Monday, October 13, 2014

No, There's Nothing Wrong with Me

As I sat at our dining table this morning passing time before I had to leave for work, I perused Facebook on my iPhone. I scrolled and scrolled looking for things of interest and found this...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melanie-notkin/single-and-childless-nothing-wrong-with-me_b_5940642.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

I couldn't help but think to myself that this is me. Only I'm 40 and single with no children. And there's nothing wrong with me. 

Maybe there's a "Brian" out there waiting for me to cross his path. Who knows? One can only hope...


Monday, September 22, 2014

To Be a Better Blogger

If I got paid based on the number of times I blogged, I'd never see a dime. Then again, if I did get paid to blog, I'd probably do it more often. Funny how one can be motivated by the promise of a dollar.

I've thought about blogging a lot in the last few weeks. But, then I'd get sucked in by episodes of "Revenge" season 3 or reading books in a series like Kate Perry's Laurel Heights novels or Susan Mallery's Fools Gold novels or playing endless games of Candy Mania or Cupcake Mania. When you have 3 iDevices with those games downloaded well, there goes a couple of hours. Then there was the perusal of Netflix last night and the commencement of "Grey's Anatomy" season 1. Not that I didn't watch from the beginning or anything... but I did miss a season or 2 somewhere in the middle.

In the last 6 weeks or so, I've done a lot of thinking. But, now that thinking has to translate into doing. This weekend, I caught up on SIX weeks of Project Life (C) spreads. I'm not into sharing because then it starts the comparing...and I'm allergic to comparing what I do with what others do. It's been fun reminiscing and proves to be a great reminder that I do indeed live a full and varied life. I did realize that, while this Project Life (C) is mostly about me, I am sorely missing from a majority of the pictures. Oh the reasons... I won't get into, but you can probably guess that they have something to do with body issues.

So, on to doing...

I've started and stopped exercising countless times since 2014 began. I've blamed my crazy travel schedule, but I have no excuses for the last 3 weeks as I've only stepped foot in the airport to see my niece off to another year of college. It was weird parking the car and walking in without checking in and getting a boarding pass...but I digress.

I visited my godmother in the skilled nursing facility two weeks ago. As she cried that she didn't wish her illnesses on anyone, I pictured myself in her shoes and didn't like the what I saw. I also have an appointment to see my doctor tomorrow and I already know what she's going to say so I'm cataloging all the things I know I need to do, but this time I'm going to try my darnedest to get them done. 

I've downloaded and uploaded a bunch of things I'm going to try. I've stamped water glasses into my planner that lays open on my desk to remind me to drink water...and herbal tea (I'm one of those that counts herbal tea as water...don't shoot me). I use the restroom clear at the other end of the office to get more steps in my day and that is seriously difficult since there is a restroom right across the hall from my office door.

Wish me luck!



Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Catching up...

Has it really been NINE months since I last posted? After Thanksgiving came the craziness called December and the dawn of my 40th year of life.

Yes...I turned forty in December. sigh 

For three days before my birthday, I cried. CRIED myself to sleep. I'd watched my friends turn 40 all year as I inwardly rejoiced that my time was yet to come. But the eve of the eve of the eve of 40 was daunting. Scary. Symbolized the end of another decade. And the gray hairs would continue its journey all around my head. 

I never thought I would ever be 40. As a child, I always thought 25 was old. I dreamed of 25. Of being married. Of having children. Of traveling. Of living a good life. Well, 25 came and went. So did 30 and 35. Then 40 loomed in the not too distant future. 

I like to say I live my life with no regrets. I don't wish I could go back and re-live a chapter in my life. Everything that I've done, that has happened, existed for a reason. 

But, sometimes I sit and wistfully think why I'm still single, why the younger generation of family members have children of their own and my arms hang empty? Is it the curse of being an overly independent person? Of being caretaker and caregiver during those wild and carefree years? Of being shy? 

Ironically, I chose "BRAVE" as my word of the year. In some regards, I have lived out this word. In setting limits at work. In saying "No, I can't stay past 5 today." In facilitating presentations. But, to say to someone, "So tell me about that guy who..." Yeah...no... hasn't happened. 

People tell me it will happen when I least expect it. So I try not to think about it. That part is easy when you're crazy busy. 

From January to July, I managed to change mileage statuses twice. I've been a silver elite member of United Airlines' Mileage Plus Program FOREVER. I've seen the local airport at least once, sometimes twice, a month for the last 7 months. So silver turned to gold turned to platinum. Say what? Platinum status means I've flown over 75,000 miles so far this year. So when I say I've been busy?  

I'VE BEEN BUSY.

No joke. 

It hasn't all been work and no play. I did manage to take some time off in June for 10 days to attend a family wedding in Phoenix (100 degrees...I really LOVE this family member) and vacation afterwards in Honolulu. I still see my trio of friends monthly. I joined a book club that meets monthly (try keeping up with that reading!).

So while I can't remember what I wore on Monday, but can remember where my boss put something based on the color folder she had it in, I still live my life. Albeit, it's the single life. Maybe that's what makes it easy to send me on a work trip?!?!? 

