7.30.2008

Raindrops keep falling on my head, threatening to drown me, until I remember the umbrella

When it rains, it pours. That seems to be our lot in life. I’m doing much better today, but I’ve been struggling the last little while as everything seems to be going down the crapper all at the same time. Because of everything that’s been going down, I finally slipped up on my goal. As many of you know, I recently made a commitment to work out every day no matter what. And I kept that commitment for exactly SIXTY days. For sixty days in a row I did at least one thing that was considered exercise. On the low end this meant doing 20 crunches before bed. On the high end this meant doing a highly vigorous, high-intensity 40-minute workout. Most days were somewhere between those two, but I did it without fail for sixty days. Until yesterday . . . when I forgot. Two months of work out the window just like that. Gone. Good-bye woo-hoo see ya. Sigh. It’s not hard to see why I forgot. Yesterday I became completely and utterly depressed, a state I’m not fond of being in. I was optimistic when Austin lost his job; I updated his resume and sent it out to 20 companies and felt confident that all would be for the best. Things were working out just the way they needed to. Austin would find a better job and being fired was an answer to prayers. But then Austin threw out his back for a few days and injured his mouth. I don’t know why these things bothered me but I guess I started feeling like everything was going wrong and that we were unlucky.

Then Monday Austin’s car broke down and wouldn’t start so we had it towed to a shop. We thought it was going to be a $600 repair. But then it turned out that Austin’s car was much more damaged than previously believed. We learned that it was going to cost $1600 to repair. More money than we have and more money than the car would be worth to fix considering that much money could be put into a new car that wasn’t constantly and consistently being the bane of our existence. For some reason I kinda just shut down. I became angry, heartbroken, depressed, worried, stressed, and hopeless. My thoughts of optimism changed to thoughts that everything would continue to go wrong. Nothing would work out. Things would never get better. We were totally and utterly cursed. So, I just forgot about my goal. I instead ate chocolate and watched a movie with Taylor and Austin.

Fortunately, time has a way of settling things down. Though I’m still not sleeping, I woke up this morning feeling much better about things. Things are still not resolved and the problems are still there, but I know we’ll get through it because we always have in the past and because Austin and I have made a promise to each other that no matter what happens, we will make it through whatever life throws our way.

Fun on the Twenty-Fourth

Last Thursday Austin and I hung out with the Beckstrom relatives. We went to Outback Steakhouse with (forgive any name misspellings) Aunt Karrie & Uncle Robert and their kids Emily & Nicholas; Uncle Jim & Aunt Jan and their kids Nikita, Max, Ivan, and Andre; and Uncle David & Aunt Vera and their kids Brett, Kiersten, and Dylan. With all those people (and knowing the Beckstroms), it was understandably boisterous inside. We celebrated Brett’s birthday (and teased him about his girlfriend who is indeed a very attractive girl).
Afterwards we went to SubZero, which is a really cool (as in liquid nitrogen cool) place. For those that haven’t been there, it’s pretty neat. You order what type of cream you’d like (with its corresponding percentage of fat: premium 14%, custard 10%, lowfat 6%, and yogurt 0%). Then you choose your flavors that get mixed into the cream. They have at least two dozen flavors to choose from and you can choose as many as you want. You then get one free mix-in. Everything gets stirred up and then they add liquid nitrogen to the bowl and stir it around to freeze the cream and flavors into ice cream. It’s pretty cool to watch. The flavors are pretty good too. It was fun seeing everyone order different flavors and have everyone going around trying everybody’s personal concoction. When you’re family with the Beckstroms, you get to be a part of the intimate sharing (and teasing) that goes along with it.
After the ice cream funfest, we went back to Uncle Jim and Aunt Jan’s house for a sparkler extravaganza. Boxes upon boxes of sparklers were lit (though most just flared instead of sparkled). We also got to brush potato bits off ourselves as Jim lit his mini cannon, which wasn’t as loud as Aunt Karrie believed it to be. ;) After the fun with sparklers (and some battling a la American gladiators between Max and me and Austin and me) Karrie had the great idea of playing props. Those that have the met the Beckstroms can attest that they are very creative and funny people. It was fun seeing all the different things people were coming up with. I feel very privileged to be a part of such a wonderful family. Well, needless to say, though I’ll say it anyway, I had a lot of fun and especially enjoyed being with those that Austin and I usually don’t have an opportunity to be with. We wish we could see our Beckstrom California relatives more often.

7.17.2008

Working from Home

As many of you know, I have been transitioning to working from home. Since it has now been a few weeks, I’d thought I share my feelings about it. And my feelings are that I love it. Working from home is one of the best things that has happened for me in the last while. Working from home is not without its drawbacks though. I’d thought I’d make a list of the pros and cons that I’ve experienced working from home.

Pros:

1. No driving!!!
2. I’m saving a lot of gas, which means I’m saving lots of money. (I was filling up about every 4 work days. With gas being about $50 to fill up now, you can imagine how much I was spending.)
3. No traffic!!
4. No more struggling to be on time for work. (One of the things I hated the most and stressed about a lot.)
5. I get two more hours to myself every day. (A result of not having to commute.)
6. I get an extra hour of sleep.
7. I sleep better at night because I’m not stressing about getting to work the next day.
8. I get to see Austin at lunchtime.

Cons:

1. It can be lonely.
2. Internet connection is sucky, making it difficult to access my work files or message people at work. (Though Austin and I are currently working on getting a better signal. This has been a difficult process as we keep waiting on landlord approval.)
3. I don’t have two monitors like I do in the office. (Though Austin and I are planning on getting a monitor for me to hook my work laptop to so I can use two screens.)

Obviously, the pros outweigh the cons. I’m happier (and less stressed) than I’ve been in a long time. I still occasionally have to go up to the office. (I’ve gone up about 3 or 4 times in the last several weeks.) But even then it’s not that bad because it’s only for a day. And then I get to see all of my coworkers, many of whom I really like. Now my only fear is that they’ll take this away. That would be the worst thing ever. It’d be like tasting cheesecake and learning how good it is only to be told that you could never, ever have it again. And then I’d die a little inside. So I’m hoping this will be a permanent thing for as long as I work there.