Thursday, August 28, 2008

29 for 29

An update on my birthday and my day at the fair is forthcoming but I thought I would continue the tradition of trying to make some goals for myself in my 29th year. Just like last year, I want to use my birthday to help figure out some manageable goals for myself this year. Now I obviously failed with some of the list last year but I'm not going to dwell on this, rather I will just start over with the best of intentions. So without further ado, in no particular order... 29 goals for 29.

1. Discern my current vocation and find employment that reflects it.

2. Take a vacation with my husband - even it if is just a weekend away nearby.

3. Find a new crafty hobby.

4. Renew gym efforts and find a routine that I can succeed in.

5. Strive for realistic weight-loss goals and lose weight as a result. - 50 lbs down from pre-pregnancy weight.

6. Reduce or eliminate our credit card debt.

7. Begin saving for retirement again. (Having to buy a car unexpectedly last year got me out of the habit)

8. Watch our wedding video on our anniversary. - We did this one!

9. Complete this year's 50 book challenge and get a good start on next year's. - I finished last year's and am behind but pushing on with '09.

10. Nap, guilt-free, when needed.

11. Learn to play a new card or board game. - Yup, I learned Dominion, a cool new board game!

12. Attend a Twins game and at least one other professional sports game (I'm hoping for Packers but we'll see). Not yet but I hope to get to the Dome before the Twins season is over!

13. Make those pretzels for my husband that I didn't get around to last year.

14. Find a CSA and eat yummy fresh veggies next summer.

15. Move to a new place, preferably a house of our own.

16. Visit at least one of the following - Mt. Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, the Pacific Ocean or Yellowstone. Yeah, no $$, but that's fine, it will happen someday.

17. Master a song on expert guitar hero.

18. Find a way to see one of my Father's gigs since he always came to ours!

19. Whatever my employment, strive to remain organized and open to constructive criticism. Some days are better than others.

20. Acknowledge and embrace that I will always be a worrier, but find some helpful tools and practices to help reduce anxiety in my life. Will always work on this one.

21. Continue the habit of eating breakfast each day.

22. Learn to cut myself a little more slack in my daily life.

23. Sort through my old books and give away what is no longer needed. - We got rid of 3 boxes of books and still have more that could be gone through but it is progress.

24. Be on the road to motherhood. - Baby Goat born 2.26.09

25. Get on top of sending cards for the birthdays and anniversaries of my friends and family.

26. Continue to cut back on caffeine and possibly eliminate my use of soda on a regular basis. This went well until the sleepless nights of an infant and then it work!

27. Clean out my closet and get rid of the clothes I don't wear.

28. Reread the Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Narnia, and the Harry Potter series. - Done with Harry Potter...

29. Don't stress out when my 30th birthday gets closer and remember that it is just a number. Two days in I feel ok with it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Mystery Deepens

In faithfully trying to figure out what is wrong with me at work, and who thinks what and how to respond I've had more than a few meetings with folks these last few weeks. And I feel like I'm living in a mystery novel.

I am the plucky young heroine wrongly accused of killing someone and through wit, luck and just a bit of help I determine who really did it and save myself.

Except this isn't a murder, just my job on the line. Today I found out that at least one person who by all signs appeared to be an enemy may not be an enemy after all. Instead it may be someone else entirely. It makes me wonder who is really for me and who is not.

I have only read a few mystery books in my life and while I like funny heroines (think Stephanie Plum) I never quite imagined me as one. Rather I just want a quiet night and a few people on my side. I've had that this evening and hopefully I will continue to find my allies.

In the meantime I will continue to do the best that I can. Nevertheless, it makes the stress of turning 29 tomorrow totally unworrisome. Afterall there are much bigger things afoot. I will work tomorrow but will spend Wednesday at the fair for my birthday and to see some of the family. It will be a good day I hope, both days. Like it or not, big changes seem to be on the horizon for my 30th year alive.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dear MN Twins,


Why is it, that whenever my husband and I sit down to watch a Twins Game, particularly those broadcast from the west coast, you guys go into extra innings? Don't you know that I can't go to bed when the outcome of the game is still up in the air? Please put together a set of runs quickly so I can put my weary butt into bed. You really ought to beat those Angels anyway.

