Friday, April 18, 2014

Laborer

I recently updated my Linkedin.com profile to have a title that doesn't make any sense and sounds more like I'm trying to pad my resume than actually describe what I do. . .

I do a lot at the office, even if sometimes I don't feel like doing anything at all. One of the not-made-up-but-looks-made-up titles I have is effectively "facilities manager." And being that I am facilities manager, I decided that our landscaping needs some serious help. Our building is located right between two busy restaurants (that serve alcohol) and across the street from a newly finished construction site. The parking lot that is sandwiched between our building and our neighboring restaurant is a breeding ground for trash. I don't think the weird wind patterns help. So yesterday, as I was managing my facility by picking up trash, pulling weeds, and sorting between our pretty (expensive) decorative rocks and random pieces of concrete, a guy walks by, stops in his tracks and says, "Shit girl, what are you doing? That's a man's job!" To which I replied that no, it wasn't a man's job and besides, at least it got me in the sun and away from my desk and he said, "Well, I guess it ain't exactly hard work," as if to imply that women can't do hard work.

He wished me well and said that as long as I was getting paid for it, and I was happy, that was the important thing.

Well said, sir.

I continued my way around the building. The other side of our building serves as a smoking post for one of the restaurants and their were cigarette butts EVERYWHERE. There were a lot on the other side, but nothing like this.

Side note: When I was younger and my dad had reroofed our house, he paid each of us kids a penny a nail. We spent a whole summer scouring the yard for nails, just so we could earn enough pennies to go to the Drive-Thur and buy candy cigarettes. (Ah, the irony.)

This, of course, is where I got the idea. I want to write the owner of the restaurant and encourage him to have his employees use the smoking booth that is provided about 50 feet away from our office, and if not, I would charge a quarter per butt that I have to pick up. I'm certain that I could make a fortune. I also wondered how ethical it would be to just pay a homeless person like. . . $20 to pick up as many as possible in one hour. How hard would they work for an hour?

Which brings me to my last story.

A few months ago the boys and I stopped at my office to see the progress of the first floor remodel before going to City Creek. A guy knocked on the window and was sobbing - SOBBING - about how he was stranded and just needed $16 in order to buy a plane ticket to get back to Texas and could we please help? I think the boys were less affected by the story, and more anxious to get the flamboyant, crying man away from the window. We gave him money. Only, not but an hour later, we found him hitting others up at City Creek for money. James confronted the guy, and saved one family from listening, but he can't be around all the time now can he? On Wednesday, Andre and I were sitting in the car of my office lot, and there was our little gay friend, as bold as ever, hitting people up for money. Then yesterday, as I sat picking up broken glass from amongst our rocks (a task only a little less worse than picking up cigarette butts), there he was again! He knocked on one person's window and was not crying this time. But then he passed by me a few other times, mumbling the F-word under his breath. I asked him if he wasn't meant to be in Texas months ago, and he just waved his arms at me and kept walking.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A New Club

I'm in the planning stages of forming a new club. Similar to the FTC, it will have arbitrary rules that fit at my discretion, and can be changed on a moment's notice.

I'm thinking of calling it something like, "Introverted or Depressed: The Club for People Who Don't Want to Leave Their Beds."

The by-laws are currently being written up, but they'll have headings like the following:

  1. How to avoid pep talks by well-meaning friends
  2. It's OK to cry for no reason
  3. There's always room for chocolate and ice cream, and chocolate ice cream
  4. Why are you wearing a bra?
  5. The hygiene of depression: good for those with no will to live, and also to keep others at bay (for the introverts among us)
  6. When it's appropriate to call in "sick" for work
  7. The bags under your eyes: you're tired for a reason
  8. Becoming a vampire, or, How to avoid the sun
  9. What to do when you HAVE to leave the house
  10. Becoming a hermit, or, How to avoid the human population
  11. What do do when you HAVE to interact with people
  12. The twelves types of fakes smiles, also included, the five fake laughs you must master
It'll be an exclusive club. Not just anyone can join. I am thinking about asking Ally from Hyperbole and a Half to join as an honorary member, just because, you know, she gets it. (Read this: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html; and then if you really want to take this further - to the advanced course of my club that has yet to be established - you can go here and read: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html and understand why this girl is really quite perfect for my club.)

