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Finally Free?

Yesterday was my last day at the place I have worked for the last 4 and 1/2 years. For most of that time I was pretty miserable, but obligations and duty called. This summer I paid off my student loans in 5 years instead of the scheduled 10, (YEA!!!!!!!!!!!) this gave me the opportunity I desperately needed to leave my job. I have had a rough year emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally. I felt completely trapped in my job, like I couldn’t get out. Yes, I could look for work elsewhere but I also discovered I was in the wrong field and had no clue where I should look. Because I have a loving, supportive husband, because we have been financially responsible, because the Lord has looked upon us with favor, I have the rare opportunity to just spend time in rest and explore what life has to offer. While the unknown can sometimes be scary, it can also be exciting. My challenge is to break down the walls I have used to rule my life. Instead I need to replace my idiotic rules with, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) Everything else will follow in time. I am truly free.

Paging My Brain…

Is it possible for one’s brain to become so overwhelmed that it just stops working? Am I losing my marbles? (They’re coming to take me away ha-ha.) I have become entirely too over-worked at my current job. (Hence one of the reasons I’m leaving) A co-worker came by and asked me a simple question today and I gave him a vacant stare. It took me several seconds to even process what he was saying, it was like he was speaking to me in a foreign language. I’ve also become very distracted and forgetful, like I’m trading places with Brandon. 🙂 And don’t forget about the part where I am making up words or combining two words to make new and exciting words. It’s very disturbing really.
So for stress relief I have been doing this:

This is part 1 of 3 for Jeff Dunham and Peanut. Funny, funny stuff

Only 1 day left!!!!

Starting a New Tradition?

My younger brother is getting married this weekend. Yesterday he was in a car accident. As he was merging around a freeway connector the person next to him changed lanes into him knocking him into an 18-wheeler. That made his truck start to fish-tail and he ended up sliding down the embankment onto the feeder road. He hit a pole on the way which stopped his truck from rolling. Neither the car nor the 18-wheeler stopped. He was totally unhurt and his truck is still fully functional albeit a little smashed in back. God was definitely watching out for him.This sounds all too familiar. The weekend before our wedding Brandon was in an accident. It was raining that day and he hydroplaned into the median wall. He got out to check the damage and then returned to the truck, put on his seat belt and made a call to his BIL who was somewhere ahead of him on the freeway. As he was talking a girl who wasn’t paying attention slammed full force into the back of his truck, picking his truck and spinning it 180 degrees so he was facing oncoming traffic. His truck was totaled but he was completely unhurt. God was watching out for him as well.I’m beginning to notice a pattern. One might say the signs were pointing to not getting married. I say it’s all a matter of perspective. I believe that Satan is very much against marriage, it goes against everything he stands for and he would do anything to break up a union that God put together. In these situations God was saying, “Oh no, you don’t! I have plans for my children and you aren’t going to keep them apart.” He put angels there to look out for them.On a side note after talking to my brother and inquiring whether he was alright he told me the ride down was kind of fun, “like Nascar.” WHAT?!?!?!?! Are you high?!?!?!Men!!
In a few days time I will be the proud owner of this!! I started saving for a digital SLR camera last Christmas and when our anniversary came this year my wonderful husband told me he would cover the difference. It only took me 2 months to pick out the camera I wanted. I wrestled between the Nikon D40 & D40x and the Canon XTi Rebel. I did tons of research, weighed my options, went back and forth then finally in the 11th hour the Canon won out. I chose the Canon because it is the better camera between the 3 and it costs less. Besides, with the Nikon I would be pretty limited where lenses are concerned. I already own the film version of the Canon Rebel and will be able to use the great lens I already own with it. The only draw back I see is the Canon uses a compact flash drive where the SD drive is pretty much the norm. For years I was against digital cameras because film cameras produce better pictures. Now I know I will get great pictures with the digital and it makes storing and choosing the pictures to keep or get rid of so much easier. I am so excited to get started. Too bad I didn’t make up my mind sooner for my brother’s wedding this weekend.

Happy New Year!!

What will 2008 bring? It’s going to be a year of change and all I can say is bring it on. I get to leave my highly stressful job on 1/24 and it won’t be soon enough. After that the future is uncertain and for once my obsessive-compulsive, perfectionist self is at peace. I look forward to another chapter in my life’s journey.

