rooted, but still growing

Archive for January 2008

The elatedness I experienced yesterday has waned a bit, mostly because I’m a bit tired today. Steve went out of town last night for work, and every time he’s gone I end up staying up waaay past my usual bedtime, either cleaning or watching re-runs of “Will and Grace.” In this case, it was good old Will & Grace, plus a late night episode or two of “John & Kate Plus 8.”

Also interfering with my joyous ride on Cloud 9 is this sense of impatience and anxiety I sometimes feel when things go well, and especially when it means I’ll finally get to do things I’ve been dreaming about for a long time. Now that I’ll be making more money, Steve and I can really begin looking for a home. I need to get my car fixed (nothing major, just an oil change and replacement of a fuse), I’d like to follow through with some cosmetic procedures (like teeth and skin, not boobs you sickos!), and on and on and on. I have a tendency to rush things, so for the past few days my mind has been filled with these tasks and when I might be able to accomplish them. I’ve never been good with patience, so it’s been a struggle trying to calm myself down and just … wait. I don’t have to do all of this stuff at once — I need to learn to take care of what I can, one thing at a time, and let the rest flow naturally. It’s easier than it sounds.

Luckily, I do have routine things to keep me busy and hopefully keep my mind clutter-free. There’s homework, a new job, an upcoming baby shower, and cleaning to do. I’m always cleaning. I think one of my tasks for this week will be to get rid of some unwanted junk lying around the house. We have all sorts of items and products jammed into cupboards, and there are some we never use. I’m getting much better at being able to separate myself from things, but Steve is a different story. He hangs on to things for sentimental reasons, which is ok — it’s just that we don’t have a lot of room left for some of these things. Our townhouse will only hold so much!

And, it seems, so will my brain.

Do you fully understand how inexplainably fantastic these past few months have been for me? My life has been so great even I’m having trouble wrapping my brain around it.

The latest news in my happy world is that I got a new job. Yeah, yeah. I know … how many jobs have I had this year? In my defense, the last three were with the same company and the most recent two were at the same location — it was a promotion. So pftz. Anyway, after a somewhat rigorous interview process (phone, in-person, in front of a committee — AND I had to prove I’m strong enough to carry a 75-pound trunk down a flight of stairs) I was offered a job as director of marketing and member services for a local electricity cooperative.

I am beyond excited. The job sounds so cool, and I really think I’ll love it. The best part, though, is that I will make a significantly higher amount of money, plus receive better benefits than my previous company offered. In two months’ time, I’ve been able to double my income, and that, quite simply, r-o-c-k-s. It’s also quite the confidence-booster. I really don’t know what it’s like to work in a professional environment, and I used to worry that I was not gaining the proper skills and experience to further my career. Guess I was wrong … either that or I’m pretty darn good at fooling people!

Oh, and the other great thing to happen to me? I just filed my taxes online tonight, and I’m getting a whopper of a return. Yay me! The only bad part is having to wait until late February to receive the refund … crazy Congress had to go and pass tax legislation all late this year.

So, yeah. I’m liking life at the moment. It’s kinda scary, though … I keep wondering when the roof is going to cave in, as it seems when everything begins to go my way something disastrous happens. I suppose this way of thinking will get me nowhere, so I’ll have to banish it somehow. I do have enough to keep me busy — wedding planning, house hunting, starting a new job, working on my schoolwork … and on and on. Guess in the midst of all these tasks I’ll just remain thankful to God for all these amazing blessings and pray that this good fortune not only continues, but finds its way to my family and friends.

I’m not a football fanatic, but every once in a while I do muster up at least some half-hearted enthusiasm and will watch a game. I like the Indianapolis Colts (admittedly because of a crush on Peyton Manning), and because I’m a grad student at West Virginia University, I sort of consider them “my” team (with deep apologies to my undergrad alma mater, Marshall University … perhaps if you’d had a more successful season … )

So anyway. The Mountaineers faced off against the Sooners of Oklahoma University last night in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. I hadn’t really planned to watch, simply because everyone with maybe the exception of one die-hard coworker had predicted certain demise. After all, WVU failed miserably in its last game of the regular season against arch rival Pitt (a game that would have carried them to the National Championship had they won). The team lost its head coach when Benedict Arnold, ah, I mean Rich Rodriguez bolted for Michigan and didn’t even show the team enough respect to stick around for its last game.

Things weren’t looking positive for the Mountaineers. Oklahoma was favored to win the game, and no one knew exactly how they’d do under the direction of an interim head coach. Very few people had faith that they’d end the season with a win.

Turns out we were all wrong, and what actually unfolded was the most surprising, exciting and emotional football game I’d ever seen. WVU secured an early lead and, despite a few Oklahoma rallies, maintained that lead until the end. Most impressive, however, was just how tightly WVU’s players bonded — with each other and their coach. I’ve never, ever seen a coach as excited or proud as Bill Stewart was during that game. At one point, he could barely hold back the tears. He absolutely beamed the entire night, and he held nothing back in congratulating and praising his players for a job well done.

I had planned on going to bed early, but once I started watching I couldn’t stop. There were a few plays that made me so nervous I actually plugged my ears and covered my head with a blanket because I couldn’t stand the tension. I screamed. I yelped. I jumped up and down and traded high-fives with Steve. I missed on on two and a half hours of sleep, staying up to make sure I went to bed knowing the outcome.

And today I’m exhausted. Completely wiped out. Because of football. Gah.

Is it possible for something to be both the best and most difficult experience? That’s what 2007 was for me. It was the hardest, yet most rewarding, time of my life thus far. So much happened — I changed jobs, got my first taste at what stepmotherhood will be like, got engaged … and was consistently forced to take a few long-strided steps outside my comfort zone. I’ve bent. I’ve broken. Cried. Laughed. Embraced. Pushed. Grown.

And although there were a few things I wish I hadn’t had to deal with, I can honestly say that there isn’t a single thing about 2007 that I would change. Nothing. I started the year unhappy in my work, unhappy in my financial situation, and just completely uncertain about who I was and where I wanted to go in my life. A mere 365 days later I find myself with a fiance, wonderful new friends, a new job, a better income and a growing family. The past few months have been fantastic, and the change is literally visible on my face. My skin is clear, glowy and relaxed. I have more energy, and I find joy in small places. I guess I never really knew how much the stress was affecting my entire life. I’m glad it’s gone!

Lying in bed last night, I found myself whispering the most heartfelt prayer I’ve ever prayed … and it was simply expressing my gratefulness for the blessings I’ve been fortunate enough to receive. My family, my friends, my home, my life. I wonder sometimes if it can get any better. But that’s silly — of course it can. I hope it will. But right now, I know I’m a lucky, lucky girl.

Happy New Year, everybody. I hope it’s everything you’ve hoped for.