Tuesday, August 27, 2013

No laughing aloud allowed

I have never felt like a stranger in my own home.  Even now, that I'm home all day and not spending 10 hours away from the house five days a week, I belong in this house.  It is my home.

I'll tell you a funny story.  My husband has been super supportive of me quitting my job and being home, with him, all day.  SUPER supportive.  You may remember that he quit his job back in February of 2012.  He doesn't have to go to work, EVER!  In the past year and a half he has gotten pretty used to having the house all to himself.  He liked it.  I think, while he was here all on his own and I was at work all day, he thought the house was his.  He had a routine.  He told me I'd develop a routine, now that I'm home all day, (but it better darn well fit into his routine).  He didn't really say that last bit out loud, but his actions and words to me around the house this past week have, sort of, indicated to me that this is how it's gonna work.

I don't really know my husband's routine and I haven't developed a routine yet, so we're just stumbling around trying not to piss each other off.  So far, so (pretty) good.  From what I can tell, the three tvs in the house are his.  There is a tv on each floor of the house.  While the market is open, the channels are all turned to CNBC.  After all, everything you need to know about what is happening in the world can be discovered on CNBC.  AND, now that neither one of us has a job providing outside income, we need to make our own money.  CNBC has all the information.  All tvs, while my husband is in the room, will be programmed to CNBC.

I do admit to enjoying watching CNBC, sometimes.  And, sometimes, I admit to enjoying Real Housewives of whatever city they happen to be filming this time.  And, just about ALL THE TIME, I enjoy watch those crazy housewives sit on two couches with Andy Cohen inbetween them and listen to them fight and watch them cry.  It is confrontation at its best.

Since I am now home all day, I was given some spoken expectations and I've been catching on to some of the unspoken expectations.  One of the spoken expectations, (and this is the funny part of this story, gee, it took me forever to get here and I've gone off on a horrible CNBC vs. RHOC trail to get here) is that I'm not allowed to laugh too loud.  Really, he said these words to me.  He told me he doesn't want me laughing too loud about anything.  Nope, no laughing.  If I find something funny during the day, I better keep it to myself.  He told me he doesn't want to have to tear himself away from working on his paper or paying bills or making a stock trade or whatever he happens to be doing at the time of my outburst of laughter to come to where ever in the house I happen to be to learn what it is I'm laughing about.  OoooooKay... whatever you say.

Seriously, even he can't believe he said this, out loud, to me.

I'm telling just about everyone I meet that this is what he told me.  I love it.  He believes this statement should be recorded in the husband annals of Things Husbands Should Never Say to Their Wives.  I'm sure it would be right up there with, "those pants make your butt look fat." 

I"m going to get used to the spoken expectations of life here in my own home.  I'm sure I'll even learn to tread the minefield of unspoken expectations.  I'll find my routine.  I'll even learn to fit into the thing my husband calls his routine.

I'll watch CNBC and look for the next BIG thing.  (why, oh why didn't I buy Tesla?  but, really, who'da thought those electric cars would end up being sexier than a Jaguar?)  After all, neither one of us is old enough to start drawing money out of our retirement accounts and we've both gotten quite attached to eating every day.  :)

476.  Having someone to run boring errand with, if I ask very nicely
477.  Green juice while watching Squawk on the Street
478.  The love of an old dog
479.  My son telling me he misses living with me (shocker)
480.  Saving LOTS of money on gas
481.  No phones ringing
482.  Discovering what I really like to do
483.  Did I say, getting up without an alarm... I love this part of it

Monday, August 26, 2013

Don't let the door...

I'm ready to tell the story of how I discovered I no longer had a job.

I am much more into to the idea of not having a job to go to each and every morning than I was last week. In fact, Monday mornings when you do not have to go into work are WONDERFUL. REALLY GOOD.

I thought I would find humor in the unceremonious way my resignation was accepted and the last day of my employment after being with the organization for 11 years. I haven't totally grasped the humor of it, but there have been some moments that made me chuckle.

Let's begin the story last Monday, August 19th. I was a bit late for work that morning, as I knew my boss was taking leave that day to assist his school-teacher wife in her move back into her classroom. I was doing my job and culling through his emails. I saw one email with the subject line of my name. My old boss was asking my new boss to meet with him to discuss me. A short time later my old boss's secretary called to set up a meeting. I told her it would have to happen the next day, so we set it up for Tuesday, August 20 at 9:00 a.m. Awesome. It appeared that a decision was going to finally be made. Part of the back story is from this blog, Why I'm still working.  This portion, in particular, sums up where I stood, employment wise, at this moment.

On Wednesday, July 31st  I carried my letter of resignation UPSTAIRS to my old boss.  I now work down in the basement and my new boss had not been hired yet.  Anyway, the date I put on the letter as my last day was August 8, 2013.  I was DONE!  When my old boss took the letter he was not happy.  He asked if this had anything to do with the fact that I had asked for a raise in January, written up a new PD and duty list in March, and he had said he would move forward on this and then had done nothing at all.  (oh, did I tell you he got a $100k raise in his new position? awesome.)  I said yes.  Yes it did.
He asked me if I would wait a couple days and he would go to HR and see what he could do about my raise.  Fine, I said.  So I waited...  A week later I'm told that HR told them they could not reassign my position in a way that would allow me to get a raise.  BUT..., would I continue working for 3 or 4 more weeks until the NEW HR director they just hired is on board and in place.  Looking at my job description and seeing about my raise would be the first thing this person will do.  My NEW boss said he would make this his TOP priority.

At 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 20th my boss went upstairs to the meeting about me.  He returned at 9:35 a.m.  He didn't look at me.  He didn't speak to me.  He hurried into his office and got on the phone.  He managed to spend the 25 minutes he was stuck in the office with me talking on the phone and then left, at 10, for a 2-hour walk around the campus.  He used the entire two hours.  He returned and told me he was going to lunch.

Really?  He wasn't going to say ANYTHING to me about the meeting about ME?

As he was walking out the door, I called him back.  I asked him what was the result of the meeting that morning?  What had they decided to do about ME?  He got a funny look on his face and told me that he and I had a meeting scheduled in HR at 3:00 p.m., and it wasn't going to be a good meeting.

Really?  Not a good meeting?  What was going to happen?  Were they going to FIRE me?  I mean, that wouldn't be bad.  I was ready to go.  If they fired me I would be able to collect unemployment for 99 weeks.  I'd be good with that.  So I asked, what's going to happen at 3 o'clock?

He told me since I had submitted a letter of resignation, they were accepting my resignation at 3 o'clock.  They wanted me off campus immediately.

Really?  It was noon and they wanted me to keep working until 3 and then they wanted me to leave.  Huh?  I began to clean out my inbox and download all my personal files to my flashdrive and began to clean out my desk.  Then my phone rings... it's my boss... he's decided to tell me I can clean out my desk and leave now.  There's no need to wait until 3.

