Monday, October 30, 2006

made my day

I had a great weekend with my friend Kristen - I will post a picture or two and more details later... today got away from me a little bit! :)

Today, my day was made by a birthday card I got in campus mail - signed in detail by all the lovely ladies I used to work with in the Department of Political Science. My new job is good - lots of great people and some cool new opportunities... but the growing pains and adjustments are hard. Sometimes I really really miss my old work "home" - and the card in the mail today is making me tear up a little. I sincerely wish I could have taken them all with me when I switched jobs - but "you can't take it with you," "this too shall pass," and all that jazz.

It's good to remember them all fondly, and know they remember me well also. I like that.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

what do people need?

We abuse the word "need" in our culture... I need new shoes, I need an iPod, I need more time... I know I get caught swimming around in things I want, things that are really important, and things I actually need.
If anyone's ever taken a Psychology course, this pyramid looks familiar... it's known as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. I haven't spent a ton of time analyzing the pyramid, or doing any research at all to see if holds true... but from what I do know - it's fairly accurate. The basic premise is that we cannot have certain needs met if our more basic needs are still unmet. For example, it's hard to feel a sense of self-identity and belonging if you're malnourished and homeless. We tend to focus on basic needs first, then our more complicated ones. Makes sense, right?
Today, my basic needs are well met. I have a warm house, lots of food, clothing - all the biological necessities to keep me alive. My safety needs are also well met - my home is safe, I'm in a relationship that's strong and getting stronger, and my town/state/country is not in a state of active warfare or anything. I start to get a little fuzzy once I move past this phase - granted, I have people that love me and groups to which I "belong" - but I think it's been awhile since I felt a true sense of ownership and identity in my extra-curricular activities. A friend told me on Tuesday that we all need to be surrounded by people who enjoy and love us exactly as we are (as well as encourage and push us along to become better) - as I've gotten older, that's gotten harder and harder to do. I've got a fair amount of self-drive when it comes to pushing myself to grow and change... I like that about myself, but it makes it hard to allow anyone to meet me where I'm at.
I'm not sure exactly what I'm thinking right now... I just miss the feeling of having friends that call you just to check in, people that you can hang out with and not have any anxiety or stress about how the time will go, and truly feeling part of a community where you fit well.
(Just FYI - I'm having a good day - I know this post sounds depressing, but it's really more just something that's been rolling around in my brain lately. Plus, it's sunny outside today - and that's FABULOUS!! :D)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

do you ever wish life was like a musical?

Sometimes I do... I think it would be fun to bust out into song randomly (assuming, of course, everyone had dazzling vocal stylings with perfect pitch...), dance around when things are going well, and have music always playing in the background to clue people in to what's going on.

My hotel room in Indy had HBO, and I got to watch about 30 minutes of Evita - it came out 10 years ago (my junior year of high school) - and my friends and I were obsessed with it. I saw it at least twice in the theaters, bought the soundtrack, and owned the VHS as soon as I could(nope, not the DVD...). I still pretty much know all the words. It was fun to be transported back in time a little bit - think how much we laughed at each other's dramatic reenactments of Madonna's performance, how much we enjoyed every scene with Antonio Banderas (guys who can sing and dance are pretty hot - plus, guys that are hot are hot... it was a good combination for a 16-year-old theatre junkie).

I watched part of it this weekend after I got back - it was still amazing. I didn't have anyone to swoon with, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. There are scenes and songs that make me want to get up and dance... (and I did, once or twice...) and it definitely makes me wish that life could be like a musical all the time. Fun!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

no restraint

One of the ladies in our office has a candy jar on her desk - and right now, it's brimming with caramels - the kind you really only see at Halloween. I'm pretty good at resisting certain things - but I've found myself grabbing one of these almost every time I pass her desk. They'll be the death of me! (probably not, but it's fun to be dramatic).