Sincerely,

A Tired Fan

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bark worse than Bite

I'm back at work and feeling better than I was on Monday night. I have had two productive days at work and it seems like the fall is coming together. The nice thing of that is I know that if I stay or go my church kids will be taken care of which is good to know. As much as all of this is killing me it really helps to know that I am STILL doing the very best I have for the kids here at the church. So there critics, PBTTTH!!!

Ok, so maybe not too mature but it helps me to do the work when I keep the kids and not my opponents in mind. It also helps that I've been absolutely prepped for the few meetings I've had this week. The irony of course is this is just making me BETTER at a job that I was already good at! Which I suppose is good even if in my petty moments I still grudge the horrible way I'm being treated here.

That and my resume is getting to be in good shape. You know, just in case...

Also helping my general mood is an increased attempt toward healthiness - particularly after a food-filled vacation. I've been back to the gym and am going again tonight (Water Aerobics baby!). I'm cutting back on the Diet Coke which, while painful, is seeming to help my ability to focus on things and is good for me in general so that is great. I'm not able to go cold turkey on the caffeine though, nor would I try for fear my head might explode with pain, but I am down to one a day! It turns out that also not drinking so much diet coke leads you to drink more things like water or milk or juice, so that's a plus too.

I am even eating chicken again. For whatever reason chicken has been a food phobia of sorts for me, but since it is an abundant, cheap and lean source of protein I'm forcing it back into my diet. I can't say I like knowing I'm eating it but I am able to enjoy it to an extent. And I can tell that it is good for me too. Mr. Goat has taken to calling it wonderbird as a bizzare attempt to avoid my phobia triggers and is still good enough to do the preparation of it for me so as to avoid setting off all of my crazies so it is a good situation so far. Maybe I'll upgrade to actual chicken (ahem, wonderbird) preparation sometime again but for now this is a good step.

I'm learning I try to change too much at once and get frustrated so these are my steps for now. Maybe when life calms a bit I will feel better able to deal with more than these steps but I'm feeling pretty damn good about my attempts at it today. I'll prevail at a few things each day and get a bit closer to getting myself toward some personal goals. It feels good to be on track today and that is all I can try for for tomorrow. And one day at a time might lead me to some place new and cool that I can only imagine!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dread.

I'm back to work tomorrow from a nice vacation. The word of the hour...dread. I already have an inkling of the emails and shit that has been flying with me gone anyway and I am going to need to get caught up, get my stuff done and still trouble-shoot the fact that a few people have it in for me. What I want to do instead is walk away and not look back. I suppose that this is a sign of needing to look for other things but so much of my energy is going to the day to day survival of the current job that it is overwhelming to be looking for something new too. Nevertheless it becomes clear that it needs to be done.

Back into the storm tomorrow and hoping I find a light somewhere in this mess.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hangin' in Wisconsin!

I am doing the ultimate get away vacation. We drove to Milwaukee yesterday to stay-cation at my oldest friend's house. So I'm playing with her kids and hanging out. We had their back-to-school bbq today and I was on sno-cone duty. It is amazingly fun to help others with their "work." It makes it fun for me and I'm glad to help. Plus it isn't my own work which makes it 20x better.

Tomorrow is a day at the lake, Saturday is probably the zoo. I get to play with friends, hang out with my oldest friend and our husbands and it is just lovely. It is a small vacation and not too expensive but lots of fun and a good way to reenergize!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Social Butterflies

It has been a fun weekend. On Friday on of the Pastors at our church got married. He was the quintessential "Norwegian Bachelor Farmer" except that he was neither Norwegian nor a Farmer. Nevertheless, much of the church was out and about for this social event of the year and we were all thrilled that he finally took the plunge. I think only a mild amount of drugging was necessary…

The advantage of a Friday night wedding is that you can party the night away and still have a day to recover before you have to be back to church for Sunday morning. So Chris and I danced the night away and then got home around midnight. Naturally we were hungry and so we ordered pizza and watched a movie. It was a fun college-like experience, though I definitely felt the “staying up till 3am thing” the next day.