No kidding there's no need to wait until 3.  I'm outta here.  I told my boss that this was not a bad thing, for me.  I had put in my letter of resignation weeks ago.  I wanted to leave.  I was only here because I was doing a favor for him.  He had ASKED me to stay a few more weeks.  He was working on getting me a raise.  (evidently, he didn't work very hard at it.)

I packed up my stuff in a box and I carried it out to my car.  On the way to my car, I passed my old boss (the new CFO of the college) on the path.  I said "good-bye" to him.  He said "good-bye" to me.  It was 1:00 p.m.  It wasn't the end of the day.  I was carrying a box.  He knew what was happening.  Neither he, nor my current boss thanked me for 11 years of service.  Nothing.  I don't expect my phone to ring and be invited out for lunch either.  This was an incredible display of classlessness on the part of the upper administration of the college.  I shouldn't have expected anything more.

The thing that has made me chuckle in this whole evolution occurred last Friday.  On Friday evening my husband carried the mail into the house.  Included in the mail was a manilla envelope with a DVD of the movie Office Space in it.  No note.  Just the DVD.  (I had loaned the DVD to my old boss when he moved my office into the basement.  He, of course, didn't understand why I would make a reference to this movie.  I asked him if he had ever seen the movie.  He, of course, confused it with the tv show The Office.  I told him that Office Space is a classic comedy about business management and the corporate working world.  I have no doubt that he did not watch the movie.  But at least he had enough class to ask his secretary to mail it back to me and not steal it from me.  He's AWESOME!  not).

I am able to laugh about this.  Now, does anyone want to take any bets on whether or not I get a good-bye lunch?  Hahahaha

467.  Levis 505s for $10 for my son (I have to hem them)
468.  Time to hem the jeans
469.  Neighborhood picnic (fun to catch up with neighbors I don't see very often)
470.  A new goal (earn enough $$ by selling stuff to buy a new laptop)
471.  Friends that are truly happy for my new state of unemployment
472.  Advice to take it slow and not commit to anything for a month or two
473.  Feeling absolutely great about this decision
474.  Happy that I have enough to do to occupy my time and not have to "twiddle my thumbs" while my husband works
475.  My son's resume is being forwarded for a part-time IT position  (please pray God's will be done on this.  my will is that he gets the job.)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hiding from truth

I keep myself safe in the world of my own design
Erasing people who disagree
Keeping me the way I want to see and be
I become a person who is desirable
Only by me
Not she
 I won’t give truth entrée
I’ll run away, hide behind a tree
Beneath a blanket I call safety

I'm linking with G-Man with my 55 this morning
I like to face the truth, no matter how ugly, in my life.  Some people don't.  They fascinate me.

461.  Friday, but it seems the same as Thursday and Saturday when one doesn't have a job
462.  Lattes on a weekday
463.  Sleeping late
464.  Sleeping well
465.  Encouragement
466.  The offer of new employment

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 2 of life as I now know it

Don't be afraid.  I won't be chronicling my life day-by-day from this time forward.  I am quite sure I will settle into a boring existence that will be of little interest to anyone but myself.  But for now, I need to take a moment to examine my feelings (haha, I don't believe that will take very long), my plans and hopes for this new way of living day-to-day.

Yesterday was a day of decompression.  I spent the day recovering from being unceremoniously dismissed and treated as dangerous person (story still to come).  Tequila was involved.  My husband assured me that, even though my dismissal was done with a heavy hand, these people did me a favor.  I was done with them and the thought of being lured back with money was repulsive, even to me.  So, that was yesterday.

Today I awoke, without the assistance of an alarm clock, at 8:30 a.m.  LOVE IT!  I hadn't slept well the past two nights, so I was very tired.  At about 10:30 last night a GIANT thunderstorm blew through.  There was lightening and thunder and rain... you know, a thunderstorm.  This did not help me fall asleep.  However, the little oblong ambien pill did just fine.  Twenty minutes later I was dead to the world.  Sadly, I snored during the early portion of my slumber thus keeping the husband awake.  (I'm sorry)  So, this was his excuse for sleeping until 10:00 a.m.  Since I don't really know what he typically does all day (being I was typically at work and I just have to take his word for it) I'll take responsibility for the late awakening and subsequent late start to his day.  (yeah, sure... fool me once)

I was pretty happy with myself.  I got up and took a shower and brushed my teeth (it doesn't seem necessary to spell all of this out, but yesterday wasn't a great day for me and today is starting off much better).  I got dressed and started reading blogs and updated my fb status.  Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good.  I typically play with my laptop while I sit on my bed.  Since my husband was still sleeping and he has taken over the bedroom we have set up as an "office" room, I decided to move my laptop to the kitchen table.  After all, if I'm going to blog, sell on Craig's list and eBay and fb, I'm going to need a place to work.

I completely get that this house has been his domain for the last year and a half.  I am the intruder.  So far, he's allowed me to move about the house fairly freely.  I have been warned that I am not allowed to laugh too loudly.  He does not want to be alerted that I think something is funny that he doesn't know about and then has to run down from his office area to see what is so funny.  I will do my best to comply with this request.  (he cracks me up.  no worries, I covered my mouth so my chuckle sound waves would not escape)

This morning, after carrying my laptop down to the kitchen table and setting up my little work space, I went to the coffee machine and pressed the button to initiate the warm-up process.  I returned to my laptop to await the warming of the coffee machine.  No worries.  I know how to make coffee.  While I was typing away on this blog post my husband came down from the bedroom. He was dressed and ready to begin his day.  He let the dog out.  Evidently his morning routine is to come down from the bedroom, let the dog out, warm up the coffee machine, put food in the dog's bowl, let the dog back in, make coffee.  I didn't know anything about this routine.

Everything was going well with his morning routine until he pressed the button to warm the coffee machine.  This button is the same button that needs to be pressed... again... to begin the coffee making process.  The machine sprung to life.  My husband jumped back and said something I won't type here.  Fortunately, no coffee had been inserted, so there was no waste or water spraying on him.  He disagrees, but I claim that he raised his voice to me and recommended that I not screw with his routine.  We are going to be together 24 hours a day and we aren't on vacation.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to screw with his routine.

After a bit of discussion we decided the routine was going to have to be screwed with.  Yes, there will definitely have to be some screwing inserted into the routine.  Literally.  (after all, it's good for his health. :))
451.  A good night's sleep
452.  Acceptance of my situation
453.  A delicious latte in the morning
454.  The kernel of a plan for my new way of life forming in my mind
455.  Time spent in prayer before I started my day (I would like to make this a daily habit)
456.  Grateful that I sleep in a house and not outside during stormy weather
457.  The ability to disagree without be disagreeable
458.  My husband's wisdom of all things employment related
459.  Old co-worker checking up on me
460.  Sister-in-law reading my blog and assuring me that it wasn't just me that gets treated poorly

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I've got nothing to do today but smile

I am now retired.

I feel good and bad at the same time about this turn of events.  No one is more surprised by these conflicted feelings than I am.  I'm learning so much about myself.

I remember that in June 2012 I told myself I would work for one more year.  I loved the way I told myself that story.  It made me happy.  It gave me something to look forward to.  Every time I completed a task on the annual calendar I would tell myself, "Hooray, that's the last time I'll ever have to do that."  It felt like I was checking a box.  And being the strong ISTJ that I am, checking a box feels like success.  I continued through the fiscal year completing task after task, just waiting for June 30, 2013 to arrive.
June 30, 2013 arrived and I didn't quit.  Nobody was more surprised about this than I was, but there were extenuating circumstances.  I wrote about some of them here and here and here.  So there is no need to rehash this whole mess.  Oh, btw, the college I USED to work at is still accepting applications for fall 2013.  (classes begin on September 3rd.  hurry up all you slackers, there is still a place for you this overpriced public institution.)

I am happy.  I mean, I've finally stopped hitting myself with a hammer.  I'm out of a situation that was pretty toxic for me.  I really was never able to buy into the mission statement and mindset of the institution.  I tried to appease this in myself by just doing my job and not getting involved in the culture of the institution.  I wasn't able to keep my feelings completely to myself and ended up not winning any popularity contests.  There just weren't enough conservative capitalists on campus for me to hang around with.  (there were a couple, and we were friends.  hi girlfriend!)  I worked for a guy that believed that making money and talking about how you do that, was vulgar.  Making money in the stock market, on eBay, and renting real estate were my favorite hobbies.  (btw, it was ok to chat about killing birds, his hobby.  not gross at all.)

I am happy.  Now I can do all the things at home I wished I was doing while I was at work.  My lifestyle isn't going to change because I don't have this job anymore.  (well, sadly, I am going to let my house cleaner go today.  it would just not work for someone to come and clean my house while I'm at home.

So, you may ask, why am I not so happy I cannot stand myself?  I guess the first reason is because of my ISTJ personality type.  Yep, I'm my own worst enemy.  I'm a duty fulfiller.  It would have been easier for me to have a couple weeks to tie up all the loose ends of things I was working on.  Instead and because I had already submitted a letter of resignation with a date of August 8th as my last day, they accepted my resignation yesterday and gave me 2 weeks pay in lieu of 2 more weeks of notice.  I need to accept that those things I was working on that I hadn't finished yet, aren't my job anymore.  They don't want me to finish them.  I need to give up the ownership I feel for the work I did.  I don't work there anymore.

My husband tells me he went through this same process when he retired from his job.  He's an ESTJ.  I know it will pass.  Today is just the first day.  The way that my resignation was accepted was done in a strange way.  (I really need to write about that, but I think I need a day or two of distance because it was done in a pretty hurtful way.  a couple days may help me see the humor in it.)

So I'm turning a page.  I'm walking through a new door.  I'm entering a new phase of my life.  I've gone from being a child, to becoming a college student, then a working single adult, to a Navy wife, which turned into a stay at home mother, to a working mother, and then a working empty nester, to what I have now become... retired.  Thank you to all that have held me in prayer during this transition.  I'm ready to do this retired thing the best way I can.  I am accepting any and all suggestions, cyber hugs, real hugs, and hope, strength and experience out there.

To quote Paul Simon, “I've got nothing to do today but smile.”

I'm linking with Emily today at Imperfect Prose because I'm happy, but scared. 

441.  Waking up without an alarm clock
442.  Drinking coffee in my pajamas on a Wednesday and I'm not on vacation
443.  Writing my blog at home
444.  Thinking about my future
445.  Hearing people tell me they will miss me (for a little while)
446.  Thinking about what I want to call this stage of my life (I'm not sure I want to call it retirement just yet)
447.  Allowing myself to feel these feelings (it's not something I typically do)
448.  Being encouraged by my husband
449.  Not having to plan a going away lunch for Sleeping Beauty (his last day is a week from Friday)
450.  Trusting that I am in the center of God's plan for me

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Raising children the Downton Abbey way

I'm having my own private Downton Abbey week.  While surfing all things Downton Abbey on the interwebs, I discovered that season 4 will not begin to be aired in the United States until January 2014.  (pause... to allow for tear wiping)  However, season 4 WILL begin to air in the United Kingdom in October 2013.  (if only we had a queen here in the US.  oh Oprah, why oh why won't you use your power for good, rather than electing poor presidents and promoting movies you buy in order to act?)

As I continue in my longing for Downton Abbey to return to my living room I thought I'd share a little blog I found about raising children the Downton Abbey way.  I mean, seriously, they raise better children on that show than we do.   (even if they only use doctors that tell them what they want to hear which allows their daughter to die after childbirth from preeclampsia / eclampsia.)  I am so looking forward to see how baby George (the new heir of Downton and, by AMAZING coincidence the same name as the new heir to the throne of England) is going to be raised.  I cannot wait.

But we don't have to wait.  Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa Endlich Heffernan have written a blog laying out 17 parenting lessons from Downton Abbey.  If we learn nothing at all from watching the best show on PBS, EVER!, we can learn how to raise good and proper children.

1. Grandparents have a crucial role to play in any family as dispensers of wisdom and healers of souls. No one can put a situation into perspective better than someone who has seen seven decades pass. In times of pain and panic, it is the Dowager who is needed most.

2. If we do not change with the times and listen to those much younger than ourselves -- our children in particular, even when they seem callow and naive -- we will soon become obsolete. The world is spinning on and we must listen to the young or risk forever being a prisoner of 1923 or 2013. Even without a sneak peak of Episode Six, it is clear that Robert better start listening to Matthew.

3. We mustn't wait until caught in the grips of grieving to tell our siblings how much they mean to us. The sibling relationship is life's longest, and we would be fools take it for granted.

4. A home is truly only a building, even if it is Downton Abbey. Losing it or any other possessions matters little compared to losing those we love. We did not shed a tear when we thought the family would lose their beloved Downton; the same cannot be said of Sybil's passing.

5. If our child finds true love (or friendship), whether or not the object of that love is someone we would have selected, we must rejoice for them. A seeming gentleman might jilt our daughter at the altar, but a good man will love her until her last breath. One need only look at the sad episode of Edith and Anthony versus the true love shared by Sybil and Tom.

6. Our children need and deserve our understanding and forgiveness -- true forgiveness, even when they have done wrong. We love them and that love must transcend their mistakes. Mary's painful transgression with Kemal Pamuk did not deprive her of her father's love.

7. Never underestimate the power of a well-chosen few words. Speaking softly but strongly can have amazing results. The Dowager and Dr. Clarkson chose their words judiciously so that even though Cora's heart was breaking, she was not alone.

8. People can reinvent themselves -- just give them a chance to prove that they've changed, and avoid being judgmental and closed-minded, as the family was with Ethel.  (the housemaid that got knocked up)

9. When our deepest gut feeling tells us that there is something wrong with our child, even when experts may not agree, we need to follow our gut. Watching our child for a lifetime, through all of its up and downs, makes us an expert. No one knew Sybil better than her own mother.

10. Turning on those we love at life's worst moments -- although perhaps understandable in our rage -- will only magnify our grief. True consolation and understanding come from those we love the most, as Robert and Cora learn.

