Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just a Job??

I keep having this dream that I am stuck at work and I cannot find my keys.  The employees are all ignoring me or laughing, but no one is helping me and I am stuck at work with no way out.  And it's snowing out.  There is seriously a lot of snow for the lower mainland.  But this dream, it plays over and over every night.  I'm pretty sure we don't need a book of dreams to decipher this what it means.  I feel trapped.  Trapped with no way out, and no one to help me.
Let me preface all this by saying that I feel incredibly fortunate for having this job that pays me so well for what I do, gives job stability like the airlines never did, and allows me to be home in the evening with my son.  It truly has been a blessing.
I'm just getting itchy.
No...not itchy...I'm getting *the* itch.
Again, I'm not going to go into specifics, because I can see that causing more harm than good.  I'm even questioning whether blogging about it is a smart idea.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) this is my outlet - my way to vent and air all my dirty laundry.  And seeing as how I've been such a good girl as of late, my laundry isn't all that dirty.  Maybe someone else is going thru a similar struggle and so sharing will not only make me feel a little bit better, but it will help someone else feel not so alone. 
What seems even more daunting is that I have been looking at job search sites and there is absolutely nothing out there.  I have a couple rules when *looking* for a job...if I don't know what it means, then I can't apply for it...
1. A "Senior Java Developer" for example- I used to work for "Second Cup" - but I'm pretty sure that's not the Java they're referring to, I'm just going to pass that one by. 
2. Any job that requires a degree, I also skip those ones...I mean, if they're going to be that picky...I could totally *do* the job.  I mean, how much do psychologists really learn in school?  I have life experience, isn't that kind of the same thing?  Oh, and I'm a really good listener...  
3. Any job that includes milking animals is completely out of the question.  True story: One job listing was for a Milker.  Yes, like as in milking animals.  And it only paid minimum wage.  I am going to expect a whole lot more money for milking animals all day long. 
4. Or "Assistant"...I don't even care to what...those of you who know me, know that I do not have the type of personality that *assists* very well.  I tend to supervise very well, but you want me to assist you?  No, I think it would be the other way around, thank you very much.  Or a *third key holder at Ardene*...so if they need someone to open or close the cheap jewellery store you would not be the first, nor the second, but the third person they would call.  Talk about bottom of the ladder, huh?
5. If I'm not good at it in real life, I can't do it for a job...ie: financial adviser..."Oh, girl.  It's Coach?  It's 10% off?  It's yours, use your credit card...seriously, who cares.  That is a great deal."
Exposure Prevention Specialist?  Dude, do not go in there - sounds easy to me.  Lumber Trader?  I'll take your branch for my stick?
Side note: I think that being an exterminator would really come in handy right about now, seeing as how a mouse just ran by me towards our fireplace.  I've been flirting with my Orkin man at work, Shawn...maybe he'll swing by and take care of this little problem for me.  One more ghetto story for my kid when he makes it big...
I guess this is just one more step into the *midlife* crisis.  Hope it gets better on the other side of the hill I'm about to cross over.  Maybe I just have to learn to be content where I am.
And seriously, anyone have any ideas how to get rid of mice???

