The Big Day...

on Thursday, March 20, 2008 April 7th. That is the day I begin my new career. I can't wait!!!

I still have to be "on call" with my old job for 2 more weeks (through April 18th), and I'm sure they will be calling me for assistance incessantly, but I can live with that. Knowing that there is an end in sight makes all of this so much more tolerable.

And on another positive note, I have tomorrow off for Good Friday!!! Really Good Friday if you ask me :-)

And, totally unrelated but vent-worthy, Bailey has her 5 year appointment on Saturday morning, which will no doubt be thrilling (note the sarcasm). She gets very nervous at the vet (and by nervous I mean completely out of control spastic). It usually takes 3 or 4 people to hold her down for her exam and her shots. Nightmare. I am seriously considering giving her tranquilizers before her appointment.

Yeah, Baby!

on Tuesday, March 18, 2008

So, you can probably guess from the title of this post that I got the job!!! I am beyond excited and so ready for this change. For me, it's not just a job change. It's a career change.

Part of me (a very small part) feels a little guilty for abandoning the career that was my major in college, but after being in the working world for the past 5 years, I realized that finance was just not where my heart was. The only reason I really chose it in the first place was because I had to declare a major, math had always come easy to me, and I was blinded by dollar signs. In college, I thought that money equaled success and happiness. I have since learned otherwise. While it's nice to have, no amount of money will ever bring you true fulfillment.

Working in finance has afforded me many things (pun sort of intended!). I have made decent money and increased my earning power significantly over the past several years. I have been able to live the life I've wanted. I lived in a great (but very expensive) apartment in Boston for several years. I bought a house at the age of 24. I've gone on many fabulous vacations. I've been able to help financially support my husband's dreams. I've been comfortable. And it's been nice. But, the honest truth is I don't really like what I do. I'm bored. I'm frustrated. I cannot see myself doing this kind of work for the duration of my career. I don't know exactly what it is that I want to do, but I know it's not this.

After I made the scary decision that it was time for me to make a career change, I had to figure out what I wanted to do. So, I made a list. What are the things that I like most about my job and what is my job lacking? And after a lot of thinking, I realized that my favorite things to do are to be creative (and I don't necessarily mean in the painting a picture sense, but rather just innovating and finding new and better ways to do things) and to work with people. I want to feel like what I do makes a difference. And my current job gives me very little of that. Some days I feel like all I do is sit at a computer and crunch meaningless numbers. Fulfilling, huh?

So, with this information in hand, I set out on a search to find something that incorporates all the things that I enjoy and less of the things that I don't. And as fate would have it, I stumbled across this position accidentally. I never would have applied for it on my own because of my own self doubt. This is a zone 4 position. I know that means absolutely nothing to most of you, but here in the MM world, it's a pretty big deal. It's tough to get to that level and only the top performers and most experienced professionals are 4's. I don't know anyone here that has attained this level after only 5 years of professional experience. So, I pretty much figured that no one would consider me for a zone 4 position, especially in a field that I have very little experience in. Well, I guess I should not have doubted myself! My HR contact suggested that I consider this position. When I saw the job description, I couldn't believe it. It had me written all over it. I knew I could be a rock star in this job, but I just didn't think anyone would give me the chance to prove it. But, as luck and fate would have it, someone did. And I could not be more excited about it.

I am going to be working with the Operational Effectiveness organization to "Independently and regularly resolve situations affecting compliance, operational, and regulatory issues, utilizing in-depth knowledge of products, state/federal regulations, and company policy. Develops and implements procedures for resolving organizational compliance issues, making recommendations from a Divisional/cross-Divisional business perspective. Collaborates with business areas to develop or modify business operating policies and procedures to ensure compliance with applicable regulatory agencies and governances. Identifies training initiatives created by new regulations or knowledge areas needing further educational support and oversees and or develops and provides training." In addition, there will be a lot of process improvement work and a lot of collaboration with many different individuals across the organization. This position allows me to assess our business and come up with creative and innovative new or better ways to do what we do and then help people implement theses new processes. This position allows me to work with all sorts of people all the time. This position helps ensure that our company continues to operate in an efficient and compliant capacity. So, clearly this position embodies all that I am looking for in my career. How perfect is that?!?

Now all that's left to do is negotiate my transition date with my current manager. I know he'll want me to stay through first quarter close. I certainly don't want to go through yet another financial close process, but I can certainly get through it if necessary, because I know it's my last one ever!

So, on to a new adventure! I am so proud of myself for taking a huge risk and going outside of my comfort zone to try something new. I am proud of myself for going after and seizing this great opportunity that I once thought I'd never even have a shot at. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. I have a feeling that this is the start of something really great!

The Waiting Game

on Monday, March 17, 2008

I just need to vent somewhere...

