I’m going to Hogwarts!!!!!

We got our tax returns back, and used half of it to book a vacation. I’ve been going back and forth about it for a long time, both myself and Justin making excuses of why we can’t go. Why we shouldn’t go. There are so many reasons why we shouldn’t… Because as of Sunday 12pm, I am unemployed. I will absolutely qualify for unemployment, but at this point we all know we will have to go through hoops and loops to get it. Because we’ve been trying to pay off debt forever, and so the tax returns should go to that. Because if I want to sell my house, tax returns should also go to the cosmetic repairs that need to get done. And because of the biggest thing- Because pandemic.

But I think… I will get unemployment, state insurance, all of that. I will be okay. I will get by until I find another job, which I will. It won’t be tomorrow. It might take several weeks, but I will because I’m a treasure trove of experience and skill. I’m the covid captain, full of can-do, resiliency and creative problem solving which is so much more than a descriptor on my resume- though that is not a descriptor on my resume because its cliche and goofy. I put 1000% of my heart into my work because unlike most people, I do care about a job well done. I like to feel like I truly earned my pay, and I want my superiors to be proud of me and think, yeah, that’s why I hired her! So, there will be a company that recognizes this in me, and they will be lucky they did. And as far as my house goes? Can’t buy a house without a job. Not going to sell this house without a house to move into. So all things can wait. My inheritance money from my Dad will be here in the next few months which was to go to buying a new house anyway. Everything will work out.

F it. We’re going. This morning I booked a trip to Universal Studios! I want to get away. I NEED to get away. I need to get away from this house… This house is currently a time capsule of my personal horror over the last few months. Its a complete disaster. I still have Christmas presents stacked high in my dining room in their Christmas wrappings because I don’t have the time, or the energy- mainly the umph, to go through anything. Because we buried Dad on the 18th, I was too busy crying into my Christmas dinner to care about my gifts. Trying to be pretend to be okay, while really being in a grief fog. And still, they sit. My house is full of dog hair and dust because Justin doesn’t have time time and again, I don’t have the umph.

I need / want  to get away, and while spending the money chunk hurt my heart, having something to look forward to is making me a little excited. A little nervous because I’m not a seasoned traveler, but excited. My family travels all-the-time all around the country and to other countries as well. My Dad’s favorite place was Thailand, but he always said he wanted to retire in Panama even though that isn’t where he ended up. He had tapestries in his house that Maida took, but they were hand made in Panama and he framed them after he went there. I’m glad she has them, but I could have greedily taken them too. I have his military things, so that’s all that matters, really!

Anyway- yeah, I kind of giggle at myself because my family is so casual with leaving for weeks at a time to go back to Puerto Rico, Cancun, wherever they feel like traveling… and I’m nervous at the prospect of traveling to Florida. Its not the flight- the flight is only 2hrs. Its the what ifs around the flight. What if something comes up? What if there is bad weather? And the hassle of DOING it all. Its not like the metro where I go buy my pass and put it in the little swipe thing and get on the train. That’s easy peezy. This is… more.

I do feel bad a little bit because Mom wanted to go, but she couldn’t go around the dates Justin and I had planned. She wanted us to change our dates in order for her to go. She doesn’t want to request off work because she’s already requested off work, and she feels like it’ll look bad, and perhaps she won’t get coverage. Like I told Justin… it doesn’t hurt to ask. You don’t know until you do. And this isn’t just any time off, this is Reign’s birthday. I also feel though that she knows we do something for him every year, so had she thought about it, she should have asked me what my plans were. This is classic Mom though. It feels similar to me as when the other day she was trying to convince me to use my inheritance money to buy a home at the beach so we could all go to the beach. Mom’s thought is that if I move to the beach, Reign will come, so Nanny will come, and if we all go she will go, and that’s where she ultimately wants to be. So in a very round robin sort of way, everyone’s life must somehow fall in line with hers. If it works for her, its a good idea.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m reaching and going overboard. Maybe I just feel guilty about not taking her and I’m trying to talk myself into feeling better about it. But what I said was valid- she should have asked what my plans were for his birthday if she wanted early access to my headspace. And she’s still more than welcome to join us for the weekend, she just has to fly out separately and buy her own tickets. She said she doesn’t want to travel alone, but she traveled from Africa back here alone when she went to Africa with her ex, and I traveled to Puerto Rico alone both ways. Its not a big deal, though I can understand her being nervous. Either you want to come, or you don’t. Either you ask off, or you don’t. I want to go regardless. I want to take Reign for his birthday. I decided after Dad died that I’m not going to wait around to live my life on everyone else’s schedule anymore. Either you’re with me, or I’m on my own. Either way is A-OK with me. Now she says she might come, and to give her the details later. Wahhhtever!

