Monday, March 31, 2008

I Don't Want This

I just want to crawl in bed and forget the world. I don't responsibility today. I don't want to face the past. I don't want to struggle. I don't want to fail. I don't want the stress. I don't want this, I don't want this, I don't want this.

But I did it anyway. I was hoping that it would all be finished today. I had a plan, and followed it through, but nothing was really resolved. I still have to wait. I still couldn't take any of the first steps. Nothing was fixed, everything is still teetering.

I am just tired of it all. All I can say, is it better be fixed before Saturday. Mexico I need relaxing.

Grief Is a Thief

Grief Is a Thief

Grief is a thief
you have urged
to take you away
but with your own
key locks you,
wet with tears,
inside your musty
woolen closet and
turns out the light.
Dark in your trap
shared with moths
you cry long past dry
and choke on all why.
When you know it's
time (and you will):
the closet open
into a room,burst
the room open
into a sky,
settle for no moons,
pray past all suns,
inhale from Cosmos.
Not earth are you
but the damp wick
of a future shining.
Strike your match
and light the way.

Alan Harris

This poem expresses my weekend better than I could.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wish I Was Smarter

So our cabinet builder stopped by the office today and was explaining complication to Charlie about an upcoming job. I was working on something else, but listening to the conversation. Then, later in the day, I was listening to a debate on the radio about the democratic elections coming up and both speakers very incredibly interesting and well educated. This all got me thinking about my education. I don't think I am that smart.

Really, what did my Bachelors degree get me? Well, not much I guess. Especially since I have to learn how to do everything, it seems, for my job. I didn't learn how to write a Workers Fall Protection Plan, or even how to research and understand L&I laws, I don't have any accounting experience or education, I can't name all the countries, and honestly I am not even sure what name Russia is going by right now. I have no idea who are the State Senate or Legislative Representatives for Whatcom County. I don't even know off the top of my head what years the Revolution, Civil, or even World Wars started or ended. I know the general decades, but that is about it.

I started to think about what a Communications Degree is. Really I was taught the names and technicalities for the things we have learned how to do since birth. I have known how to communicate, but didn't know who developed the theories until I went to WWU. I am feeling depressed that my degree doesn't seem too real world applicable. Maybe if I was in marketing, journalism, or some field like that it would feel more suited. Why did I decide to get a Communication Degree? I am not excatly sure...

I wish that I was smarter when it comes to every day, real world stuff. Maybe I would be interesting if I could intelligently discuss current events, articulate my thoughts in a refreshing manner, or something along those lines. Maybe I should switch from reading fiction, and start to read non-fiction. Or is this a passing feeling of inadequacy and tomorrow I will be happy with my paperback edition of The Bell Jar. Who knows...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Father's Daughter

I have turned into a walking, talking, spiting image of my father. I don't know if it is a result of spending 40+ hours a week with him, or if I was doomed to this fate from the moment I was born. Here are just a few of the ways I have become my father.

1. I listen to AM radio. Yep. I do. I listen to talk radio all day. I start my morning with the drive from Bellingham to Lynden and I listen to the morning news and talk show. Then I spend the first hour or two listening to music on my computer and then I switch over to a live-online version of am radio and spend the rest of my day listening to various republican talk shows. It is interesting to hear the different topics being debated, discussed, and thoroughly torn apart by various hard-core republicans. Sometimes I am irritated by what someone has said enough to turn the radio off, but typically it will last through my drive back to Bellingham.

2. I have a strong need to control. I usually express this need in terms of organization and cleanliness, but I am noticing it escape in other forms. For example my bi-weekly safety meetings. It drives me crazy when Charlie will start with the meetings off with schedule checks, and job updates... that is supposed to come after the safety meeting discussion and updates. But it makes me even more crazy when he talks over me or makes me skip the team building activity for the week. Then, guaranteed, two days later he will ask me why I didn't do some sort of team building activity at the bi-weekly meeting. Sometimes I want to pull my hair out. Although, I do have to admit the office is looking wonderful. It is actually taking on the look of an actual place of business, rather than just some desks and computers in a shop office. I am very proud of what I have accomplished so far.