11. If someone truly cares for us, we should give them the chance to show how much. It is amazing what good things happen when we let love into our lives, as Daisy did with Mr. Mason.

12. When things are difficult, it helps to have someone to talk to honestly. True friendships are one of life's greatest gifts. We must not keep our problems bottled up inside. Where would Mrs. Hughes be without the loyal Mrs. Patmore?

13. We should teach our children to have faith in the people they love, even at the worst of times, like Anna and Mr. Bates.

14. If we have different rules and standards for our sons and daughters, things will not go well. If Mary could have inherited Downton Abbey, the show might have ended after the first season.

15. We must teach our children to be careful with their trust and alliances. Some who appear to be their friends will betray them. It is hard to know if someone is an O'Brien or a Thomas.

16. The loyalty and love of our children is one of life's greatest blessings, never to be taken lightly. Mary's loyalty to her father, when he is right and even when he is wrong, is a source of comfort and strength.

17. We don't need to like or even approve of everything our children do, but we can still offer encouragement. When our children's passions emerge and they show real enterprise, they need us as their supporters. It is hard not to imagine that someday Robert will be proud of a daughter who is a successful journalist.

Oh how will I wait until January?

431.  New boss, old boss and HR up in a meeting about ME this morning...  I'm still on their radar
432.  Son going to a Job Fair today with a new resume.  Please pray for him to find a job
433.  Looking for motivation and finding it
434.  Cold pizza for lunch
435.  Thinking about taking a trip to Maine and grateful that it will be there when I get there
436.  Being ok that most people aren't has taken with Downton Abbey as I am
437.  Hummingbirds
438.  People that actually focus on raising their children and make it their priority
439.  Being held accountable for your actions and not coddled
440.  Prayer.  I have so many prayers for my son, myself, my nation and other things today.  I'm glad it's a thing God doesn't mind that I do.  Even if I'm just begging

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's Downton Abbey week and let's learn how to love like a lady

Can you believe it's the middle of August?  I mean, kids are going back to school.  Essentially, summer is over.  Done.  We're just about back to the old routine.  And speaking of the old routine... I'm missing Downton Abbey.  Aren't you?  I thought I would indulge myself in thinking about all things Downton.  Sure, I'm going to miss Matthew.  It'll be interesting to watch Mary fall in love again, or not.

I learn so much from Downton Abbey.  I'd love to have the Dowager Countess' quick wit.  I'd love to have Lady Mary's strength and confidence.  I'd love to have Lady Grantham's figure.  And don't get me started on the servants.  I covet servants.  Yet on the personal side, I'd love to have Anna's sweet disposition.

While I was longing for a little Downton Abby love I stumbled upon some blogs.  I know I'm stealing, but I'll give credit where credit is due (just click the title).  I thought some of theses were too good to miss.

5 Love Lessons From Downton Abbey 

1.  Time is precious, don't waste it!  Most of the drama between Lady Mary and Cousin Matthew could have been avoided if either one of these two said three simple words as soon as they felt them to be true: I love you.  Instead, for two seasons we watched these two stubborn, reserved individuals go through love and war — literally — together and apart, with our heart in knots.  Though they finally confessed their love for each other, other couples aren’t so lucky and never get the chance.  If you love someone, tell them while you can — because there may come a time when it is too late.

2.  We all want what we can't have. When Lady Mary's family initially tried to set her up with Cousin Matthew in an effort to secure the family estate, Lady Mary was repulsed and refused him. She turned her nose up to Cousin Matthew, dismissing him as a social-climbing nobody. Cousin Matthew wasn’t so keen on being with the snobbish Lady Mary either. However, as the two got to know one another and a relationship became impossible and forbidden, they quickly fell for each other, reminding us of an age old saying: we all want what we can’t have.

3. Sometimes things don't happen like you expect them to happen. When Lavinia Swire appeared in season two as Cousin Matthew’s fiancé and he seemed to truly LOVE her, it looked like a future for Lady Mary and Matthew was out of the question. It was hard to hate the pitiful Lavinia, who tried to do the honorable thing by staying with Cousin Matthew even after he was injured in the war and unable to bear children. Let's be honest though — we all breathed a huge (guilty) sigh of relief when Lavinia came down with the Spanish Flu. After she caught Matthew and Lady Mary kissing shortly before she died, she said, "I do have some self-worth, just not enough to make you marry the wrong person." Though it was unfortunate for Lavinia, finally, the road was clear for Lady Mary and Matthew to be together again.

4. Don't settle for love. When Lady Mary became engaged to the scoundrel-like newspaper mogul Sir Richard Carlisle, who couldn’t hold a candle to Rhett Butler, she embarked upon a path which so many people follow when they stop believing in love and give up on their lives. With Sir Richard, Lady Mary’s eyes became vacant, her spirit lifeless, her attitude mellow and subdued. Even Lord Grantham and Lady Cora didn’t want their daughter to be with the cunning Sir Richard, despite his wealth and power. Thankfully, Lady Mary came to her senses and saved herself by bravely breaking up with her fiancé, even though he threatened to ruin her by exposing her scandal so the world would know she was “not virtuous.” Lady Mary didn’t care, having been freed at last from a lifetime trapped in a loveless marriage.  The lesson: don’t ever settle for love, or you’ll be preventing yourself from finding true happiness.

5. Love isn't about being flawless.  American poet and author Henry Van Dyke once said, "Love is the heart's immortal thirst to be completely known and all forgiven."  There is no better example of love’s forgiveness than in Downton Abbey.  When Cousin Matthew is injured in the war and may never walk again or have children, all while being engaged to someone else, Lady Mary never leaves his side and accepts him for all that he is.  Likewise, Matthew dismisses any skeletons in Lady Mary’s closet (like the scandalous death of Mary’s first lover, the Turkish diplomat), when he so lovingly says, "You've lived your life, and I've lived mine. Now it's time we've lived them together."

426.  Husband home today (I missed him)
427.  Cake (chocolate)
428.  Sunshine (I miss it now that my office is in a basement)
429.  Jeff Lewis Interior Therapy (I just discovered this show.  I like it.)
430.  Mondays (they really aren't all that bad)

Friday, August 16, 2013

How to throw your happiness away with both hands

Focusing on everyone’s story except your own

Waiting for the perfect moment

Working for nothing more than a paycheck

Harboring feelings of hate

Holding tight to worries and fears

Dwelling on difficulties

Seeking fleeting contentment

Trying to make a big difference immediately

Holding on to someone who hurts you

Magnifying the importance of physical beauty

I'm taking a moment to focus on the stumbling blocks to my happiness.  I thought they may be interesting to you, too.  I found them here.
Linking with G-Man for a Friday Flash 55

421.  Yay, yay FRIDAY
422.  A co-worker said I looked happier lately.  She thought it might be because I have a new boss.  Maybe?
423.  One day closer to having my husband home
424.  I blogged for 5 days in a row
425.  One day closer to having an unpleasant co-worker leave (who knows, maybe that's how they will think of me one day.  :P)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tamoxifen sucks

I haven't written about Tamoxifen for a long long time.  Maybe the reason I've been silent on the subject is because of what I learned from Mr. Rabbit.  (you know, Thumper's dad.  you remember, in Bambi.)  Anyway, Mr. Rabbit told Thumper one morning, and then Mrs. Rabbit reminded Thumper later that same day when Thumper was telling everyone he didn't think Bambi walked all that well, "if you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all."

