Life Lessons Learned

In my life I've had a number of jobs: babysitter, party planner, pizza maker, hostess, survey taker, collections agent, orientation facilitator, muffin maker, community service manager, janitor, news reporter, dog sitter, data entry clerk.

In each one I've tried to learn something and bring that new life lesson to my next job. A life evolving process that I hope will someday culminate in perfection. Or at least retirement.

I've worked in enough offices to know that you should stay out of office politics for as long as you possibly can. Sometimes that means a few months, in the case of my new job, that means a week. It's my second week on the job and already I have established alliances, mutual understandings and an arch nemesis. All that on top of doing my real job.

I've learned enough to know that some people are going to form opinions of you that you don't like and aren't true, but you have to figure out how to deal with them and move on. Practice has made that easier, but not easy.

This afternoon I was called hard-headed (for lack of a more appropriate term) by a colleague because I ask a lot of questions. I guess I never lost that part of me that must ask "Why?"

So, I've finally learned that it doesn't matter how many jobs you had, how many places you've lived or how many people you know. Sometimes, in order to survive, you still need to wear a hard hat.


Play Ball!

I came across a photo today on the internet which made me happy.
Here it is:

It's a photo of Ayla, a service monkey for the disabled, throwing out the first pitch prior to a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park in Boston, last Wednesday evening. I coincidentally was also at a Major League Baseball game that night (Twins vs. Indians - Twins won 7-2), so imagine my disappointment that there were no monkeys throwing baseballs at my game.

I've been fascinated by service monkeys ever since I saw David Sedaris speak about them at one of his readings last year in Salt Lake. As he so aptly put it, "It makes you want to throw yourself in front of a bus just to get one.” Check it out.


An Uncomfortable Email

Occasionally I receive these emails from a good friend of mine. We don't talk or even email that often, but I am on her list to mass email anytime something she finds interesting comes across her path.

These emails sometimes involve low-brow humor, sometimes photos, sometimes warnings about drinking straight out of your Coke can without wiping it off. But sometimes, more and more, they contain over-the-top political propaganda that diverges 180 degrees from my own view. They are hateful, bigoted emails meant to spur patriotism and pride in what we are doing in the world. Only, they don't seem to inspire me much.

I've continued receiving these emails for some time. I would politely read them without comment and then promptly send them to my email trash can, ending the cycle of intolerance. But today, I could not. The email I was forwarded from my friend was simply too much to swallow. I had to respond.

But how to do you respond when you truly value the friendship of the sender? How do you say, "Thanks, but no thanks," without hurting their feelings in this time of extreme partisanship. I felt uncomfortable responding, but I came to the realization that eventually if you don't stand for anything, you stand for nothing.

So I sent her a reply. I mentioned how much I valued her friendship and her as a person. But I put my foot down and said, "Enough is enough." We'll see if I hear back.


Mixed-Orientation Marriage

I came across an article today in The Salt Lake Tribune, my old stomping grounds, that shocked me. When you've spent some time in Utah, you become somewhat accustomed to seeing and hearing about things that are a little unorthodox, but that didn't prepare me for this.

Openly gay LDS (Mormon) men are getting married to straight LDS women in the LDS temple and having families and children together. There is no "how could I not have seen this" moment in the marriage where the husband says to the wife, "I guess it's about time I told you something..." No coming out of the closet after the nuptuals have been taken. Just full and total disclosure before the fact. Women marrying gay men knowing they are gay.

I can't seem to wrap my mind around this new idea of matrimony.

Check it out here.


One in a Billion

I never carry cash anymore. It seems like whenever I have it, I spend it without ever remembering where or why. And although someday I hope to be able to have the kind of money where it doesn't matter if a few 20's get lost in the shuffle, at present, it does.

So I was surprised the other day to actually find good ole' U.S. currency in my hand woven Mexican wallet. Here's what I found:

A 2 dollar bill and a 50 cent piece. What are the odds?


My favorite things

Fresh homemade jam, vegetables just picked from the garden, blue lightening on the prarie, the smell of newly fallen rain, an air conditioned bedroom. Just a few of my favorite things in the summer.