldn't accept my resignation. He asked me to reconsider and to think about what I really wanted so he could meet what I needed. To be honest, I really thought about it and weighed all my options, but in the end moving on was all I could think of doing. Nothing they offered really made a difference. So on the 24th, I talked to him again and told him I had made up my mind to leave.

The day I made that final decision I really felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I know this may sound a little exaggerated but (even if I am still going to the office to finish up a few things) I've felt that the last few nights I've been sleeping better, I've had a little more energy when waking up in the morning, and I have been less irritable (haha) towards my hubby. I can literally feel myself de-stressing! And the coup de grace, was having a colleague stop me at the elevators this morning and ask me if I was doing anything different since I looked more relax and refreshed lately. Isn't that awesome?

I don't mean to make light of the situation - after all my decision to leave this company came with a lot of soul-searching, long talks with loved ones and colleagues, prayer and a complete leap of faith. I am leaving this job with no other job waiting for me, no other company to transfer to, no other source of income other than my hubby and our savings. But even with all the uncertainty, I figured life is too short to be stuck doing something you are miserable at and doing it where you feel so unappreciated. It has gotten to a point where I hated going to work and would end us a frustrated, nervous, stressed out wreck at the end of the day. I was working more than 10 hours a day and even bringing work home on weekends. I had started neglecting myself - I gained so much weight, had really bad skin, awful sleeping habits and was sick all the time. I was irritable when I got home and sleepless most nights worrying about work. I had no time quality time for myself or with friends. It was just such a bad place to be in and all for a job where I found no satisfaction and no meaning other than a paycheck every 2 weeks.

Sure I'll miss the paycheck (which was great) and the benefits (also great) and of course the friends I've made here (which hopefully I'll still keep). But in the end, I don't think I could in good faith subject myself to any more of this and still come out a sane, happy, balanced and well-adjusted person. I don't want to get into too many details as to why working here was so bad (especially since I'm still here). That could just mean some legal drama down the line. But trust me when I say, this was not a place where I could see myself professionally and personally developing nor was it a place that encouraged commitment and dedication. Enough said.

Anyway, I'm here for a few more days or maybe weeks. I told my boss that I wanted to be fair and not dump all my work on some poor unsuspecting soul. In actuality, there is no one else at this point to even dump it on. So I said I'd hang around a few more days till they find someone and until I could properly turnover to that person. After all the drama I've been through, my dad and hubby were telling me I didn't have to do this ... after all, this is California, and we are an "at will" employment state - meaning I could quit and walk out the same minute and never have to come back. But I thought about it ... did I really want to do that? Did I really just want to leave without being accountable for my department and the work I already started? Did I want to be the person who bails without a care and leaves it all for someone else to figure out? Did I want to burn all my bridges and open myself up to the possibility of bad karma? My conscience said "no". I've been waiting for almost 2 years to leave ... what's a few days or weeks more if it makes it easier for everyone involved. After all it's not like I have another job that wants me to start work in two weeks!

Which brings me to what most people have been asking ... "so what are you going to do now?". Well ... at first I was worried about that ... we do have monthly expenses that can't be put on hold when I stop earning. But luckily I have a super loving hubby who is willing to support me while I take a few weeks off to really figure out what I want to do. Worse case is we'll have to dip into our savings. Something I am strongly opposed to doing but as Jojo said "what are we saving money for ... it's to see us through the tough times ... and while we may not even have to use our savings ... knowing we have it as a back-up will make this easier for you". So true! And of course, my folks have also offered to help out (which is awesome of them but honestly will be my very last resort). I was also worried about being bored out of my mind (which tends to happens when I'm left on my own too long). But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

So I'm taking a few weeks (actually months) off to recuperate and de-stress. I have to work on eating healthier, exercising more, sleeping better, and finding time to relax. I have to be a better wife and make it up to Jojo with home-cooked meals and a better kept home. On a professional level, I am planning to get my Training Certification and maybe do some part-time consulting work if I can. There are a couple of volunteer programs I am also looking at joining. On a personal level, there are so many "happenings" coming up too. My mom and sister are here in August to work on Atsi's wedding. Mom is leaving by the end of August but Atsi and I will still have Sept to work on all the last minute details. Since unofficially I've been acting as her wedding coordinator, I can now do this full-time. My parents are coming the end of September and we are planning to do some traveling before the rest of the family arrives for the wedding (which is on Oct. 18th). The twins will still be staying on till mid November and I'll have to find ways to entertain them too. Then in two weeks (early Dec.) I leave for Manila where I am spending a month back home. By the time Jojo and I get back from Manila, it'll be January and the start of 2009 - time to look for a job. When I think about it, this is actually the best time for me to be out of work.