I haven't got anything nice to say about Tamoxifen today.  So, (following my movie quote theme) I'm going to quote the beautiful Clairee Belcher in Steel Magnolias when she said, "if you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!"

Please sit right down and join me.

I'll start with telling you that I AM TIRED.  I haven't slept a full night through in more than two and a half years.  I am sure that by now I have a serious sleep debt.  My energy level is super low.  It has come to a point where the effort of sitting erect for nine hours, five days a week is exhausting to me.  Who would have thought that sitting in a chair can become exhausting?

I am so tired that the thought of doing any exercise at all seems completely out of the question.  Everyone tells me that if I do some exercise it will improve my energy level, but where does one find the energy to exercise when they are so tired?  This is what is known as a Catch 22 (another movie reference).

One of the reasons I can't sleep is the horrible terrible really bad night sweats.  (trust me, there are no movie references about this.  even the scariest horror movie would not mention the dreaded night sweats.)  The tremendous variation in comfort, going from boiling hot to freezing cold is a rude awakening that happens at least once a night.  And, the fact that this has been going on for two and a half years... my mattress is shot.  There is no point in purchasing a new mattress since I have two and a half more years to be on the stuff.  Dang Tamoxifen!!

Another reason Tamoxifen sucks was reinforced at my house last night.  Every night, or pretty much every night, at 9:00 p.m. I have a hot flash.  I'm not exactly sure why it is called a flash?  It isn't over in a flash.  It usually takes a good 45 minutes to an hour to recover from a particularly strong hot flash.  This isn't too bad, if I'm home alone, or even with my husband (because after my bout with menopause and the first two and a half years of Tamoxifen, he is used to the dreaded hot flash.  he gives me room.).  In this case I typically strip out of my shirt and either go outside or stand in front of the open freezer, whichever is cooler.  Last night I couldn't do either... my son was over.  Last night my son was visiting and he wanted my attention.  He wanted me to look at a Walking Dead video game on YouTube.  He knows I am a WD fan and typically I would enjoy this.  Simultaneously, my husband was texting me and asking me to find the link for my blog about WWII love to share with his cousin.  All I had was my phone and blogger reader makes searching for a blog post in the detail portion of blogger nearly impossible.  Add that to my frustration of being a sweaty mess and feeling like I may burst into flames at any second and my son giving me crap for not looking at his YouTube video, well... I spoke with a tone in my voice.

The tone was an unpleasant tone.  I even texted my husband with an unpleasant tone.  Everyone (my son and my husband and since my husband was on the texting end of my unpleasant tone, he was affected at a lesser degree.) thought I was angry when the truth of the matter was that I was EXTREMELY uncomfortable.

My son was hurt.

I told him I was having a hot flash and I was uncomfortable.  He asked me what a hot flash was.  I told him to come near me.  He did.  He sat next to me on the couch and said, "wow, you're hot."  (not in a good way)  I agreed.  I said I was hot and I would appreciate it if he would open a window.  He did.  He asked if it was better.  It wasn't, but I said it was.  This went on for about 15 minutes.  I told him it was going to be a while until I felt better.  He said he was leaving and going back to his house.  I hope when the day comes, and I really hope that day comes for him, that he has to be comforting and tolerant of a woman in the throws of a hot flash, he will remember this moment.  He probably won't.

Tamoxifen sucks.

Enjoy the movie scene of Catch 22. 

410.  Tamoxifen is, so far, keeping me from breast cancer
411.  I haven't had any of the very scarey side effects of Tamoxifen
412.  I got to use both affect and effect in this blog post and I used them correctly
413.  Thinking about the movie Steel Magnolias always makes me smile
414.  I have a new book to read on my kindle
415.  AAPL has been up HARD this week
416.  Another beautiful fall-like day in mid August
417.  Talking to my husband on the phone this morning (I woke him up)
418.  Crepe myrtles blooming everywhere
419.  Finding my boss's iPad mini for him (he's grateful to me, that's a good thing)
420.  Tomorrow is Friday

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Chris Kutcher has a lot on the ball

I am SUPER excited to see the new movie about Steve Jobs.  Jobs looks like it may end up being a good one.  I thought the guy they chose to play Jobs was a good choice.  He had the look.  I didn't think much of him, personally.  I mean, all I really new about him was that he was Demi Moore's husband after she divorced Bruce Willis and she was 20 years older than him.  My intimate knowledge of Ashton Kutcher was pretty limited.  Oh yeah, I knew he played a kid on That 70's Show, but I really never watched the show. I think I saw him in a couple silly movies, but he didn't really impress me. Sure, he's a good looking guy, but who isn't a good looking guy in Hollywood.

And then I saw this.

Really, watch it.  It's not what you think.  It's thoughtful.  I hope more than a few young people in the audience heard him.

He told the audience, which consisted of teen pop stars and teen girls, and other teen people and teen aficionados, about the three most important things he learned before he changed his name from Chris to Ashton.  Before he became famous.  Before he became a celebrity. 

If I hadn't seen him interviewed on CNBC the other day, I wouldn't have thought he had this in him.  But I did see the CNBC interview and I did learn that Mr. Kutcher is a smart businessman.  Really, everything you need to know is on CNBC.  You should watch it some time.  It's really not boring.

Anyway...  This is the crux of what he said.

First, he learned that opportunity looks a lot like hard work.  He said he was never better than any job he ever had.  He began working with his dad at the age of 13 (probably the age of many members of the audience) by carrying shingle up on the roof.  Every job he ever had was a stepping stone to the next job and he never quit a job without having another job.  Yep, he said this in front of the world and all the entitled in it.  Opportunity looks a lot like hard work.

Secondly, he said, “The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart.” As soon as he said the word "sexy" the crowd (teenage girls) went wild.  He told them that the world is telling you that you aren't smart.  The world is telling you that you need their product or their clothes or their perfume or their shoes to be sexy.  He told them not to buy into that "crap"!  He told them to Be Smart, Be Thoughtful, and Be Generous.  Oh, the world would be such a better place if people thought this way.  (sadly, he's in the business of selling sex to the masses.  I wonder how he puts this together in his mind?)

Finally, he told the crowd that something he learned while making the Steve Jobs film was that, “Everything around us that we call life was made up of people that are no smarter than you.” He encouraged the kids to build their own life, not to just live a life.  Take charge of your own life, don't just follow the crowd.

If just one of these ideas sinks into the minds of any of the people that have heard this speech (and it's a whole lot, 'cause this video has gone viral) it will improve their lives.  I hope.  I pray.  We will see.

401.  Fall-like days in August
402.  A son that come over to visit while my husband is out of town
403.  Learning to be generous because I married a generous man
404.  Good books
405.  Buying a book that will allow 3 people in Africa to have clean drinking water
406.  Leftovers
407.  Enough work to help the day go by
408.  Freedom from a lingering migraine
409.  Finding my stride with my new boss

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

While the garbage taker outer is away...

