So apparently God reads my blog and He decided that since I was so gung-ho to "behave better next time" He'd give me the opportunity while it was all still fresh in my mind. We took our beloved money-monster in to the Auto shop as I mentioned and from all the symptoms, expected it to be transmission problems. I quickly noticed that as soon as you say the words "transmission problems" to people they all respond the same way. "Oooo...ouch....thats not cheap!" Excellent....just what I'm hoping to hear. However, according to the mechanic our transmission was fine so he did a few things (flushed the transmission??) and said come back in a week so he could do it again. We didn't last a week. Six days after the first incident I was working...had a client in the car with me...and all her groceries...and it happened again. We were SO close to her house and I was on main street with no good place to pull the beast over and and I couldn't imagine what on earth we would do on foot and my next clients were waiting so I shifted down to second gear and limped the thing to her place; praying the whole time that it wouldn't blow up on us and that I wasn't ruining it even further! I got her home and tried to pull away and literally 3 blocks later, it refused to go any further. So I called ahead to say I was late, parked the car, and walked the rest of the way to the office. Thankfully it wasn't far. I'm happy to report that I didn't cry and I didn't get angry. I was actually feeling quite proud of myself! My goodness I must have grown tremendously in strength and character in only 6 short days!! But I soon found out that the only real reason for my response is because I was automatically prioritizing worries in my head and the car was about third on the list. I got to it later on. While sitting in the dark van as we dropped off the kids it suddenly came crashing down and THEN, I wanted to weep. But when it happened, I was most worried about work and the fact that I was supposed to be cooking a full Christmas turkey dinner for 12 people and I knew that every minute wasted with the car was setting us back for the evening. As it was, by the time we had dinner, had santa deliver presents to everyone, and took a tour of the town Christmas lights, we were much later than anticipated. We ended up leaving the entire dinner mess so we could deliver the kids home on time and then went back to the office to clean up. I was supposed to be finished work at 7pm and instead finished at 10pm! I called Justin to pick me up at 9 but we still had a huge mess when he showed up so Justin, my coworker, and I stayed another hour washing dishes and mopping floors. Needless to say, the ride home was not a cheery one. But everything looks worse at night when you're tired so we dropped everything, our worries, our coats, and our deteriorating conversation in the entry and went to bed. I was told in Bibleschool that sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap! ... So...we had it towed to the shop and yes, the transmission is poo. Unfortunately since it's the holiday season, few things are open so it looks like it will continue to sit at the shop for another week or so. The good news is....as it sits there, we are saving on gas! :) Thank you, thank you, thank you!- Brad and Steph for your little car on loan! I've actually grown quite fond of the thing! (BTW, this may be a good time to tell you that the E-brake broke on it. We'll have that fixed too before you get back!)
I've decided that adults become "adultish" or "age" not because of the number of years they've been alive but because of the number of things they go through. Or more accurately, the way they handle the number of things they go through! Yesterday was an aging day. And I think the way I handled it was.....anything but exemplary. Gr. It wasn't an entirely horrible day but things added up so that by the end we both felt like someone had it out for us! It was Sunday and laundry day. Justin had to go to church early because he was singing so I followed and in classic me fashion, was running behind. Because of this I didn't have time to drop the laundry off so I took it to church. Not a huge deal, happens all the time. I just make sure the underwear are covered by the towels! After church I made the laundry run which involves going to a gas station for change and then dropping it all off. In the afternoon we were back in town for a Christmas pageant and planned on switching the laundry to the dryer on our way there so we could pick it all up on the way home. As we were driving we started talking about how the car has been weird lately and, right on cue, it stopped working. Seriously. We're driving, and all of a sudden the engine starts revving and the car slows down. We made it the rest of the 10 blocks to the church by shifting down to second gear (drive acts like neutral)...and then it smelled like burnt rubber when we got out of the car. Now my immediate response to these situations is a few tears. A few tears is all I need and then I can be rational and optimistic but I need a few tears. Unfortunately, you can't do that in church with 37 kids preparing for a play! So instead I got grouchy. A kind friend let me borrow his truck to go to the laundry mat and when I got there, the towel load said "unbalanced" and hadn't washed! So I "balanced" it by lifting and closing (or slamming) the lid and threw the others in the dryer. The