*Christ*ian's Victory

About a week ago, I blogged about Christian, the little boy I've never met, who has been fighting cancer since he was 3.  Previously thought to be in remission, they had just found an inoperable tumour in his bowels.
Things took a horrible turn for the worse when his tumour, in less than a week, grew to such a size that it was blocking his entire bowels.  It became clear that emergency surgery would have to be done that night in order to connect his stomach to the bowel below the tumour.  This would just make him more comfortable until he died.  The surgeon had operated on Christian before and had a special connection with him and the family.  She was leaving early the next morning - on vacation or for her job, I don't know, but the situation came very quickly and they had no opportunity to *make peace* with it or say those things you hope you have the chance to say, if/when the end comes very quickly.
Hours into the surgery, the surgeon came out to tell Christian's parents the news.  They had not been able to reroute his bowels around the tumour.
Because they had been able to fully remove the tumour!!!!!
Every last little bit!! There was nothing left of it. 
This is absolutely nothing short of a miracle.  It had been determined previously that the tumour was attached to vital organs and therefore inoperable.  Inexplicably, the tumour grew so fast that it seemed hopeless.  Instead, the fact that it grew so fast meant that a) the surgeon was not out of town and could do the surgery and b) they attempted surgery when they wouldn't have early.
So, for those of you who prayed for little Christian's healing....thank you!  Your prayers were answered, and while they're not out of the woods yet, Christian is cancer free!!!!  I have to admit, I really wanted to believe, but it just seemed so daunting and impossible.  Even as I read her blog, I was scrolling to the bottom just to see if Christian had made it through, fearing the worst.  Sometimes worst case scenarios turn out to be just one piece of a perfectly planned best case scenario.
It reminds me of a documentary I watched on conjoined twins being separated.  It turned out they shared a liver, with one twin supplying the blood to it.  They separated it, believing they were saving one twin while sacrificing the other.  The doctors watched as the liver of the second twin began pink up.  One doctor carefully lifted the liver to look underneath, and small blood vessels had miraculously formed all around the liver and were supplying blood to it.  They showed it on the camera, it was amazing.  It was a miracle.  It was something the doctors could not do.  It was something only God could do.
For those of you who want to know more....


Friday, August 24, 2012


I think I'm going through a mid-life crisis. 
People laugh when I say that, but I'm almost 35...living til 70 isn't totally unrealistic - I'm half way there.  And maybe people are just laughing because it's awkward when someone announces that they're experiencing a mid-life crisis. They're all like, "Ma'am, I'm just here to pack your groceries..."
No....I don't tell complete strangers I'm going through a mid-life crisis.  That would just be crazy.
But seriously, I think I'm going through a mid-life crisis.
If I'm half way there, what the eff have I done with my life????? 
In December, it will be 6 years since I've been in a relationship.  Six years. 
Six years.  Every minute I'm alone, it gets easier to stay alone.  I have major control issues, in that I like to control everything.  No man is going to want to be with a control freak.  And there aren't even any prospects.  Nothing.  I got nothing.
In November, I'm 35.  I can feel my ovaries shrivelling up.  My dreams of having a family with lots and lots of babies is quickly shrivelling up right along with them.  Don't get me wrong, I love my baby boy.  I love him more than I ever thought was possible.  He's not my baby boy anymore though, he's 8.  Eight!!!  I embarrass him.  He rolls his eyes at me.  His hand in my hand is almost the same size as mine. He comes up to my shoulder.  His feet smell (although his feet have always been smelly, even as a newborn!)
My job, it pays the bills.  But it doesn't inspire me, it's not fulfilling.  I'm not making a difference in the world.  I'm not saving anyone.  But it pays the bills.  So, that's something, right?
I just feel so unfulfilled.  I feel like life is passing me by.  Time has swooped in, and it is taking prisoners - ME!!!! 
I had big plans.  I really did.  I was going to be the Prime Minister.  Which, okay, sounds a little unrealistic now, but I really believed it when I was 17.  I want to go back and go to University with some focus instead of spending ridiculous amounts of money on nothing.  I want to go back and save money so I could be a home owner instead of a Coach purse owner.  Because, dammit, I can't live in a Coach purse, even though it is really, really pretty...and fuchsia.
Do you think I should go buy a pink Corvette.  Maybe that will make me feel better.  Oh, or a motor cycle?  Okay, I don't have money for that.  And I'm not crazy.  I'm bored.  Not crazy.
Maybe I am crazy...
What am I going to do?  How do I make a difference???  How do I make my mark?  Geez, sometimes being a dog just seems so much easier.  I could pee in the corner and boom - fulfilled. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Christian's Fight

I've never met Megan Cromwell.

I've never met her son Christian Cromwell.

But I follow Megan's blog at Christian's Fight.  Christian is a brave little boy who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer -stage 3 Rhabdomyosarcoma - when he was three years old.  Now 5, he has had numerous surgeries to remove tumours, chemo and radiation treatments.  It really looked like they were winning the fight, but just this week, they found a new tumour in Christians stomach.  It's too risky to operate, and the best the doctors can think to do is give him meds to make him comfortable until he goes home to heaven.

