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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

With a Thankful Heart

As I sit here on the eve of Thanksgiving,  my mind recalls the difficulty of the year that is almost gone. One year ago tonight, I knew there would be challenges in store. We had just discovered Mom had a mass, but we didn't know what that would mean. I knew in my heart, this would be the last Thanksgiving I shared with her, but I could not predict the difficulties and losses that lay ahead. Over the next several months, I lost not only my Mom, but several good friends. I saw others around me suffer unimaginable losses. I was certainly not alone in my struggles. In addition to the loss of loved ones, it was announced the company I worked for was selling, with all indications pointing to yet another loss... that of my job. The first 6 months of 2014 was marked with numerous funerals and constant uncertainty, and watching the heartbreaking grief my Father endured on a daily bases from the loss of the woman who had been the love of his life for 57 years. During those months, I felt like I had completely dropped off God's radar. Did he see my tears, did he know my pain? Event after event undermined my confidence and caused me to doubt myself in many ways. I felt alone, misunderstood, and faced hurtful criticism from unlikely sources.  I believed my failures, on so many levels, far outweighed my worth. In the middle of my struggle, positive things began to happen and the cloud began to lift. The last couple of months, many of the clouds have parted. Tonight I look back on the last year with a heart overflowing with thankfulness. I've seen the light come back into my Daddy's eyes, I've been blessed with a precious grandson, and God has provided me with a new job that I absolutely love. Sure, I still have stuff that threatens my peace, and wounds that need to heal, but nothing will keep me from celebrating the good in my life with a thankful heart. May forgiveness and mercy penetrate the wounds that remain and cover our hearts with unfathomable love.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I... Am... Whole...

"And finally".... She said as our session came to a close "How are things related to your TBI?" I paused for a beat as I quickly assessed myself. I did a quick inventory of the stress, the loss, and the changes I've faced over the last year. "I feel... I... I am... I am whole." I finally proclaimed. "I am, I am whole." She smiled and nodded. Gosh it felt so good to not only say those words, but to mean them with every fiber of who I am.  It's been a long journey, but I am there... I am me again. I know this person who lives in my skin and not only to I know her, but I like her. I couldn't ask for more than that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Twice the Fun

When I showed up at my new job to pick up the new hire packet, I noticed all of the women had two computer monitors on their desks. I went home to my husband and said... "That can't be a good sign."  Oh my goodness, how was my ADHD brain going to function being torn between two monitors. The first day I felt like my brain was on fire, which sounds like a movie Denzel Washington should star in. Last night during one of my insomnia fits that nothing could tame, I worried and fretted that the day had gone too well. Obviously I had missed (or messed) something. In my mind, I dissected the spreadsheets I had worked on that afternoon from 3 a.m. on. Insomnia is so much fun. But after being on the job for a week now, I can say without hesitation that it's much like working at the doctor's office. I strap myself in and take an 8 hour roller coaster ride. I multi-task much better than I mono-task,so this is the perfect job for me. There is no room for daydreaming or time to get bored. Simply said, I love my new job, which isn't saying anything negative about my old job. I would rather have several irons in the fire (not literally in the fire, that's just an expression). My ADHD brain is happier when it can scurry around several different rabbit trails at the same time.  I sent some of my friends an email today that said... "I have two computer monitors on my desk so I can do twice the work.... they don't know me at all."  I know they are listening for sirens signalling I've attempted to make mac and cheese for lunch and have burned the place down. I'm confident this will not happen, because I no longer eat mac and cheese for lunch :-) Another co-worker replied that having two monitors just gave me more to blow up...  But truthfully, I never actually blew anything up and technically the building wasn't actually on fire.... technically.  The fact that they implemented fire drills after the Mac and cheese incident was a mere coincidence. I've come clean with the I.T. guy at my new job about being called the terminator. I still stand by the reasoning that things went awry because most of our stuff came over on the Mayflower. And... Today I proved without a shadow of a doubt that I was having twice the fun with or without two monitors. I thought I would tackle the mountain of invoices that had piled up on my desk to be filed. As I got to the bottom of the pile, I was so excited because I could see the corner of my pretty little desk (I'm telling you it doesn't take much to keep me amused)... That is until I realized, as I was just finishing up, that I had filed them all in the wrong cabinets (insert dramatic sigh here). I un-filed them and placed them back on the corner of my pretty little desk and declared it break time. My supervisor laughed hysterically, without compassion or shame, at my filing and un-filing plight. Tomorrow morning when I'm perky and fresh I'll have twice the fun filing them in the right place. AND hopefully I will sleep tonight and not play Excel ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Just keeping it real and keeping it fun = keeping it real fun.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I'm a Hoarder

Last Sunday I went to Ada for a friend's recital. When she got up to sing, I was teary eyed. I worked with her when we were helping the youth praise team. I've watched her chase her dream and hurtle every obstacle Satan put in her way. She has overcome so much and preserved through it all. I couldn't be more proud of her than if she were my own. Today "The Girlfriends" had a wedding shower for another one of our boys who has stepped out on the marriage cliff and took the dive. I sat watching our boys catch up with each other as we held our grandbabies. Gosh it seems like only yesterday that they were neck deep in teenage mischief. The time has truly flown by. So many precious memories
threaded together.... We have been so very blessed. It was my first chance to show off lil Levi Atlas Patterson. He went from the arms of one girlfriend to the next until he ended back in my arms. I realized I am a hoarder when I had been as patient as I could be and told them they had to give him back... Lolli needed her loving. No, i'm not ashamed of myself. I've waited a lifetime for this pleasure.  They all agreed with me that he is perfect... absolutely perfect.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Going A Way Shenanigans

