Posts Tagged With: Work

 
 

I Haz Wurds

I had the distinct pleasure recently of going to a job interview. I know about elevator pitches, “me in thirty seconds,” power statements, objective phrases, all those tips and tricks for how to nail an interview and land a job. But it’s been a while since I’ve done the real world thing. I was woefully unprepared. But then, lately,  I seem to be unprepared for most of what life sends my way.

You think I’m exaggerating. I’m not.

So here’s how the interview began.

Them: So, tell me about yourself.

Me: I iz a person. I do stuff.

And it just went downhill from there. Ending eleven minutes later with Them saying, “we’ll call you.”

Which I’m guessing means they won’t call.

It isn’t just in a stressful situation like a job interview where my brain goes south. Oh, no. I can be in a social setting and fail just as spectacularly.

Them: So I heard you’re writing a novel. That’s so cool! What’s it about?

Me: There’s this main character. Stuff happens.

Them: Hmmm…

Me: Hey, I’ve also written a children’s book…

Them: Oh really? Tell me about it!

Me: Well, there’s this main character… She does stuff…

Impressive, isn’t it? I know. Sometimes I astound myself with my utter lack of ability to communicate clearly and succinctly. If I could just type out my thoughts I might be more effective. Maybe I could pretend to be mute. It might work out better that way, although I’d surely offend someone unintentionally.

I’ve been told I’m a pretty decent teacher. Recently, after a teaching gig, I had a friend say something along the lines of, “I don’t think what was in your head was what you were saying.” Which was her kind way of saying that I tanked big time.

pexels-photo-355952.jpegThere are people who know me that could testify that I can carry on actual conversations. I’m often coherent and almost intelligent. It’s true that I’m more comfortable listening, although there’s usually an unspoken dialogue running in my head that’s witty and brilliantly spot on. It’s just that the connection between my brain and my mouth seems to be defective somehow.

I’m hoping I can land a job that involves no interview, no face to face contact, and no verbal interaction. I know, I know that’s not at all realistic.

In the meantime I’ll work on my verbal skills, practice my “me in thirty seconds” spiel and polish up my interview answers.

Or maybe, I could be a dog walker and pooper scooper! I’ve heard there’s an app for that.

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Being Human, Writing | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

The Story of a Lifetime?

“Eyes may be the window of the soul…but hands tell the story of a lifetime.”

It’s Gratituesday! Have you ever given much consideration to what your hands do in a day? I got thinking about that this morning as I tied the laces on my walking shoes. The more I thought, the more my gratitude grew.

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci

Brushing a finger lightly across a small child’s brow and around their eyes can lull them past their resistance to sleep. Tickling under a chin, applying a band-aid, wiping a nose and best of all, holding a tiny hand in my bigger hand all fall under some of the most important things and fleeting things my hands have done.

The delicate but firm grasp of fingers holding a needle and thread as I secure a hem brings a singular satisfaction. Likewise slipping buttons through buttonholes while dressing, or grasping a zipper and pulling up, scratching an itch, all provide a sense of self-reliance.

An acquaintance of mine had a massive stroke a month or so ago and now she can’t use her hands at all, for anything. She’s completely and utterly dependent on others for the most basic of tasks. Knowing such possibilities loom for any of us makes me all the more grateful as I hold a hose to add fresh water to the bird bath, or pull a weed, or trim a low hanging branch from my tree, or set a table, hold a fork, turn a knob, or brush my hair.

Cutting an onion, stirring a simmering pan on the stove, washing dishes, scooping ice cream all give pleasure and provoke thankfulness. Kneading bread on the counter, slowly working flour into dough until it gives way with just the right amount of resistance reminds me of the mixed strength and softness my hands possess.

I love that I can put my hands on a piano or organ keyboard and produce music. Equally surprising, a tap from my fingers on a screen that grabs tunes from midair and plays music.

I love even more the feel of a pen in my hand as it writes words on paper. I’m still amazed at how my fingers move across a computer keyboard, automatically knowing where each key is, how hard to press, how to combine two keys for a capital letter, all with barely thinking the words. Who knew hands had memory? But they most certainly perform many tasks repeatedly and with little thought.

hang ten

Hands even speak…

Folding towels, pressing a wrinkle from a collar, wiping fingerprints from a window, pressing a doorbell, turning a key, pushing a stroller, holding a grass trimmer, picking up a penny off the floor. Every movement of my hands so common, so phenomenal, so blessed.

My hands have callouses, short nails, wrinkles, freckles, big knuckles, funny outward curving middle fingers, an occasional slight twitch in the right thumb and rough skin. They also have muscles and strength, a gentle touch, sensitivity to heat and cold, softness and sharpness. They lift, carry, push, pull, hold, caress, smooth, wash, ease, point, repair, plant, perform, clap, rub, press, write, draw, mend, work and bless. And so much more.

Kind of handy, wouldn’t you say?

 

 

 

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

When Life Gives You Oranges

Oranges!!!

Oranges!!!

Who hasn’t heard the “When Life gives you Lemons make Lemonade” speech? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Okay, yes we’ve all heard it.

You make lemonade.

How about oranges? What if life hands you oranges? Then what do  you do?

Let’s line up the two side by side and see what we get, shall we?

We should.