3. I have to be on my own schedule - NOT someone else's. Growing up, my Dad would had this saying he would use when we would forget something at home when we left for school. "Poor planning on your part, does not constitute an emergency on my part." This saying used to drive me crazy! I was going to be in trouble if Dad didn't bring my flute to school soon, I don't want to hear a lecture, I want you to get in the truck and bring my flute! Today - I live by this rule. I like to organize my day around what I want to accomplish, and when Dad comes into the office and wants me to give him my undivided attention on ten different topics, I want to pinch him, jab his ribs and go back to my work. I have my own things to get done. Just because you can't remember how to attach a file to your email, doesn't mean I have to put everything aside until you feel better. ...actually I do, that's my job.

4. It's My Way Or The Highway. I really do want things done my way. I try to be open to suggestions, but really, deep down, I just want them to conform to what I have already thought out. This doesn't transfer over to all areas of my life (at least I would like to think so), but it definitely shows up at work. It drives me crazy when Charlie puts something where I don't want it, or he doesn't follow my instructions. His idea of putting something away is to just throw it on my desk. (aka - I put it away). It drives me bonkers because I hate things on my desk. I think that is why he does it. Or he refuses to label things. He says he will remember what it is, but a week later he will ask me what this file is doing on his desk. Oh brother! He also keeps trying to take over the corner of my desk that is next to his desk. So I went out into the shop and found a long stick and use it to push his stuff off my desk and onto the floor. One day he will learn to knock it off.

Of course these are just a few, but they are the most obvious. I can see how one might see these traits as negative, but I see them as positive traits when used appropriately and in moderation. This is my task: To learn how to control my need for control. (hows that for a control freak! ha ha)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Just Rambling

I so did not want to get out of bed this morning. It was so warm and cozy. I really do hate alarm clocks. It is much nicer to wake up to the sun, than it is to wake up to an obnoxious buzzing noise.

I have picked up my tickets for the Mexican Cruise, and the crazy thing comes in a little travel pouch, with all these forms I have to fill out, their own luggage tags, tips and don't forget items, and all this other stuff. It is nuts. I don't have much time left to get down to my "bathing suit ready body" but I keep working out double-time and hopefully it won't be that bad. I think the real shocker will be that much of my white body exposed at once. That is a lot of whiteness.

Joel and I were talking about criminals who are actually really smart because they have figured out ways to get around the system. If only they hadn't gotten carried away, they probably could have gotten away with it. The discussion took me back to the course at WWU on deviant behavior. It almost becomes an addiction, a thrill of sorts, to attempt the deviant behavior again and again, each time raising the stakes, increasing the thrill, until finally an error is made and the criminal is caught. For example, in the Redmond area, a person has figured out how to use a pre-paid Visa with only $1 on the card to pump not only his truck full of gas, but the five one-hundred-gallon drums in the back of his truck. This guy has done it about three times and gotten away with it. That is a lot of gas, for $3. It is almost tempting to give it a try with the prices of gasoline on the rise. Joel and I debated what he must be using all that gas for. I think the person is either a semi-truck driver (or some occupation where he drives a lot and has to pay for his own gasoline) or he is in on the deal with other people who pay him for the gas which he is getting illegally cheap. Joel thinks he must be storing it somewhere. The criminal must have a years worth of gasoline stored up in his garage by now. If there are any stories of a huge explosion in the Redmond area... I think we have found the gas thief.

Easter was fun. It didn't seem like as big of a celebration as in the past. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was just me. I actually ended up working through my family's Easter celebration. I was trying to make up for lost time when I was home sick and we had bills to pay, paychecks to print, and invoices to enter. It actually takes me a long time to do those things. I just like to double and triple check everything I do. I don't want to make any mistakes when it comes to the business's money. On actual Easter Sunday, Joel and I slept in and later went over his parent's house for dinner. His mom had cooked this original Passover/Easter feast. The meal was complete with bitter herbs, unleavened bread, lamb and beef, double dipped vegetables, mortar, and something else that is escaping me at the moment. It was all very good. I was surprised to find that freshly grated horse radish tastes slightly sweet to me. Everyone else thought I was nuts, but hey-what else is new?

Oh boy! It is almost 8:00; the official Coffee Hour. I start work at 7:00am and I usually start by ready email for a bit. Then I check out Post Secrets on Monday mornings. Then I check to see if anyone has posted a new blog. Then I head over to the Herald to check out the local news and to see if any of my latest press releases have been printed. Then I decide if I want to add to my own blog, or if I would rather read the news. By the time I am finished it has nicely turned into 8:00, and it is time to head into the house. That is the nice part about working in the family business. I get to see my family members every day. I spend all day out in the shop office with dad, and for coffee hour and lunch, I go in the house, eat my parent's food, watch their TV, read their paper, and then head home. It is wonderful. During coffee hour, mom and I eat Cheerios for breakfast, work on the newest crossword puzzle, and chat about the latest family news. It is really nice to be able to talk with my parents everyday. They really are neat people. I am enjoying getting to know my parents as an adult. It is pretty neat.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The last two days have been somewhat strange. I haven't been feeling very well. It wasn't really a flu or a cold. I had an upset stomach, couldn't keep my food down, but didn't have a fever or anything else that comes along with a flu. Not sure what the problem was, but today I am feeling much better.

Charlie is back in the office today. He has been in Arizona for the last week and a half for Baseball's Spring Training. Yep, it is almost time for my favorite sport to start to up again. There were mixed results to the changes I made to the office in his absense. I just got tired of the clutter, the messes, the piles, the mystery bolts and screws, and other strange piles often found in a remodeler's office. Now it looks like a true office. With labeled boxes, magazine bins, organized files, cleared off desks, blue-print bins, awards hanging on the walls, not a dust-bunny to be found, and I even organized a employee-work-station for when the boys stop by the office to drop of pick-up tickets, timecards, change orders. I have to say, I am really proud of what I have accomplished in the last week.

I can't believe that Easter is this weekend. Isn't it too cold to be egg hunting? Shouldn't we wait until there is at least some sun outside? Oh well. So, thanks to the holiday, it turns into another weekend of driving from Bellingham to Redmond every single day this weekend. Tonight, I will make the drive to Redmond. Tomorrow Joel and I will make the drive back up for my family's Easter function and afterwards we will make the drive back down. Then on Sunday, we will make the drive to Snohomish for his familys Easter dinner. Then we will make the drive back to Redmond, from there I will pick up my car and make the drive back to Bellingham. Sometimes holidays aren't that much fun. I do like chocolate bunnies, though.

I have made the decision to go on the cruise to Mexico. It was a tough decision, but I have finally come to make one. When a good friend needs you, and your one-and-only is wiling to let you go, you better go. I hope that it was the right decision. I think I feel so positive about my decision thanks to all the talking about it I have done with Joel. I believe I know how he feels, how he will feel, and how we will both feel when the special days comes and we are in two different countries. Man, life can be tough sometimes. (I can't belive I am complaining about life being tough when I am going on a cruise to Mexico!)

Well, I better get back all the stuff I have to do around here!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I was thinking about happiness last night as I tried to fall asleep. How different people define happiness, how certain events make different people feel different levels of happiness, how I define my own happiness. I really do think I am genuinely happy. (the word happy is looking very silly to me right now, happy, happy, happy... strange).

I love my job. I am the Office Manager for Hudson Remodeling. My dad started this business when my family moved from Utah to Washington when I was five years old. He started with just himself and no one else. He would do all the work in the field and then come home and work all night in the office. He supported a family of six with his own bare hands. I admire my father for what he was able to do. My sisters and I had the average childhood. We were clothed, feed, and never needed. My dad sacrificed everything to give his family all he could. My mother was a stay at home mom, which I am sure was hard to do. We ate at home every night except for four times a year, when we would go out to dinner. My dad always encouraged good grades in school, even helped us with our homework after dinner. When report cards came home, it would be a big scene. Each of us kids, chewing our finger nails in worry that our grades wouldn't be good enough to get to go out to eat. But they always were. We would dress up in our finest and go out to Chinese, or Mexican. Not realising that other families did this all the time. My family even had code words that would let the kids know if we could order soft drinks or if 'water was good for me thanks'. Not sure how I got on this rant about my childhood, but the point is, that through it all, my dad did what made him happy. Today the business is supporting seven employees, we are known in the community for quality craftsmanship, and I am loving being a part of it all. We have joined a consulting firm who help remodeling companies refine their business, learn how to understand all the finance statements, how to simplify and streamline all the processes, how to best grow your company (do you continue to work in-house, do you sub out more and more, how to control quality when subbing out?). We have traveled to Baltimore, New York, Raleigh, Richmond, and Cincinnati for this group and have more coming up. The work place experiences I am gaining from being a part of all this is amazing! I can't believe how wonderfully this all fits with my 'bigger picture dream'.

...better get back to work, speaking of work. I have so much to do today. I will continue my rant on happiness another time.

Monday, March 17, 2008

To Cruise or Not to Cruise

So this weekend was a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of this last month. I was looking forward to doing nothing but relaxing with Joel. Even though my body was laying on the couch, my mind has been busy trying to make one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. Do I go on a free cruise to Mexico or do I stay in town for our one year anniversary?

Pros of Going to Mexico - How often do you a get a chance to take a ten day cruise to Mexico completely free (minus spending money)? NEVER! All I have do is come up with spending money. No problem there. I would be snorkeling in the beautiful pacific, swimming with dolphins, laying in the sun every day, and drinking margaritas until I am silly. I have been needing a break and the chance to reconnect with my friend would be wonderful. Not to mention the wonderful chance of actually tanning this summer. I already have asked for the time off work, and it won't interfere with my trip to North Carolina.


Cons of Going to Mexico - I feel as though I would be picking a friend over the true love of my life. I feel that Joel is the one I was meant to meet and fall in love with. I know that we will be together for a long time, but I don't want to fail at my first hard choice. What kind of message does it send to Joel if I abandon him on our first year anniversary together? Would he loose faith in me? Even just the tiniest bit? Is this worth a tan?

Even though Joel has said that he doesn't mind if I go, since this is a rare opportunity, but I feel he would prefer I stay in town. My mind flops back and forth, and with the pressure of the deadline, it all brings me to tears. Which is frightful all on its own. I feel that torn. Our anniversary falls on a Tuesday, so we wouldn't be together anyways on the actual day of our one year, since we can only see each other on the weekend (darn long distance relationships) so if this is the case, so I just go on the cruise since we wouldn't be together anyways. But if I can get the time off for a cruise, I could get the time off for Joel. But he can't get the time off, no vacation with contracts. I feel like no matter the decision, I will be letting someone down. So I feel like the real decision is to pick who to let down.

I don't want to make this decision, but I feel if I can't make this decision now, will I be able to make it in the future? If I make Joel a serious part of my future, there will be times when I will have to make hard decisions and will I be able to make the right ones. Decisions that honor our relationships and commitments to each other? Is it too early to be worrying about these things when we have only been together for one year. One year isn't that long in the big picture. But it means a lot to me, that Joel and I have made it this far, without any complications or hang ups. It has been the absolute best relationship I have ever had. No arguments, no hurt feelings, no lies, no deceit, nothing at all. and I don't want to be the one that starts.

What to do?