whether you’re having fun or not

I knew it had been a little while since I had last managed to post something, but I was a little stunned to realize I’d been incommunicado ever since early July and now we’re practically halfway through September and damn. Time flies.

It’s been a busy few months but I am certain I don’t need to bore anyone with all the tedious details and so can sum up fairly quickly.

The new job is going much better than I had expected and I grew a tough exterior pretty quickly. I am definitely one of the more lenient team members on the readmission staff, but I don’t have any problems turning away obviously bad candidates either. In fact, I have only felt bad once and that was only because the student accepted my decision so graciously. Usually they’re a lot more bitchy and will write emails wishing all our family members will get cancer and it’s tough to feel like a wrong decision was made when someone comes at you with that sort of shit.

All of that being said, I did end up applying for another job within the University, in their accounting office. Since I intend to be an accountant when I grow up, it seemed to make sense to start as soon as possible. The interviews were stressful, but just this morning, I ran into the hiring manager in the elevator on the way into work and she said they were still looking, but only because HR was giving them grief about the fact that I haven’t been with the company for 6 months yet, so it sounds like they would make me an offer if HR would let them. My understanding is that they are going to interview some more candidates and if they truly can’t find someone that they think will work, I should get the offer anyhow.

We’ll see. Either way, I am content.

Speaking of being an accountant, I started the enrollment process this last week and am hoping to officially start school on Jan. 1. My 75% discount will be in effect and I’ll have time to study the course material between then and now. Right now, I just feel like I am waiting on my transcripts to be evaluated so I’ll know what transferred and what didn’t. Being on staff in Records means I will know when all this happens and could probably do a rough estimate myself if they would only upload my damn transcript.

/kicks Transcripts team

While I am waiting on that, I am spending time in WoW and really enjoying Legion so far. I adore what they’ve done with the whole choose your own adventure/start where you want leveling path and I’ve been taking the questing slowly. My main just hit 107 tonight, so I am getting close, but not in a rush. However, it looks as though my new guild home will be raiding on a casual basis and I find this suits me very well. Having Grimm and Yngwe around is also lovely!

Of course, I manipulated that whole casual raiding decision and was surprised it only took one enthusiastic conversation with Grimm to do so. I seem to have a knack for suggesting things in the right places or the right ways lately. Following a post of mine on Facebook, my church has recently kicked off small group dinner fellowships. And I am all about getting to know people better over food, so I am thrilled they ran with it and made it A Thing.1

I’ve always wanted to be a Soother.2

That seems to be the major stuff. Just got back from Colorado again, this time there for a family reunion on At’s side. That was splendid and I got to apologize to my in-laws for all the times I’ve been an asshole3 and I think it made… well. Their evening anyway.

The roommate, in the meantime, is still here. But he is also giving me way more space, which is what I need. All the space.

Oh, and my best friend is coming to visit for like two weeks! So. Excite!

So I guess life is pretty great. How be you fine folks?

  1. Yes, I did just segue from WoW raiding into church small groups. What? I’ve always thought the two things had striking similarities!
  2. Ever since I read Mistborn for the first time anyhow.
  3. See: the last 13 years I’ve been married to At

guys, I’m in my 30’s

I am recently returned to civilization after a long weekend spent camping up in the mountains of southwest Colorado. At more than 9000 feet, it was cold, especially at night or when it rained, which was pretty much all of the time. I think I am reaching the point of my life where I am definitely too old for this shit, because we cut our trip short by a day and I am still trying to recover from the whole ordeal, especially in terms of catching up on sleep.

Molas

I returned to work Wednesday, expecting to settle back into my routine and to do so without a fuss. But about 15 minutes after settling in at my desk, my supervisor asked me to meet with her in the conference room. My first thought was that I was in trouble and then my second thought was that she was probably just going to catch me up on whatever announcements I had missed by having the previous day off and so was unable to attend the team meeting.

But it was neither of those things.

She started with a comment about how we had talked in my last one-on-one meeting with her that I wasn’t destined to remain on her team for long. The follow up was that I had been moved to another team and another process. Effective almost immediately, because a person on that process was moving to another position within the university.

My first reaction was to be flattered, because come on. I’ve been there two months. I am not even off my three month probation and they want to freaking promote me and hand me a raise. Not a small raise as I found out a day later. A $2/hour raise, bringing me back up to what I had been making at my previous job, only including benefits and really freaking good benefits at that. It’s a financial win all around.

But. But. HOWEVER.

I’ve been working the new process for a few days now and not only do I think I will quickly grow bored with only dealing with one thing, but I think I will hate, hate, HATE dealing with that one thing for any length of time.

They’ve put me on readmissions, so it’s basically my job to look at anyone looking to come back to one of the four colleges we have, and decide whether to approve, conditionally approve, or flat out deny them re-entry. A previous version of myself might have relished the chance to have that kind of power, but the current me, who has felt so called to love even the least worthy because that is what my God does, is sick over it. I cannot be making these decisions. I have no idea where the lines between mercy and judgment lie these days.

In fact, for the last month, this song has been stuck in my head non-stop. Which is weird for me, because it has nothing to do with me and my struggles with anxiety, so there you go. It’s been a place outside of myself and my selfish ways.

At the same time, I am recalled to how I felt when I first was offered this job, like I was being specifically granted favor for a purpose. And now I am being given even more favor. For the first time in my life, I have been promoted based off my merits and performance. And I am in my 30’s y’all. And I have never been a slacker.

So perhaps this is where I am meant to be. Perhaps this is what I am meant to be doing. Perhaps I have been granted this favor for a reason.

I have no idea.

I only know that it’s the weekend and I am so afraid to go into work on Monday, because I know they are going to demand I do some part of this new job at some point that day. I know I don’t feel ready, no matter how well I’ve already mastered the process so far as the technical “click this thing and then this thing and also this box” process is concerned.

So here I am, crying about a promotion and a raise when I feel I ought to be happy, but instead feeling sick. Perhaps this is the very first of all first world problems, but I don’t think I want this, not if it’s going to be so much anxiety and stress for so little reward. On the other hand, there’s a chance I can take my new heart for mercy and apply it to people who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance. I have no idea.

Here’s where I am though. Please send help. Or prayers. Or the force. Whatever you want, really.

of excess and roommates

Have you ever read a book that sort of ruined your life?

I did recently, and I blame book club. A few months ago, we read a book called “For the Love,” and it was okay. Not life changing or life ruining, but funny enough that when I was at the library and saw another book by the same author (7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess , by Jen Hatmaker), I thought sure, why not? and checked it out.

Since At and I have been going to work together and since I can’t stand to watch him navigate the rush hour traffic, I decided that reading to him aloud made good sense, and so decided to tackle 7 first.

The premise of 7 is simple enough. It’s about – well, mutinying against excess – in a time and a country when consuming is the order of the day. Not all of it made perfect sense to me, I’ll admit, and neither did all of the seven things that the author chose to reduce resonate, but overall? Yeah. It made me really stop and think about the ways in which I contribute to the problem and not the solutions.

It has touched off a lot of discussion between At and myself, mostly about our house. You see, not that long ago, I was hardly batting an eyelash over the fact that the two of us – plus two cats – have a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom, 2600 sq. ft. monstrosity to call our own.1

It’s ridiculous.

I started batting my eyelashes over the size of my house a little more than a year ago, when I went to the UK, and got an idea of what living space can be like when one doesn’t have all the elbow room that we’re blessed with in America. Meeting a newly married couple who were so happy about their 400 year old house with the refrigerator tucked in a closet under the stairs gave me a bit of a pause regarding my attitude towards my 10 year old house with the refrigerator in my kitchen that I’m confidant wouldn’t fit through any of their doorways.

Sitting outside a cottage in Wales and feeling all the sheer perfection of that place, I told my husband that we needed to sell the house when we got back home. Sell the house, have a smaller mortgage payment and travel more. All the stuff I possessed back home was nothing to the experience I was having.

Obviously, we didn’t sell the house, since I’m still sitting around feeling appalled that we own it. In fact, we’ve spent the last year pouring a lot of time and effort into making it nicer and making it our own.

But reading 7, as I said, rather rekindled all my feelings about owning it in the first place. During one of the many conversations we’ve had since reading the book, my husband proposed that we might consider a roommate since we have the space and it could be a chance to minister to someone.

“Well,” I objected immediately, “God would have to make it pretty damn obvious that we were supposed to have a roommate in the first place. It couldn’t be just anyone and I am not going to put out an ad looking for some random stranger to come live in my basement. I will basically need this to be dropped in my lap.”

And that night? God dropped a roommate in my life.

We had a friend over for dinner and during the course of conversation, he mentioned that he was needing to find a new place to live. His landlady was jacking up his rent and he didn’t have the space where he was to really work on retrofitting his bus to make it into an RV anyway.

