15 January 2019

Life's a Challenge

Life's a Challenge...

and I don't mean that in a bad way, at all.  But I have been thinking about how I haven't done ANY of my Sixty by Sixty challenges in ages.  The List remains incomplete and unused.

BUT.  I have challenged myself a couple of different ways recently.  So maybe my challenges are just going to be more internal for a bit rather than activities or places.

My most significant challenge has been asking for, bargaining for and finally getting a much needed pay increase.  It's taken a few months and means I will have to change employers (although not actual jobs which is confusing but that's the way it is...) but it also means that not only am I getting a pay increase, but so are the two nurses that I work with.

The view out my work window.
A good reason to love my job.

I realized at my yearly review that I better be happy with the standard 3% increase as no one was going to say "Great job! We need to give you 20% more than you are already making."
At least not unless I asked.  
And I was NOT happy with 3%. I work my tail off, I'm a great employee and I have gone above and beyond this past year. So I said, no,  don't think so, I need more and outlined why in an email. A lot of back and forth but finally they came up with an agreeable amount.
Lessons learned?
Know your value.
And the one I always tell the kids: If you don't ask, the answer is always "no".

The other thing that I have had to challenge myself with is driving in the snow. I mentioned in the last post how Colorado was kind to me last year. Not so this year. There have been a few good snows, some ice and tons of cold weather. Over New Year's Eve I drove to Denver to stay with my friend Diana. It snowed all day on New Year's Eve, with about 2 or 3 inches accumulating in Denver.  BUT! At the cabin the inches of snow were piling up. Fifteen of them at least.

Snow from Diana's deck in Denver. 
An inch or so....manageable.

On New Year's Day I had to make the decision... drive home through the passes or through the canyon? Two ways to get from Point A to Point B and I had to weigh the pros and cons of each.  I've had scary drives going both ways. Drives that involved cars going off the road, cars going into the river, cars going into the mountains. Part of me wanted to just say "Eh, I'll wait and drive back to the cabin on Wednesday when the snow has melted." But my time off is limited and I needed to be brave.

Snow at the cabin.

The mountain pass won and guess what?  It was a piece of cake. The anticipation of the drive was WAY worse than the reality. Roads were clear, snow packed in a few places, but the most dangerous part of the trip was pulling out of the Stop and Rob after getting gas. By the time I arrived home there were close to 18 inches of snow on the ground but my driveway had been cleared by the neighbor.
Lesson learned?
Like Nike™ says "Just do it."

Food. Salmon and brussel sprouts to be exact. Both ├╝ber popular and neither my faves. I have tried salmon  many many times in an effort to acquire a taste for it, but nope.
It's ubiquitous.
People like to make it for meals. It's good for you. Ugh. I just couldn't.  But like a good girl, I've kept trying.

Finally, at my favorite restaurant in town, I tasted my companion's maple glazed salmon and then tasted again.  And again. Surprise! It tasted good.  Have my taste buds changed? Not sure. Have not had the opportunity to try salmon again but I'm willing to give it a go.

An acquired taste, I think.
But these were pretty good. 

Same with brussel sprouts. They really DON'T taste that great but I've had them prepared creatively enough that I can tolerate them. I recently had Brussel sprouts with bacon, parmesan, and cashews. YUM. Maybe it was the bacon that elevated them. Isn't everything better with bacon? They were so yummy that I made Brussel sprouts for dinner last night . Mine had balsamic vinegar and honey. Again, they were pretty yummy.
Did my taste buds change? Maybe.
Lesson learned?
Tastes change. For many things. Never quit tasting. Or experimenting.

So. Challenges. Not on a list. But little mountains to climb. And plant my flag on top.

My mountains.
My flag.