Friday, December 28, 2012

Gettin' Too Old for this Sh . . . .

In January, I am starting work for two new companies. The work ITSELF, I can do. I have been doing it for 20 plus years, in one format or another. But in today's high-tech world, each company has its own online system that it uses and each one require several hours of phone tutoring and 40 page directions documents. Trying to keep all of these steps and directions straight in my mind, plus use them quickly and smoothly, is proving very challenging for me. I truly long for the days when I could just type the details in Word and send it in as an attachment. Those days have virtually disappeared, sadly. Now I have to download systems, keep a list of each company's passwords and log ins, and remember what order the buttons are pushed.

I think I am getting too old for this.
The knowledge and skills I have.
The patience for learning the technology not so much.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Resisting Reality

I have had a little extra time off lately, thanks to the holidays, and I have to say, I have loved every minute of it. In fact, it has really spoiled me. I have been getting up in the morning and instead of thinking of my to do list, and what assignment is due--or overdue--I think about where to go for coffee, or what book to read, or which letters I will answer next. I admit returning to reality is proving difficult. I had a 90 minute conference call this morning and have another tomorrow morning and I had to push hard to make myself DO it. Methinks too much time off is not a good thing for me--I will run with it and become a Work Rebel . . .  refusing jobs in one powerful leap, fighting off vengeful assignments, and annihilating opportunities with a single blow. Snicker. Yea, right.

So, I will adapt myself to working again soon and meet those deadlines. And check off assignments. And take new jobs. And apply for more. But . . . I may just milk these last few hours as much as possible before it's back to business as usual.

Spoiled. Yup.

Monday, December 24, 2012

I'm Dreaming of a Zombie Christmas

Never one to be TOO normal, I present Zombie Christmas at the Orr House. Makes you proud that you know us, right? May your Christmas be as full of laughter, family, friendship, togetherness, happiness, and TASTY food as ours!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Making a Difference

I have started to post a couple of times in the last few days, and have found myself at a loss for words. That's saying a lot since I make my living with words.

Our local shooting (at the mall where my family and I are often found hanging out in Barnes and Noble) was followed by the horrific one in the small town in Connecticut. Both acts of violence were ones that made me spend extra time walking into my sons' rooms and hugging them. Caspian continues to battle the fantastical realm of World of Warcraft while I hug him. Coryn continues to tweet and post and interact electronically with friends while I hug him. They both know that Mom's need for physical contact is a little higher these days. They always hug back. :)

The problem with today's communication system is that we know about all of these terrible events as they happen. We can't do a damn thing about them, so we feel all of the emotions--anger, fear, hostility, violence, grief--and have nothing to do with it. We can't exact revenge on the sick, sick people who have perpetrated these acts of evil. We can't comfort the parents. We can't save anyone. We are left feeling so helpless--or at least that is how I feel. Sad, worried, scared, and helpless.

Those emotions are NOT good for me. They do not make me a good writer, wife, friend, or mother. So, instead, I vow once again to do everything I possibly can to make this world a better place on a personal level. I am raising children who are loved and love in return. I listen to their worries and fears and try to help them find the right answers and best decisions. I support them, guide them, love them endlessly, and hope that, in doing so, they will go forward into the world and do the same. They will fall in love, pass on those feelings into the world, and hopefully also have children that they will raise even better than I could. And those generations will go on and on into the future, long after Joseph and I are gone, and make the world a better place.

I cannot help the grieving parents in Connecticut or Oregon or anywhere else. I can hold them in my heart and wish them peace. I can send a heartfelt card. I can think of them every time I interact with my children and other people's children. I can love my family, my friends, the world and the people in it, and hope, hope, hope it is enough to make a difference. Enough? Probably not. But it's a step, and I'm grateful to be a part of that step. Making a difference.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Teenagers . . .

A friend of mine posted today that teenagers can be miserable, and while I know what she means on a logical level, I have to say, mine are not. My two teenage sons are wonderful, delightful, tender, compassionate, intelligent, funny as hell people. A few days ago, my 16 year old was looking at me and I said, What's up? He said, you guys are just wonderful parents. I really don't take the time to notice it but you are. You love us so much and make us feel safe.

Heady praise, eh?

Just now, my 19 yr old looked at me and said, You are an amazing friend to people, Mom. Thanks for teaching us that with your example.

I know that teens have a reputation in today's culture for being temperamental, and confused, and grouchy, and moody . . . and sometimes they are, but then, sometimes I am too. Teenage years are so tough. They aren't children anymore and yet they aren't really adults either. They live in limbo, dealing with changing viewpoints on life, hormones, a pressure to make decisions about the future, hormones, complicated relationships with friends, hormones, and trying to find their place in the world--plus hormones. I am surprised they don't go insane actually.