I need to take the next two weeks to eat right and try to tone up a little bit!! I know this isn’t going to happen, and tomorrow I have my date with the cupcake lady. My bathing suit body has well surpassed lost cause in the last year of doing nothing. I did gain the covid-19 or whatever people are saying, but I lost it just the same. I’m pretty much the same weight I was at prior to all of this, but its a deterioration of muscle I think from inactivity. From doing nothing. I’m the same weight and the same clothing size as I was before, but now my rolls have rolls and this is not going to be pretty. Well, honestly I didn’t have rolls before, just a baby kangaroo pouch thanks to his highness Reign Anthony. I have them now. I’m so sorry Floridians. Overt your eyes because I’m coming anyway!

Today, Friday, Saturday. That’s it. And then Sunday. And then that’s really it.

Today I will go in and see what kind of mess is left from yesterday. I feel pretty good about it because Barb didn’t get anything done Monday or Tuesday, and yesterday Krissy AND Jess both came in to help Barb fix up the store. Barb is good with service, Krissy with math and Jess with operations and visuals. So Jess can make it look nice, and Krissy can make sure the prices were correct. Barb… Barb doesn’t do well at either of those things. She does fine, sure, but it can get frustrating and confusing for her. Service is where Barb shines. None of the three do things the way I do, the way I like them, but who cares at this point? The only thing I want to make sure of is that each day we are downsizing in order to make it easier on us for Saturday.

Today I will disconnect our music player and try to get all visual displays down to a single rack of leftovers on each wall if time permits. Today I will also drop off our UPS player at a UPS drop site, and then I will take all the money out of the register tonight to take to the bank in the morning. No more cash or checks tomorrow. Card only.

Tomorrow we take all the money to the bank, and we wait out the day. Because we’ve been proactive, we’ve thrown out all the trash already. We still have some trash yet as we accumulate trash every day, but for the most part its all out already.

Saturday will be our last day of business. Saturday we will close our gate at 5pm unless we’re instructed to keep it open later. Barb and I will work alone on Saturday all morning until 3pm when Krissy and Jess come in. Krissy and Jess will start “broom cleaning” the store, taking things apart and organizing them against the wall nicely. I will bounce back and forth between them and Barb, Barb heading up service and the registers on our last day. I’ll go wherever they need me to get the job done. We can’t leave until its done, so better to start early. I will disconnect the phone lines and box them out to be shipped out that day too. Our phone service was leased from a third party company, so it’s got to go back.

Sunday I’ll come in and take apart the computers. The computers themselves will stay. All my company wants is the hard drive inside. So I will get it, I will box it, I will turn in my keys to the building and drop off the box. I’ll text Lisa and tell her to clock me out for the last time, and then that’s it. It should be a total of 2hrs. Some people are coming in early to sit inside their empty shell of a store to say goodbye to it, to the memories. I will not be doing that. I’ve only been with it for a year, and it’s been one hell of a year. After this liquidation and purchase by Hilco, the liquidators, I’m ready to turn in the keys.

I don’t feel sad for this store. I don’t feel sad for my team because my team didn’t need this store. It was a place we all enjoyed to be I think. It was fun for us, until it wasn’t with the liquidation and all. Good times, and bad times, it was still a fun place to be. And I’m proud to take a group of misfits and help them to become top performers. My lovely band of weirdos. I’m slightly, very slightly sad because we were doing it. We were in a very good place. We were making progress, topping the charts. We had so much unrealized potential that fizzled out at no fault of our own. So I feel sad at that, in a way. I feel sad because I won’t get to see these ladies’ faces every day. We tell each other we’ll keep in touch but we know how that is. Krissy is finally getting her surgery so she’ll be out of commission. Barb is planning to go to work with Nanny and Jess, so I’m glad to have been a network for her. One day I’ll pop over there to surprise them.