When admission applications go out, I'll let everyone know. Until then, let me know if you find a reason or two why you don't need to join my club.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Same Old Same

Do you know that I've had a blog for six years (SIX!), and I have basically blogged about the same things over and over and over again? Are you, dear reader, tired of reading about it all? If you have noticed my lack of posts the last year or so, you might realize that I'm tired of writing it.

It's weird how so many things can change is just a month or a year, and then some things, don't change despite time just blowing on by. Natural disasters happen in minutes and devastate or obliterate entire regions. Think of all the changes that happen to a baby from being a newborn to six months; or how much a missionary matures in the space of 18 months to two years. Or the fact that one of your best friends abandoned you for another state a mere 19 weeks ago, and is now, very seriously, contemplating marrying a guy she met within that same time frame. And then there's me. Writing journal entries and blog posts that haven't changed since the minute I turned 16-years old.

How long do you have to fight the same fight before you throw up your hands and say "I'm done!"? I mean, I guess there's no real answer to this. Do you remember learning about the Hundred Years War in school? One hundred years of fighting is equal to a few lifetimes back between the 12th and 13th centuries. What if you have a child with a mental illness and you can't do anything about it but watch him suffer? What if you have a friend or a spouse continually making the same choices/mistakes repeatedly, and never reform? It's their choice, after all. What do you do with things like that - the things that are beyond your control and you're just so tired? So exhausted of the same things and nothing changing.

We're supposed to carpe diem! and take the bull by the horns! Bloom where we are planted! And all these other things. We can make other changes, sure. It's easy to pack up and move to a new apartment or start a new job. You can even make new friends and pick up a hobby. That doesn't always change things. Things like this can't change the underlying, deep rooted problems in our lives. So then we bring in faith and prayer and you wonder, just how many times can God listen to your pleadings for help and assistance, for lessons and the ability to move. on.? Doesn't he get tired of the repetition? I know I do. I truly believe that God knows our hearts' desires. He knows what and who we need. There are plenty of talks and lectures and things talking about praying for specific blessings and asking to do the Lord's will and then our prayers will be answered. Change the phrasing of your prayers and miracles will happen. I refuse to believe that God won't answer prayers because of a technicality - because we worded the prayer wrong. Again, I know that he knows what we long for, hurt for, and need. I know we don't see the big picture and won't always understand why he stays his hand.

So instead, sometimes you just want to curl up and say no more. I'm done. I'm tapping out. What then? You still have to wake up and go to work. You still have to function. You still have to deal with the child, the friend, the loneliness because they are all still there. And there's no change in the forecast.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Keeping A Promise

“Some people don't understand the promises they're making when they make them," I said.
"Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That's what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.” ― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars
This quote can be applied to so many things. But, on those days when I'm not quite doubting my doubts, I think this quote applies to Church. A lot of people I know who have left the church claim that they did not know what they were getting into when they were baptized or when they went through the temple. But there was always the reason that they did it. It was still a choice. And I think sometimes that is just as much a reason to hang on, find the good, and move forward as any. I feel like we always find our reasons later, if we are willing to look for them. You find the reasons why you love the Savior, and why you love church.

This also applies to relationships. Sometimes relationships bring up hard things, e.g. disease/illness, that are hard to deal with; things that we don't know we are going to be facing when we decide to get into the relationship. And if you really love the person, then you keep the promise, you move forward.

This quote comes from one of my new favorite books, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It made me cry at least twice. And if I think about it for too long, I can easily tear up again. It's a very beautiful, perfect, sad story about love and life and it makes me think (and feel) things. Even a month after having finished it.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sad...

After waiting four months, I got another rejection letter from Woman's World . This is pretty sad news, since, I really liked this story.