I clear clutter.

My husband is out of town for the week.  He's visiting his family in the mid-West.  His nephew is getting married.  It's his second marriage, so we didn't think it was necessary for me to use vacation time and go along with him.  He decided to drive.  It's 1000 miles.  Since it's a long drive he decided to incorporate a visit to his aunt's lake house and visit his aunt and his cousins.  It's on the way and he loves it there.  He spent much of his youth visiting his aunt and uncle and cousins at that house in the summers.  It feels like home to him.

While he's gone I have to take care of the dog and the house and do the chores he typically does.  One of those chores is taking out the garbage.  This is an opportunity to put things into the garbage that often get taken out when the regular garbage taker outer takes out the garbage.  This is what I hear at these auspicious times.  "Hey!!! Why are you throwing THIS away?"  Yeah, when the regular garbage taker outer isn't here, I don't have to hear that.

So I'm taking advantage of this time.

Since I'm telling you all of this I thought I would share a little something something I found on the internet about decluttering.  This is from a post from Colleen Madsen of 365 Less Things. (the comments are mine)
1. Stop the Flow of Stuff Coming In. Decluttering is a waste of time if you simply replace the old stuff with new. Determine today to buy less. Trust me, you won’t regret it.  You've seen the TV show Hoarders, haven't you?

2. Declutter at Least One Item a Day. Decluttering does not have to be a mad frenzy that disrupts your entire household.  She says one item a day.  I like to use the biblical number of perfection and throw out seven items each day.  You can do what you like, but throwing things away is a good thing.

3. Declutter the Easy Stuff First. There is no need to make things difficult by trying to declutter the hardest things first.  Yep, baby steps.  Start with the things that are cluttering up the inside of your drawers before you start getting rid of the furniture.

4. Put a Disposal Plan in Place. Make a plan for your junk.  eBay, Freecycle, Craigslist, and our local thrift store are my favorite disposal options.

5. Decide to Not Keep Things out of Guilt or Obligation. Your home should only contain the things you love or use. You don't have to keep that ugly painting your sister-in-law gave you as a wedding gift. Seriously, throw that kind of stuff away.

6. Do Not Be Afraid to Let Go. The urge to hold on to items you think you might need someday can be eliminated simply by being realistic about what need really is.  When you think about it (or watch Hoaders) and you think you may use something you find in your closet or garage or junk room (oh please, if you have a junk room you are in desperate need of this blog post) throw it out.  That's what stores are for. Stores are for buying things you need, right now.  Not later.

7. Gifts Do Not Have to be Material. Give clutter-free gifts. Encourage people to follow this concept when buying gifts for you. Cash is a great gift.  And if you are cleaning out a drawer and you find cash, put it in your wallet.

8. Do Not Over-Equip Your Home. You don't need enough kitchenware and bedding to supply the 7th fleet.  Buy what you need.  Not more.

9. Do Not Declutter Things that are not Yours Without the Owner’s Permission. Everyone should have a choice about their own belongings, even small children. Honor them by allowing them to choose. You can encourage hoarding tendencies in others by ripping things away from them before they are ready to let go. (actually, this surprised me.  I'm sharing it with you even though I'm tossing stuff while my husband is away.  I can't imagine asking him about every little thing.  that being said, I would never toss something that I knew was dear to him without asking.)

10. Do Not Waste Your Life on Clutter. Don't let your stuff control your life.  Your stuff has needs.  It needs to be cleaned, fixed, insured, moved, etc., etc.  Spend you life with the people you love.  Spend your life doing what you love to do.  Get rid of things that are barriers between you and your life.

391.  Spellcheck
392.  Texting
393.  Photoshop
394.  Google maps
395.  Gmail private messaging
396.  Scanning
397.  Blogs
398.  Bloggers
399.  YouTube
400.  The Internet!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Otakon, 20th anniversary!

Otakon (OH-tə-kon) is an annual three day anime convention held during July/August at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland's Inner Harbor district. The convention focuses on East Asian popular culture (primarily anime, manga, music, and cinema) and its fandom. (definition from Wikipedia)

My son is a fan.

My husband is a great guy.  My son had been planning to go to this convention for a year.  He was planning to go with a buddy.  Said buddy got married this past year.  Buddy's wife said, "no way are you going to that convention and blowing $400 like you did last year."  I had given my son 2 nights in a Baltimore hotel for this convention for his birthday gift.  Going alone didn't sound like that much fun, but he really wanted to go.  My husband, being the great guy that he is, went with him.  Throughout the weekend I received pics of the GREAT TIME they were having.  I texted my husband and asked him if he saw anyone there his age or older.  By the end of Saturday he texted me back and said YES!  He had seen three people his age or older.

It was a HUGE crowd and there were lots and lots of people in costumes.  Evidently this convention is a very big deal.  Here are a few of the pics that were sent to me over the course of the weekend.

I'm really glad I didn't have to go.  This doesn't even look like a little bit of fun to me.

35,000 people in attendance

My guys
381.  Weekend on my own 
382.  Girlfriend time (she came over for dinner and a movie)
383.  Thai restaurants that deliver
384.  The ability to make my son so happy
385.  My husband
386.  The desire to clean out a closet
387.  The energy to get some of the closet cleaned
388.  A better attitude about my job
389.  Still being ok with whatever my job turns out to be
390.  Coffee

Friday, August 9, 2013

Whose voice are you listening to?

I've never felt "at home" here in SoMD.  I remember the day my husband brought me here.  He told me the place we were going to live was just south of Washington D.C.  I'm a city girl and that sounded just fine to me.  We drove here from Monterey, CA.  When we got to the beltway I was so happy.  We were almost here.  And then we kept driving.  We kept driving for a long time and there wasn't anything along the way.  We didn't pass through any towns.  We barely saw any houses.  We saw a bunch of empty land.  (it was winter, that empty land was farmland)  I didn't have a good feeling about this.  That was 22 years ago.  My feelings about the area haven't improved.  But this is where God brought me and I was going to bloom where I had been planted.  It has been a struggle, but you know what they say, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  I'm feeling pretty darn strong right about now.

Some Christians I've met believe God has been speaking to them and telling them to leave their home and go out and search for a new home in a different location.  I guess they believe they will receive a "sign" when they find their home.  This is interesting.  You would think if God was sending you out, he'd make a path for you.  After all, when he asked Moses to take his people out of Egypt he sent a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  Even though he had them wander in the desert for 40 years, he was still the one leading them around.  So when you say God is sending you out and you have to manipulate everything you have and hold in order to make this divine journey happen, maybe you shouldn't say it is God who is sending you.  Maybe you should just say it like it is, this is something you want to do and you want God to bless it.  

Being a Christian is difficult enough, in this day and age, without putting words in God's mouth.  It hurts my heart to watch someone say that they hear the voice of God, then tell others what God has told them, and then to watch it not happen.  This makes God look foolish.  Or, it makes God a liar.  I'm sure God appreciates the help.  (Not)  This makes your witness in the world pretty weak.