Glances were exchanged. I was heard to mutter, “It didn’t need to be that obvious!” to no one in particular. An agreement was made.

This was all about a month ago, and you guys, I am not going to lie. I’ve been having a tough time with the whole thing.

The new roommate is super chatty. I want to be left alone. The new roommate is of a certain generation where the general feeling is that if there’s a woman in the house, she is in charge of all the cooking and cleaning. I say, “Oh, hell no,” to that notion. The new roommate talks over the television shows when I’m watching something. I am biting my tongue more than I would like.

And I am convicted all over again, because I am not loving a friend any better than I am loving shitty drivers.

But I don’t question that this is the right thing to do. It absolutely is, and not least of all because it is challenging to me and is making me deal with my failings.

The really scary thing to me is that this morning, out of nowhere, I was thinking about another friend and it occurred to me basically out of nowhere that once the current roommate is gone, it might be good timing for offering my home up to this other person.

I have no idea if that is something this friend even needs or why I thought of this as it relates to them or why I’m looking ahead to new roommates when I’m having such a hard time with the current one.

All I know is that I blame 7. And God.

  1. I feel like my European friends may have just died a little at that admission.

love, love, love

Love has been on my mind a whole lot this year.

I’m not talking about romantic love, really, although some of that does come into the mix since I am married to that one guy and after almost 13 years of marriage, finding the spice and romance can be something of a challenge.

Fortunately for everyone, I’ve been more concerned with something hopefully a bit closer to the heart and soul of what – and Who – love is. I’m talking about a love that is Grace and Mercy and Peace and totally undeserved. I’m not good at this kind of love, not in any way. I am slightly better at receiving it than I am at giving it, but that’s not saying much. I am rubbish at extending it and, like most humans I know, can’t quite wrap my head totally around the whole concept of being given something so perfect and unconditional and absolute.

This is a love that is worth chasing, that is worth trying to delve into deeply enough that it does become a more natural part of how I see and interact with the world.

As I pursue a better understanding of love, I am reminded constantly of Mark 12:30-31

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

-KJV

That’s one doozy of a bold call, and one that seems dang near impossible. Move beyond myself and deeper into Love?

To that end, I’ve been trying really hard over the past several months to love even shitty drivers.

This is not an easy thing. I ‘m not exactly a road-rage filled maniac, but I do get impatient with a lot of things. That deep part of me that cherishes the concept of rules and standards is tried on a daily basis whenever I see someone speeding or changing lanes without signaling or crossing over the solid white line to cut me off for the love of my brake pads.

It starts off with a gentle fume and builds up to my actually yelling out loud in my car, “That is not legal, you moron!” like it’ll actually change anything. It doesn’t make feel better, that’s for sure.

Even when I feel I am doing well and not yelling, I apparently bitch about bad drivers enough to where my friend recently informed me that I made her a more easygoing driver.

“How’s that?” I asked.

“You say things about all these stupid people driving poorly so that I don’t have to. I feel very zen when you’re affirming all my feelings.”

Glad I can help, I guess!

So the challenge over the past several months has been for me to try to remember that yes, even that guy who just ran a red light with his horn blaring as though everyone else were somehow to blame for the near-collisions he would have been at fault for, even that guy is loved by someone.

Not me, but someone. And if I knew him at all, wouldn’t I extend at least a little bit of the benefit of the doubt? Would I ask him why he were being a giant dick or would I ask if everything was okay at home? Maybe he has a kid who fell and and broke an arm. Maybe he really is just a dick on the road but has some lovable qualities elsewhere. The thing is, I’ll never get to know what the story is behind any of it.

And it doesn’t really matter what the story is, in the end. What matters to me is my attitude and my behavior. It’s the only part of this whole equation I can really do anything about1, so I’m working to change it.

Maybe it’s strange to call it love, to try not to get angry and to think of these other drivers as real people with real qualities. But to extend grace, I think you need at least a bit of love at the center of it. And I don’t think you need to know someone to be able to do that. Not when we’re all members of the same family we call humanity.

So yeah, it’s a simple enough concept but one that is terribly difficult for me to master. I mess up all the time. But I’m trying. Hopefully I’ll eventually see a difference in myself and not get too discouraged on my path there.

After all, the things that really matter don’t usually come easy.

 

  1. Unless I pursue my dream of becoming a traffic cop so I can at least write some of these people tickets!