I’ve had 2 people ask me if I miss working at my old department this week. I could understand if one person asked, but to have 2 people ask from completely different places does make it seem a bit odd. Another thing that makes it odd is that I was transferred almost 2 years ago. It seems to me that I wouldn’t be psychologically stable if I hadn’t adjusted to my current department in such a long period of time. But one of them pressed on and asked if I missed anything about the former place.
At that point, I naturally wondered if I was being baited for some reason. I honestly told them that I did have a couple of friends that I missed from time to time when I saw or heard things that reminded me of them, but the overall answer to the question is that I’m happy where I’m at and I wouldn’t go back even if I could. This is where I am, this is where I belong, and I’m 100% ok and happy with it.
It was a curious question, but I think I made a good admission. Things are always passing in and out of our lives, and it’s natural that we will miss some things. We miss people that have passed away or whose paths have diverged from our own. It’s natural to be nostalgic for what was from time to time and to miss things that have passed us by. And, of course, there are those “little blessings” along the way that we miss – things so little that sometimes we don’t realize it until they’re gone. For example, I miss:
1. My parakeets. Zack, Chloe and Ollie aren’t the first birds I’ve had. When I was in my teens, I had 3 budgies named Petsy, Samson, and Delilah. Funny thing is, I came upon them much the same as I came upon my current 3: We bought Samson, decided he was lonely so we got Delilah, and then adopted Petsy from my great-aunt when she had to go in a nursing home with Alzheimers. (Remember we got Zack, he got lonely so we got Chloe, then they found Ollie at Rick’s work and we wound out keeping him too.) Like our current 3, they each had a unique personality and were full of personality and spunk. They died in 1996 rather close together – Delilah of an infection in August, Petsy of pneumonia in October, and Samson probably died of heart failure (he was 13) two weeks after Petsy. I was so hurt when they died that I said “never again” to pets. Yea, right. We got Zack in 2000, and after we got Chloe and Ollie in 2010 I finally admitted that I’ll always have birds and will clean cages for the rest of my life. See http://conurecorner.weebly.com
for more on my current flock. They even have a blog!
2. My 1993 Dodge Daytona. We all have that one car that’s just perfect, and this was mine: a metallic blue sports car I got just before high school graduation. I got it brand new and absolutely loved it. I drove it until late 2006 when someone hit me in the parking garage at work. Although it wasn’t a bad accident, the damage was bad enough that they couldn’t 100% fix it, especially since the last Daytona’s were made in 1994 and replacement parts were becoming scarce. I now drive a 2006 Grand Prix. I like it and am very satisfied with it, but it just doesn’t have that same “zing” that the Daytona had. And ironically, Pontiac died a few years after I got the Grand Prix – so it seems that whatever car I buy is doomed to be discontinued or the dealer will shut down altogether. Looks like the chances of me being a repeat customer are slim with this track record.
3. Cross stitching. A friend at my former workplace taught me how to cross stitch in 2004 and I absolutely loved it. I even got adventurous and did a large pattern of a dragon and wizard, which I entered in the 2009 State Fair. I didn’t win anything, but it’s still hanging over my mantle and I get a lot of compliments on it. I did a few projects after the dragon, including one of Jesus that graces our entry way, but getting published required more of my time because I had to add doing publicity to my already full schedule with a full time job, home, family, work, writing, and church activities. I had to cut several hobbies and I finally had to make the painful decision that this one had to go on an indefinite hiatus while I build up my writing. I fully intend to take it up again someday when my life is less busy but for now, I’m focused on building my lifelong dream of being a good, well-respected novelist.
4. Smallville and Supernatural on Thursday nights. Ok, it’s not so much the shows themselves as it is that we
designated Thursday night as our “TV Night” every week. It was very nice to have both shows that we watch come on back to back on the same night. Smallville wrapped up after 10 years last season, Supernatural comes on Fridays now, and the new show that we watch, “The Secret Circle” comes on Thursday nights. At any rate, I discovered that I’m usually done with household stuff and writing by 9PM, so having the shows on separate nights doesn’t crimp my style at all. And, as I said, we can always make Friday our TV night with the advantage of DVR, although it’s not completely the same.
5. Free time in the afternoon on weekdays. Wow, I didn’t appreciate what a precious gift that was until I graduated from college and was in a full time job. It’s rare too, only enjoyed by those in school and retirees. That was truly a “don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”situation for me. I fully appreciate it on days off, vacations and even sick days now.
And come to think of it, I missed one with that person I talked to about my former job. It’s not just the friends I miss. I also miss those outstanding ham subs they made in the canteen on Tuesdays and Fridays. I’ve checked everywhere and I’ve found close, but not as good as that!
The point is that I believe it’s natural to miss things with the changing nature of life, and that’s ok. Life takes us through many paths and seasons and it adds to the richness of our experiences. But we also need to be mindful of where we are and enjoy the blessings that we have, because you never know when things will change – and sometimes, things change quickly and with little warning. So be grateful for those things that have blessed you, but don’t live in the past. They added to who you are so you can appreciate the present.
That’s all for today. Happy Friday to you, and I hope you have a great weekend.
Ok everybody, to be fair and not look like a totally arrogant, ungrateful lout I will admit that a total life makeover does not leave one unscathed. I have gained a lot from my recent life transitions, but there are some things that I do miss. I did have a couple of friends at my old job that I still miss talking to on a regular basis. I've met a lot of great people and made new friends, but they were unique and obviously people can't be replaced. I also miss those great places for walking during lunch breaks, shorter (and MUCH less frequent) meetings, and ham subs. Oh man, I haven't found subs as good as that canteen makes them anywhere and believe me, I've looked. I also had a bigger office space at the old place. But then again, they made me keep all those paper files and now that I'm at a place where we digitize everything, I don't NEED as much office space. It's a trade off.
And I think that's exactly the point that helped me transition. For all I miss that was left behind, I see that other things were gained. I lost great walking places and fantastic ham subs, but I found a lower gas bill (from my shorter commute) and vanilla lattes. I miss my covered parking spot, but I don't have to pay for a parking spot any more (hense, more saved money). My job is busier and more complicated, but it keeps me so much more engaged than it used to. It's all about trade offs. Sure I miss the blessings of yesterday, but I'm not blind to the blessings of today. In fact, missing those very things are what taught me to appreciate what I have RIGHT NOW. Because things can change in the blink of an eye. So appreciate what you've got and work with it, because nothing is permanant.
I suppose the whole point harkens back to something I mentioned yesterday. Change isn't good or bad, it's a mechanism that can be used for progress. You just have to know how to use it. Like any resource, it can work for good or ill. It depends on your own effort and intent - on what you want and directing your energy to the right places. You can cling to the past and dig your own rut lamenting what's passed from your life, or you can work with the change and maximize opportunities for progress. The choice is yours.
In closing, I would like to say that in discussing this situation I realized two lessons from this adventure:
1. Don't meddle in the affairs of dragons; and
2. If you dare to meddle in business that's not yours, you better make darn sure you know WHO the dragons are. Because it's awkward to find that what you assumed was a hatchling is breathing more fire than can. Oops.Change can have that uncomfortable side effect.
With that, I deem that it's time to let this situation go. It's been discussed with the appropriate parties and we are on our way to salvaging the situation. So it's time to move on. Because another thing I've learned is that dwelling on wrongs does no good. Vent if you must, strategize, solve and move on. We're in that process and on our way.
That's all. More later. Happy Friday tomorrow.
As we enter the frenzy of holiday shopping, I feel it’s necessary to address the ultimate gift giving debate that we face in trying to finish up that shopping list:
Gift cards – great gift idea or the ultimate cop out?
Opinions are widely divided on this issue. Personally, I love gift cards. I’m at the point in life where I have what I need, and my list of “wants” isn’t very long. Most of my needs are in the areas of replacing things that wear out or break (like clothes), and gift cards make this much easier. In fact, one of our favorite post-holiday traditions is taking a day after the family get togethers are over is taking advantage of great post-holiday sales with those gift cards.
My family agrees, and buying gift cards does make holiday shopping much easier. Ah, but herein lies the debate. The opposite end of this argument is that buying gift cards is too easy – that it’s not personal and shows no consideration for the recipient. I had a friend once that thought gift cards were not only a cop out, but insulting and rude as well, because “if you know someone well enough to buy them a gift, then you should know what they like and take time to select an appropriate present for them.”
I can see both ends of this debate. On the one hand, gift buying is tough when you buy gifts for the same people, year after year. After some time, you’ve given them everything you know to give, and finding unique gift ideas becomes impossible. I know that the last thing I need are more trinkets or nick-nacks to clutter up my home or work space and collect dust. Gift cards are a great way of acknowledging that you know what kinds of places they like, and giving them the gift of choosing a present that they want or need. Plus, it’s great if you have to ship gifts to people, because there are greeting cards with gift card slots, so you can send it to them with little (or no) additional postage.
On the other hand, there are some situations where giving gift cards is inappropriate. I’d never suggest giving it to a child that’s under about 10 years old, because they want to open presents and the concept of waiting even longer to get their gift is torture. Likewise, it’s also inappropriate for a person you’ve been in a romantic relationship with for less than two years. There are plenty of special, personal gifts you can give for these occasions. It’s also not practical for elderly people that have health issues that limit their mental function or mobility, as they simply can’t use them unless a caregiver takes them out or uses it on their behalf. The point of a gift is to give the recipient something they can use personally, and this point is moot if the person isn’t able to go out or use the Internet to cash in the card.
Then there are the people that just don’t like them. I guess they do have a point – gift giving is about considering the recipient. Perhaps they just don’t like going out much, or buying online. If that’s the case and you’re completely stumped on what to get them, well, these are the people they make the nick knacks for. Every store I’ve been so far has had gift racks of miscellaneous items and kits for use around the home. Charging stations and desk organizers seem to be very popular this year, as do flashlights, handkerchiefs, mini game sets, whistle key rings, make up sets, nail polish sets, lotions, holiday jewelry, and small cleaning kits. Some people appreciate these fun, whimsical items. I don’t. But somebody must because they’re on sale every year and seem to keep moving every holiday season.
In the end, I believe the safest course of action is to ask. It’s not insulting or rude, and I think it’s much easier to be honest than to guess and risk giving them a dud gift (which is something I’ll address in a future entry). After all, our time and energy are limited, and we are at a point where we simply don’t have time to play games or guess anymore.
And if all else fails and they really hate gift cards, suggest skipping the gift and going out for a meal or a movie together after the holidays are over. Because it really is the thought that counts – and in the end people care more about the thought behind the gift than the gift itself.
Hi everybody, this is Jana Lanning from Sherri's upcoming novel Anywhere But Here. I got a text message from Rachel (from Blurry) saying that Sherri is letting her characters contribute to her blog every now and then. Well, since all the kids from Woodland are tied up with a football game tonight, I figured it would be nice and quiet and I could stop by tonight.
I've never had a blog myself before, so I hope I do this right. In fact, I usually don't get online much at all. I'm so busy with school and work - I'm a senior at the Coastal University in Palmetto Beach, SC and work part time at Dixion Financial, an accounting firm in town - that I don't have much free time. I spend most of it with my boyfriend, Darren, or my best friend, Amanda.
So today is my birthday! Mom and Dad came from Westwind Mountain to visit me today. They're staying the night in the beach house - they still can't believe I won't sleep in the master bedroom, but even after 4 years of living in the house while I'm in college, it still doesn't really feel like "my house." They would stay the whole weekend, but their church is contributing to a big community event tomorrow night, so they have to head back in the morning. (Whew! I don't miss that stuff! Being a Pastor's daughter meant I got plenty of that while I lived at home). It might work out for the best. Darren has to work until closing tonight, so he said we'd go out to celebrate my birthday tomorrow night. In fact, he has reservations at that resturant by the ocean that I love so much. He rarely gets a Saturday off, so I'm pretty excited.
Darren did give me my gift this morning before class - an opal necklass. It's very pretty. He said he knows it pales next to the three quarter carat diamond that Andrew gave Amanda for her birthday last month. I have to admit that it would be nice to have a diamond - after all, we have been together over three years. But we agreed not to rush things. We both are hoping to get in the MBA program at the University of South Carolina next fall, so there's probably a few more years of school ahead of us. Andrew and Amanda made it clear they're done with school once they get their degrees in May, so they're ready to move on. We aren't. But still, it would be nice. We could be engaged as long as we want. It's not like engagements expire or anything.
Oh, there I go again, rambling. I know I should be happy with what I have. It's like Darren says - we just want different things from life than Andrew and Amanda. There's nothing wrong with that.
Anyway, Mom and Dad got me an E-reader for my birthday. That will be nice. They also took me out shopping and out to lunch. We've had a pretty good day together. I hate that Darren didn't get to see them, but I understand how that is. It's hard when you work and go to school - time is pretty limited.
So that's what's happening in Palmetto Beach, SC today. So far, it's been a pretty good 22nd birthday. I hope the continued celebrations over the weekend are good as well!
Take care all. See you around.
What's in store for Jana and Darren? Watch for updates in this blog leading up to the release of Anywhere But Here in April 2012 through Whiskey Creek Press!
I cant' believe tomorrow is Labor Day and the summer will be over. Well, summer isn't "officially" over for a few more weeks - maybe a month or more based solely on the weather - but Labor Day is the end of the summer season. Wow, where did it go?
If I had to sum up this summer, I'd call it a perfect reflection of real life. There have been highs - like publishing a book, and lows - like 2 friends dying of cancer. And everything in between. It hasn't been perfect, but I honestly can't call it bad either. And I feel I must add that there were so many great movies out this summer too - the DVD's coming out this fall are going to be awesome!
I know a lot of people say it's been a long, hot summer. I'll agree with hot, but long? No. It seems we were just having our spring free thrift day at the church - but that was in mid May. It doesn't seem like over 3 months ago but it was. Time flies. Granddaddy always warned me to not wish my life away, but I suppose it's equally futile to cling to the past. Best to live in the present.
Am I ready for fall? Doesn't seem to matter - it's coming at the speed of time and it is what it is. I suppose one thing I do need to accomplish this fall is finishing up Splinter. That's the novel I was working on before the contracts for Blurry and Anywhere But Here came along. I suppose I better get that wrapped up before Anywhere But Here goes into pre-production in early 2012 if I want to submit it for publication next spring.
Well, that's my musing for the day. Enjoy your Labor Day. It's supposed to be a rainy one here, but that's ok. The summer came in with some vicious storms (and power outages at interesting times and under interesting circumstances too). I suppose it's natural it should go out that way.
Goodbye, Summer 2011! It's been real.