pageant ended (so cute by the way) and another kind friend helped us deliver the car to the dump...I mean a shop, and drove us to the laundry mat (to pick up the dry load and stick the wet one in the dryer) and then home. At home we decided to beat the day by hanging up Christmas lights and lighting candles! An hour later we went back to town and the laundry mat to pick up the final load, using Justin's work car which has been kindly lent to us for a YEAR by some other kind friends! Annnnnd...the towels were still wet. I hate the towel load! We loaded them up anyway and drove to our dead car to pick up Justin's wallet which we'd left behind. Driving home we spotted a car for sale so Justin pulled over to get a better look. He tried to undo his seat belt.... "Are you serious? Your seatbelt won't open?" "I'm serious. This stupid thing is stuck!!" "Of course. Of course it is!" At this point I began laughing hysterically, here's my strong capable husband, stuck in his seat belt, muttering venemous threats under his breath. And then suddenly it came undone! And by "undone" I mean, it broke clean in half! (Sorry Brad and Steph, we'll fix this before you come home!) Justin just sat there, holding the fragments of seatbelt in his hands as I nearly choked with laughter!! What else can you do!? So we gathered up the pieces of our seatbelt and our load of wet laundry and went home and had some tea. Because I know this isn't the last of these kind of days, I want to learn to take them well. I spent much of my day angry and discouraged and it didn't make anything better when I could have gone through the same circumstances with a smile and avoided a killer headache! A friend of mine said: "Life is funny – I’m pretty sure that it takes all of it to learn whatever we are here to learn!" and I think she's right.
You know when I said that one of the few good things about winter is "more time" - yeah, I was lying. Darn it. I have yet to decorate this house (or clean it) for the season but I did manage to go out and spend money on decorations. Money I really should have saved for gifts. Sorry friends, you get fridge magnets only this year! But I got such beautiful, big candles and a vase I've been coveting for about a year. (Actually, the Walmart version of the vase I've been coveting.) The vase really is nothing special but somehow, it makes me happy. I rarely spend on household decor (and it shows) so it feels like a big, important step to me.
Hmmm....it also shows by these pictures that I am anything but a photo- grapher.
What have I been doing with my time? Well, school and....school. And work, and school... I'm not complaining because I love school, but I FEEL like complaining because I love time too and I no longer have any. An update on work: turns out that my Friday off was the prelude I feared. You see, I began my job with a clear understanding that they only needed part time help and I was only available for part time work. Since then they've asked me to go to full time or to pick up another day...twice. And I said no....twice. Immediately after the second "no" they hired a new girl and I received a letter saying that "because part time staff put limitations on their availability (yeah, thats why they call it "part time") we were unable to respond to...individuals who required immediate assistance.....this is your notice to expect a reduction in your hours of work." Needless to say I took it personally and have been stressed ever since; but I'm trying to take this as an opportunity to be a grown up and develop a thicker skin. Work is extremely hush hush about EVERYTHING so I have no idea if my hours will be reduced by 3 or 30. I do know that the girl before me asked to move from full time to part time and they (in an email) told her not to worry about working, they've figured out how to give her 40 hrs off a week! Seriously. So she quit. :) My boss used to be overly enthusiastic when he saw me and encouraged/complimented me continually, took me out to lunch, told me I had a career in what I was doing. Now I get the barest acknowledgment. I'm not making these things up, it sounds like highschool, I know! But you know, its ok. Or at least I'm beginning to see it as ok. Like I said, I could use more time. And it's just a job. Their opinion of me is JUST an opinion. As my wise brother Donny has been known to say, "Opinions are like farts, everyone has them and they all stink." Thanks for that little nugget bro, I shall carry it with me to the grave. The hardest part is that I love my job and I've become very attached to my personal clients. So even though I'm practicing being a grown up, I have come home several times after a day of training the new girl with MY clients, and wept some bitter tears. And, although Justin considers this to be slightly arrogant, I'm also convinced that I do a great job and while the new girl is qualified, I don't think she can do a "better" job. Not that she won't do very well, I'm just already doing very well. Ok yeah, that IS a little arrogant, but no less true! :) A final straw was when I was told I could attend the staff/client Christmas party, but I didn't have to. (Insert swear words here!) I too have to remember that I am inclined to pessimism (I took a questionnaire, it said I'm a pessimist. More on that later.) and things may not turn out as badly as I think. The story is not over. And if it IS over, life is certainly not over.