Bionic Part Countdown

As I lay in bed wrapping up Dec. 1, 2013 I begin the 10-day countdown to my left hip replacement. It’s not really bionic though, so I have no grandiose dreams of being able to leap across cars or into second story windows. But I am excited. Seems like the sharp pains of daily movements are becoming more frequent and perhaps my body simply encouraging me that this surgery is the right call.

I posted these X-rays of both my hips on Facebook and made mention of the procedure for the first time last week. I received a lot of encouraging comments and a number of them mentioning I seem too young for such a thing. I agree – I’m only a ripe 46 years old.

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The X-Ray was taken in Feb. 2013. Pretty sure a more current view isn’t prettier.

Around late Nov. 2012, I started noticing sharp, inconsistent, hard-to explain pains and all I could describe was it was coming from where my leg connected to my torso. I’d also have weird sensations when walking and most often when coming down a flight of stairs as if my leg was just going to come out from under me. It was so frustrating.

In February of this year, my chiropractor, Dr Mark Shannan, suggested that I go see a spine specialist. That specialist took these X-rays and immediately said, “Yep, that’s a hip replacement and when you can’t stand it any longer you’ll have it replaced.”

So next week it is. I have had my pre-op visits with my physician Dr Jack Seaquist and his staff, I’ve met with the anesthesia team as well as the physical and occupational therapists and I’m doing daily exercises they’ve recommended.

And after 10 more sleeps I’ll wake up and check into a hospital for the first time in my life and emerge three days later with my hip version 2.0.

Oh I can’t wait to walk without pain!

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How Far We’ve Come

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Timehop is definitely one of my favorite apps – especially on days like this. Today it reminded me how far we’ve come since Charles’ prostrate cancer diagnosis and ultimate radical prostatectomy.

Little did we know that when we married in May of 2009 that in four months we’d be faced with major life altering decisions. I think we, like many others who marry, had more grandeur and happy thoughts of a lifetime together.

Four years later we’ve experienced ups and downs, traveled to foreign countries and continents, watched our son marry, watched our grandson’s birth and first birthday, changed jobs, made new friends and countless other events. And yet Timehop quiets me today and reminds me that four years ago we were being introduced to a frightening and unknown cancer world – like so many others sadly experience.

I think I can honestly say that there is a part of me that is glad this happened when it did. Charles at the time was 40 and I was 41.

I now know that the truly little things in life are just that – so many unimportant situations, comments, interactions that don’t deserve the time or energy. Rather there’s life to be lived, places left to see, people’s lives where I might make a difference and there’s time left for all of it.

Always Something

Thanks to Bottled_Void on http://www.flickr.com

Yep.

It’s such a true phrase.

And the always something can be good, bad, unexpected, planned . . . doesn’t matter . . . life is always going to throw something our way – like it or not and it’s up to us in how we respond.

I like to think of myself as a pretty patient, most times understanding and logical person. Today tried every bit of my character. Went to the office much earlier than normal. Drove in back-to-school, day after a holiday traffic that I’m not accustomed to joining which made my 23 mile commute last over an hour. Sat in a few hours of meetings only to find that my car had developed a flat tire. Called roadside assistance to help change the tire – in the midday Texas sun. And my computer, well it didn’t really act like its normal let’s get things done self.

And I could have totally had a melt down.

I think today warranted a melt down.

But I chose not to melt down. I breathed a little deeper. I focused on things that mattered more than my circumstances. And I’m determined that tomorrow will go better than today and that the things that didn’t get accomplished today will be fine getting completed tomorrow.

And . . . I had a super yummy lasagna and garlic bread for dinner. Comfort food always makes a difference, right?

A New Beginning

Every-Day-Is-A-New-BeginningToday marks the end of an almost three year journey. Today I leave my contractor status at VMware and when I return to work after the Labor Day Weekend holiday I’ll be a full time employee at VMware. In HR terms we call it a contractor conversion and I’ll then be categorized as an FTE (Full Time Employee). And I’m thrilled.

I began working for VMware on October 7, 2010.

In the Spring of 2010 I had been a Recruiting Specialist at a day  trading firm in Austin, but 2009 was not a good year for the stock market. In August of 2009 we conducted a round of layoffs and by March of 2010 it was necessary to have an even deeper round of cuts if the company was going to continue to be somewhat financially stable. This round effected a larger number of employees than the earlier one and included my manager – our Director of Human Resources and myself – their only recruiter. I recall that day vividly and remember telling those that were being laid off that I completely understood, since I too was in need of finding new work.

From the time I found out that I was being effected until the time of my first contract gig was less than 48 hours. And from March until October I worked a few contract positions including as a long-distance sourcer, where I located candidates that were potential fits for companies in the New York area, an off-site recruiter for a health-care software company, a front desk / HR consultant for a medi-spa, an HR generalist for an identity theft company and finally for a little company based in California, PayPal as a sourcer. Each position was a short-term solution and I enjoyed each of the opportunities, but none were my employment home.

As my contract with PayPal was coming to an end, I looked for my next position. From the time I heard that my contract was wrapping up until I found my next job was less than 2 hours. My very first step was to look at the job opportunities in Austin on LinkedIn. A connection I had made years ago had posted earlier that week about a recruiter position at a software company’s Austin offices. The company was VMware.

I knew a little about VMware. I knew that their Austin office was relatively new. I knew that they were obviously a technology company. I recall that in speaking with IT folks that they thought that VMware’s products were good and that’s about it.

I quickly sent an email to my contact, Brooke Anderson and forwarded her a copy of my resume. It only took a day for me to hear back and within the next week I had a face to face interview. I remember meeting with Antonio Busalacchi, Gil Oakes and Kevan Blanco. I also recall that as I pulled into their parking lot that I had completely forgotten to bring something to take notes with and on. No pen. No paper. Nada. And I had cleaned out my car the day before and couldn’t even find a piece of scrap paper. So, I decided to take notes on my iPhone.

After all, my resume touted that I was a social media savvy recruiter and I had mad technology, cutting edge recruiting skills. Surely, taking notes on my iPhone would make sense to them.

Months later I learned that Gil had not been so impressed and commented to the others, “What was she doing texting while we were interviewing?!” I wasn’t texting, Gil. I promise. I was however, quickly pulling up each of my interviewers LinkedIn profiles.

The other part that I didn’t know until much later is that their then Social Media Administrator, Will Staney, had been asked whether or not I really was a social media savvy recruiter. He did a quick pass of the internet and assessed that indeed I was. [Thanks, Will!]

When I came on board as a contractor I started sourcing, locating candidates that might be a fit for our business openings such as financial and sales roles. I teamed up with a long-time recruiter, Tom Triolo. I’d find the candidates, make sure that they were good potential matches to the openings and Tom would take them further along in the process should they be deemed a fit. Over the next 11 months I supported other recruiters as well and sourced for a wide variety of roles in mostly our California and some in our Austin offices. We had a team in Austin of about six and it grew to around 14. Good people and fun to be around.

Then in the late summer of 2011, I found out about a new opening on our University Relations recruiting team. I applied to a full time role specialist, but the manager thought I’d be a better fit for a contract recruiter role. He was right, but I wasn’t thrilled about staying contract. I was ready to call VMware my full time home. I moved to the University team in August of 2011.

Since then my role has pretty much been the same. I’m tasked with finding great recent college graduate and intern candidates for our California office. My job is mainly a virtual one where I rarely have a chance to ever meet my candidates, but sometimes I do travel to college campuses and even meet the candidates that we eventually hire and I love my job. Seriously.

There’s not many things better than helping people find jobs – okay that’s just a blanket statement of being a recruiter in general. But finding jobs for university students is the best of the best. For most of the candidates that I recruit, I’m potentially offering them their first job EVER with the exception of some candidates that are completing their graduate degrees and have had some work experience.

Telling them about VMware’s fabulous perks of being a FTE is great. VMware has worked hard to be one of the best places to work for and earlier this year Fortune dubbed us as the Third Most Innovative Companies in the World. VMware is mindful of making sure that employees have a solid work/life balance, they encourage employees to give back to the community and I’ve seen first hand the compassion and passion employees have for each other and their work.

So, today, I say goodbye to being an outsider on the inside and join the ranks of the many that I’ve helped to hire. I’m so looking forward to being able to take part in everything that my full time new employment home has to offer me come Tuesday and starting the next leg of this journey.