Thursday, June 27, 2013

All Things Grow

Just... pretend to be normal  That's SOP!
I Made a Lot of Mistakes

Just chillin' on a five day vacation of convenience.  End of the fiscal year - have vacation days left and my boss is away from much (if any) phone and internet contact.  So, I could have used this week to get caught up on a lot of other office details - but when would I have a chance again for a full week off?  Use it or loose it, so to speak.  A couple years ago I did use up some vacation time by taking one or two days off per week for about 6-8 weeks.  That was nice, but kind of put me behind the flow of work.  At that time I was not the boss's 'right hand man', i.e. administrative assistant.  So my time now is no longer really my own.

That is not to imply that I don't appreciate 9 straight days away from work (let's not count the few hours I ran in yesterday to assist with cabinet moving - that was fun!  And it felt 'normal'.  Which is sort of sad.)  It's just that I am not sure what to do with myself.  I did take 6 days off in April 2012 when I attended the Eucharistic Convention in Auckland, New Zealand.  But those days were structured and goal-oriented; including that unanticipated 6th day I needed to sleep and get back in sync with U.S. Central Daylight Savings Time.  And I did take two and a half weeks off about 7 years ago to get my hip replaced.  That was structured and goal-oriented, too.  [goal 1: live through surgery;  goal 2: start using new hip while in narcotic stupor;   goal 3: discharge from hospital asap;  goal 4: get back to work before I make my family crazy]

Making goals at the beginning of this vacation might have been a good idea.  I knew I wanted to do readin', writin', pawning any arithmeticin' of bills on my hubby, and finish the bedroom painting job that Martha and I started on a two day break in February.  (The unfinished room hasn't bothered me much.  The parts I see from chair or bed are painted - so it all looks good to me.  I just don't spend that much time staring into my bedroom that the white unfinished walls bother me.)

 Rather than structure, it's all been willy-nilly.  Sleep, read blogs on iPhone, finish reading Palahniuk's "Invisible Monsters", read "The House of Percy" until it feeds into my general feelings of depression, consider finally finishing Stephen King's "11/22/63", sleep more in hopes of rectifying last week's days of showing up to work with a Stanley Cup hangover caused by getting a second burst of energy after game and becoming overall sleep-deprived, watch Stanley Cup final with family on Monday night, sleep late on Monday to celebrate the Cup, read some back issues of magazines, nap a little, etc. etc.  Pretty sad.  No great accomplishmnents - in fact the wallpaper roses that I need to remove before we can proceed with painting are mostly still on the wall.

Last night I had been mentioning funny movies to Bridget.  Little Miss Sunshine was one of them.  We didn't chose it but it was still on my mind.  Especially when Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago" from the soundtrack came up on Spotify while I was checking email.

I made a lot of mistakes 
In my mind, in my mind
You came to take us 
All things go, all things go  
To recreate us 
All things grow, all things grow

I've made a lot of mistakes.  Just pretending to be normal is one of them!  That's been a family motto since we saw Little Miss Sunshine (Actually, they stole it from us!)  Pretending to be normal is exhausting.  I can't help it if I am always pleasant and cheerful at work.  I'll take it as a gift.  There are times I wish I could be as unconcerned and flat of affect as some people I run into in various offices, businesses and the like.  But I just can't.  I guess if I'm compulsively pleasant and optimistic, I am working in the right place.  The last thing people need when they contact their parish is a paragon of bad customer service.  'Cuz what I do is a lot of customer service . . . .and if the first responder of the parish is bad in her job there can be more at stake than the customer changing his cable or cell service.

Somedays...not really, but there's a little Dwayne deep inside me.
But  - especially as a hard-core introvert - being bright and sunshiny is exhausting.  I spend many Friday nights just sitting there.  Staring into space. Decompressing.  (And I should keep a list of all thr 'trigger' words in a simple Rosary that cause me to think about work.  So strange...The Presentation makes me think of baptism which makes me think of candles, which I no longer order, which makes me think of the person who does the ordering now and did I send her an email confirming the time of a baptism taking place on a particular Saturday?  That sort of thing...)

So, my first mistake has not been taking a mental rest from work at prudent intervals.  (My family jokes about the fact that the Pope can get away for a few days, why can't I? And really, do I think I am more integral to the working of the Church Universal than the Holy Father.  Of course, he doesn't know off the top of his head where the #5161 labels are stored.  I do.)  And then I really need to work harder at reconnecting with my family as they go about their average days.  I feel like a bit of a stranger here.  And the lack of phones and bells ringing and having to only answer to "Mom" is a bit disturbing.

Everyone, just... pretend to be normal. 
Christmas Dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's . . . Everyone, just... pretend to be normal.
The Cardinal will celebrate Mass at our parish. . . Everyone, just... pretend to be normal.
Time to leave for Fran's Graduation. . . Everyone, just... pretend to be normal.
Maddie's birthday party. . . Everyone, just... pretend to be normal.
You're dropping by the office? . . . Everyone, just... pretend to be normal. 
Three Sheriff's Deputies cars in front of our house?. . . Everyone, just... pretend to be normal.
Visiting Grandpa in the ICU. . . Everyone, just... pretend to be normal. 
A friend of mine is stopping by to pick up a laptop. . . Everyone, just... pretend to be normal.

I haven't been much of a cook lately.  Have lost the ambition.  And some nights I get home so late and tired that if I lived alone it would be a bowl of Cheerios for me while watching "Chicago Tonight".  I am blessed that Rick likes to cook and Fran is interested in trying new things she finds on Pinterest - contingent upon $ and time available from her constant studying.  (little prayer request - she got the date for her NCLEX exam.  End of July at a convenient location!  Woot! Woot! and all due rejoicing.  If you could offer a little prayer for her I would appreciate it)  Rick's trying harder to stick to his proper dietary regimen, which is good for all of us.  Except for those who take umbrage with the frequent chicken.  Charles has dispensation to quote the Grandfather from Little Miss Sunshine when chicken is served.  It helps dispel his gloom,  "Every night it's the f***ing chicken! Holy G*d Almighty! Is it possible just once we could get something to eat for dinner around here that's not the g**damned f***ing chicken? "

It's good to decompress.  Putting it off is one big mistake I've made.  I've made a lot of mistakes.  There are the errors, like spraying Sparkle glass cleaner in my dry mouth instead of the Biotene Spray.  Twice.  And then those mistakes that are no accidents.  The mistakes that I now have the energy and impetus to take to Confession.  Soon.  
      I made a lot of mistakes     You came to take us     To recreate us 
No one gets left behind! No one gets left behind! Outstanding soldier!  Outstanding!

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