Megan's faith is inspiring. 

Please let's all pray for Christian Cromwell.  Let's pray for a miracle...that his tumour will go away without a trace and that he can live to be a 100.  Let's pray for peace for his family...that no matter what the outcome is that his family will be filled with the love of Jesus and that their hearts will be full.

As a mother, I cannot even imagine the pain and sadness that this family must be going through right now.  Please pray and then go to Megan's blog http://christiansfight.blogspot.ca/2012/08/hope-for-christian-crowell.html and let her know you've lifted them up to the heavens.


Bottom of the Barrel? Yes, that's me...

I don't blog about work very much because, quite frankly, I don't want to be fired.  I know that a few co-workers sometimes read my blog (one said, "oh ya, you know...when I'm in the bathroom").  I'm just grateful people read it, I don't so much care where or when.  I find, though, that when I feel *inspired* to blog about work, it's because I'm angry and I'm frustrated and that never served anyone well.  And so I just don't. 

The last couple of weeks have been extra trying for me at work.  Again, knowing that I have a child I have to support for at least the next 10 years, and also counting on the fact that he will need braces for at least two of those years, I have to bite my tongue on the specifics, but I can and will say that I have had to take a lot of deep breaths, smile to hide the frown, and take a few time outs so I didn't kill anyone.  

It hit me today. 

I am at the bottom of the ladder. 

That in and of itself is not such a bad thing.  The bad thing is this...

I think like I'm at the top.

Ahhhhhh, can you see my frustration now?  I am like a mosquito in a blood bank.  

I watch as newly appointed *managers* make wide sweeping changes without a) understanding the processes they're trying to change and b) thinking through every step of the process they're attempting to change.  The result is that they sit in their offices thinking they've done a great job, and me, my colleagues and a few others deal with the fall-out.  

I understand the process, the products, the trials, the tribulations, the flow, but no one asks for my input.  And that is because I am at the bottom of the ladder.  My job is not to create new processes or refine the ones we already have.  My job isn't to streamline product types.  My job isn't even really to make sure we all see positive results at the end of the year.  My job is to supervise 15 employees in one section of one building, a small fraction of  hundreds of sections and hundreds of buildings across the country.  

No wonder I'm frustrated.  No wonder coming to work sometimes feels like I'm banging my head against a wall.  I'm standing in one small corner of the big, big picture. 

I'm a pixel.

That's it.  In the huge scheme of things, I am a pixel.  

Well, I'm a pixel that supervises other, slightly smaller pixels.  

It's not a pixels job to change the world. 

Another pixel could easily fill my spot here and I would not even be missed.  I am replaceable.  I am insignificant in the world of mail.  It doesn't really matter that it's mail.  No matter where I am, I will never be a significant player in the corporate world.  That is just not who I am.  

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I want the spotlight.  It's not like I want to be the CEO.  It's not even that I want to be the manager.  The manager happens to be one of the few around here who actually knows what is going on around here.  I just want to be significant.  I want to know that what I'm doing in life matters.  I want to quit bitching about the coworker who has a fricken answer for everything and *knows* everything, and be apart of something that revolutionizes the world, a movement that changes life for the better.  I wouldn't mind being on the bottom of that ladder.  

I'm struggling to find a purpose where I am right now.     

Thursday, August 16, 2012

It's All in the Name or "Q-isms"

Q on his 8th birthday

I check my blog on a daily basis to see my stats.  Especially on the days I've blogged.  You see, someday I hope to make it big as a writer, a blogger.  I want people to quote my inspiration on Pinterest and laugh about how hilarious I am on Jay Leno (is he even still alive?  I'm in bed by 9:30 every night these days, so I remember when SNL was still funny.)  One day it will happen.  I just have to swallow my fear of failure and believe in myself.  My mother says I'm sitting on my ASSets...emphasis on the ASS. 


It's always funny to see how well the posts do, usually based solely on the title.  For example, I recently posted about "The Sparrows and the Wasps" thinking it was a funny take on the whole "Birds and Bees" thing, because sparrows are birds, and wasps are just as scary as bees.  Only ten people read it.  You guys were probably all, "booooooor-ing...who wants to read about sparrows???"  But everyone really missed out, because (ahem, if I do say so myself) it was one of the best posts from me, lately.  And it had a good moral ending.  Who can resist something like that??