My pastor shares the Halverson Benediction with his congregation at the close of every service.  I used to think it was because he thought the way I was thinking and was convincing himself that God had not made a mistake by sending him to SoMD.  As I listened to it over and over, I realized that wasn't the case.  He was happy here.  He believed God had sent him here and God had a purpose for him being here.  This gave me the courage I needed to believe more strongly that God's plan for my life had me living here and it wasn't a mistake.  I could pray for God to change his mind, but I wasn't going to force his hand.  God had something he wanted to do through me here in SoMD.  I just needed to be open to what God wanted me to do.  So I was.

If you ever feel you aren't where you belong or that God has made a mistake by placing you in your job or you home or your family.  Remember the words of Rev. Dr. Richard Halverson.

You go nowhere by accident. 
Wherever you go, God is sending you. 
Wherever you are, God has put you there.
God has a purpose in your being there. 
Christ who indwells you has something He wants to do through you, where you are.
Believe this and go in His Spirit's grace and love and power.

371.  Friday (yay!)
372.  My office feels a little bit warmer
373.  Time to myself this weekend (my husband is at Otakon with my son)
374.  Cantalope
375.  A sense of peace about my job (or resignation, whichever it ends up as)
376.  Netflix
377.  Kelly Clarkson AND Dwight Shrute
378.  Truth
379.  People here at my job that know what's going on and call me to see if I'm ok
380.  Confidence that I am exactly where I'm meant to be

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Shuffle up and deal

Circle the table with
The Smiling Guy
I’m the Pony Tail Girl
My strategy is to flirt, attack, then go in for the kill
Shades’ a chaser, that flush never comes
Smiley can’t pass a flop, he buys in every hand
I’m silent but deadly, 'till I go all in
I win!

Lately my employment situation has been dicey.  I've got to figure out a way to earn.  Maybe I'll find a new profession in gambling?  Keep an eye out for me on Poker After Dark. 

361.  Mental health days
362.  Lady Luck (it's a real thing)
363.  Smiles
364.  Winks
365.  Laughter
366.  Potato chips
367.  Reader that comment on my blog
368.  Butterflies (but not that one on your shoulder)
369.  June bugs on my neighbor's crepe myrtle, not mine
370.  Friends that give GOOD advice

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

These feelings would go so well with pie

Tomorrow is the date I put on my letter of resignation.

My (new) boss asked me if I would stay on for at least three more weeks or at least until the new HR director came on-board and got settled.  (I said I would do this)

My (old) boss wants to be done with all this and just move on to his new work and leave all this trifling business (my raise or resignation) behind him.

My (new) boss says he really doesn't know what I do. 

Example:  one thing I SHOULD do is to run his calendar.  Today he got an email requesting him to go to HR and complete his promotion paperwork.  Instead of forwarding the email to me or just telling me about it, he decided to handle it himself.  Of course, as calendar things go, there was a back and forth with "no, I'm not available then.  How about this time?"  "Oh, no.  I'm not available then."  and so on and so on.  I asked my (new) boss if he would just let me handle the calendar.  My (new) boss said, "Don't worry about it.  This is easy."

Um..., yeah... I know it's easy.  It's just tedious and time consuming.  I guess if they want to pay you $60 an hour to spend time setting up meetings on your calendar, BOOYAH!  However, I believe that's why they justify paying me so little.  My work is not difficult.  I know that.  Thanks for pointing that out to me.

So, my (new) boss is putting the negotiations with HR back to my (old) boss, because he believes that he knows what I do and would be better at telling them what work I do autonomously.  (see, I can even use big words appropriately

At the same time I'm working in an office that's running about 66 degrees Fahrenheit.  I'm freezing.  And I'm getting a little tired of being jerked around.  I'm building some serious resentments.

So what do I do?  Is tomorrow my last day?  (nobody got back to me after I said I would stay on the extra 3 or 4 weeks)  Are they really trying to get me my raise or are they stringing me along until my (new) boss is settled and has a better idea of what the job is supposed to be?  (ie.  he has a secretary now and he doesn't need to run his own calendar.  at least he should know that.)  Should I just go home sick and try to warm up?  (because I think I may be coming down with a cold from working in this meat locker.)

I just finished eating my lunch which consisted of two very ripe peaches.  Delicious.  Although, the feelings I'm having today would have gone so much better with peach pie and ice cream.  :)

And, it's my 31st anniversary of my wedding.  Wow, I've been married longer than a bunch of you have been alive.  :)

361.  I guess being too cold is easier to take than being too hot
362.  Peaches
263.  A nice new boss
264.  An organized office (all the boxes are unpacked and put away)
265.  Getting my "feelings" out of my head and out on the blog
266.  Comments from readers. 
267.  A water cooler that dispenses HOT water for tea
268.  Sweaters
269.  Socks
270.  Gloves

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Dozen Habits for a Happy Relationship

I found this little gem (12 Habits of a Happy relationship) on the internets (I know there is only one.  I was just trying to be funny.) the other day.  These were little reminders of what can make a happy relationship and they were attached to some gorgeous pics.  I thought I'd share them along with some of the things I've learned along the way of my almost (tomorrow!) 31 years of marriage.
#12 Settle disputes peacefully 
Speak nicely to each other.  I know when emotions are running high, usually in frustration, voices can become raised in anger.  That a tough enough thing to deal with.  What can make it worse is name calling (usually body part or animal names).  Try super hard not to do that.  If you don't like being yelled at or called names, most likely your spouse doesn't like it either.  And if children are present, it can be even worse.  Breathe before you speak.  Breathe deeply and slowly.  It'll be worth it.

#11 Spend quality time together  
Make time to be with each otherFind time to date each other every week.  This doesn't have to be a "going out" date (but that would be nice).  Carve out time each week to check in with each other and find out how your spouse is doing.  If you get a response that is short and terse, you aren't spending enough quality time together. 

#10 Appreciate and Help each other Grow
Be your spouse's biggest encourager.  The world is far to eager to tell each of us that we aren't good enough or we will fail.  Be your spouse's cheerleader in whatever they are doing to improve themselves.  I know whenever I go on another diet I appreciate my spouse's words of encouragement much more than if he would say, "Oh, ANOTHER diet."  Nobody knows my failures better than I do.  I don't need to hear about them from my honey. 

#9 Live with Integrity
Tell each other the truth.  Lies are so damaging and trust is so hard to rebuildBe respectful.  Be kind.  Be that person that can be counted on.  Don't let your spouse down, if at all possible. 

#8 Be Loyal and Devoted 
Be faithful.  Be faithful when you are together and when you are apart.  Honor your committment to each other.  My husband and I were separated so much in our marriage.  There is nothing attractive about jealousy.  The love I felt from my husband by his faithfulness was the love that sustained me while I was on my own. 

