Archive for December 2009
My husband was scrolling through the on-demand movies on Verizon FIOS. I suggested a couple movies, but he wouldn’t take any of them. So he suggested:
hubby: "Up"? "Up" is supposed to be good.
(I knew about the movie, and I do want to watch it at some point, just not right now. I didn’t respond at all)
hubby: (insisting) "Up"? "Up"? "Up"?
ina: (taking a golden opportunity) What’s up?
hubby: "What’s ‘Up’?"? (confused that I might have not heard about the movie before, but then…)………… Wait, are you being funny?
We both LAUGHED SO HARD. Ohh, I even shed a tear.
I guess you had to be there
I’m sitting outside of the security checkpoint at the airport (going home from my biz trip) because they won’t let me in to my gate with my breakfast in hand.
Sitting here is quite peaceful, and it begged the question: should I take out my MP3 player and listen to music?
Then I heard a woman calling out to another saying "Excuse me, ma’am!" as she rushed towards her. When she caught up with her, still walking towards security, she asked her "Do you mind if I ask you where you got your coat? I have seen it twice before, and it’s great!" The other lady responded, with a thick European accent "Actually I got it at the Burlington Coat Factory," and they walked off too far for me to hear the rest.
It was a nice exchange to witness: two strangers coming together and interacting for the very first time in their lives.
There is something beautiful about being part of your surroundings and not burying yourself in your own world. At that moment I was glad I didn’t have my headphones on.
Think about this when you consider listening to music when you are surrounded by people. You may be on your own, but you’re not alone.
I confess I usually dread business trips. I make them purposely short and make sure to get home at a reasonable hour. Well, who knew that I would look forward to my next trip, AND want to make it longer next time? (a week instead of 2 days).
What made the difference was the team. Maybe my husband is right: it’s not where you work, what you do, or how much you get paid. It’s the people you work with day in and day out. Since I work remotely, I miss out on these interactions, and it’s a real shame.
Last night my team and I (5 of us) went out to celebrate (our mini holiday dinner, if you will), and it was a blast. When you work so far away, you have NO idea what "human interaction" issues may be lurking under the corporate facade, and it was SO refreshing to see actual people in front of me. Talking about what people talk about, sharing stories about themselves, poking fun at one another. It was just so much fun, it made me wish I worked in that building. If only they could all move to Boston…
I also got to clear the air about that "Enough is Enough" issue. What bothers me is the NOT KNOWING what people REALLY think of me at work, and that their perception of me may be impairing my ability to do my job, and nobody will tell me to my face what the problem is. So I pulled aside a person I really trust, and they put my mind at ease. I was glad to have it out in the open and hear whether there was anything going on behind my back (there wasn’t). I walked away with a more relaxed feeling. Couldn’t have asked for a better outcome from this trip.
See you next month, team!
I’m currently many many hundred miles away from home at the business headquarters, and I have to say that I had a pretty good day.
Without getting into too much detail, I had a great presentation to the leadership (I’m awesome), and I interviewed for a new position (which went awesome), and to finish off the day I had girly night with my friend Erin and it was lovely! Now I’m about to go to sleep in my Holiday Inn Express bed, and, to top it off with a cherry, First Wives’ Club is on Oxygen! (only the best movie ever).
Why is it that right when you think it’s all over and you have decided to throw in the towel, something changes that pulls you back in and makes you reconsider your entire thought process? I hate it when that happens. I hate the roller coaster effect of career satisfaction.
So the question is: should you consider a career change when you are down and you hate everything (which is the time when you most want to do ANYTHING ELSE but what you’re doing now); or do should you wait until things turn around and you feel more optimistic (therefore giving you a more objective perspective on said change)?
I still believe that an 180-degree career change would be good for my soul. It would make me feel like my life is MY OWN. That I didn’t just follow a path that someone else set up for me and that I do have the power to make a change. It would prove to myself that I can do ANYTHING. This change would make my life feel SO long (I had a corporate life, I had a teaching life, I had a [whatever comes next] life). I am so afraid of continuing to ride this roller coaster and never make a change… I don’t think I could live with that.
I’m conflicted, but I’ll ride it for as long as it’s fun. We’ll see what happens next!
Last Thursday was my last class of the Fall semester. I go back to school January 19th for the Spring. This means I have 5 weeks off school, and I have no idea what to do with my time. Get ready for a lot of these entries of me going crazy with nothing to do.
Today is Saturday and all I have on the agenda is: clean the house. I was doing great at first, but then the worst possible thing happened:
My husband left the house to run an errand
AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! The world is over.
Here’s the problem: I am simply incapable of doing anything productive when I’m all alone in the house. I have all the time to do it, but I can’t do it. I don’t know what it is. The best I’ve been able to come up with is that my husband is my battery. If he is not there, I just die down. I can’t move. I paralyze. Hello TV. Goodbye chores.
What is your battery? What keeps you from turning on the TV and browsing online instead of doing what you’re supposed to do?
