Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Jeffrey also enjoys his sugar as a fluffed up solid.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
It wasn't until a few years into my career when I noticed that this wasn't happening anymore; that September was just like any other month. I missed all of that newness. And there have been times when I might have liked to turn in my project, boss, and coworkers and spin the wheel for a whole new set, better or worse at least they'd be different. Not that there was ever a shortage of things changing, it's just that it was never quite as total and predictable as the start of a new school year.
So I am very pleased with the timing of my going back to work. My first day is going to be September 5, and it feels a lot like Back to School. I'll have a boss, and colleagues, and a project, but at this moment they are the unknown, chock full of possibility, and it's exciting not to know anything about them yet. It's like getting a magazine in the mail, unwrinkled and unread.
I was amused to learn that I will be getting my old passes, pager, and computer back. For whatever reason my old boss still had them, and the new department has picked them up. It was a little hard to part with these items when I left, they were so familiar they felt like appendages to my body, and I look forward to being reunited with them, weird as that is.
And I took Heather's advice and went shopping for new work clothes. I ordered a black pantsuit from Eddie Bauer, because it bothered me that I didn't have one to wear to my interview. Larry pointed out that I already got the job and therefore don't need an interview suit, but I am thinking of an email that was forwarded all around on the subject of "Every Woman Should Have" and it said interview suit, and if I'm not going to get my life advice from email forwards then where? I also got some of these sweaters that look like there is a shirt underneath but it is attached. Hard to describe but they looked kind of backtoschooly which I liked. And I got some shoes that I thought looked like what a grown-up professional woman should be wearing, instead of the ones I had reverted to in the last couple of years because they didn't hurt my feet but were once likened to the shoes of Mickey Mouse. And since it was B1G1 1/2 off, I got a second pair simply because they are cute and they have little fish on the sides. So I am READY.
Friday, August 24, 2007
So I contemplated the sign for a moment more and then walked a few steps out of the service garage while I dug out my cell phone so I could take that nice blurry picture of my car in there. I saw a sedan driven by an older woman pull up so I went around to the passenger side and opened the door. I leaned in and she looked up at me, surprised. I wondered if I should be getting into the back seat? And she had a purse on the seat, so I reached in and started to nudge it over so I could swing my butt in. And that's when her expression turned from shock to horror, and I figured out what was happening here. I did this silent mouthing of an explanation and apology, and gesturing with a brand new sign language I just made up. Then I saw another sedan pull around with Peggy in it and I just ran over and got in.
Note to self: PAY MORE ATTENTION!!!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
OK so now I've got my car back blowing out nice cold air. When I went to pay the bill it was $198 which is LESS than the $200 he had said. AND I got this nifty coupon book with discounts for car services from them and things like donuts and dry cleaning at local businesses. I just might have to give them a good grade on the customer satisfaction survey after all.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
The wedding was lovely. I have known Erica since she was a preschooler. I can remember meeting her for the first time when she was just a toddler, whooping and shrieking as she leaped across the furniture in front of her tired and overwhelmed parents. I liked it that she was (and still is) so spunky, and her groom is a sweetheart; he was at a reunion picnic once and happily spent the whole time entertaining the gaggle of little children, reminding me of my brother-in-law Hal.
I was looking forward to attending the wedding also because I have a dress that I like that I got last year for my cousin's cousin Andrea's wedding at the DYC. Since I didn't have to buy a new dress I justified new accessories and got a shimmery shawl and this very cute beaded purse. But I actually felt sort of overdone compared to the other guests at this one. While everyone looked very nice they just don't seem to put on the glam quite so much, so it was more towards sundress than sparkle for them. It's a little hard to pinpoint the right amount of glitz when attending weddings from different cultures and parts of the country. I was just talking to my mother who also attended a wedding this weekend on my father's extended side of the family, where there is no such thing as too much sparkle. They even hired a stylist to coordinate the theme which was "golden treasure." Sometimes I get invited to those and then I feel like I'm wearing one of Edith Bunker's housedresses to the Oscars, no matter how fancy I think I am going in.
So now it's all over and we made it back ok. And....I know you're going to ask! The trip was fine except there was a 2 1/2 hour delay at the bridge!
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
A couple of years ago this phenomenon was revealed to me by my friend Insun. We were at the nearby fake village outdoor mall, and she had just finished telling me all about a fabulous trip to California that they would be taking in two weeks. We were standing near a sign for entertainment that would be coming to the little gazebo on the fake main street. She pointed to one of them and said "Oh that would be nice to go to...but darn it we'll be out of town that day!" I then pointed out to her that whatever she would be doing in California would be far better than the free musician playing at the mall. Then she admitted "I know, but have you ever noticed that when you are going out of town you start to notice everything that will be happening on those days and feel like you are going to miss it?" That conversation stuck with me because I noticed myself doing the same thing whenever we had some trip or commitment planned for a weekend. I would see something else going on and feel like I might be missing out, and then stop myself, and think about whether I really would have done that if we were available. And often the answer was no.
I now understand that this same phenomenon was happening when I was at work, and I'd see a notice for 1/2 day vacation bible school or art camp or something at the library and feel all regretful that my kids couldn't do that. Now that I'm home we aren't doing all those things. The boys are playing together, or on the computer, or watching junk TV a lot of the time. I'm trying to keep a good balance of vegging out and doing constructive activities, but in the future when I'm at work I'll have a new perspective on what they really would do with their time given all possible choices, and not feeling like I'm depriving them of things they probably wouldn't have wanted to do anyways.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
I was more worried about Jeff. He has always, since he was little, made it clear to me that NO arrangement other than 100% mommy all day long, is ok with him. I remember when he was just a toddler, 3 years old, and I had him in the Perky Penguin Preschool. A friend at work had tried to give me helpful parenting advice. "Always ask about the child's worst and best parts of their day, that way you get them comfortable talking about school with you."
So I tried it on my little Jeffrey.
"What was the worst part of your day?"
"When you dropped me off, Mommy. When you left me!"
"Uh, ok, baby, then tell me about the best part of your day."
"That was when you came to get me Mommy, when you came back."
That wasn't how the conversation was supposed to go.
So now I had to tell my sweet boy that I would be going back to work. He was playing a balloon popping game on the computer when I told him that I had been offered the job, and what did he think about that.
Of course, as I expected, he said he didn't like it. Then he continued looking at the screen, shooting the balloons, and I could see his big brown eyes start to turn red at the edges, and then begin to fill up. I would do ANYTHING to keep my baby from being this sad.
"Oh Jeffrey look at me!" And he did, and then blinked, and two gigantic tears made their way down his sweet cheeks, and his eyelashes turned into a spiky wet fan.
"Why do they have to make you go back? How can they force you to? I thought you quit. How come those bad people can do this?"
"Jeffrey, I want to go do this job. This job is different, with different people."
"You want to go?" And then we stared at each other, both realizing something about each other at that moment. I noticed that Jeffrey wasn't complaining about what would happen to him, but he was thinking about what going to work was like for me. And he was considering that this wasn't something that was happening to me, but that I was doing willingly. I was afraid that he would see that as an even worse abandonment, but although he was sad, that didn't seem to be it.
Then I knew that the worst thing for my kids wasn't the hours that I had to spend away from them. And that although of course they would prefer to have me standing on the porch with a plate of fresh baked cookies when they got off of the bus, the thing about my working that really caused a problem was how stressed the many conflicts of it all made me. They just like the happy and relaxed mommy better than the frazzled and worn out one.
So that's what I have to do, find a way to make it so that I can go to work and come home and be the mother that they need me to be. And this transition has allowed me to figure out who that is, and a brand new start at trying to do it right this time.
It was the man I'd interviewed with at GM. He let me know that they were going to be offering me the job. Start date in September.
Up until then I'd been doing my Scarlett O Hara routine and trying not to think about it, but after a week had passed without word, I started to become concerned that I wasn't going to get it, and that's when I began to understand that I really did want it.
I have a feeling, in my gut, that this is the right thing for me to do at this time. Possibly because it's all been coming about so easily, but I think there's more than that. I like that at this job I get to use knowledge from my engineering past, and the thing that really excites me is that I will be learning NEW skills. During the interview I said that I didn't have a background in technical education other than taking classes, but my interviewer said "Oh, but I know you can learn that part." And that, right there, is what makes this 100% different from the situation that I left. I was a whole new person to him, a blank piece of paper, with a history of experience that has shaped who I am now, but does not limit what I am capable of doing in the future. That is what I so want, a fresh new start, a chance. I don't have to overcome someone's perceptions based on what they've been told by others. It's up to me.
So I told him that I would like to accept. I don't feel like I'm going to go back to being Melinda, I feel like I'm getting to be a new Melinda. Possibly new and improved. AND I've still got a month to enjoy my lovely summer at home. And of course, to keep on blogging about it.
NEXT: What about the kids?