Friday, January 29, 2010

Work, Work, Work

I'm a working girl. I never really set out to be one. It just kind of happened. When I was a youngster (really, that word just doesn't get used enough) I had visions of what I would be when I grew up: a doctor, a teacher, a secretary, a mommie. But, I didn't put a lot of thought into it. I didn't really have time for a lot of career thought since I got married at 17. And, I went to work. Life was so simple. Dennis and I worked. We came home to our sweet little apartment in Norwalk, CA. We got involved in the church next door (which happened to be Dennis' church before we were married). We went places on the weekend. We went to the beach. We went to Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm. We took a couple of classes at the local community college. We played tennis. We moved back and forth from Norwalk to Fresno 8 times in our first 2 or 3 years of marriage. Settling in was a difficult concept for us. But, through it all, I worked. I was a store auditor for Montgomery Wards, clerk at the Fresno Bible House, secretary at La Mirada Christian movies (this was back in the day of the giant 16mm movies-churches would order them and we would ship them out. A lot of that job was tracking down the movies from pastors who couldn't remember who was in charge of shipping it back!), accounts payable clerk for an industrial company, babysitter, Avon lady, took in ironing, receptionist for an accountant, radiology clerk at a children's hospital, secretary for a pediatric developmental clinic, oh so many things! We moved to Oklahoma with the intention of me staying home. I did that for a year but circumstances forced me back to work. That's when I started at the bank. I was a teller, then a loan secretary and now the compliance officer. It is a great job and a great place to work. They have treated me wonderfully over the years. They have been with me through many stages of my life-unexpected pregnancy at 40, becoming a grandmother five months after having my third baby, family deaths (four in two years) and two house floods. With all the ups and downs, work has been a constant.

I find myself thinking about what it would be like not to work full time. This is probably because of the stressful schedule I am juggling at work. Two big work projects are happening simultaneously and it is about to get the best of me. I find myself not even knowing what day it is sometimes because I spend so much of my time checking my calendar for the next meeting, the next deadline, the next assignment due. The idea of getting up, taking Katie to school and coming back home is very appealing. The idea of being at home in the summer when Katie is out of school is even more appealing.

It's just not going to happen right now, though. So, I have to find a way to stay focused. I want to do my job and do it with excellence. I just sometimes have misgivings about my ability to do that anymore. Has this old dog run out of tricks?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's a New Attitude

In my last post I said that it was time for something new. I am taking small steps towards that end. After removing all the Christmas decorations were packed away the house seemed bare and drab. The most glaring void, at least for me, was the dining room table. It had been all red and white and glittery and now it was just .....brown.

Katie and I went shopping on New Year's Day. Don't worry, I still got my bowl of black-eyed peas:

Creole Black Eyed Peas, in fact. My favorite way to fix them. But, I digress.

While shopping at Target I realized, quite to my surprise and pleasure, that the dishes I had admired (read coveted and salivated over) were FINALLY on clearance! Katie and I commenced to mix and match and remix and mix again and came up with this:

Who can resist a soft, soothing canvas of blue and brown with some crisp white thrown in?

The plates are from Target, but I didn't like the bowls at Target so I bought the three different plates and thought I was going to be on a long mission to find the right bowls. Within the hour, while shopping at Belk, I came across these fabulous bowls that were 75% off! The plates are melamine. Don't judge me. I like them. But the bowls, ah! the bowls are not! They are Oneida bowls and I only paid $1.12 each for them! And, they were perfect.

I was still looking for something for the center of the table. I promised Katie that we would just make a quick run through Kirklands because, after all, they don't have any purses or cute t-shirts, duh! While there I came across the most adorable ceramic bird and candle holders. I snatched them up-CLEARANCE again.

I must admit that I do not like the placemats but haven't found what I do want. I didn't want to keep these packed away until I found the perfect ones so here you have it:

Don't tell anyone, but sometimes I walk in there and turn the light on just to look at it.
Yes, a new attitude.