Still, we were able to sleep on Saturday and then join some classmates of Chris for a “Yay! we took the bar exam” BBQ which was also quite fun. It was a very social weekend.

Now it is a lazy Sunday afternoon. I should be doing laundry and cleaning; instead I am lounging, watching the Twins and updating the blog for all y’all. And I don’t feel bad about it!

Here is one picture of us at the wedding…please ignore the sweat infused hairdo. I liked dancing!


The cats wanted to come to the wedding too but they got into a fight about who looks better in the tie. What do you think?

Doppler...


or Tsunami...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Now that's sweet

Nothing tastes as good as going to get a Blizzard because you know that day they are donating all the funds from Blizzards to the Miracle Network.

The Goat family - saving the world two blizzards at a time! Yummy!

Oh Brett,

I've blogged about you before. When you retired in March I was sad to see an icon leave the game, someone who lead my team to greatness, someone who played the game with grace and class. I was sad to see you go but glad you'd left on a high note and hopefully of what Aaron Rogers can bring to the Packers. But I was pleased with the way your retirement went. You didn't draw it out but gave the Packers a chance to plan for the upcoming season.


Until last month that is....

I was at camp when I first heard a rumor - He wants to play. The rumor continued to grow - He wants off the Packers and to go to the Vikings (there is just SO much wrong with that idea). And so grew a battle between the Packers management and Favre.

Favre: "Release me..."

Packers: "Um, NO, you retired remember?"

Favre: "Let me play for your rivals..."

Packers: "Um, again NO, how dumb do you think we are?"

Favre: "Ok then I'm reporting to camp, make me head quarterback or trade me."

Packers: "Fine, come up here and we'll figure it out."

Now far be it from me to refuse Brett the right to play football if he loves it, but the way he did this whole thing brings added controversy to him and Packers organization. It makes him look like a spoiled child and the Packers lose something in any decision they make. There are Packer fans mad that we traded him to the Jets today. There are fans mad at Brett. I imagine it will be tumultuous year from a fan-perspective with critics of Rodgers quick to point out that we could have had Favre instead. For my part, as much as I loved all he did for the Packers I'm glad to see him go. Most professional atheletes don't do well retiring and then coming back.

It will be inexplicibly sad to see him in a NY Jets jersey this year, but I can't help but wonder if this wasn't the best option for all parties involved. The Packers seem confident in Rodgers and I've seen good things from him so far, particularly when Favre was injured in the game against Dallas last year. I will remain a Packer fan. I was a Packer fan before Favre, back when they couldn't win much of anything. I wish we could go back to March and the honorable retirement of an icon, but we can't, instead I'll cheer for Rodgers and the Packers and watch Favre as a NY Jet.

Still, with all the drama around Favre and the Packers I'm very curious to see what becomes of the Madden Curse this year...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Checking in.

Hey friends,

I can't thank you enough for all the kind words. That people have cared enough to drop me a note letting me know that they think I'm special has really be a wonderful source of joy for me this week. Things are still hard at work, seemingly impossibly hard but I'm pushing through. At this point I can only do my work and do my best to prepare for the possibility of leaving my church. Nevertheless, the fact that so many people are supportive of me makes me confident that it will all work out for the best.