Year in Review

Every year Dave Barry does a Year in Review. I decided to do one too only mine isn’t nearly as wittily crafted. Since time was so elusive for me this year I wanted to remember the things that happened in my life. I meant to write more often but the unimportant things constantly got in the way. I am always amazed that the years go by so quickly and yet so much happens.
January
…started off with a bang. Instead of eating the traditional corned beef, cabbage, and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, I feasted on Gatorade, Sprite, Jello (not red or purple though) and lovely Halflytely Bowel Prep solution. January 2 brought a colonoscopy to check for signs of Ulcerative Colitis which I was diagnosed through blood test the previous October. I was told I was much to young to be there to which I responded, “all right, can I go home then?” No such luck. I started to wake up during the procedure and recalled a very unpleasant sensation down below and voices saying to knock me back out. After coming back to earth, I received wonderful pictures of my innards as the doctor explained everything to me and my husband as my mind wandered. She told me everything looked good and I wasn’t currently showing signs of Ulcerative Colitis. The first words out of my dopey mouth were, “OK, can I try to get pregnant now?” She told me she wanted to do an upper GI series so coming off my BCP would have to wait a few more weeks. At the end of January I quit my BCP.
February
…was fairly uneventful, I mean how can you top a colonoscopy? We visited my younger brother, sister-in-law, and nephew up north for my nephew’s first birthday. Their small town hadn’t changed at all since we were last there for their wedding the previous year.
March
…marked 10 years of togetherness for Brandon and I. Later we ventured to the hill country for a family camp out.
April
…my partner in crime at work left me for greener pastures. I was tossed around from office to office. I was ignored. Then they realized how much work she actually did, realized they couldn’t keep up and stayed permanently in panic mode. My mood started to dip.
May
…I realized that I needed help to get out of the disaster that was becoming my life. I researched counselors while all I really wanted to do was crawl in a hole. I found sympathetic friends who understood what I was going through. We flew out to Phoenix to visit my older brother and his family. It was a welcome distraction and then back to my crap-tastic life.
June
…I started counseling. She told me to see my doctor. My doctor put me on drugs. (Yippee!!) I bared my soul. I learned that I needn’t call my self stupid.

July
…I paid off my student loans 5 years early, I was no longer a slave. It was cooler than usual. It rained a lot, which was nice. Our bills were cheaper and the weather matched my moods. I was starting to feel better, I no longer begged for God to take me home.

August
…after spending a good deal of money fixing something on his 1990 truck, my husband killed it on the way back from picking it up. Somehow as the coolant exited as he drove the short trip back. His truck overheated and he blew the head gasket. I was glad to get rid of the POS although we planned to replace it in October and not August. Weeks of searching for a new (used) car ensued as we took turns driving each other to work in the opposite direction each day. My other younger brother got engaged.

September
…we were still searching for a car. We finally found a 2002 in good condition and paid cash for it. This brought lectures on how we should have taken out a loan and invested the money we spent instead. (Talk about Stupid Tax) This really brought Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover into perspective. He said people would think us crazy and he was right.

October
…I came to the startling realization that I needed to quit my job. I wasn’t getting anything out of my job except for endless hours of banging my head against the wall and stress. I made plans for a departure at the end of the year. I needed to take a sabbatical and seek God’s direction in my life. Surprisingly this left me feeling strangely optimistic (clearly the Lord at work) instead of the trepidation I felt months earlier when I “knew” I was stuck where I was and couldn’t quit my job without having another lined up. I also informed my counselor and my doctor that I was quitting my antidepressants. My partner in crime who left for greener pastures decided to return from said greener pastures for a much higher salary. I questioned her sanity.

November
…brought the start of the preparation for the hectic holiday season. My older brother who in years past always waited until Christmas Eve to do all of his shopping informed bragged to me that he was almost finished with his Christmas shopping. We attended our couple friend’s destination outdoor wedding which turned out to be rainy and nearly freezing. We were of course attacked by the “pregnancy paparazzi” all weekend. The house we shared with another couple and college friends (mind we have all been out for years now) turned into an all night frat party complete with booze, stripping, and guys banging on my door in the wee hours. I got lots of sheepish I’m sorries from my husband who had assured me when making the arrangements that his buddies had all grown up now. Apparently they never do.

December
…I announced to the head of my department that I was leaving for personal reasons. Everyone thought it was a huge joke. I later found out that my boss was let go that same day because her husband who also works with us announced he was leaving to work for a competitor. Seeing as we had been in panic mode since April, it was now stepped up a notch. I told them I would leave in January to give them adequate time to replace all of us. I was subjected to horrible group sales meetings in a clear attempt to motivate me and show me all the excitement I would be missing if I left; all of the “oh-we-are-just-too-busy-Rachel-is-faster-just-give-it-to-her-even-
though-it-isn’t-her-work-and-she-is-overloaded-too,” extra work; the hours of working late so I couldn’t even attempt to do Christmas shopping; and keeping up with my extra-curricular holiday obligations. Luckily our company shuts down between Christmas and New Year’s and I was told the Friday before Christmas that if I finished all of my work I could go early. Even more fortunately my counterparts in the eastern office had their lines of communication go down, so before they could send me anymore of their BS work I hightailed it out of there. The weekend before I spent helping everyone else get ready for all the festivities. Christmas found us united with my brothers who live out of town and a week jam-packed with family togetherness.

And now on this last day of the year I am sitting peacefully relaxing with my wonderful husband with no commitments and no where to be but right here. The year has had it’s ups and downs. I have laughed and cried and I have learned. 2008 is a year of change for me. I’m starting the year by finally taking some time for myself. I am going to seek God’s direction and purpose for my life. I am excited for the possibilities. Who knows what the year will bring for us? A career change? More growth? A new title of mommy? Bring it on!

I Did It…

I Quit my job!!!!