Posts that are entitled, "Q-isms" are always really high, of course because everyone thinks my little gem is just as fabulous as I do.  Recently, we were listening to the radio when a singer had the crowd sing a few lines of the song.  He was so funny, "Doesn' the singer realize people don't want to listen to the crowd sing...they're paying good money to listen to the singer.  They're getting ripped off."  He might have something there.  Maybe we should ask for a refund for the portion of the song the singer didn't sing.  I told him people like hearing the crowd sing because it makes them feel like part of the action, part of something bigger than themselves.  He didn't really buy it. 

Post with pictures that I've stolen from Google (and then of course, have attributed to Google.  Of course.) go through the roof.  This is always, always super disappointing, because I think that I've finally done it, I've said what the masses want to hear!!!! I'm going to be famous!!!!  People love SingleDatingMommy!!!!!  But no no, people are just googling 'images of gansters' and up pops my blog (true story...one of my most famous posts is called, "What are you Wearing" and it's about being gansta.   Yo yo wassssup.  I've since stopped including pictures unless they're mine.  I don't like the let down.  No one looks for a picture of a "hot italian guy", stumbles upon my blog, and then becomes an avid follower.  I know, they're missing out.  You know they're missing out.  I just can't make them stay.

As you've noticed, I might just start using "Q-isms" in every title.  You guys are smarter than that though, you'll figure it out soon enough.


But I guess insulting my readers is not a good way to increase readership, right??

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I'm A Cheater

This post is going to be weird.  It's going to be like writing on a Coca Cola forum about how much you love Pepsi.  It's going to be like shopping for a Mac on a PC.  It's gonna be like driving through the McDonald's parking lot to get to the Wendy's.  It's going to be like going into Chevron to ask directions to the nearest Shell.

I've been cheating on Blogger.  I've been seeing Wordpress behind Blogger's back.  I mean, it's nothing serious right now.  I haven't committed to anything yet.  We haven't even gone all the way.  But I can feel it coming.  Honestly, I wasn't looking for anything to happen. I was just curious.  But I guess that's the way it always starts, isn't it?

See, Wordpress can offer me things that Blogger can't.  The templates have themes for their blogs and they are really cool and look super user friendly.  If I wanted to, I could pick a theme where I could custom make my header without any HTML gibberish, my disdain for which I have commented on before.  The iPhone app is crazy amazing, (I've downloaded it, not going to lie...) you can check your stats, read blogs, update your own blog.

And the writers, ohhhhhhhh, the writers.  I have been frequenting some sites on Wordpress over the past couple of weeks and again, not gonna lie, me likey.  They make it sooooo easy to find other blogs with this *Freshly Pressed* feature that showcases new or uber popular blogs.  The thing about blogging is that it really is a supportive community of writers who come together and well, write.  Blogger hasn't updated their new blogger's list in months.  And even if you want to search for other bloggers within blogger, they don't make it very easy. You have to have their address, you can't search by genre...on Wordpress...you can.  You can search by genre, by tag, by colour, by country. 

Just sayin'.

I'm mulling over breaking up with Blogger, leaving it for Wordpress.  You know, the whole "it's not you...it's me" and "Wordpress can offer me things you can't.  But there are lots of bloggers out there."  Or my personal favourite, "You'll find someone so special who's looking just for you.  I just know it."  

I hope Blogger doesn't cry.

That would be awkward.  I hate it when that happens.  It's so uncomfortable.     

Co-incidently, when I did my spell-check, Blogger highlited every single Wordpress as an error.  This is so not going to go well.  I think it may already suspect something...

Here are a few of my new fav's over on Wordpress:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Swallows and the Wasps (not even close to the birds and the bees!!)

I'm a glass-is-half-empty kinda gal.  I don't know why I'm that way.  It's not as if some horrible set of events took place in my youth (that I can remember...maybe I have that thing where you repress a negative event from your childhood and then only remember it once you're hypnotised and then you're like, "Ohhhhh, I remember that one time I was kidnapped by aliens and they put a tracking device in my brain.  True story...when I was a kid, I watched a talk show about that...and was freaked out for months that I was going to be abducted by aliens.  It never happened.) that taught me to never expect the best because the worst was always eminent. 

