Monday, January 18, 2010

Squeaky Wheel and All That

At times I am still amazed at the complete 180 my life has taken at work. One year ago I was pretty sure I was going to quit my job and was taking some vacation days (the first paid vacation day I'd ever had) to de-stress and sort things out. I wanted to use the days before I gave my notice, hehe. And now a year later, I am still on the verge of taking vacation, but not because I am so miserable I can't stand the thought of another day there. Much of this turnaround is due to the hiring of a GM who 1) actually knows what he is doing 2) makes himself available to meet with me and listens to the concerns I have.

Last year I was feeling attacked and people were nitpicking my performance. I felt like no one trusted me to do my job let alone take on more responsibilities. I was often done with my work quickly and spent the remainder of my time surfing the internet. Enter the GM who listened to me when I said "I can do more. I want to be able to shine and I have never had the opportunity to do so." And now is my time.

I have been given the responsibility of calling our customers who wish to cancel their accounts and try to "save" them. Today was my first day of sorting through the pile and I did talk to three clients. I wasn't able to save any of them but it did give me some experience in composing a "script" for the best things to say. Hopefully my nervousness didn't show. I even polled a co-worker after my calls to see if he thought I sounded nervous. He didn't. So yay for that!

For now it is a trial run to see how I do and if I feel it is a good fit for me. As of now, I'm excited to put my customer service skills to the test and see what happens.

Capellini Primavera

I've been trying my hand at some impromptu recipes. That is, trusting myself to make something that tastes good based on what I know without consulting the internet for recipes. A couple of weeks ago I made some garlic-parmesan linguine with some ingredients I had on hand that would not have been used for anything else. (I had bought them solely to make appetizers for NYE.) The angel hair I made tonight was born of that experiment:

oil--1 turn of the pan
butter--2-4 tbs
garlic (2 huge teaspoons of minced garlic)
5 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 lg. zucchini, julienned
1/2 orange bell pepper, julienned
2 cans italian-style diced tomatoes (1 drained, one not)
16 oz angel hair pasta
basil and oregano, to taste
shredded parmesan cheese

Make the pasta--you don't need me to tell you how. Heat oil and butter together in pan. Add garlic and all veggies except the canned tomatoes. Add basil and oregano. Just before you drain the pasta, add the tomatoes to your veggie mixture. Toss in the hot, drained pasta to coat. Serve with shredded parmesan cheese.

This was pretty yummy. But next time I think I would add more garlic and the whole zucchini and pepper rather than half of each. I really want to make this with spaghetti squash but my grocery store hasn't had them in stock. Mushrooms and/or shrimp would be great too but I was trying to keep the cost down. As it is, this cost just under $5 to make and I have enough for many lunches this week.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Introspection: 2009 Redux

2009 seemed to fly past me. And that's not to say that I didn't accomplish anything because I most certainly did. Looking back to January of last year, I was contemplating leaving my job because I was so miserable and I was so sure nothing would ever change. I revamped my profile and enrolled in college to take classes to get a bookkeeping certificate. I had found a solution and was being proactive in attaining my goal. And then things took a turn for the worse, and ultimately the better. I had to stand up and fight for myself and proclaim my self-worth when I was clearly being attacked. This time, my work found a solution for me, and things weren't as dreadful and unbearable as they once were. In fact, what was once a swirling vortex of ugliness had become quite cheerful. I decided to stay.

Spring found me taking my first college classes in over a decade. I liked Quickbooks, but accounting on the whole was boring. Who am I kidding? I wasn't born to be an accountant. Enter psychotherapy. I love going to therapy. The decision to do so is singularly my greatest achievement and the thing that makes me most proud. I have learned so much about myself and other people that I do not see the world in the same way anymore. I see the people in my life in a broader, brighter light and the manner in which I gauge new acquaintances is different too. I have seen the change and I want to be a part of that change. More specifically I see how Dr. Carl Gustav Jung hit the nail on the head when he devised a system to help us heal ourselves. I want to be a Jungian psychotherapist. My main goal for 2010 is to find a way to make it happen.

In that same Jungian vein, Summer found me stumbling across the art/therapy of mandala making. I was very stressed with life and work and relationships. I can’t even recall the specifics only that I know it was so. I did some cursory research on mandalas because I had seen them mentioned in Dr. Jung’s book Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. On a whim, whilst at work, I drew my first mandala on a piece of scrap paper and brought it to therapy the next day. In the following days I purchased a sketchbook in which to keep all of my drawings. Even still I didn’t realize the impact the creation of these freehand medallions would have in my healing. My initial goal was to do one a day and while the frequency has subsided the satisfaction in completing each piece grows.

This Autumn and Winter witnessed changes in myself and loved ones that are indescribable and inspiring. Realizing that the Wheel does indeed turn and that it turns from the Worst to the Wonderful. And knowing that Now is the time to embrace all of this. To embrace what I am striving to do right and if I didn’t know so in the Past, I do know it Now. And with knowledge comes power and responsibility to do better. The light of last night’s Blue Moon cast illumination on my path for this new year: to maintain a path that seeks to be honest and direct while being kind and respectful of other people and their feelings. To maintain boundaries which honor myself and my self-worth and that of those around me.

New arrangements are being composed and the melody is promising--bigger, expansive and welcoming. Hello 2010, I think we’re going to be great friends.