The wait to find out about this job is killing me! John kept saying that he thought I'd find out today (no clue why he thought so), but I am starting to feel like I'm never going to find out. I truly believe in fate, so if this doesn't work out that's fine. It just wasn't meant to be. And, eventually, I will find where I'm supposed to be. But if it does work out, how wonderful that would be! Either way, JUST TELL ME ALREADY!!!

Ok, vent over.

Updates Galore!

on Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Whew! It's been a crazy few days in Melissaville. I woke up on Friday with a very sore throat. Not good! I haven't been sick once all winter, not even a sniffle. I was so hoping to make it through these gloomy months unscathed, but alas, I was not so fortunate.

After leaving work at noon on Friday (although I did work all afternoon from home...I heart remote connection!), I began to feel a little better, so John and I ventured over to Crystal and Marty's house for "game night". There was a group of about 15 there and we played "Pictionary" and (after a few too many cocktails) "Charades". It was a little sloppy and a lot of fun. But, sadly, I think my carelessness (a.k.a., wine, champagne, and some Smirnoff Raspberry drinks) came back to bite me in the arse.

Saturday I was not feeling so hot, but I did muster up enough energy to try another new "Turbo Jam" video. After sweating it out for an hour or so, I had to get ready for the Century 21 Gold Ball at the Hotel Northampton. The ball was nice...good food and drinks and very good company. John's colleagues are so nice and so welcoming...truly a great group of people. We both were feeling a little tired and under the weather, so we attempted to make it an early night. But, my dearest darling husband locked his keys in his truck! Left 'em right in the ignition. Can you even believe it! And, to make matters worse, just last week, AAA called him to see if he wanted to renew his membership and he said NO! Thankfully one of John's colleagues who does have an active AAA membership was kind enough to call on our behalf and get someone to come open the truck. We had to wait over an hour for someone to show, but that sure beat John breaking his window (which he actually suggested he do...seriously why do men think like this?).

Sunday morning I felt pretty darn good! We slept in, went out for a mighty delicious brunch, went grocery shopping, and then went to the movies to see "Fool's Gold" (where we pigged out on all sorts of yummy, fattening movie snacks). I actually liked the movie...I thought it was very cute and I sure didn't mind looking at a shirtless Matthew McConaughey for 2 hours. But after getting home that evening, the sickness hit me like a ton of bricks! Runny nose, cough, fever, body aches. Yuck! I had to stay home sick from work on Monday on account of my feeling so poorly. I slept most of the day and did absolutely nothing. I barely moved from the couch all day. It definitely paid off, though, because I felt a million times better yesterday, and I feel even better today (except for the muscle in my neck that I pulled trying to itch my own back in the middle of the night). Hopefully I'll be 100% before my trip to Boston this weekend. Fingers crossed!!!

And on a final note, there may be some developments of the job/career front for me. I won't say too much right now, so as not to jinx myself, but this could be something great!

Birthday Bonanza

on Monday, March 3, 2008

Apparently our parent's generation was really bored about 27 years and 9 months ago, because it seems like everyone we know has had a birthday within the past couple of weeks. We've been out to celebrate two birthdays in the past two weeks alone.

First was Dave. For Dave's 27th birthday, we went to dinner at Mama Iguana's in Northampton (mmmmm...burritos!) and then followed that up with some bowling (which of course I did not object to). Here are some pics from the night:

Dave behind the bar using some special vibrating Guinness pouring contraption!

Me participating in one of my favorite hobbies...bowling!

It's a little tough to see, but Dave only got a 59! We're still picking on him for it!

This past weekend it was Steph's turn. We celebrated her 27th birthday by going out to dinner at Osaka in Northampton. I was really excited to go there because I had heard great things about it, but it was a total disappointment. We didn't get seated until nearly an hour after our reservation (granted there were 13 of us and I can understand that it might be a little hard to accommodate that many people), our service was so super slow, the portions were really small and the food was not that great (the soup was very fishy tasting - and there was no fish in it, the edamame was so salty is was almost inedible, and they didn't even serve noodles with your meal - you had to order it as a side, and of course, pay extra for it). I might be willing to go back to try their sushi (which I've heard is very good), but never their hibachi. I'd much rather go to Goten or K's for hibachi. I'm sure, however, that if I do go back, it will be without John because, after that experience, he refuses to go back. Other than the poor service and food, the night was fun. Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure:

At Steph's house before dinner (notice how pale I am compared to everyone else...gosh I need a tan!)

Me and the hubby before dinner (and lots of Saki!)

Steph and her boyfriend Andy

Our dinner being prepared...always fun to watch!

John's response to the service and food!!!

And finally, as previously promised, here is a picture of John and I on our 7th anniversary. Awwww!