This is a big step for me. I'm happy and excited (rather than scared and apprehensive about losing a job), which makes me think I made the right decision. I am actually excited about living the next 4 months without a to-do list and without a rigid schedule (can I do it without going crazy or without driving everyone around me crazy?!). I am also looking forward to spending time with family and friends - and really enjoying that time with them without having deadlines and projects weighing in at the back of my mind. I'm also looking forward to maybe this being the time we can start a family. It could happen! But mostly I am excited to see what new things could come my way. This could be pretty awesome!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tidbits

Today is Jojo's 40th birthday. "Happy Birthday, NI". Wishing you the best cause you deserve it. Thanks for being my family, my best friend, my partner in crime, my no. 1 fan, my rock, and my inspiration. I love you very much. And P.S. - you don't look 40 ... not at all =)

There have been so many things going on that I haven't had time to blog about everything. The last few days have been a mix of good and not so good stuff. Here's a quick rundown of what's been going on with me:

Good Stuff:
- We've finally booked our trip to Manila. I will be flying home on Dec. 10 while Jules and Jojo will be flying home on Dec. 17. All of us will be taking the Jan. 4 flight back to L.A. I am so, so EXCITED to be going home. (Interestingly enough, my friend Jeff, has pointed out that even after living abroad for the last 7 and ½ years, I still refer to Manila as "home").
- My dad has super generously offered to pay for our tickets.
- Looking forward to my mom and sister arriving in 2 weeks time. It will be great having them here to plan Atsi's wedding. Then my entire family will be here in October for the wedding and a grand family reunion (our last one was back in May '06). I think we are going to the Grand Canyon this year.
- My hubby's 40th birthday is today and we've been planning his birthday events all week: Thursday night (dinner with immediate family), Friday night (dinner with co-workers and friends), Saturday night (dinner with the rest of the family and other friends). Plus we ordered his massage chair and can't wait to try it out soon!
- Also other birthday parties this month: Dad's (25th), Justin (15th), Jay (17th), Maddie (21st).
- Had a great girl's night our dinner with friends last Friday. It was nice getting the chance to dress up, have cocktails, enjoy tapas, walk along the boardwalk and just talk the night away. It's been ages since I've had a chance to unwind like that.
- We finally found a good housekeeper. Gigi is a godsend. Although on the slow side (she is extremely thorough!), she does an excellent job and has such a great personality.
- My sister-in-law, Tracy, is having a baby any day now.

Not So Good Stuff:
- My grandfather passed away last Tuesday. He has been ill for a long time and has been very weak his last few days. We are sad to lose such him but also glad to know he is now at peace and with God.
- Last week, I had to lay off my assistant. Putting it mildly, he was not very efficient and not very effective. We gave him so many chances but his performance and attitude simply did not change. Even if I was determined to let him go, it was not easy for me to do. I have never ever had to terminate anyone and it was extremely uncomfortable and difficult for me to do.
- Being incredibly BUSY with work (and not having an assistant to help me).
- Our garage renovation has been so delayed. Our plan was to get the flooring done on the July 4th weekend and the cabinets done on the July 12th weekend. Well, the company we ordered the flooring materials from informed us just a few days ago that the shipment was delayed to July 16. Which means we can only start work this weekend (the 19th). Worse we have a party at home on the 18th (one of Jojo's birthday dinners), so all the stuff from the garage we carried inside the house have to be brought back to the garage for the party. Then afterwards carried back in for the floor to be set. We are talking about a whole garage-full of stuff!
- Not yet losing weight for Atsi's wedding. But now I have a double-incentive (losing weight for Atsi's wedding and our homecoming!).

So the last two weeks have been BUSY and have gone by in a blur. Hopefully time speeds up some more so we can get to the things I am looking forward to the most!