#7 Love and Respect each Other as Individuals
You are responsible for your own happiness.  Nobody can make you happy.  If I have learned nothing else by writing this blog, it is that I am as happy as I decide to be.  I have learned that my happiness never comes at the expense of someone else.  If I hurt someone in order to pursue my happiness, I'm actually being selfish and I will not be happy.

#6 Lend Support during the Good Times and Bad
There will be Better and there will be Worse.  I've learned two things that have helped me to understand and to be there for my spouse in both of these situations.  What I learned was this; bad times don't last and good times don't last, either. 

#5 Understand: Every Relationship is Different
Nobody really knows what goes on behind closed doors.  Also, everybody lies.  I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but they do.  There is nothing wrong with picking up good ideas from marriages you admire, but don't compare your marriage to another couple's marriage.  Appreciate your marriage and make it the best it can be. 

#4 An Emphasis on Communication and Listening
Unspoken expectations are disasters waiting to happen.  Don't expect your spouse to be a mind reader.  Ask for what you want.  And remember, just because you ask doesn't mean you will get what you want, but you have a much better chance than if you say nothing at all.  So often we think our "soul mates" should just know what to do for us.  That is disappointment waiting to happen.

#3 Turn Negatives into Positives
Be a team.  There are going to be problems that arise almost every day.  Work together to turn those difficulties into successes.  The bible say that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  If you believe you can persevere, you can turn things around.

#2 Work on Thoughtfulness Every Day
Take time each day to put your spouse first.  Take time each day to say to yourself, what can I do to make my love happy?  Being thoughtful can be a learned activity.  It is so easy to be self-involved.  Making the effort to put someone else first is an act of love. 

#1 Realistic Expectations
Marriage is real life.  There are going to be good days and bad days.  There are going to be days when you don't feel the passion.  There are going to be days you do!  When my husband and I married we had one expectation for each other and that was that we didn't ever want to be divorced.  My husband came from divorce and I came from a long marriage.  Together we took the realities and ideals we had about what marriage could be and made them our marriage.  We made it our real life.

351.  My husband
352.  My son
353.  My marriage
354.  My relationship with God
355.  My savior, Jesus Christ
356.  My access to God's word
357.  My opportunity to communicate to God through prayer
358.  My husband's faith in God and me when my faith in God and me gets shakey
359.  The gift of enough tenderness of heart to have gratitude for all the blessings I've been given
360.  The desire to know God better

Friday, August 2, 2013

A dangerous blog

"Our blog is currently invite only. If you would like to read the blog, you may message us your email address.  We will allow readership on a case-by-case basis. Once we leave our current location, the blog will be made public, but right now, for the safety of our family, it is a private blog." 

I wonder what they are writing that puts them in such danger?
Linking with G-Man for a Friday Flash 55

346.  Friday
347.  The weekend
348.  Not working
349.  Laughter
350.  Coffee in bed on Saturday mornings

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Why I'm still working

I had put a countdown clock app on my iPhone.  The title of my countdown clock was "I Quit."  I was totally and completely ready to quit my job and I had decided that June 30, 2013 was going to be the day.

I'm still working.  Even I need to take a minute to sort out why I'm still working.

If I think about it, it all started back in April.  In April the college I work at discovered the new student enrollment for fall '13 semester was going to be 1/3 less than they had budgeted for.  Another way to say this is, they were $3.5 million short.  There was PANDEMONIUM.  What were they going to do?  Where were they going to find the money?  Why did this happen?  Were they going to have layoffs?  Were they going to ask for early retirements?  So many questions...

I stayed through all this HOOPLA because of one thing.  If there were going to be offers of early retirements there were going to be cash bonuses to take the early retirement.  I thought it would be silly to miss the opportunity to get a bonus and just take the early retirement.  So I waited...  The early retirement thing did not pan out.  Bummer.

While I was waiting to see if the bonuses panned out, a better job opened up and I was qualified for it.  So I applied.  This job paid a 1/3 more than I am making now and it had fewer responsibilities.  My fingers were crossed.  If I could make more money, I'd have an easier time getting up for work in the morning.  After all, isn't money the reason we go to work?  I told my boss I was applying for the job and I asked for a reference.  I figured a reference from my boss (who had just been promoted to CFO of the college and was in the capacity of Acting President) would carry a little weight.  So I waited...  I waited quite a while (more than 2 weeks) and then discovered they didn't even offer me an interview.  Evidently, in their eyes, I was not qualified for the job.  I WAS PRETTY DARN ANGRY.  In fact, I was so irritated that I sat down and wrote my letter of resignation.  I wrote it.  I printed it.  I signed it.  And, I carried it upstairs and handed it to my old boss.

Ok, I need to take a couple minutes to update you on a few things that were going on at the same time all this waiting and whatnot was going on.  First, they fired the president of the college.  And then they fired the VP for Admissions at the college.  Who else was going to fall under the axe?  Also, I told you my boss had been promoted, so I don't currently have a boss.  We are in the interviewing process for finding my boss, but they haven't hired anyone yet.  Oh, and btw, one of the candidates for my new boss is a co-worker of mine who is extremely qualified.  But, no, they didn't just want to promote him.  They wanted to spend thousands of dollars to fly in possible candidates from hither and yon.  Then, they hired my co-worker.  I have a new boss.  Finally, while this was all going on, they asked me to move out of my office and move into the basement.  (sounds a lot like Office Space, doesn't it?)  They told me this on a Friday and my move date was the following Wednesday.  Awesome.

That's why I had to say I carried my letter of resignation UPSTAIRS to my old boss.  I now work down in the basement and my new boss had not been hired yet.  Anyway, the date I put on the letter as my last day was August 8, 2013.  I was DONE!  When my old boss took the letter he was not happy.  He asked if this had anything to do with the fact that I had asked for a raise in January, written up a new PD and duty list in March, and he had said he would move forward on this and then had done nothing at all.  (oh, did I tell you he got a $100k raise in his new position? awesome.)  I said yes.  Yes it did.

He asked me if I would wait a couple days and he would go to HR and see what he could do about my raise.  Fine, I said.  So I waited...  A week later I'm told that HR told them they could not reassign my position in a way that would allow me to get a raise.  BUT..., would I continue working for 3 or 4 more weeks until the NEW HR director they just hired is on board and in place.  Looking at my job description and seeing about my raise would be the first thing this person will do.  My NEW boss said he would make this his TOP priority.

Too late to make a long story short.  This is why I'm still at work.  I can tell you this whole evolution has been quite a roller coaster.  I have been left exhausted and wrung completely out with all this rigamarole.  The only good thing I can say about this is that either way it goes, whether I stay and have a raise or a quit and stay at home, I will get exactly what I want.

I think I'm in a very good place... even if it is the basement.

337.  I like my new boss
338.  It's super air conditioned in the basement.  I'm wearing a sweater
339.  Being in the basement helps me focus on the positive
340.  My favorite blogger is blogging again
341.  Tomatoes are EVERYWHERE
342.  BLTs
343.  Surprisingly balmy weather for the end of July and beginning of August
344.  Dreaming of traveling to Prince Edward Island (and seeing where Anne of Green Gables lives)
345.  Smiling just a little more