It is in my nature to be a negative person.  And I have come to accept it as part of who I am.

I joke and say that if I expect the best and the worst happens, I become dejected.  If I expect the worst and the worst happens, I'm right (which I really like to be).  If I expect the worst and the best happens, I'm pleasantly surprised.  So, in a weird kind of way I'm actually an optimist in pessimists clothing.  That, and my sense of humour is really sarcastic.  It's hard to be sarcastic when you see the good in everything.  You can't make a rip-roaring comment about someones flood pants if you just think it's really smart for them to be so prepared.  You can't joke about someones abnormally long nose hair if you think it might be really handy in catching all those horrible airborne diseases.

I have a wonderfully optimistic security guard at the building where I work.  He's an older, Sikh gentleman (and I think Sikhs are second only to Amish in their peaceful, optimistic ways).  He always sees the side of life that I tend to miss. 

Every year in the middle of this concrete jungle I work in, a family of sparrows sets up camp in the rafters of our roof.  It works out well for them because it is sheltered from the elements and they have a fierce advocate for their safety in me.  (I'm a pessimist, not a cruel worthless villain).  So they sh** all over our work area, a little sh** never killed anyone, right?  At least a little bird sh** hasn't, that I know of.  They're so darn cute and it's so incredible to watch nature take its course.  This year momma and papa had four (4!!) little babies to take care of, and we watched as they slowly made their way out of their nest and learned to fly...while working very hard, of course.  

One baby bird must have gotten a little overwhelmed with the whole plight of flight (hahahahhahaha) and made its way inside our building.  I tried my darnedest to get this little guy out of the building.  I tried to speak sparrow, I used a flash light to attract it, I threw things at it (okay, not really...but maybe that would have worked...) all to no avail.  This little guy hung out in the rafters high in the ceiling, refusing to exit the facility by any of the 30 some odd 8' X 20' roll up doors in the building.  This is probably because the rafters inside the building look so familiar to what it had known it's whole life.  (I'm sure there is some amazing life lesson there, but gah!! who has the time??) Finally I resigned myself to the fact that this was survival of the fittest at work and if this bird was too dumb to follow all the signs to safety, then it was destined to die.  End of story.  Although I did consider calling 911 or the SPCA...

A full two days after the last sighting of our little dumb friend, my security guard comes into my office with a huge smile on his face, "I haven't seen the bird all day!!"

"I know,"  I said sadly.  "I'm pretty sure it's dead."

"No, why would you say that??"  He implored.  "I came to say I am sure it found it's way safely out and has been reunited with his family!!!"

We'll never know who was right, unless my office starts to smell really bad in the next few days and then we'll know that I. was. right. (which I'm pretty sure I am...)  But it really made me think, why would I immediately choose the worst case scenario?  Am I a realist?  Or am I really that pessimistic?

While wars rage around the world, children die from famine, and horrible diseases like cancer take lives well before their time...


...because none of these things have touched my life.  I have so much to be thankful for.  I should so be seeing the glass as half full.  I wonder if by being a pessimist rather than an optimist I am missing out on all the blessings that surround me. 

That seems like a really ungrateful thing to do. 

Wait.  Was that a pessimistic thing to say?

This is going to be a huge change in thought pattern for me - not just finding, but expecting - to see the good instead of the bad.

And how do you see the glass? 

The other evening, Q and I had dinner at a dear friends house.  It was a beautiful summer evening, so we ate outside.  We became hosts to a few eager wasps who wanted to join in on the feasting.  Of course, the boys were terrified.  I also have this completely irrational fear of wasps, but tried to hide it because it's not cool to be an adult terrified of these little insects.  The boys tried to hide, move away, they shrieked in fear...until my friend's husband said, "I tell you what boys, the first one stung gets $50.00."