Rissa was dreaming of the hot Hawaiian sunshine when she felt a sudden crisp morning chill penetrate the warmth of her coat. A deep, gravelly voice further interrupted her pleasant thoughts saying, “I think this is your stop.” She forced her eyes open and realized that the line of people exiting the train had already poured onto the platform.
                “Oh goodness,” she said, grabbing at her belongings, trying to clear the fogginess from her brain.
                “Hold the door,” the man said, offering a smile and the wool hat she had just dropped. “I should have nudged you earlier. Better hurry,” he urged.
                As Rissa was racing out the door, the train pulled away and she realized she hadn’t the chance to thank him.
                Rissa’s commute began early every morning. It took over an hour to get from her house to her office on the train, but she enjoyed the extra reading time the commute provided, and she appreciated avoiding the heavy traffic and icy roads. Normally she read, but yesterday she had been tired. It had taken mere seconds before she drifted to sleep. She nearly missed her stop.
                This morning she juggled two piping hot chocolates and her laptop bag, hoping she would see her champion to properly thank him. She hoped that she would remember what he looked like. Rissa wished her hands weren’t full so we could concentrate on reading, instead she was distracted every time the train stopped letting in a waft of cold air and a crowd of new faces. Finally, a face sparked her memory, and he seemed to remember her, too.
                “Good morning,” he said, looking down at the hot chocolate in her hands.  “Is that for me?”
                “I wasn’t sure I’d see you again,” she admitted. “But just in case, I wanted to thank you for yesterday.”
                He took the cup of hot chocolate from her, offering a small salute with his cup, “You’re welcome. I was afraid that after you thought about it, you would find it creepy that I knew your stop.”
                 “I hadn’t thought of that, but now that you mention it…” she trailed off and grinned. “Really, though, I’m grateful. I’m Rissa.” She pulled out a business card and offered it to him.
                “Greg.” He grabbed the seat across from her and smiled as he tucked her card into his breast pocket, then pulled out his own.
                “How did you know it was my stop?” Rissa asked after a moment.
                “I don’t know if I should admit that.”
                She gave an encouraging look.
                “Alright,” he conceded, taking a breath. “A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a beautiful woman reading one of my favorite books. I immediately wanted to strike up a conversation about it, but she left the train before I found the nerve.” He nodded at the book sticking out of her bag. “Every day she got closer to the end, I knew I needed to make a move. Yesterday, I finally got the nerve to sit beside her, only to find that she wasn’t reading…she was sleeping.”
                “How disappointing.”
                “Not as disappointing as you might think,” he admitted, “because it provided me with a perfectly good reason to speak to you today.”
                Rissa sat back in her chair, studying Greg. He seemed sincere. Not only was he handsome, but he was friendly and personable.
                “So this is your favorite book?”
                They spent the rest of her commute sipping hot chocolate and discussing the book until he said gently, “This is your stop.” He got to his feet, handing over her laptop bag as she adjusted her coat.
                “See you tomorrow?”
                “Definitely,” he said.
                The morning commute quickly became Rissa’s favorite part of the day. She often saved Greg a seat and they spent the morning talking. Their conversations ranged from the mundane to the ridiculous and everything in between.
                “I’ll save you a seat, tonight,” he said with a smile.
                Rissa was surprised, as she knew they did not take the same train home. But when Rissa boarded their usual car, Greg grinned at her. He was standing in the aisle and pointed to a single available window seat. She noticed that his normal place next to her was occupied by a mother, holding her baby.
                “This train is busier than the one I normally take,” he commented, smiling at the sleeping child and then at Rissa.
                They rode for several stops in silence, catching each other’s eyes while listening to the bustle of the other passengers. Occasionally he grinned at her, and she couldn’t help but return it.
                “Will you have dinner with me tonight?” He finally said.
                She nodded.
                “Then this is our stop.”

Rissa smiled. She liked the sound of that. He offered her his hand and they left the train together.

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