Monday, September 22, 2008

happy birthday to me!

Mark made me a delicious cake. I got some amazing presents from family including Juno and special Maryland coffee. And Mark and his parents got the lovely apple green raincoat for me. Yay for being 24!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

a great Saturday

The house is wonderfully clean, the windows are open, a delicious fall candle is burning and a Billie Holiday record is playing loudly throughout the house. Who could ask for anything more?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

back in the saddle again… sorta

Last week I started working 3 days a week for a studio that I've been doing freelance work for. 20 hours a week through the month of September. It's been really great to be back in an office, interacting with real people, and getting a paycheck a little more regularly. It's also been a strange switch. I'm back to a schedule now, meaning I have to actually get up in the morning, think about appropriate work clothes, pack a lunch, and attempt to be on time. I had forgotten how tiring it is to actually sit at a desk for hours straight, and my eyes are really showing the wear of it. The past several days my eyes have taken turns being incredibly bloodshot and tired. It's a great way to show up to work.

I'm really enjoying this opportunity and yet am so shocked at how quickly I can fall behind in the work environment. It's only been 10 months since I was at a desk job and yet, I feel the change of schedule hugely. I also have incredibly tight deadlines, which is great for my creativity but adds to the stress. I'm pretty sure I didn't ever have such tight deadlines at SCLE, but so far thankfully I've made them here. It's been a good feeling to have something productive to do 3 days a week, although the house is not looking so good and Mark and I actually ran out of some much needed clean clothing yesterday. I'm still figuring out the balance of work and home stuff. It's nice to feel useful again. And yet, it is difficult to balance that with the knowledge that this is temporary.

All this work waiting that I've had since I got married and moved has really lead me to realize how job focused our culture is. I've been amazed at how many people's first question to me is "what do you do?" and then followed by "where do you work?" Actually, worse than that, has been the drop in conversation when I've said I'm working from home, or I'm an independent designer, or I'm looking for a position. I constantly get the impression that I suddenly lost value and interest when I "confessed" that I don't have a job. Lately, it has been worse. Several people will ask "have you found a job yet?" and then follow it with a brilliant idea that I should apply for secretarial work at some place and then maybe I'll be promoted to a design position or something else. Coming up with pleasant responses to this has been difficult. My head usually follows a train of thought similar to: "Hmm, that definitely wouldn't work in the design world. And oh, that makes me feel great, as you are basically saying I must not be good enough for anyone to be interested in as a designer, so perhaps I should look for something else. Forget about that Design degree I worked so hard for and oh, it couldn't possibly be that the economy sucks right now and no one is capable of hiring." Thankfully I've successfully kept these thoughts to myself, but I'm beginning to feel as if I'm not allowed to not have a job unless I'm a stay-at-home mom, which we're definitely not ready for and I'm definitely not sure I want to give up design when we are. I was thinking about Spain the other day and how the first questions people ask you there are how your family is. I miss that. Why are we so focused on what you do and rank your value according to that? There is so much more to a person than what they can do.

Well, for now at least, I have an accepted answer to the questions. And, I'm working on that continued patience as apparently I'm supposed to be in temporary stuff for a while. I enjoy it, the insecurity just gets to me every once in a while. I need to remember that my value however does not lie in whether or not I have an acceptable job. But, there's a little mailer brochure calling to me right now which desperately needs to be finished before 5. Off I go, little designer that I am…

Monday, September 15, 2008

the time of year to buy school supplies and pumpkins

(As a side note, I have not been intentionally neglecting my blog this time. My little 6 year old ibook decided to have a lot of issues last week including the battery refusing to charge past 32% and eventually the power cord smoking and burning a hole through itself. As I use that computer more than any other, I just haven't sat down to write or catch up on my friends' blogs. So, here I am, for now at least. Hopefully the new battery will arrive today…)

I love fall! It is my most favorite season. I love the clothes, the smells, the foods, the school supplies, and the list could go on. This morning, I almost pulled out my sweater box but decided I should wait at least one more week. Yes, it is a wonderful 75 today and has that brilliant fall coolness to it, but I'm not quite convinced that it will stay.

I also love the month of September. Such a lovely month. Not only does fall officially start in September, but my birthday also comes. I love birthdays! It's silly and I've always suspected that I would grow out of it considering no one in my family really cares about their birthdays, but here I am, 5.5 days away from turning 24 and I am so excited! Anytime I think of something special that could happen around my birthday, I always sing a quick little part of the birthday song, "happy birthday to me" and Mark just laughs and rolls his eyes. Birthdays are so fun. Sometimes I wish I was still a kid so I could tell people it is my birthday or that my birthday is in 5.5 days. Not to get gifts, I just want them to know.

Last year was a terrible, horrible birthday. Mark was already living here in Knoxville and was supposed to come to Arkansas for the weekend. The night before he was to leave, he got really sick and couldn't make it. Terrible. On top of that, no one at my work remembered my birthday, even just to say a "happy birthday" and that night, I ended up calling some friends to go out for dinner since I couldn't bear the thought of eating leftovers alone in my apartment. It was such a dreadful day.

This one is already turning out amazing and it is not even here yet. I've already received several gifts and know of one that I'll get on that actual day. My in-laws gave me a few gifts when they were here, and they also gave me some money for whatever else. So spoiled! It has been so fun to order some of the silly things like a movie or cd that I've been wanting for a while, but haven't wanted to spend the money on as there are many other married and house things that we need.

So my birthday weekend, as Mark decided we would call it, is going to consist of P.F. Chang's dumplings, funfetti cake, Juno, and probably at least part of You've Got Mail. Not to mention that one gift that Mark has been hiding from me for a couple weeks now. I feel like I'm 6 again! 5.5 days!