It changed everyones perspective (except mine, because let's face it, those little effers hurt when they sting, and it's going to take a whole lot more than $50.00 for me to throw myself in the middle of danger like that).  Now the boys purposely tried to put their arms in the path of the swarming wasps - okay, okay, they weren't exactly swarming - trying everything they could do to get the wasp to sting.  In the end no one got stung, which is how it would have turned out no matter our perspective, but as soon as it became a positive experience instead of a negative one, the fear was gone, and the kids had smiles and shrieks of happiness.

Hmmmmm...I wonder, is this another life lesson, if only we choose to see??  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Beauty From Ashes

Many of you who follow my blog know my history, so I will spare you all the tedious details. I will briefly say that eight years ago, I was in a new city where I knew no one, homesick for my old life, in a horribly dysfunctional relationship, and in  the middle of severe postpartum depression, feeling terribly unprepared and inadequate to be a mother to my beautiful baby boy.

In conjunction with medication and counselling, my doctor *prescribed* a support group for my postpartum depression.  I wasn't so sure I wanted to go.  First of all, I pictured all these women rocking back and forth, pulling their hair out, while on the other hand, I imagined their judging eyes - how could someone with a beautiful baby be so ungrateful.  The first meeting, I conveniently couldn't find anyone to look after my baby. The second meeting, I sat outside the building in my brother's beat up truck (as he had pushed me out the door, handing me his keys, taking Q from my arms), resisting the urge to throw up or drive away.

As with most fears, this was also completely irrational, because what I walked into was a room of warmth and acceptance.  The woman were all like me, completely *normal*, well educated, functioning members of society.  They loved their children, there was no mistaking that.  We were all trying to find our way through a mess of hormones, emotions and territory we had never been before.  Every Monday night, we bonded over tears, our hatred of men (in general and specifically - husbands), our feelings of inadequacy, and our fears.  We understood each other like no one else, because we were all going through the same thing at the same time.  These women became my kindred soul mates.

Fast forward to now:  We have beautiful children who are no longer babies, no longer toddlers, but real life boys and girls!!  We are more confident in our role as mothers.  We have jobs and lives that no longer are conducive to meeting once a week (or even once a month), but when we do get together we find the same welcoming arms from years and years before.  When we meet, it's like no time has passed and we're able to continue where we left off last time.  We are full of acceptance and love and warmth and I always, always feel renewed after my time with them.  They offer a different point of view and insight that I appreciate. These are friendships that will last my whole life.  I will be at their children's weddings (take note, ladies...I will be at your children's weddings...) and hopefully they will be my wedding, one day!!

Boys will be boys!  They dug this hole to Mexico (because Mexico offers Cervesas!!)

K reminds me sooo much of Q when he was 4.  The older ones are super cool, aren't they!!

It really is so true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  I never would have met these women if it weren't for my postpartum depression.  I never would have been able to experience their kind, warm spirits and their welcoming, accepting hearts.  I am truly blessed by the friendships I share with these women and their beautiful children.  This is the beauty from my ashes.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman

I just started (and finished) a really great read if you're looking for something.  It's not a light read by any means.  I literally had to stop reading every so often to take a deep breath because I a) was not breathing and b) could literally feel my heart breaking. 

Written in the voices of a Jewish husband and his wife separated from each other in Prague just before Hitler's invasion into Czechoslovakia, it explores the horrible atrocities that happened in Europe in the Second World War.  It was devastating. 

My mind cannot even conceive the horrible, horrible things that happened so long ago to people who's only crime was being born Jewish.  Men, women and children were given death sentences more evil than I can comprehend.  We are stuck here in the middle between wanting to forget that something so evil ever happened, while also knowing that we must never, ever forget so that it doesn't happen again.  And yet even as I write this, civil wars around the world are taking people's lives and nothing is being done.  But what do you do?  How do you save a world that does not want to be saved?

The woman in this book makes several decisions that are so brave and it made me really think about my own character.  If met with a gut wrenching decision that required bravery and possibly put my life at risk for the ones I loved, would I make the right decision?  Would I choose the easy way out or I would I swallow my fear and go in head first?  What is most important to me in this life, and what am I willing to do to fight for it, to protect it, to nurture it?

Seriously, this book is an amazing read.  And I leave you with this thought, which puts everything into perspective.