Have you ever actually made lemonade? From a bowl of lemons sitting sweetly on your counter? Or from the tree in your backyard? That’s an important distinction.

Those pretty orange globes hanging on the tree make for a cheerful sight.

Those pretty orange globes hanging on the tree make for a cheerful sight.

Citrus trees have fierce hidden thorns and grow thick and tangly. So picking the dang things is like having life hand you lemons. Scratches on your arms, neck and face can definitely happen. I suggest you wear long, heavy-duty sleeves to pick lemons or oranges.

That bucket, box or bin you pick from that “small” tree fills up fast and gets heavy even faster. Hope you brought your muscles along, or at least some helpers. Our “little” orange tree we picked from yesterday filled up a large laundry hamper, a small laundry hamper and two five gallon buckets. It sure didn’t look like that much hanging on the tree.

Between rain and dust and birds the rinds of those fruits need some washing up. We had a two-year old on that job. She found it funner than bathtime. “I get to play in the sink with these hundreds of orange balls and this cool scrubby brush thing?” Oh yeah, she had a great time.

MSH invested in a juicing attachment that fits on my big mixer. That sure speeds up the process of getting the juice from the little round orange balls. Cut in half, press and the squeezing practically does itself. Sort of.  MSH has slightly sore muscles on his arms today.  A strategically placed bowl fills almost magically with copious amounts of juice. Personally I like to strain off most of the pulp and all the seeds. That’s a bit of a process too. MSH loves chunks in his juice. Me, not so much.

Here’s where things kind of split out between oranges and lemons.

Mmmmm. Makes you want to pour yourself a glass. Try squeezing a glass, it's better.

Mmmmm. Makes you want to pour yourself a glass. Try squeezing a glass, it’s better.

To get a useful amount of juice from either lemons or oranges requires more fruit than you’d expect. An eight ounce glass of orange juice takes roughly five or six medium oranges. Granted, ours aren’t specifically juicing oranges, but still, that’s a bunch of oranges for one glass to drink.

After yesterday’s long process, I can tell you I’m not going to chug a freshly squeezed glass of juice like I do a store-bought carton of the stuff. Personal time and effort give that juice a rarified, vintage wine expensive kind of flavor.

Juicer than oranges, lemons might yield eight ounces from four lemons. But you certainly aren’t going to drink that much lemon juice.  Oh no. That’d pucker you up for a week or more, right there. For lemon juice drinkability you’re going to want to add about an equal amount of sugar, maybe a little less, to two quarts of water and ice then stir well. Eight people can enjoy that sweetened lemon juice.

That’s a bunch of sugar right there. About a tablespoon and a half of sugar per eight ounce glass of water and lemon. That whole adage about life/lemons means you gotta add a ton of sweet to the sour stuff life hands you. Is it even possible to balance life that way? Some sour events life dishes out would require a sugaring of, oh I don’t know, a super sweet six month cruise to the Bahamas every half a year to achieve any kind of juice, water, sweetener balance.

Oranges, however, juice out ready to drink. No sugar required. A bit of ice is nice, but not necessary. It does take a hefty bunch of oranges and work to get that glass full enough to drink. Is the work worth it? When’s the last time you had a glass of orange juice, freshly squeezed? It’s a different experience than a processed glass.

Given the choice, we’d all pick oranges over lemons in the grocery store of life, wouldn’t we. Or would we? Some of us like a bit of tang and pucker. Some of us just need the easier route.

Either way, we make the best of what we’re given. And that, my friend, is the sweet and low of it.

Categories: Food, Gardening, Happiness | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A College Graduation Speech, Sort of, But Not

graduation

(Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

My oldest daughter will graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology on Saturday!!

I am one proud mama!

During the ceremony, speeches will echo out across a sea of caps and gowns. Most of what’s said will skip about the room with a low absorption rate. Most members of the audience will focus on one person in the room, their graduate.

It’s a shame there isn’t a way to personalize such a momentous occasion. To hear from each graduate about the circuitous path they followed to arrive at graduation would take weeks, or months, but oh the stories! To get a taste of the audience members perspective of that path would add a dimension never dreamed of before.

To share some small fraction of lessons learned in and out of the classroom while on that path would fill libraries.

I intended to dispense advice in my own little version of a graduation speech for my daughter. After all, I gave a graduation speech at my high school graduation eons ago.

But then, I thought of my daughter and her path to this point in her journey. She’s taught me more than I ever taught her. I’m certain of it.

She arrived in this world already confident and brave and friendly.

Now she is also: A world traveler. Caring. Smart. Beautiful. Open-minded, open-hearted. Anticipatory. Relaxed. Brave, adventurous, fun. Prepared. Strong. Kind. Willful. Opinionated. Easy going.  Friendly.  Wise.

What’s next? Graduate school? Maybe. A career? Maybe. She’s taking the summer to mull it over and relax. It’s been a long winding road.

My Advice? 

  • Be yourself.
  • Trust your feelings.
  • Remember you are loved.
  • Keep your eyes open.
  • Enjoy.
  • Love.
  • Give.

That’s about it. No speech from me.

She has what she needs, she’ll get where she’s going with style and grace and a smile on her face.

Oh, one last thing:

  • Keep in touch with your mom.

That’s all.

I love you my sweet girl!

Confetti

Hooray for you!! (Photo credit: ADoseofShipBoy)

Categories: Family, parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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