Sunday, September 20, 2009

Week 5: Still Learning

1. When a preschool teacher says your son has gotten dirty - so dirty she had to change his clothes - put said clothes in the wash to soak immediately. Jack's beige shorts are on wash #6 after I left them for 3 days waiting for laundry day. A mistake a will not repeat. How do they get so dirty? At school???

2. Do not talk at customer service goal meetings. I have not yet learned this first-hand. This was a friendly heads up from someone who likes me and would like to see me keep my job.

3. Fresh, warm apple-crisp goes a long way to making friends in the office. Especially if your boss has a sweet tooth.

4. Wear a long skirt when your scheduled to sit on the bima (altar) for High Holy Days. I spent most of the 2 hours I was up there Friday night trying to make sure I wasn't pulling a Sharon Stone on about 500 or so congregants. "Happy New Year! Have a Peek at My Goodies!" I am pretty sure the rescind the conversion certificate for stuff like that.

5. Confirming what I thought I learned last year - one of the major reasons I converted were the prayers in the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. Very powerful and meaningful for me. Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King) has made me cry every year since the beginning.

6. Finally, I learned that if I am to take this repent and be a better person thing seriously, I am going to have to come to terms with my parent's second-class treatment of my son. I cannot both be a better person and hold a grudge. I need to make my peace with the fact that they will always love Donovan more - not differently, just plain MORE - and move on. They love Donovan like a near suffocated person loves air. I wish my son has a grandparent who loved him like that. It will have to be enough that his dad and I both do. I don't want to spend my life bitter about it, but it is really, really hard not to be mad and sad about it. I am struggling with this. Avinu Malkeinu, shema kolleinu.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

An Enlightening Week: Week 4

1. A sick day is sometimes completely necessary. Management may not believe this, but let me assure you, I should have taken one on Wednesday, when I found the following words escaping my heavily medicated mouth:

Customer: Well, how big is the 16 quart colander?
Me: (Wanting to avoid the obvious answer of "well, dude, it's about 16 quarts, giver or take") Well, you could wash a baby in it, but I wouldn't recommend a teenager.

Hand to God, I have no idea how I am still employed. After going in and feeling even worse on Thursday, I left an hour into my shift. I think after reading this they should thank me. I might have actually been COSTING them customers all day Wednesday.

2. Sometimes I overreact and it may be harsh but it also may be completely justified. This can also be read as Billy Joel's excellently worded "You may be right. I may be crazy." After a week of a pesky sinus infection that has had me on large doses of antibiotics for that long and has caused vertigo and headaches for longer than that, I had had enough of hearing about a particular Sisterhood issue. I snapped, man. I threatened to resign the presidency should a particular member not remove herself from my bottom (in no uncertain terms). This is a member, God lover her, who is very involved and also believes that I have a right to her opinion on everything. In 2 words: I overreacted. On the other hand, I haven't heard boo since. It was completely the wrong way to handle the situation and I have since apologized, but there is really only so much a gal can take.

3. I may have found my happy place today.

Erin, Naomi and I took our boys apple-picking for the second year in a row. Jack did OK last year but thoroughly enjoyed himself this time out. Being in the warm sunlight, lifting up my son and the sons of my oldest friends, listening to them squeal with laughter and shout with was just this side of heaven. Seeing Jack have such a good time, interacting with his peers and watching them all grow up together made me extraordinarily grateful.

I am so thankful that these girls have stuck with me through thick and thin. These are the women I call in a childcare crisis, in a personal crisis, when I need mommy advice. I am so very thankful for them and I don't tell them that often enough. I love you guys and are so glad you're part of my happy place :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What I Have Learned: Week 3

Continuing in The Education of Mrs. Zimmer, I would like to post a few nuggets of enlightenment gained this week.

1. Helen Gurley Brown is full of shit.

Really, need I say more? Ladies, we cannot have it all. And really, do we want to? It exhausts us, if we allow ourselves to admit it. I don't like to half-ass anything. Unfortunately, since once again becoming employed, everything has been half-assed. Friendships, the housework, relationships with my husband and kid, volunteer work - you name it. Some of my dearest girlfriends summed it up as such: you get used to it. We laughed and toasted half-assed as the new all-the-way. I simply cannot have it all. Nor do I want it all.

2. This job was the absolute right choice for me. Had I made the choice to pursue the better title and all the grandeur and stress and driving and travel that comes with it, I would hate myself right about now. I would be making slightly better money, be in my chosen field and have a fabulous title, but wake up every morning hating myself. That's one helluva compromise. I will settle on saying the name Wasserstrom about a million times in a week.

3. Grilled cheese is still the world's best comfort food. Don't even try to argue with me on this one. When, as Paul Simon so aptly put it, I am weary and feeling small, I just want a grilled cheese sandwich and a piping hot bowl of tomato soup. Preferably Campbell's. I have had people try to soothe me with chicken soup, spaghetti, and meatloaf (not all at once, mind you). While thoughtful, all of these were far inferior to the humble grilled cheese.

4. The people in my group at work are pretty cool. They roll with my stupid mistakes and are really trying hard to help me. We laugh a lot and try hard to work as a team. That's really nice.

4a. One of the aforementioned cool person's names is Roxanne. I have to stop myself about 18 times a day from singing her name out loud a la Sting. She don't have to put on her red light. In three weeks there, I have only done this twice. Considering the number of times I have WANTED to do it, this is an amazing feat of self-restraint.

5. Who my friends are. I have not completely learned this yet, but I have a feeling it is coming (not unlike Eli). These are the people who don't lose touch, who are the support network and who roll with it when I have been out of touch for three weeks. As Jack grows and develops, these will be the people we rely on - the people who will be in pictures at his birthdays and family gatherings. They may or may not have kids, or kids his age, but they love us and him no matter our challenges.