I put the cart before the horse in posting my new job blog before my going away blog.  The crew did not let me leave without a farewell send-off.  The day started with an email telling me I had a treasure chest of goodies headed my way. Soon Choo Choo's sidekick appeared in my office with a thoroughly duct taped box.  Actually there were several thoroughly duct taped boxes nestled inside each other along with a million Styrofoam peanuts and tiny insignificant, yet entertaining tidbits that gave me a peek into the minds of nothing short of genius (well, maybe on some planets it would be considered genius... Planets way the hech out there in LaLa land).  The treasures included buy not limited to a 2 cent injector (a syringe with 2 pennies glued on) so I could inject my 2 cents wherever needed.  Also a dime-on pin (a cancer awareness pen with a dime gluedf on).  Get it?  Dime-on pin?  Genius, I tell ya, pure genius.  We went to lunch where we were joined by some of the field guys and I kid you not when I say... They brought more awesome gifts.  How on earth did I merit such generosity?  The lunch gift was a waste paper basket labeled "A cowgirls lunch pail).  Inside I found a "whine bottle", bubble bath (which was a can of pinto beans), sardines, crackers and... Wait for it, wait for it...Deviled Ham.  Genius tell ya.  This is just a small part of the shenanigans I've been up against the last few years.  You have to "dig deep" in the shenanigans dog pile to out-do these guys. I'm a mere rookie by shenanigans standards... I stand in awestruck wonder at their "present".  Choo Choo chose pinto beans for lunch so I told him it looked like I wouldn't be the only one enjoying a "bubble bath".  I suggested we film our bubble baths and post them to face... "I'll sing Santa Baby and you can be tootin your own horn (like usual)"  He backed away from that challenge in a big hurry.  Later in the afternoon I walked into a co-worker's office to hand over more files to her.  She looked up from the computer and saw my arm full of folders and said... "GO A WAY".  I just smiled and assured her that was what I was planning on doing.  At break the girls tried to kill me with death by chocolate.  It did not work, I am still alive (my teeth are black, but I'm still breathing).  I left the office with my favorite work memory playing in the background over the intercom.... That's right.... SANTA BABY!!!  One day I will blog that story.  I will have to change the names to protect the tormented, but I will do it.  It was a great Go Away Day.  Love you guys to the moon and back.... To infinity and beyond.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Back to School... Kind of

I've got the first day of my new job in my rear view mirror. I completed it sans smoke detectors or fire alarms (that's always a plus). Also noteworthy is I didn't crash the entire company system (which I have been known to do), and to my knowledge all office equipment was still in working order when I left (another good sign). Amazingly, my desk (as well as the rest of the office furniture), did not look like it had come over on the Mayflower :-) In fact, the whole place is (dare I say), pretty. I like pretty. I work better in pretty. Maybe I'm easily amused, but pretty matters. I was a little afraid I would have sensory overload, but I only caught myself nodding yes and answering no a couple of times when asked if things made sense. But that is normal operating procedure for me.  Things need to simmer before they completely sink in. I did learn my high heels sound like there is a Clydesdale (a very graceful Clydesdale) traipsing through the office on their tile floors. That is a great excuse to buy new shoes (as if I need an excuse).  On another note, I made it to noon before I pulled out my loaded Blackberry to show off lil Levi Atlas Patterson in pure Lolli form. They made the appropriate oohs and awes one should make when viewing such awesomeness.. To  to sum it up.... I did not burn down the office, trash the equipment AND (this is a biggie), they asked me if I was coming back tomorrow with a hopeful tone.... Not an "OMG, you're not coming back are you?" Panic kind of tone. I got this.... I can do this thing, and all the thanks goes to the one who hung the stars...... Apparently I'm still on his radar... Who knew?

Friday, November 7, 2014

I Will Miss You

I was all alone as I wondered from room to room.  It was my last walk through of the house we had poured our heart and soul into.  When we bought it, it was a non-descript house on the corner.  After 13 years, it looked like a gingerbread cottage, a doll house.  I walked into the laundry room and looked out the window into the backyard at the pool we had spent many  a summer in.  "I WILL MISS YOU" was written on the window seal in black magic marker and childish chunky letters.  I recognized the handwriting of my oldest son.  He cried so hard the night before, we spent another night in the only place he had known as home.  He had roots in that house and we were ripping him away.... Roots and all. We had brought all three of our babies home to this house.  When I saw the note message on the seal, my heart felt like it had been ripped from my chest leaving a gapping wound. I felt like I was  leaving a chunk of myself behind.  We had worked endless weekends, laughed a million times, cried a river of tears, and became a family in that house.  He wasn't moving by choice,  he was moving due to a decision made by his father and I.  We love old houses and were taking a bit of a challenge by purchasing "The Castle House" we had admired for years.  Although the move was upsetting the children, I was confident they would put down roots in the new old house, and we had the rest of our lives to fill it with memories of growing up and moving on....   That was my hope.
Today I boxed up my pink, blingy stapler, my stiletto tape dispense and my pink flowered pencil holder.  I start a new job next week.  The feeling I have in my gut is exactly the feeling I had when I looked down and saw the sad message on the window seal.  I've been here for over 7 years.  When I first came, I was a tiny fish in a new pond... Slowly that began to change and I formed relationships with a whole group of wonderful people.  Now I am leaving and it's not by choice.  I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest leaving me with a gapping open wound.  I keep telling myself that I will put down new roots at my new job....  I keep telling myself that I will form new relationships with a group of wonderful people.... Yes, that is what I'm telling myself, but all my heart is saying is.... "I WILL MISS YOU".