I’m sad that I have to start over again because every time I’ve started a new job, it’s been my choice. Because I wanted to leave. I was ready. But I wasn’t ready to leave here yet. I loved it, in fact. It gave me purpose. Now I have to find a new purpose. But to that point too, finding a purpose… I also feel like I achieved my goal and now I can do whatever. I wanted to be a store manager, and I was. I did that, so I can check that off my bucket list. I never really had a desire to climb the corporate ladder, I just wanted to not be someone else’s assistant anymore. Be my OWN boss, even though we all have a boss, but you got the idea. I did that, and it was far more stressful than it looked!

But now I think this is the right time, and the right opportunity to rebalance. Will I go back to retail? Maybe. Probably. But instead of being career focus, I need to be me focused. There are jobs out there in the world where the pay is fair, weekends aren’t required and I can get off by 5pm. I’ve seen them! I’ve just never applied for them because the thought of being a secretary isn’t as appealing as being a manager. Yeah- the thought of someone else managing me makes my skin crawl. That’s not my style whatsoever. But sometimes you have to sacrifice to get more out of life. Maybe I need to sacrifice some of my pay and my sense of control, and rejoin the ranks in order to get what I want out of a career… something fair that will allow me to enjoy my life.

While I did indeed get a lot of enjoyment and fulfillment from having my own store, there were also a lot of drawbacks too. Like all those times I couldn’t get a day off because nobody else could work. That sucked. Or when people would call me with an “emergency” that all of a sudden because my problem. And the endless he said she said business where everyone interprets my direction in some way that is not at all what I said, or the he said she said where someone is always upset with someone else because someone said something to someone and someone is offended. And all those phone calls, almost every day I had off I would be interrupted when I was eating, or when I was showering, or when I was doing something I needed to do because someone would call to ask a question they actually know the answer to. And covid!! Its a terrible time to be a manager in covid! More rules, regulations and standards to enforce. Though I will say that this was the first Thanksgiving holiday I’ve ever had off, which was due to covid. Covid changed the rules so many retailers, including mine, closed that day.

Yeah. I’m ready. Today, Tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday morning. That’s it.

There is a cat, a little orange fluffy cat, who keeps on peeing on my something outside. Or spraying, maybe. I’m thinking spraying. I’m thinking its a boy. We had to throw out our door mats because he ruined them. One of my cats, Gemma, she is generally an outside cat. She didn’t start that way but over time she prefers it. Justin suggested that Gemma and this orange had were having relations, but I don’t think Gemma is into him. She doesn’t throw a fit to get outside to him either when he comes around. I’ve heard him sit outside and howl before, and Gemma didn’t even so much as flick her tail.

One day I heard them fighting outside. I’m pretty sure they were fighting. In fact, I know Gemma’s voice and it sounded like Gemma was straight up screeching at him. Like, GO AWAAAYYY!! Justin said they were probably doing something else. Justin is simple and his opinion doesn’t count. Gemma is very territorial and doesn’t like anything on our (her) property, but I’m thinking this little orange cat won’t take the hint. I just don’t want HER to get sprayed or anything because I’m not trying to give her a bath. She’s vicious. We’d have to get cat washing PPE. If they were having relations, both my cats are fixed so I’m not concerned about any mini Gemmas entering the world.

I’m just concerned because I like door mats. I change them seasonally, and I’m not trying to have to change them more frequently because this asshole cat is targeting us for some reason. And also because I don’t know the health of this cat, and I don’t want Gemma getting sick because of him.

Little asshole cat. Where are your parents??

Justin said he’s going to try and catch him in a cage.

Good luck with that.

We have skunks too around here, and I think he will likely catch a skunk more so than a cat! HAH! That would indeed be absolutely hilarious if he mistakenly got a skunk because then, he’d have to free it….

Haha! Okay. Time for work.

Have a great day, everyone.

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February 25, 2021

Harry Potter World is fun! I hope you have the time of your life. 🙂

February 25, 2021

Been to Universal in Calif.  Worth the price of admission.  😎

February 26, 2021

Hope you enjoy your time make sure you have the park hopper so you can get the full experience of both parks (Harry Potter World)!!!