Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ego & Self Image

My ego went on a little roller coaster ride this week.

First I got a series of nice compliments at the new job -- from my boss, from the developer with whom I'm working most closely, and from two people at the main customer with whom I'm working. Since I was really worried I'd lost my mojo over the last five years, this was a much needed boost to say the least! At any rate, it's always nice to get feedback that you are doing a good job. My work-related confidence is growing exponentially every day.

Then Friday night went over to the Steele house for my favorite enchirritos. These are frozen Costco burritos smothered in cheese & sauce and cooked like enchiladas. Yum Yum. Thanks for the invite, John. My five-year-old nephew was sitting next to me at dinner and turned to me to say, "You know, Aunt Susan, you were a lot prettier when Jackson was born." Argh. Direct hit. Apparently, they had been looking at pictures and he's decided my hair and face were both prettier then -- apparently, my face has more "bumps" now. Man, what a blow. And, yes, my confidence in my attractiveness is low enough that these comments from a five-year-old hurt.

Later in the evening, he asked me to help him open the garage door to get his scooter. "I know you are old, Aunt Susan, but you are still pretty strong." Pow, another hit! This kid is seriously good at the back-handed complimented, isn't he?

Of course, I immediately looked for copies of the pics when I got home -- I was sure my sister emailed them, but I can't find them right now. I imagine that I look pretty close to exactly the same...... but I could be delusional. I'll have to find them and post one so you can be the judge.

Here's what I really think: I think we are all carrying around a picture in our head of what we look like and it's probably a really old picture. Mine is a school picture from when I was in sixth grade. I was very California blond, my hair was all feathered, my skin was clear, my eyes were huge and blue. I ran, played soccer, and was on the swim team, so my body was long, lean, and athletic (but you can't see it in the picture -- I just know).

There's a noticeable difference in the next year's school pic. In sixth grade, I was twelve -- that was the year we moved from Maryland to California, I started my period, I started smoking, I drank my first beer, I smoked my first joint (in Pizza Hut at a birthday party). So, by the seventh grade pic, I'm definitely a teenager, and a rebellious, unhealthy one at that. My hair is darker, my face has filled in, and I look noticeably less innocent.

Maybe I'm projecting things onto the pictures in my head that aren't really there. All my photo albums are in storage in Maryland, so I can't check. I'll have to see if Meg has copies of the pictures I'm thinking of. Maybe I'll scan & post them.

At any rate, today I'm feeling old, spotty, and unpretty all thanks to a five-year-old. That sucks. It's even worse to think that my self image is so fragile that these comments could make a difference, but they do. Blech.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hurray! Happy First Paycheck Day!

It's kind of 1/2 a paycheck, for just the first week of work, but still... Hurray for me! Money coming in!!!! I realized that it's been since 1986 that I worked in a state without state income taxes taken out. And I'm not eligible for the 401K for another couple of months. So, not so many deductions makes a noticeable difference.

Still trying to settle into a routine. The "orientation/training" period is winding down, but my group moved offices, so yesterday afternoon was all about packing and this morning was all about unpacking (and finding the bathrooms, etc.), so continue to feel pretty disoriented. Plus, now I'm sitting next to five different guys (yes, they are all guys), so I'm trying to get used to their rhythms. Haven't figured out my niche yet or started doing any real work, so it's weird.

And, no, still don't feel much like writing.... either early in the mornings or when I get home. Have very, very mixed feelings about trying to "force" myself to write. On one hand, don't want to avoid it out of laziness or fear. On the other hand, don't want to make it a chore that I have to do but don't enjoy. Where's the balance? Still working it out.

Lovely weather this evening, though, which makes everything seem easier and simpler. So we'll see.

Later People.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Work / Life Balance....

.... has never been my best strength. One week and a half in to the new job, and it's clear that I'm not incorporating a regular work schedule into the rest of the things I want or need to do very well. The truth is that all those other things have pretty much dropped off the radar altogether. I'm not writing, exercising, cooking & eating healthy meals (last night's dinner was a Peanut Butter Cookie Luna Bar with some extra crunchy peanut butter smeared all over it), reading, putting away my laundry, vacuuming, socializing (much), or anything else -I'm just trying to get up on time, get ready, go to work, learn everything I need to learn, not mess up anything, and get home..... So far, I haven't been able to do much after work except watch TV.

I'm trying to give myself a little bit of a break. Hey, it's only week two and you all know how draining that disorienting feeling of a new job can be. On the other hand, the patterns & routines I set now might really stick and be even harder to break later when I feel more oriented and energetic.

The getting up an hour earlier and writing idea has not been working thus far.... OK - I'm going to shoot for half an hour instead and see how that goes. Baby steps, right?

Much love, people. Keep the pressure on. But not too much pressure 'cause you don't want me to get all rebellious!

PS - Today at work, I have training sessions until 3pm and then have to try again to do a full Oracle 10g install on my laptop, which I wasn't able to do yesterday. Wish me luck.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

As if we don't already have enough to worry about...

Seriously. Now we have to worry about flying stingrays smashing into our face? Now that's just too much. That just crosses some sort of line, don't you think? Not that I expect to be on a boat in stingray-infested waters any time soon, but still, for people like me that worry about pretty much everything (including highly unlikely events), this is not good news. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a link to the news story from this week.

Week One at The Big New Job went well. The training was more formal and organized than I expected, but I was alternately overwhelmed and confused and bored out of my mind. Pretty normal. Too soon to tell how it's really going to be, but I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Lastly, Happy Birthday MEG! Queen of all Sisters! Hail to MEG!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Damn You, Jason Castro!

Damn you for singing Hallelujah on American Idol Tuesday night. I vaguely remember hearing that song sometime before, but now I'm obsessed. I thought if I listened to it a couple of times I'd be able to let it go, so I got an exquisite 9-minute live version from Jeff Buckley's first album off iTunes, but I only want to listen to it more. Over and over and over and over again. When I'm not listening to it, I'm hearing it in my head. When it is done playing, I hit the back button and listen again. I'm making up errands so I can drive my car and listen to that stupid song since I have no other way of playing my iPod.

I've tried listening to something else. I've tried singing something else. I've tried watching TV. I've tried reading. I've tried cooking. I've tried eating. I've tried exercising. But no, it's been two days and I can't get that song out of my head. I'm obsessed and it's starting to get annoying. I woke up at 2am with that song in my head.

Damn you, Jason.

And damn you too for being so darn cute, but only 20 years old. I hate you now.