Thursday, January 24, 2013

The New Job

You guys!!!
I got the job!!!
And my silence this week has been because I've been preoccupied with my new job.  In the first week, I forgot my employee pass, set off an alarm when I tried to go through the *wrong* door, and I was late (like seriously, what is worse than being late in the first week?!?!?!)
As with all change in my life, this has not come without freak outs.  In fact, as we speak (or as I write) I am having a mini freak out.  Have I made the right choice???  As I waited for the skytrain with like 500,000 other people today, I realised that my recent decision has essentially put me in the middle of the proverbial *rat race* that so many other people are trying to get out of.  And that kind of makes me freak out.  Am I going the wrong direction?  I had a job where my commute was 20 minutes and I was home by 4 pm every day.  Now, I have a lap top specifically for work, an hour and a half commute each way and I haven't been home before 7 pm any day this week.
But I really, really like what I'm doing!  I can't even really explain how important I feel.  Not to mention, I got the job.  I have no idea how many people applied for the job, but I got it.  I haven't the educational background for it, I have no experience in the field.  But I. Got. The. Job!!!!  I'm so proud of myself (but not in a *prideful* a way to go, girl way!!) in a way I can't really explain.  It's like, I got this job on my laurels - specifically who I am and the name that I've made for myself.  My new boss said that out of everyone he spoke to about me, not one person had anything bad to say about me.  Not one!!!  That's incredible, because on any given day, I have something negative to say about me.  And I've come in contact with a lot of people at work...all different walks of life, opinions and personalities...and not one could think of anything bad to say. a company where nepotism is rampant, I did this on my own.  Daddy didn't get me in, I didn't get the job because my sister or my husband works there too.  I did it all on my own and I love that.
Anyways, getting this job - it just seems to validate my whole career. 
So, what's the bad part? 
Why am I freaking out?
I have a child.
An 8 year old son, who needs his momma. And truthfully, his momma needs him too.
Have I chosen to advance my career at the expense of my son's childhood?  I feel so guilty.  So guilty.  I don't want to be the mother who spends all her time at the office while her child is raised by other people.  I want to be fully involved in Q's life.  I want to spend oodles of time with him.  I want him to have millions of memories with his momma.
Am I totally over thinking this?  It's the age old struggle for balance. 
Maybe it's a really good thing for him to see - his mother with a good career, a strong work ethic.  I strive to be a good role model for him, and it's important to me for him to see how women can be successful and just as good as any man out there.
And seriously, looking at Q...he doesn't look devestated or anything.  He doesn't look like he's lacking in attention.  He looks pretty well adjusted... choices...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Christian, Julia and Jayden

Social media has totally changed our world. 

I know, this is earth shattering news, isn't it?  Like you haven't noticed.  But bear with me...I'm not about to write a whole post stating the obvious (but that would be fun, wouldn't it???)

I was watching the News the other day.  This is odd for me.  I don't watch the News.  It's too depressing.  As someone who suffers from anxiety, watching a whole hour of people dying and fighting and bombing and raping and shooting is just too much for me.  I choose to not fill my mind with awful things.  It mean that I'm sometimes the last to know certain *big* events (like, did you know Obama got reelected for a second term!! Wow, Way to Go, Obama!!  Okay just joking, I knew that.) 

Anyways, I think I was getting my nails done and they had the News on.  Holy moly people, things have changed.  They want you to tweet them.  Twitter hasn't really caught on with me, it's too invested.  Who has the time to tweet what they're thinking every five seconds??  We've already established my mind goes a mile a second, so I'd be switching it up like all. the. time.  I wouldn't have time to do anything but tweet.  The stress to be witty all the time, too - that would kill me.  They want you to follow them on Facebook.  They want you to send in videos from your iPhone or smart phone - they basically want you to do their jobs for them, I think.  It's become much more interactive though, I guess in an attempt to stay relevant in a world where every answer to any question is just a Google away.

People use You Tube to post their *own* music videos and hope to be discovered.  People publish their own books without the need for a editor or publisher (not always the best idea...but done none the less).  People get University educations on-line.  People meet their husbands/wives on dating sites.  I even read an article about people using Craigslist for adoption instead of an agency.

People blog.  I know, right?  Totally foreign idea to me.

The amazing thing about blogging and following blogs is that you get to *meet* so many people from so many different walks of life.  I have a follower from India!!  I have a mentor in Washington.  I have fellow mom followers.  I have single women followers.  I follow a single momma from Germany!  I follow a 22 year old mother of 13 (!!) adopted children in Africa.  Once a day or once a week, I am invited into their home and into their lives via my computer screen. 

The written word has long been valued for its depth, its beauty and its power to move and convict its followers. 


That was a long introduction to my point, wasn't it!?!?!

Through Facebook and through Blogger, I have been following the fight of two (now three) young children and their families who have courageously stared cancer in its ugly, evil face.  One family is a childhood friend that Facebook reconnected me with, who's daughter, Julia, was diagnosed with a tumour in her nasal cavity.  The second family, I've blogged about before, after finding his Mother's blog about her beautiful son Christian, who's tummy was riddled with tumours.  The third is a little boy - I 'met' through a Facebook support page started for Christian - named Jayden who is fighting tumours throughout his whole body.

These three children and their families have changed my life forever.  It is hard to imagine that your life could be changed by someone you've never physically met before, isn't it?  Before the Facebook and Blogging and Twitter, there wasn't much of an opportunity for this to be the case.  But my life has been forever changed for the better, because of three brave children.  I love these children.  I love their families.  My heart rejoices with their triumphs and sinks with their set backs. 

The faith that has been shown by these families in the face of utter devastation has touched my heart.  I find with my perfect little life, with my healthy happy child, I cry out to God in desperation, "Where are you??  Why can't I feel you?  Do you exist???  Are you there?"  These families, in the face of an untimely death of their child, their baby, in the face of insurmountable odds against a miracle and complete healing, with doctor's saying, "All we can do now is wait...", what did they cry??  They cried, "God, you are here.  We feel your presence.  You are here."

My faith in God has grown more in the past few months because of these families than it has grown in the whole of my adult life.  That is pretty significant.  I read of a young five year old boy - dying of cancer, lying in a hospital bed, with so many tubes you could hardly make out where is body was - upon hearing a new worship song, raised his hands in praise.  I want a faith like that.  Jesus spoke to Christian and told him he would heal his body, "he told me three times" Christian whispered to his family.  I want to be that close to Jesus, that I can hear his whisper in my ear. 

It breaks my heart with sadness to say that Julia and Christian both died on the same day.  I don't understand why God chose to take them so early.  I know their families are beyond heart broken, and this makes me so sad.  We were all praying for an earthly miracle, but Christian and Julia were both healed.  They are in perfect form in Heaven, with no pain and no tumours, no tubes and no chemo.  They touched more people in their short time here than many do in their whole life.  I think God used them to teach us all about faith and love.  People from all over the world followed Christian's Mommy's blog.  People all over the world prayed for the first time, or the first time in a long time, that God would heal him.  Some people (me included) had their faith renewed in a God they doubted.

Isn't that a wake up call to faith?

Doesn't it sound so much more appealing to face death with peace than with fear?  While these families are mourning the loss of their children taken too soon, they believe without failing that these children are safe now, and free from the horrors of cancer.  Julia can see now, with both eyes.  Christian can run and jump with energy that was taken from him here on earth.  If they had earthly bodies, their hair would grow back long and healthy and beautiful.  I think it's important to recognize that cancer did not win. 

I'm so sad that Christian and Julia died.  I wanted so much for an earthly miracle so I could say, "See?  See what God can do?"  But their lives were a testament that so many of us will never get to experience. 

And Jayden, he has people praying for him all over the world 24 hours a day.  Every moment of every day, someone is praying for complete healing for Jayden, peace and strength for his family.  There aren't many people in this world that unite people from all walks of life, all over the globe, but these three children did just that.

And I am forever changed. 

Are you?

If you follow me on facebook, look for the open group, 24 Hour Prayer for Jayden and Christian.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Workin' on my Game (aka...I Got no Game...)

Hey!  How you doin'?


Hey.  How you doin'?

*lip bite*

Heeeeeyyyyyyyyy, how you doin'?

*head nod*

Hi there.  How are you?

*eye batting*

Do you like coffee?  I you drink with other people???

Would you like to drink coffee with me?  I mean, go out for coffee with me?

Hi.  My name is Catherine.  Miller.  Catherine Miller.  Do you need to know my last name?

If you haven't figured it out...I'm working on my game, trying to find my mo-jo...

Someone asked me the other day if I was ready to start dating.  I can honestly say that I am.  I've worked on the majority of my past issues, and any residual issues I may have will probably have to be worked through once I'm actually in a relationship with someone.  Poor bastard, huh??  But I can't, off the top of my head, think of anything that I haven't recognized as a flaw in myself and resolved to fix.  I won't know what else is wrong with me until it rears its ugly head.  I apologise to my future boyfriend in advance.

Now that I've determined I'd like to be in a relationship, and what I'm looking for in a partner (I officially declared 2013 as the year I find my husband...a little presumptuous, I know...) I realized I don't know - or I've forgotten - how to flirt.

Let me tell my day, I was a good flirt.  It got me into a bit of trouble, yes, but I was good at it. 

Oh, but I was young then. 

I had a nice figure. 

No grey hairs.  No wrinkles.  No stretch marks.  No baggage. 

I wasn't a mom.  It's sometimes difficult to separate yourself from that aspect of your life.  Especially when it's been the only aspect for almost four years (with the exception of a horrid blind date here and a POF disaster there...)

I have my eye on a couple of good prospects.  I don't know how to approach it though.  The fact that I call them *prospects* is probably not a good start.  People always willing to give advice, tell me to just go up to them and introduce myself and ask if they want to go for coffee.  What's the worst that can happen, they say.

Uhhhh, they could say no.

Or I could work myself up to it, and practice over and over in my head, "Hello kind sir.  I've noticed you have been standing alone for quite some time now and was wondering if I could ask the pleasure of your company for a spot of tea..." in my best British accent, of course.  But no matter how eloquent I know I sound in my head, I'm pretty sure it's going to come out like this, "uh....wha.... ummmm....hiiiiiiii...I...uh....was....uh....huh?" and then it is quite possible I would choke on my own saliva, because I'm not going to's happened before, and it's never graceful, nor un-embarrassing.

Instead, I ignore the person I have my eye on (figuratively) because I (literally) avoid eye contact.  Even when they're standing right beside me.  I look at my phone.  I look at the ground.  I basically make myself look as unapproachable as possible.  I don't want to look too eager, you know.  That's a total turn off for men. 

I'm working on a plan right now, though.  It involves tripping them, and then offering to help.  I kinda like it because it puts me in the drivers seat.  

Who looks like the fool now, hmmmmm? 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Where Has Customer Service Gone???

Oh. My. Goodness.

People should know not to mess with me when angry uterus is in the house.  Yes.  This includes strangers.  Especially when it's the Customer Service industry.  Even when over the phone (you should be able to tell by the tone of my voice), but especially in public...if you cannot see it in my eyes then at least pay attention to my pheromones or something.  It would make all of our lives so much easier.  Mine, yes...but probably yours too.

So, I'm in the market for a new pair of glasses.  My benefits for the new year have kicked in.  Mine are getting older and are starting to scratch.  I figure after four years, it's about time for a change.  I do some research online.  I really like Lenscrafters because they really are done in about an hour, reasonably priced, and like I said, these ones are four years old and only now have started to scratch.  I picked out a few fav's on line, made an eye appointment.  I waited for the store to open and then I called to ask a seemingly simple question.

Him: Lenscrafters.  This is mumble mumble mumble trail off....

Me:  Hi there, I'm just calling to see if you direct bill to my insurance company...

Him:  Oh we don't do that here.

Me:  Like this specific Lenscrafters?  Because....

(he cuts me off...)

Him:  No Lenscrafters doesn't do that.

Me: Oh.  That's funny.  Cuz I was just on your website and...

(he cuts me off again...)

Him:  No.  Eye wear stores don't do direct billing.  That's mostly just dentists and stuff like that.

(side note:  Pearl Vision does it....I know for a fact.  I just didn't like any of their glasses...)

Me:  So....your website is wrong then?

Him:  You must have been on the US website.  They do it there, like in California and stuff.  But not in Canada. 

(Thank you for the geography lesson)

Me:  Nope.  I was on where it says to call a store and confirm which insurance plans are accepted directly...

(he cuts me off a third time...seriously?!?!?!?!)

Him:  You were on the wrong website.

Me:  So where it said all provinces but Quebec...

(I don't even think it's necessary to point out he cut me off yet another time...)

Him:  We don't bill insurance companies directly at Lenscrafters.

Me:  Okay, so your website is wrong.  Thanks.  



Check out the link.

Am I missing something?  Do you see how even the link itself has insurance plans in the name?????

The thing that was so infuriating was that this kid (puberty hadn't hit yet, I don't think....) was so freaking cocky and condescending.  Dude, I was willing and prepared to drop at least $500.00 in your store by the end of the day and you couldn't even take the time to listen to me finish my sentences.  And you talked to me like I was 5 years old.  I've been reading for like 30 years.  I've been a consumer for like 25.  I think I can read the fine print on a website. 

Dude probably lives in his parents house and uses his pay checks to pay for his souped-up lime green Mustang with sub-woofers in the trunk.  And gel.  He spends the left overs on hair gel...  

Let me tell you, there has been a whole generation of kids raised up who think they know it all, haven't had to work towards earning anything in their lives - it's the Generation Y (as in Why me??).  They think they have it so hard, but have been handed everything on a silver plate.  And then they talk to!!!!) like I'm stupid.  Dude, I've worked hard every day of my life.  Let me tell you, in my day...oh, never mind.  I'm not that old yet.  Oh, and what happened to 'The Customer is ALWAYS Right???'

Small print:  If you happen to click on the link and I am somehow (unfathomably) wrong...please do not tell me.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ode to Momma

Last weekend, I gave my momma away.  No, I did not leave her by the side of the road with a sign that said, "Free to a good home..." (while that would have been funny...I don't think she would have stood for it...) I literally walked her down the aisle and gave her away to the man waiting at the front.  Her Husband. 

I'm quite adamant that there are stories that are mine to tell and others that are not.  My mommas story is not mine to tell, but suffice it to say, she is enjoying her honeymoon on a Caribbean Cruise.  I was given the opportunity to give a toast at her reception, but I knew I'd cry - and they wouldn't be tears of joy, but tears of sadness.  I thought that was really very selfish of me, so I didn't say anything.  But this is my safe place, and it's all about me here, so I'll say it because it will be therapeutic to get these thought out of my head, as they just circle around and around.  I have a tendency to dwell on things a little more than healthy...

There was a time, a good long time ago when I was angry with my mom.  I've never said it to her face, but I'm sure she knew.  I'm not going to rehash the events, but I tell you only as a testament as to how far a seemingly broken relationship can come once healed.

Growing up, I always had a really good, healthy Mother-Daughter relationship with my mom.  What I mean by that is I was the child, she was the adult.  We were not friends.  I had boundaries (but no curfew!  She would just say, "I can't sleep until you come home."  I would come home early, so she could get a good night's rest - I'm thoughtful like that!!).  There were rules and a bed time.  There were consequences for bad behavior.  There were treats and cuddles and traditions and family road trips.  I had a really good childhood.  No complaints.  Good memories.  It's all good. 

As I grew up, though, our relationship grew and matured to the point where we became friends.  The distinction between mother and daughter kind of blurred, and a genuine friendship grew.  Two and a half years ago, we even moved in together.  With her single, and me single - it just seemed like the right thing to do.  Make no mistake, I wasn't moving in with my *mom* so she could do my laundry.  There was no, "Mom!!!!!!  What's for dinner???" or "Where did you put my shoes when you cleaned the house????"  We did not live together so she could look after Q.  We did not live together so I could support her knitting habit.  We just genuinely enjoyed each other's company.

So this past weekend, I not only gave away my momma, I gave away my friend.  For the past two and a half years, my momma has been my *significant other*.  She has been the person I went home to.  The person I told about my day.  I shared with her my hopes, my worries, my bumps and my bruises.  And she did the same with me.  My momma is probably the most non-judgemental person in my life.  This is an awesome balance for me because I am so incredibly hard on myself.  I beat myself up over things that should be long forgotten and my momma reminds me to let it go.  She loves me and my son without question.  It's always been amusing how well we know each other, and can easily finish each other's sentence and sometimes say the EXACT same thing at the EXACT same time with the EXACT same tone of voice.  We watched Coronation Street together.  We laughed together.  I would help her find her lost keys and her purse and her credit card.  Hahaha, and then she would have to turn around and do the same for me.  At her reception, it was good for me to see just how many people love my momma, because she is not just gracious and loving and kind with me, but with others too. 

It hit me just how sad I was when I went to get the groceries and was buying for two instead of three.  Also, sleeping with my bedroom door open is very strange, but it is no longer necessary to close it.  There is no one around to wake me from my slumber.

While I am very, very sad that I lost my companion, I am also very, very happy that she found someone who loves and accepts her unconditionally and offers her a life I (very obviously...hahaha) could not.  And a little piece of me is looking forward to what is in store for me.  Often times, the best experiences of my life have come when I've been pushed outside of my comfort zone.  It's given me the opportunity to grow into the person I've become. 

Who knows...maybe I'll find my husband. 

But I think then I'd have to work on my "Hey, how you doin'?"  And I think I've forgotten how...