As their mom, I try to balance listening with guiding, loving with  advising, and empathizing with nudging. And never, not once, have I thought these young people in my house were miserable. I just love, love, love them and provide a willing ear, open arms, and usually a wise ass comment.  So far, so good.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hearing Loss versus Sleep

So, the other night I ended up, as you know from following my every essential word, sleeping on the couch because we had the dog and she wouldn't stop snoring.
Tonight I am in the living room for the same problem--but this time it is Joseph. Joseph . . . the man who virtually never snores (although he exhales louder than a freight train sometimes) is snoring. And LOUDLY. And so here I am, at 4 a.m., sitting in the living room working on an assignment. I know it is smarter to come downstairs and just crash on the couch, but most of the time, I don't feel sleepy plus I know that I will lose these hours later when I do sleep and then I will be behind again. So, yup. Just finished one passage, and starting on the next.
I have always been an auditory person, and haven't minded, but times like this I despise it. I want to lay in bed and just IGNORE the sound, concentrate on the music playing under my pillow and let go . . .but I CAN'T. I like music, wind chimes, the cat's purr, the wind, rain . . . . but NOT snoring. And no, ear plugs don't work with me. They hurt and drive me nuts. Same with ear buds.
I have already lost about 60 percent of the hearing in one ear years ago and on nights like this, I find myself wishing it had been a little more.
However, I will work a little longer and finally curl up on the couch and drift off to the sound of my iTunes playing softly, the dryer tumbling clothes in the garage, the hum of the refrigerator in the kitchen, and the occasional "ping" the computer makes when an email comes in.
Sweet dreams.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kindness--Pass It On

I really, really like surprising people with something nice they didn't expect. (Yes, I am a HUGE hit at Christmas. :) ) Case in point . .. today we went to one of the billion fast food chains and ordered some quick lunch. It seems like good service at a drive up is almost unheard of anymore. Either the person is bored, impatient, can't hear us, we can't hear him/her, we speak different languages, the sound system is lousy--or a number of other reasons. This guy though--clear, patient, helpful. We pulled around and he was this young guy with a big smile. We thanked him for excellent service and dear heavens, the young man was actually humble AND gracious. As we pulled away, I said to Joseph, "Let's tip him!" So we pulled back around and asked if it was permissible to tip him. He said yes, but it wasn't necessary. We handed him $5 (for a $20 order) and he just lit up. I am not sure anyone had ever tipped him before and he was just virtually speechless. We smiled and said, "Merry Christmas".

Then, all the way home, Joseph and I came up with a list of other things we could do like that. I am already feeling the holiday spirit!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Job Report

At the end of October, I posted about the jobs I had been offered and how many accepted/rejected. I realize that this does not exactly make for riveting reading, but I like formally keeping track. So read if you wish.

In November, I was offered a total of 20 jobs.
I accepted 13.
I rejected 4.
3 are pending.

You wonder why I don't sleep?

Not Sleeping, Just Sighing

It's almost 7 a.m. and I have been up all night. Still not sleepy, so thought I would take a moment to blog.
Gosh, that is a less than creative introduction . . . .but after no sleep, my creativity seems to be either on pause or dormant. At least some part of me is resting.
Why am I not sleeping (see, I knew you'd ask)? I went to bed at 11:30 and read for 30 minutes. Turned off the light. Cuddled under blankets. Since Coryn is sick, we had the dog instead of him. I drifted off to sleep . . sort of . . but then the dog started snoring.
I'm a very auditory person and snoring is probably the fastest way to banish sleep for me. I kick the dog just enough to waken her but not hurt her. She stops. I close my eyes and start to drift off and then she starts up again.
This went on from midnight until almost 2. Then I just gave up and came downstairs. Put some quiet music on, Threw a pillow and blanket on the couch, and quickly realized that my brain thought I was up.
Sat and read for an hour. Finally turned off the light, laid down, closed my eyes. Slept for 30 minutes when Joseph came down to check on where I was. That woke me.
So we chatted for a few. I was selfishly needing sympathy. Just some aw damn, honey. That sucks. Come back to bed and we can turn on the radio/move the dog/figure out a way but . . nope. So he went back to bed and I sat at the computer and wrote an assignment that is due Monday.
But hey, that's one less thing to do later today, right? You know . . when it is the middle of the afternoon and no amount of coffee keeps my eyes open any longer?