I was thinking about something today. I have a general problem with overall life satisfaction. Never mind that I have a very nice life, I’ve had very lucky breaks and great opportunities, and I have found love. I am going to Heaven, and I’m going crying (that phrase sounds more natural in Spanish… but you get my point).
So I thought: where is the balance between being completely bored and just hating everything, and being so busy I feel like canceling every single commitment on my calendar?
Well, it’s really hard to say what would make me “just happy enough.” So I reverse engineered the problem, and started with trying to answer what would be the best response to the question:
Hey, Ina! How are you doing?
Ideal Answer: I’m actually doing great! The house is good, nothing more to fix for a while and we got our new couch! I finished the MBA finally, and I’ve had more time to be at home and cook for my husband and me. We’ve been exercising together, too, and we’ve both lost 20 pounds altogether! The kids at school are good. They can give me trouble sometimes, but I just end up sending them to the office. For the most part, I’m having fun with the lesson plans, and I think they are, too. Some don’t like to listen, but I know they know better. I’m also working on this cellphone application with the Google Maps API. It’s neat, although I don’t devote as much time to it as I would like. I’ve been getting together with @na and Rick every couple of weeks for their bookclub, and we just finished reading A Civil Action. I love it that we do Boston-themed books. Also, I’ve been thinking of starting the baby making machine at some point soon. It’s time, I think. I don’t want it to get so late that I’ll start wondering why I didn’t do it before! Also I have been thinking of a new idea for an after school club: a programming club. Wouldn’t that be something? Also I keep going out with the girls every couple of weeks to dinner, or plays, or whatever comes up. It’s good to talk to them and not lose touch. I’m just really busy, but doing really good!
Wow, that would be a great answer to that question. I took some liberties with reality (such as finishing the MBA, programming with the Google API and being a teacher), but hey, that’s my perfect answer.
What would be yours?
So I had my first teaching experience at the high school level (read about the experience here).
I did want to tell you about something funny that happened there. For about 35 minutes I had Hall Duty… which is really Bathroom Duty. It consists of sitting at a desk in front of the bathrooms asking kids if they have a pass. Kids try to go into the bathroom without stopping by me, but I always stopped them and asked them to show me their pass.
Everything was going fine. I was cutting up some color paper for an idea I had for a class, and just asked kids for their passes. The passes were just pieces of paper with something written on them… at least in the beginning.
At one point, one kid was going in and I asked him for his pass. He looked at me like “oh, I don’t have one…” and I asked him which room he came from. He said he didn’t know. Then he took a protractor out of his pocket and showed it to me, he said “here, this is what they gave me, this is my pass.” I looked at it incredulous, and looked back at him. He looked smug, like he was putting one past me (I was clearly new around here). I thought “what do I look like to you, stupid?” So I wrote down his name, and he went in the bathroom.
What to do? Nobody ever told me what to do if a kid didn’t have a pass! So I ran to the office (100 ft away) and told the Vice Principal about the situation. He said he’d take care of it, and I went back to my desk duty.
After about 10 minutes, the VP comes by and he asks if the student is still in the bathroom. I said No. He said “oh, I heard he got a protractor pass?” I was a bit stunned “yeah, he showed me a protractor.” The VP said that was in fact his pass: sometimes teachers have a pass that is related to their subject matter so that it’s clear what class the student is coming from. I told him I thought he was messing with me, but now I knew, and thanks for the follow-up.
A little while later, another student showed up and I asked him for his pass. He showed me a bottle of hand sanitizer — “Oh, that must be Health class,” I thought (LOL!). Another student showed me a paper-made megaphone; that must be debate class? The passes got more and more ridiculous! I was cracking up by the end of Bathroom Duty
I have this idea of what a pleasant life would be like. It’s the life I’m convinced my husband lives everyday of his life. He doesn’t struggle through life like most of us do. He strolls through life. More than stroll, he prances. He’s the happiest person I know. I often wonder what it must be like to be him. Without a worry in the world.
A pleasant life would be something like this: you go to work to accomplish something that day. You’re not worried about tomorrow, you’re not stressed about how things went today, you just get little satisfactions every day and that is good enough for you. Any additional courses/seminars you have to attend for work are just a part of life. There is really no rush to reach a goal, it’s all about living in the present. You come home, make dinner, do some writing or knitting or reading or whatever you want, and tomorrow is tomorrow. Life is just life.
I don’t feel that way about my life. I stress out about everything all the time. What would it be like to just live day by day? To live in the present?
The good news is that my husband and I will be going to the Taylor Swift Concert!!!
The bad news is that I got greedy and rejected the first set of tickets Ticketmaster selected for me (floor tickets), and was stuck buying tickets in the nose bleeds section.
The good news is that I tried again and got better seats! (sometimes people don’t complete the forms on time and good seats get released again)
The bad news is that I got greedy again and kept trying to get better seats, and ended up with 4 sets of 2-tickets to the concert (all in different sections of Gillette Stadium). Ouch!
The good news is that the best tickets I got are really good and I can’t wait!!!