Archives for posts with tag: Grateful

My current job involves being in an office for the most of my workday. Six out of eight hours most days. Mind you, I’m not complaining. Compared to many of my coworkers who spend their six hours in cubicles, I got lucky. This office has a door that I can close and a window where my sweet little plants can get some sun.

Even on a snowy March day like today:

Office Plants

Plants to improve my day, my experience of the workplace. HuffPo agrees.

I am content in my job. The hours aren’t bad. The pay is reasonable. Sometimes I get to help people with problems that seem big in their lives. The aforementioned plants seem happy here. But I’m not entirely fulfilled. This is not my dream job. I have not become what I wanted to be when I grew up (which was actually a comedian – that’s a story for another post).

Maybe that’s okay.

Instead of actively looking for a new job, I’m considering how much I need to be fulfilled by my job. Perhaps my fulfillment doesn’t lie with my career but rather with my family and my writing and my garden and my life outside of this not-too-bad office. Maybe contentment is exactly the level of fulfillment I need.

Then again making a little more money would be nice for all those other life events…

Daily Post

Advertisements

Walking to the bus stop this morning I came to a crosswalk with a waist high snow-berm. A tiny mountain created by man and weather. Six inches of snow added to our already healthy snowpack this week and, without the chance to melt, there is nowhere to put it. Homeowners shovel their sidewalks, the city plows the street, and the crosswalks are fucked.

No one is to blame.

Across the street from the tiny mountain, the homeowner had carved a shovel’s width path through the mountain. I walked luxuriously through like a carefree summer version of myself. Nothing more than a dusting of snow between my boots and concrete.

I’m not sure what the standards are for crosswalks but from the climbing adventures around my neighborhood, I’m guessing there is no legal requirement to keep them clear. And I don’t blame the homeowners. Or the city. I wouldn’t want to hack through the ice formations that snow plows and mother nature conspire to create.

I am, however, quite grateful for those corner houses who look out for those of us walking around in this miserable weather. Thanks, friends.

On the hottest day in June we stood on a gravel path that cut through a prairie in central Iowa. We held small bouquets arranged by my mother-in-law, calla lilies and freesia. My brother combed his hair and tucked in his shirt. My mother cried. The dog behaved. My wife-to-be looked beautiful, like the best kind of summer girl in her green dress – even when she made that scrunched up cry face while saying our vows.

wedding1

Wedding2

Back at my mother’s house, just down the road, our families and friends gathered. More people than I expected Food. Games. Beer. Wine. More love than I deserve. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.

wedding3

My brother graduated from high school this weekend:

More on that later. I’m still processing it.

We used the trip to take care of some wedding details and to apply for our marriage license – the date is quickly approaching.

While we were signing the papers – in all their grand simplicity – the county records gentleman had some trouble locating my birth certificate. Yes, my mother was married at the time of my birth. Yes, I was born here. Yes, yes, yes, yes. No record. No big deal, the gentleman said, it’s probably with the state. Or I’m adopted. Let the jokes begin.

My mother and the girlfriend thought this uncertainty was hilarious:

countyrecords

Even when then joke is at my expense, I love making them laugh.

This weekend I ran into a battle buddy from Basic Training. Eleven years ago. From South Carolina to Iowa. Four deployments between us. She wasn’t just some girl in my platoon. No. Amy was the girl I dug a fox-hole with. Amy and I slept head to toe under our shelter halves during our bivouacs and woke to fire-ants crawling up our arms. We fought like sisters. Sometimes we fought like enemies. By the end of our eleven weeks together we couldn’t stand each other and made no attempt to keep in touch after graduation.

More than ten years later none of that mattered. We drank. We caught up. It was lovely. However, when I went to dig up old pictures, I couldn’t find one of Amy (if you’ll remember the aforementioned fighting).

All I found was this:
basic

Those four girls were the girls I missed. Those were the girls I worried about when the war in Iraq started. Not Amy. I basked in those memories and then I noticed Robbins sitting there in background – just there to the right. Crying and looking at whatever she just blew into her handkerchief. She is crying because she did not graduate Basic Training. She never did more than four consecutive pushups and she never learned how to march. She was not meant to be a soldier. As far as I know she never became one.

Her misery is not how I remember that day, nor how I remember that time. I feel bad for Robbins but I am grateful that my memories of that time have evolved into a warmness in my chest, that I can drink a beer with a girl I once screamed at to stop talking to me and see these old pictures in a new way.

Fun facts:

November of 2008

  1. I lived on an Iraqi Army base a stone’s throw from the Iranian border.
  2. Coffee and Rip-Its and phone calls home made me smile.
  3. I shot an AK-47 for the first and only time:

4. When Obama gave his acceptance speech I read it online and my heart swelled with joy and jealousy for folks celebrating back in the states.

 November of 2012

  1. I’m planning a wedding.
  2. I voted with my neighbors in the early morning dark.
  3. Obama’s reelection made my heart swell and I’m here celebrating with my love.
%d bloggers like this: