Monday, May 28, 2007


In memory of my Great Uncle Alex, who went to Heaven today...

Lately, I find myself in over my head with working more than full time, being a wife, being a mommy, and volunteering for those causes near and dear to my heart.

I enjoy being a professional instructional designer. I like what that persona brings to my life. Investigating a new product my company offers, determining how our clients may use the product, and creating adult education/training materials can be fun. I know it may not sound fun, but I really enjoy analyzing something, and breaking it down into meaningful pieces of information. It sort of gives me purpose. It provides a modicum of control over part of my life; however, my company’s changing culture has inhibited my like for my job lately.

I know that the grass isn’t always greener, and well, these are changing times in the world of business. I can see the changes already. Some of the roles within my company are now being shifted to offshore resources where the price of labor is cheaper. It worries me to see the changes. Will I have a job in the near future? I do see some positives though. It has broadened my horizons in that I have opportunities to virtually “meet” coworkers in India and Pakistan. While we do not have a language barrier, there certainly is a cultural barrier that has to be broken, and that doesn’t even begin to cover the time zone issue.

In any case, my job routinely takes me away from home and volunteering 45-60 hours per week. I know that may not seem like much to others in different professions, but may I ask if you sit in front of a computer all work day long for 45-60 hours a week? I often feel like a caged animal in between the three walls of my gray cube, where I hear every cough, sneeze, sigh, frustration shared, and other chatter. It robs my senses of the ability filter out unnecessary information. I feel like the hair on the back of my neck is always standing at attention and waiting for the next strike.

Since the demands of everyone’s jobs are taking an increasing toll on my coworkers, a self-preservation atmosphere is emerging. It is hard to see my coworkers being so unpleasant at times. Being on the receiving end of this ill will is deflating my like for my job. I only hope I can rise above it and develop a thicker skin. My professional feelings were stabbed in the heart last week, and if this keeps happening, I may need to take myself out of a toxic work arrangement. Tears brimmed in my eyes, and I had to find a shady spot to calm myself. I’ll give it time though.

I was hoping a weekend away with my family would provide some perspective, but alas, it was just a brief reprieve. Watching the waves gently roll across the lake had a lulling effect, but not a numbing effect. Occasionally, I’d hear the girls fighting over a toy or screaming with joy upon finding yet another interesting rock on the beach. I kept wondering what happened to me. Why don’t I find joy in the simple things anymore? Who will care that I worked so much when I’m on my death bed? I certainly won’t.

After attending Antonio’s funeral recently, it reminded me to value the time I have, and I’m really trying to do that.


Veterans dressed in uniforms literally paraded past us. Marching bands thump, thump, thumped their way down the street. Kesa’s band marched past us in cadence. She refused to provide indication that she did, indeed, see us perched on the curb. Grace and Meghan proudly collected candy as it was thrown their direction, and they both waved their flags with the exuberance of first time attendees of a parade.

As the last police car closed out the parade, we walked back to our minivan, and decided to eat some lunch before heading home to southeast Wisconsin. As we slowly left a large parking lot at the park, we were none the wiser as to what had just happened. Hunger was taking its hold on our stomachs, and Applebee’s beckoned us, so we pulled into the parking lot there.

As I walked around the back of our minivan with Grace on my left and Meghan on my right, I heard a hissing sound. Puzzled, I looked up to see my husband’s index finger extended out toward the back left tire of the van. The head of what appeared to be a roofing nail was strategically placed into the side wall of the tire. Air was screaming out around the nail. A few choice words ran through my thoughts, and I could tell by the look on Charlie’s face that he had similar ones. I suddenly realized that this was done on purpose, and my faith in the basic goodness of humanity was deflated just like that tire.

We tote our children, our precious cargo, around in that minivan.

A couple of hours later, we had a new tire, and some lunch.

I only hope that karma does exist. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

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