Then I get to come home to this...




Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Crickets

Nothing but crickets and cobwebs around these parts. I never did finish my posts about my vacation and catching up with friends AND rest. I left for my conference with terrible pain in my left shoulder and rotator cuff (which I sprained last December). Once I started my vacation and caught up on rest and relaxation, the pain went away and so did my plan for a full body massage.

Once I came back home, life got busy again. Two weeks away from work meant two weeks to catch up on. Plus, I got involved in a project on another grant. Is it really possible to have 110% of my time accounted for?? Seriously? 

And now, it's almost the end of November.Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and Friday marks my 3rd year with Guam CEDDERS. I did a blog post about my first two years here. This past year:

  • I traveled 36, 551 miles.
  • I went to Hawaii for two weekends for the MCH LEND program (If you click that link, I'm in the 2nd row on the far right).
  • I went to conferences in Jacksonville, FL and Atlanta, GA.
  • I presented on two different topics at a conference in Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia.
  • I was part of 3 grant writing teams. At one point during one grant writing session, we worked till midnight. Two of those grants were funded; one grant was approved, but no funds were available.
  • I killed one external hard drive and a laser printer, not to mention several cases of paper in the process.
  • People still call to ask my opinion about stuff and I'm still amazed that they do. 
I've been doing a lot more this year than I have in the past. I sometimes get to travel with my boss and we share a room. Some of my co-workers are amazed that I am willing to share a room with the boss. I say, "Why not?" She's great to be around and she takes care of me. She makes sure I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner; that I feel okay, that I call home. She's been talking about retiring soon and so she's had me doing some stuff (like the presentations in Pohnpei) I wouldn't normally do. She calls it succession planning. I call it heart attack inducing. (Maybe that's why I've recently been diagnosed with inappropriate sinus tachycardia? I kid... the jury is still out on the reason.)  I'm not willing to take her seriously just yet. When she mentions that she can retire, she also says that she won't just yet because I'm not ready. She has big shoes to fill. But, I must be doing something right because I am still employed there 3 years later. In fact, I signed my new contract last week. That's a new record! I usually sign it a week or two after my anniversary date. I'm 100% federally funded so if there are no funds, I am jobless. Hence, the yearly contract. 

It's been an adventure. I still sometimes work before 8am and after 5pm, on weekends and holidays, on vacation and even when I'm home sick. But, it's all been worth it

 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Getting back into the swing of things Part 1

I've been a busy bee. But, if you ask me what I've been doing, I would probably leave out a lot of information. September passed me by and I can't for the life of me recall what I did without consulting my planner. And, so here we are in October.

I left on October 1st to Atlanta for a conference. I didn't register for this conference beforehand and was told I couldn't register for the pre-conference session I wanted to attend onsite. Oh my, did I say a lot of Hail Marys. I was lucky enough (maybe the right word would be blessed) to register for both the pre-conference and the conference. Whew! Those Hail Marys worked! I spent the next three days learning. 

Then I went on vacation. My vacation officially started on October 5th. But, let me backtrack a little to how this vacation came to be. When I found out that my god-daughter Allie was accepted at Seattle University, I could already picture visiting her. When it was definite she would attend, I told my boss where she was going. Lucky for me, my boss knows my family. She wouldn't mind if I stopped in Seattle to check on Allie. Yes! 

I've known since the summer that I would be vacationing in Seattle. Vittoria knew as well and I made her promise not to tell her sister. I pretended that I still needed permission from my boss the weekend before I was to depart for Atlanta. I called Allie while I was in Atlanta...on Thursday to be exact. I told her I was stopping by for a visit. Great surprise for her! 

After traveling all day and taking over an hour to get my rental car, I drove to Seattle University. She lives in the same residence hall I lived in while I was there. I waited a bit for her to show up from her adventure to the waterfront with a new friend. Oh, it felt so good to wrap my arms around her! 

Sunday found us at St. Joseph's Church at 9:00am to attend Mass presided by my good friend, John Whitney, S.J. Afterwards, we went to IHOP for pumpkin and red velvet pancakes. We ventured to Westlake Center to hop on the monorail to Seattle Center. We made our way up to the Space Needle and she got her first birds' eye view of the city. 

We got this free digital photo taken for free on our way to the top.


After spending the day together, she went back to campus and I had dinner with my friend Will. Will and I have known each other since we were 16. We had dinner at 5 Spot in Queen Anne and drinks at an undisclosed location. Top secret. 

Monday found me perusing Joann, Michaels, Best Buy and Old Navy while Allie was in class. Then we drove to Northgate Mall for lunch at Red Robin...YUM! Bought her a trench coat style jacket for $16! Bargain!! I grabbed dinner from QFC down the street, put some clothes in the laundry down the hall and settled in to watch the season 3 premiere of Hart of Dixie. Serious business.


The weather outside is something to be desired. Gotta find out what's going on and whether or not we have to batten down the hatches for a storm.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Adventure

About a month ago, my boss asked if I had anything scheduled for the week of August 12. The answer was no and I somehow got included in presenting a a conference in Pohnpei, one of the Federated Sates of Micronesia. I got scheduled to do two presentations- one on language and communication and one on the importance of play.

Then I was told that I couldn't wear pants or dresses above my knee. Oh joy. It was a great excuse to buy some new clothes--maxi dresses and skirts! And then...wait listed for the flight that leaves the day after the conference. Not knowing what to expect, I dreaded having to spend TWO weekends in a place I've never been to before.

Fast forward to last Friday. We boarded the 737 that made its first stop in Chuuk, another state in the FSM. The next stop was Pohnpei. Once the door opened, I was hit with a blas too hot air. H.O.T.  Went through immigration and customs.  Two ladies from the FSM special education office met us at the airport.

We drove to our hotel. After checking in, we went downstairs for some lunch. Oh so yummy crab and cheese sandwich with crinkle cut fries and a tall lass of iced tea. We then headed down to the special education office where we had a meeting to finalize the conference agenda. The Friday before the conference and the agenda was still in draft form.

My boss and I walked around the high school track for about 30 minutes before meeting another colleague for dinner at another hotel. The meal my boss aged another wasn't available so I need up with some very salty teriyaki chicken...and those crinkle cut French fries.

We woke up before 8 on Saturday morning. And then the power went out. I got dressed in workout clothes to head to the SPED office. We started stuffing binders with supplies and within 10 minutes of doing that, I lost all my makeup.

We headed to the riverside restaurant for lunch, which thankfully had generator power and free wifi. I had a acon cheeseburger and...you guessed it, crinkle cut fries. There's a pattern here. We picked up on of the education ladies and headed to the women's fair. Not many things to do and see but it was nice to see some local stuff. We dropped off our friend at her son's house by the capital and headed back to the hotel.

It's hard to imagine being able to fall asleep in the heat with no power, but it happened. Woke up rejuvenated and headed back to the office. Thank goodness the power finalky came back on. We did some more work and headed back to our hotel for dinner. We were joined by our colleague and one of the guest speakers who flew in for the conference.

Dinner was amazing. Tuna stuffed with mangrove crab. It was delicious!  I could eat that over and over!

This morning began at 8:30am. We got ready and headed to Mass. We were 15 minutes late. We thought we were early since we were told Mass started at 10. The whole Mass was in Pohnpeian. The pastor gave the congregation a lecture about answering louder and praying in general and had a lecture for the choir for plaing one song too loudly.

We headed back to Joy hotel for brunch. Only they ran out of pancake mix. But had the meal my boss raved about before. So I had that. It was breaded tuna with rice and sashimi. Afterwards, we drove around and visited some local shops. We headed back to the office at 3.

Lo and behold...the handouts that needed to be put into the infers were not all printed. I slowly began to realize that life moves slower here than at home. We didn't leave there until 8 pm. Dinner was a quick one back at our hotel...crab and cheese sandwich with fries part deux.

My pictures are on my iPhone and my 7D and the Internet works intermittently. So those will get uploaded when I get home. Gotta do some work before heading to bed.

Monday, April 29, 2013

brushing off the cobwebs....

Many cobwebs have grown over this blog. My last post talked about my best friend deploying and that brought a bit of sadness. I haven't talked to her since our last lunch and I get these sporadic Facebook posts from her. She's crazy busy...and I have been, too. 

The last two months have been riddled with stress,tragedy, sadness, sleepless nights, extra hours worked... I've spent most of the last two months writing grants and clocked about a week's worth of extra hours on top of the regular 40-hour work week over the course of the two grant writing blitzes. The first grant was super stressful to write. It's always harder when you have to collaborate with another agency, especially when getting data is like pulling teeth without the proper instruments. Working till midnight one night and 10:00pm on another...crazy! We only had about 2 weeks to write the second grant before its deadline, but that one was a breeze in comparison. No burning the midnight oil with this one, but I went to bed every night completely exhausted. 

In between all that writing, I still had my regular work-related duties...and life in general to live. Yet, I have to stop and think that my problems are miniscule in comparison to the bigger world picture. Aside from the North Korea threat to bomb Guam (now that was truly scary), my problems are really not problems. So I missed out on some sleep, worked massively long days, got a bunch of paper cuts, and my wrists were achy after hours of typing all day. Because in the midst of all that a very good friend lost her two-year-old daughter tragically. 

A true Angel on Earth is now an Angel in Heaven. This little angel...I've held her, shared meals with her, changed her diaper, got whisper soft kisses... was forgotten in the back seat of her daddy's truck on a very hot day. He didn't realize that he forgot to drop her at day care until 7 hours later. I got to read about it in the paper the next day, gasping out loud and startling a room full of people at a strategic planning meeting. The day she was buried was the most heart-wrenching for me. I've experienced the deaths of loved ones, but this one was far more heart-breaking. 

A great reminder to remember "The Gift of an Ordinary Day."