Tuesday, December 05, 2006

This Could be a Problem

I really like being unemployed... er, make that not working.

Normally, I wake up at about 6:30 AM. If I go to bed at 10 PM, I wake up at 6:30, and if I go to bed at 4 AM, I wake up at 6:30. It's a blessing or a curse depending, of course, on what time I went to bed the previous night. I woke up breifly this morning at 6:30, let animals out and went back to bed, hoping to sleep till maybe 7:00. When I was woken up by Tom's kiss goodbye, my first thought was that he had been able to keep his promise to himself to get to work earlier than his normal 10 - 10:30 time (yup -- that's the customary starting time for the software industry in Seattle). I mumbled "good boy," then glanced at the clock, expecting to see maybe 8:00. It was 9:30 AM!! I jumped up and asked, as if I didn't believe my eyes, if it was really 9:30, to which Tom said, "Yup," and added, "am I still a good boy?"

I slept until 9:30! I still can't believe it. And now that I think about it, it was heavenly!

Within an hour, I was at the post office, mailing off holiday packages. The line was long and patience was required, but I knew that the lines would be longer and more patience would be required during the lunch hour or post-work rush, so I was grateful for the pre-schoolers' chatter and side-line games. There really is a whole different crowd out during work hours -- and I so enjoy them!

After the post office, I decided to add the money that my mother-in-law (hi Rose!) gave me for my birthday to the gift certificate that my father had given me to The Sun Spa. My massage and facial yesterday was absolutely glorious and I decided that this year I'd actually spend Rose's gift on myself! Since the spa is in the same building as the gym, I knew that I'd have to visit the gym or I'd feel guilty all day. So I did. I actually enjoyed my time on the elliptical trainer and the weights... no doubt because I was listening to my new iPod, which made the time (and the pain) speed by!

Normally I don't shower at the gym because I'm usually in a hurry to get somewhere, but today I figured why not? I have much to get done, but my time is my own now and I could actually stay and shower at the gym if I wanted to! So I did.

As I worked the Herbal Essenses shampoo through my hair, the fresh, floral fragrance brought back vivid memories from the summers of 1975 - 1981, when I worked on the staff of the University of California at Santa Barbara Family Vacation Center. It was my college summer job and probably the most fun I've ever had in a job in my life. The smell of the shampoo reminded me of the smell of washing my hair after long days on the beach with my wards -- children from ages 3 to 7. I felt happy, healthy, athletic and bronzed. In those days, water, sand and sun were constants in my life, and the smell of Herbal Essenses shampoo will always remind me of those (relatively) carefree days and the warmth of both the climate and the comaraderie. Youth is absolutely wasted on the young! (Sigh...)

I took my time at the gym, completely cognizant of my ability to do so, then came home and did some cleaning and organizing before meeting "Eva from (Koeln) Germany," the 17-year-old for whom I'm a liasion through AFS. She has, fortunately, found some happiness in the midst of a crazy situation, and she wanted me to meet Austin... the source of that happiness. It's a sad and frustrating story, actually... though my hope is that it's getting better.

When Eva signed up to be an AFS exchange student, she requested to come to the US as one of her top three choices. Among her bottom three choices was Japan -- mostly because she doesn't like fish and she doesn't have as much interest in that country or culture. She was placed in the U.S. very late in the process and ended up in a Japanese-American family who agreed to take an exchange student because they sent their son to Hungary and were asked to "take one if you send one." So they did. But really, I don't belive that they had any interest in opening up their home in a real sense to an exchange student. When we decided to host an exchange student in February, 2005, we had to LOOK for a way to do it. First we decided that we wanted to welcome a German girl into our family -- and that meant we'd totally welcome her, and that she'd be immersed as part of our family. Our hopes were that we'd find someone who we'd come to really love -- and that's exactly what happened. Laura will always be part of our family, and I miss her HUGE this year! Thanksgiving just didn't feel right without her... and I suspect Christmas won't either -- though we'll have Eva over on Christmas Eve. Which is good for all involved. Eva is really lonely in her host family -- who definitely wasn't chosen for her, since they eat fish every day and don't seem to really embrace her as a family member. (It's kinda hard to feel like part of the family when you're ordered to call your host dad "Mr. X"!) So I try to spend as much time with her as I can and to immerse her as much as possible in our family. On Sunday, she, Kat and I went to the craft store and bought stuff to make jewelry, then came back to our house and made Christmas presents. It was much fun!

And today I met her new love and gave her my whole-hearted approvel... not that she needed it!

I have a feeling my family likes me not working too (except the lack of money, of course), because as I type this, a casserole is in the oven, the house is tidier than normal, and the pace feels more relaxed. Do I really need to go out and get a job?

(The answer is YES, because in spite of everything I just said, I really do enjoy my career when I'm working on projects I like, and would miss it greatly...)

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails