Friday Anniversary

truffles

(source)

I’ll take one of each, please…

Good morning! Today marks the second anniversary of my job with the City. I can’t believe it’s been two years already. In 2015, I got hired on as a two-year position, a budget line item for departmental records management. But times change and needs change. So here I am, gratefully and gainfully employed.

What have we learned this year, boys and girls?

I’m glad you asked.

Last year got pretty rough. Several directors and key personnel moved on. Within the space of seven months, we lost 5 directors. But you know what? We all kept on truckin’  until new managers got on board. We worked together and now have a new normal. The new management was worth the wait.

  • Locks on unisex bathrooms are essential. Now you know.
  • Some people think candy canes potentially hallucinogenic.
  • You can’t – and won’t – please everyone.
  • I can keep plants alive after all, as long as they aren’t too demanding. Huzzah!
  • You will be misrepresented and misinterpreted eventually.
  • No, you can’t pay your Comcast bill at the City permitting desk.
  • I still don’t know if Shelton has a local folk dancing troupe. So don’t ask me.
  • There is such a thing as good chocolate and bad chocolate. Sorry, folks.
  • Our perception colors everything.
  • The only constant in this life is change. Despite FUD, you can still get up every day and bring your best to your job. You can rely on Jesus and He will get you through. He is faithful, no matter what.

Happy Friday!

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The Move

cubicle

My old boss was let go two days ago. I’m still reeling from it all. My new supervisor wants me to move into her old cubicle, which is right on the other side of my current spot. I tried to persuade him to let her personal items linger a bit longer so she can return to claim them, probably during off hours, but he wouldn’t wait any longer.

“Pack it all up,” he said, blue eyes steely.

So I did. Two umbrellas, a coffee mug, training certificates, a philodendron plant. Too much for one box. Old sneakers went in first, reminding me of the walks we used to share. I showed her the glories of flowering magnolias and sunburst fall trees as we strode through the city in different seasons.

Then, a coffee card. Reading glasses. Glue sticks. A ceramic elephant. And a white ceramic pumpkin. Don’t ask.

I didn’t want to continue. I took a deep breath. It felt like a death, not simply a layoff. I found a significant stash of tiny kleenex packets and dark chocolate. Seemed to sum up the female condition nicely, a stress management kit of sorts. Needle and thread. Toothbrush and toothpaste. Loose change. Mints. Cough drops and eye drops.

Wait. Chocolate. Surely she wouldn’t mind if I gnoshed a teensy bit…

Nope. Steady, girl. This is hard enough without adding theft to the mix.

Soon, the remains of more than 2 years of dedicated service was put into manageable containers.

“Thanks for doing this,” my supervisor said to my back.

“Sure,” I mumbled.

I just wish I could have said goodbye in person.

 

 

Super Friday

fresh prince friday

(source)

I ran three miles this morning. I wanted to do more, but that’s all I had in the tank. This week has felt chock-full of Fridays. I loved it. The kids got out of school. Jonathon’s almost done with the house updates. Our vacation looms at the end of this month. So much to look forward to. And now, the weekend. Plus, I got to meet with several good friends this week. I have one more on tap at lunch today. What a bonus!

“So does that make this Friday a super Friday?” Jonathon asked me yesterday. I don’t know what it is, but I’ll take two, please. Super size me!

But…I may or may not have eaten a donut yesterday. And some dark chocolate chips.

Ahem.

I’m finding as I run more, my body craves more food. Most of the time, I answer it with more protein and/or fiber as well as good carbs. But not always.

I don’t crave the sweets like I used to. Not at all. I like that part. Food tastes better. I can savor it and get the sweetness out of it. Dried figs, oranges, apples, berries all fill the need much better. My energy holds steady all day long.

Sometimes, my guard slips. I make poor choices. Well, there seems to be no thought involved at all. No thinking required, simply open mouth and insert donut. But I can get up and go again the next minute, the next hour, the next day. I don’t have to give up. I am learning to forgive myself and move on. I don’t have to stay down. If nothing else, I hope I learn that one concept from this year of no sweets.

It’s grace, people. Grace tastes the sweetest of all.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. – Hebrews 4:16

 

Chocolate Deficit

chocolate pile heart

I’ve been thinking about my tagline today. I haven’t written about chocolate in a long time. The reason is that I’ve tried to give it up for 2016. So far, it’s held on. I seem to be over my inordinate love of cake, cookies, cupcakes and candy, as well as their kissing cousin treats like donuts and pie. But chocolate, that sweet seductress, lingers.

