Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm Thankful for Fiber, Alcohol and Family

Dearest friends, it is that time of year again the "Holiday Season." While my time here in PA has brought me many new adventures it has also brought me new experiences. For example, I suffered from a severe bout of homesickness yesterday. It finally sunk in that I would not be spending Thanksgiving with my family. My friends called to see if I would be coming home and I had to break it to them that I wouldn't be. My family thought it would be weird that I wouldn't be home but they were ok with it. Stephen's family were coming down to visit and Connie was going to work all day so it was going to be me...
Well me and the whole community. I started off the morning rocking my red dress with a black shirt over it making it a red skirt. Then I wore calf high boots and my grey scarf I recently bought. I looked cute if I do say so myself. At mass I was the second reader which was nice and afterwards I met Stephen's whole family. Then I took my seat with some of my favorite people and enjoyed a spectacular meal.
Afterwards I went to the grocery store and joined the "Oh shit!" shoppers. The "Oh shit!" shoppers are the people that realize they are missing a key ingredient to their Thanksgiving feast and they go "Oh shit! I forgot the cranberry sauce or Oh shit! I forgot the dinner rolls." So they rush to the store and get what they need. Fortunately I was not in the oh shit crowd. I needed to buy snacks for the kids at work that do homework help/club. I also needed baked goods because I owe some people baked goods at work. So then I spent the next two hours sipping on a cold beer and baking a banana loaf, strudel, and pumpkin spice cookies.
After that I went out for a ride with Katharina to find a coffee joint that might be open on Thanksgiving. We couldn't find anything but now I know where the mall is (its so close) AND I kind of saw people wrapping up their thanksgiving dinners through this windows on the drive home. Creepy I know, but it was nice.
Then I went to prayer, ate some food and now I'm here. All in all it was a good day. I did miss home and my family and I can also tell that some of my family is still pissed at me but whatever. I have to work tomorrow but it should only be a half day. Then I'm going to my RMC Director's house to play touch football with her sons and their friends. After that I'm going to enjoy pizza and beer. It should be a good time.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Until next time....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I don't know what to put as my clever title. I don't know what this picture means. I don't know much because I am just so unsure.
Right now my mood is calm and indifferent. I'm not overly happy and I'm not overly sad. I'm not stressed out but I'm not bored. I'm not feeling great but I'm not feeling crappy either. I am a bit tired both emotionally and physically.
I've been trying to spend the past few days re-evaluating my purpose in life. Or rather, trying to remember the signs and steps that got me into this volunteer program. I read my reflections from when I was trying to figure out what ministry site I wanted to be placed in. My initial concerns with working at the transitional housing program in the city were:
1) being so busy that I wouldn't be able to visit the Mother house and the Sisters who I became good friends with
2) being in an unstructured facility where I would have to be my own boss, push forward without waiting for constant pats on the back and be a policy maker
3) working with children/a field I have little to no experience with
4) surviving the commute from hell
Now check this out:
1) I see the sisters every Sunday for mass to the point I kind of feel obligated to go to mass at the Mother house when I'd kind of like to explore other churches too just to get a feel for other parishes in the area.
2) I have a boss who approves everything I do and there is a clear chain of command. I've made some policies and had to enforce some policies and I've been fine.
3) children love me and I have been making it up as I go along
4) the commute is a lot easier than it looked initially. Out of all the volunteers I have probably driven to the most places on my own
So what are my concerns now? I've put my whole heart and soul into my work and I have the positive feedback to show for it. Even though I worked 170.25 hours last month and this week I'm pulling two late nights one of which will be a 12 hour day... I just don't know. I've been told I'm doing great things and making the Sisters proud. I get compliments, praise and feedback about the programs I've instituted. However, I still find myself trying to figure out why I am here. Why am I here? What is the overall purpose? After this program I'm going to be broke and have to crawl back to the Eastern Shore with nothing to show for myself except a drained savings account and a year of experience. I'm three months in and I can't decide if I want to try to do journalism still or stick to a social service field. I love what I do even if at times my work kicks all the spirit and drive out of me.
Which I guess is what is happening now. I kind of sad a negative comment about the new campaign the health care system is putting in place. See, the health care system is going to change the computer wallpaper on all our office computers to their flyer with the new brand slogan. Initially I was angered by this. My background is my dog who when I'm sad I stare at for a few minutes. I didn't like the "force" aspect of it. So I said a few negative things about it to a few people. One of those people was my bosses boss who pretty much verbally bitch slapped me and reminded me of my place in the world. She put me in my place. I deserved it. However this woman has never said a negative thing (and meant it) about me or to my face. This was the first time and I realized how childish I was being. How else are you going to get everyone recognize the new brand? Not everyone will check their e-mails or read fliers posted around the building. Make the brand every one's new computer background and they will be forced to know what is going on. Besides, I wouldn't have a computer if it wasn't for the health care system.
So I suffered a personal downfall. I was unprofessional in a moment and I haven't recovered since. The normal person would bounce back and continue their work with the same passion and spirit. Me? I'm keeping my opinions...ALL my opinions to myself. My coworkers have already noticed that I'm quieter. But that isn't me.
I find that I'm highly emotional about everything. I'm angry more, I'm irritable more, I'm sad more, I cry over stupid things, I'm stressed easily. I think that since I started back on birth control pills I've been hormonal and emotional. It feels like circumstances that shouldn't bother me instead really upset me. I should just let everything roll off my shoulders but I let it bother me and then take those negative feelings and point them towards myself. "Why didn't I think of that solution? Why didn't I just keep my mouth shut? Why am I complaining about something so small and irrelevant?"
I don't know.
It is like my tiredness and stress is all self induced. My emotions are just self abuse and I can't explain it. Right now I'm content with being opinion less and quiet and docile.
I also have noticed that the lack of diversity in the new campaign has me on edge. I want to supply the marketing department with positive feedback and constructive criticism. Yet, who am I but an unpaid volunteer who is here for a year. I should be the "yes man" and not the little ball of fire that I'm turning into. My mouth is going to get me in trouble again but now I have a reasonable concern. I'm at a crossroads and I should probably just follow the roadsigns, keep my eyes on my work and keep my mouth shut.
Until next time....
--At least I get to go to a Philadelphia Flyers game on Saturday and I get to sit in the 'all you can eat' section. Hopefully I won't destroy my diet and all the painstaking efforts I've been making.

What if I'm not a Writer?

I've mentioned this before. My first book I ever wrote was a few chapters long. Each page was a new chapter. I was in second or third ...