I've been spending very little time in the gym lately and need to get back to some sort of routine there but other than that my life seems to be shaping up into something more orderly than it had been for a while. My husband is home consumed with one major task - find someone who wants to employee him as a lawyer. If you know of anything let me know ;) The house is getting cleaner as we've both been able to spend a bit of time digging through piles that added up swiftly in the past months of VBS, camps, job stress and, oh yeah, that pesky bar exam. Simply the appearance of some more shelf space, clean floors and such is a tonic for me. I know I don't clean as much as I'd like but I really do love it when things seem orderly. It makes me want to keep up the work.

In work news I have nearly finished my draft of complaints with this process for the powers of be at church. That in and of itself helped me wrap my head around the sheer "wrongness" of this whole ordeal. (Sidebar - is this an acceptable form of quotation marks? See this blog, which is Anguished Corn's blog of the day.) Writing this letter combined with the looks of shock from staff members when I tell them about this thing and at least one member saying they would leave the church if I went have at least boosted my ego enough to know that all of this does not represent the whole church and for that I'm grateful.

There is a big non-church event this weekend which will have many many church members there. I imagine that it will be a difficult and yet hopefully enlightening event. I also an upcoming meeting with my committee that should provide some input to this whole thing too. But ultimately whatever happens I just want to do my best in it.

It helps that I realized just now that in a week we'll be driving to Milwaukee spend a long weekend with my oldest friend and her family. Yay!

So we are pushing forward, thankfully the best direction. I can't thank you for all your care and concern. I'm always one to invest emotionally in my job and my performance and it has been extrodinarily helpful to know that the opinion of my boss is not held by those who know me.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Aftermath.

I'm not nearly as OK as I thought with all of this. I put on the brave face. I say the professional things. I try to give the Pastor the benefit of the doubt. I know I'm not perfect. But I feel so incompetent right now. My confidence is shaken and my comfort in the church - the one place that I've always tried to have in my life -...well, it feels now like some place I don't belong.

I was a big 'ol mess of waterworks in worship today - A worship service (and celebratory luncheon) that I skipped a family reunion for in order to attend as a dutiful member of the staff. I wish I could describe how sad it felt to be in that place. I know that if I hold my head up high, take the high road and leave whenever that may be I will be protecting a church that frustrates me but to whom I have given 3.5 years of ministry. There are kids who I really love there, and it makes me sad to think about not seeing them grow up. (This would always be true but I hadn't really counted on the possiblity of me leaving *quite* so soon). On the other hand, the desire to go out in a blaze of glory, taking names and taking sides is growing in me. That it is there at all is a testament to how deeply they have hurt me because that I not the kind of person I normally am.

But beyond that, I'm just so disappointed in the church for treating people this way. I've been trying to work on my resume and look for job options to apply for and my self esteem is so low right now. I can't seem to put together statements of my worth for potential employees, instead it is all the negatives that they see in me. There were lovely people to comfort me today and I know these events of the last few weeks are not the whole church, but I'm so betrayed by a church to which I was loyal. I never did anything but seek to put the best program I could together. I'm sure I made mistakes and failed from time to time but not on the level that I'm being accused.

I look at the hill that I need to climb to get out of my bad performance and I wonder if it is worth it (or if they even are considering keeping me anyway). If I'm so bad that I am worthy of being fired already what can I do to remedy it? When the person who should be an advocate for the staff is the one leading the charge what can I do to change his mind and would it last anyway?

It is just sad that the Senior Pastor has demonstrated time and again the way he operates with the staff - that we know that he acts without valid reasons, on whims and misconceptions. I knew this before this of course, but I sort of hoped that it was all on minor things and that, on the big things at least, he had enough decency to work with the staff and not against it.

I go back to work tomorrow after having most of last week off. The bar is over, but very little else has been accomplished. My depression is settling in for a long stay of reminding me that it is probably "all my fault anyway" and the thought of going back and being professional and dutiful and emotionally engaged makes me feel a bit ill.

Which I suppose is my answer to whether I should stay or try to go elsewhere.

It is just so sad.

If I don't work in a church again this will be why, and I think that would be too bad because deep down, no matter what blame I place on myself, I think I have gifts there.