I’ve considered leaving it alone and keeping chocolate in the rotation. But I don’t seem to have boundaries with it. Today marks day 2 of the chocolate-free attempt #95 or possibly 96. Chocolate is a rock star. It looks good, glossy and dark. It tastes good. It has an emotional entrenchment, bringing comfort to those who imbibe. It’s also readily available, though I try to only eat dark. Dark chocolate has heart health benefits, or at least I tell myself that as I pick up just one more section.

I’ve lost about 5 lbs., resetting my base line weight to the lowest it’s been in awhile. Fruit tastes great, of sweetness and sometimes flowers. I enjoy most food more now. I feel really good most of the time. Do I still put sugar in my coffee? Yes. I can’t seem to get away from it unless I use half and half or full cream. It seems I need richness in my life somewhere.

Which brings me to my next topic. I’m in a strange place in a lot of areas in life. I need to be…more. More compassionate. More kind. More wise. More patient, on and on. God is saying, “Step up!” I don’t have it to give, at least not right now. I’ll have to grow into it. I need the richness of the Holy Spirit in my life, more and more. And maybe that means I spend time seeking the sweetness of His presence instead of a piece of the dark stuff.

How sweet your words taste to me;
    they are sweeter than honey. – Psalm 119:103

 

 

 

Ten Good Things

You know it's on the list.

         You know it’s on the list.

He will not let you stumble;
    the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
    never slumbers or sleeps. – Psalm 121:3-4

I know it’s not fall or anything, but I felt like I needed to write some things down.  Ruby came in at 3:00 a.m. to tell me she couldn’t sleep.  I tucked her back into bed with an admonition and a prayer.  Then I couldn’t get back to sleep. I guess last night the Lord and I had something in common, albeit briefly (see above). I’m hoping this helps to get my mind going the right direction.

  1. I find myself grateful yet again for God’s mercy, and that it’s new every morning.
  2. My husband.  Who else would put up with me for more than 2 decades?!
  3. Our kids.  Funny, smart, unique, challenging, kind, adorable…the total package.
  4. Good friends.  You know who you are.
  5. Running.  Even the bad runs provide sweat therapy.
  6. Chocolate.  Nuff said.
  7. It’s Friday.  And I’m wearing jeans. It’s gonna be a good day.
  8. It’s May already.  We’ve had a darling spring so far with blossoms everywhere.
  9. My job.  I’m learning a lot and getting paid for it, too.  What great people.
  10. Our church.  None of us are perfect, yet God continues to grow us in fellowship.  What a gift.
  11. Payday.  Woot!

Bonus:  I’m grateful for you, dear readers.  You keep me writing.  Thank you!

Now, what are you most thankful for today?  Please feel free to comment.

Day 21

calendar-pages

Keeping up with the Janathoners, I worked out before breakfast. I did 40 minutes of kettlebells.  Sparkpeople.com says that equates to 800 calories, putting my starting calorie allotment at 2,000.  I’m skeptical.

Today also marks the end of my 3-week no junk food challenge.  How did I do?  Certainly not perfect. Well, I learned a few things.  I’m still at a 4-lb. weight loss, which I’m happy about.

I feel better without junk food. My energy stays steady and my face is clearer. My attitude has improved. I feel like I’m supporting my best self.

I can’t drink coffee with only milk, unless under duress.  A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.  Mary Poppins said so.

Too much coffee causes me to drag in the afternoon like a curly-haired slug.

I will avoid salty foods, as they maketh me a sponge.

I will add dark chocolate back. Too long a separation, my sweet dusky friend.

That being said,I need to mind my sweet tooth. There’s a coworker who brings in cookies, and gives me a half every single day. I can save those for Zac like I did during this season. I don’t know that I’ll ever conquer la dent sucree, but I can satisfy it with fruit most of the time.

This is a lifestyle I’d like to continue. I want to indulge in the occasional burger with fries or handful of potato chips.  I have 6 lbs. to go to get to my goal weight.  Staying motivated is the key.

How are your New Year’s resolutions going?

Day 14

As of this morning, I’m down about 4 lbs. I’m going to be honest here and say I’ve only been able to manage 2 days in a row of no chocolate.  Because really, at the end of the day, that’s my Achilles heel.  Not licorice, or hard candy or cookies.  Nope. Good old dark chocolate, rich and creamy. However, if I wait, often the cravings dissipate like so much brain fog. I can satisfy my sweet tooth with a banana or piece of apple.  It brings to mind the scripture:  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. – I Corinthians 10:13. I am learning self-control with my emotions. Why not my eating habits, too?  Doesn’t the same logic apply?

Anyway.

This working out before the work day takes some getting used to.  I managed a 30-minute kettlebell circuit with 5 one-minute intervals of jumping rope thrown in. I took a lunchtime walk out in the blue deep freeze today. Invigorating and cheering, after all the gray days. I will get a run in tomorrow, God willing and the creek don’t rise.