It's funny to think about the areas of life where I can show restraint, and others where I find it really hard. Most of the time, I feel as though I'm fighting against my natural inclinations - and that's a good thing, because we're sinful, right? But sometimes I wonder if I'm fighting with the way God intentionally made me. (Not to say that He made me to be a caramel-hoarding weirdo or anything...) I just wonder once in awhile if the reason that it's so hard to change things about yourself is because that's the way you're supposed to be. I think God doesn't always want me to be different - just to learn to use the gifts He gave me in a different way. For some reason, that almost seems harder to me...

Monday, October 23, 2006

ever feel like old shoes?

Today, I feel like an old pair of shoes. Worn out, ratty, and kinda useless. Here's the real kicker - I have no idea why!

I got back from Indy on Saturday - late afternoon - and had a fairly relaxing evening with my husband. Went to church yesterday, and basically spent the day hiding out, folding some laundry, watching a movie... nothing stressful at all!

So why, today, do I feel as though I've been run over by a truck? Any quick rejuvenation tips to recharge these lazy batteries of mine? I don't want to be so tired!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

time to confer!

Tomorrow I leave for Indianapolis for a conference (NACADA - National ACademic ADvising Association). I know it sounds like a hoot, and you're all completely green with jealousy. You should be. I'm a geek, and I think it sounds like fun. My friend Shannon and I are driving down together, and we'll spend about 3 days in downtown Indy, going to sessions to learn about doing our jobs better, eating at fun restaurants and having a good time together. It'll be a nice break from the day-to-day office routine. But it means I'll be absent from the blogging sphere for awhile... no one may notice, since I've been slacking a little lately.

Had a good weekend, got some relaxing in, which is GREAT and much-needed... but somehow Monday can always make me feel like I didn't have a weekend at all. Yesterday was kinda like that. I'm hoping to rejuvenate a little bit with my travel, and then some down-time this weekend too.


-a weekend with my friend Kristen - B&B, spas, no boys! :D (October 27-29)

-a weekend with my little sister - sushi, movies, sparkling grape juice, and being VERY silly (November 3-5)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

target DOG!

My first job ever (aside from my free-lance babysitting career) was as a cashier at the Target Greatland in my hometown. I wore lots of red and khaki, called all the customers "guests" and all my fellow employees "team members," and got a whopping 10% discount on my purchases. I won't say that I loved it, but I had a lot of fun, and will always have a soft spot in my heart for Target.

Being part of the Business College means that there are recruiters here all the time, trying to win students over for their corporation. Yesterday, Target was here wooing our students. And I got a free stuffed "Target Dog" out of it! He's wearing a red turtleneck sweater with a "T" on it. I'm pretty much really thrilled about that.

Oh, and FYI (you know you were wondering...) the red bullseye on his eye is painted on for live "performances" and is digitally added to his commercials. Interesting...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I'm gonna make the charts!!

A student I had seen early last week came in for another appointment this morning. This poor gal (I'll call her "T") had had a crazy week - 2 tests, a project/presentation, work, and trying to visit the 200+ company Career Gallery that was on campus (to find internships). Needless to say, T was awfully stressed last week, and I sent her away with chocolate in hand (that makes everything better) - along with some practical assistance, of course.

This morning for our appointment, T was frazzled because she'd done poorly on a test last week, and gotten a very unhelpful response when she approached her instructor for assistance. We spent most of the 30 minute appointment trying to ease a little of the frustration and anxiety T was experiencing. No chocolates were given today - just Kleenex.

Here's how our conversation wrapped up:

T: I'll probably come in and see you again before I decide whether or not to drop this class.
Katie: Sounds great.
T: I may just come in and see you every week. (laughs nervously)
Katie: Not a problem - so far, my appointment schedule has been fairly open. (smiles)
T: You'll start to get real popular soon.
Katie: (heart melts a little)

Everyone who has ever had a job knows that there are days when you just don't feel like it. No matter how much you like what you're doing - sometimes, you catch yourself wishing for something else. Moments like that help to remind me that I really do like my job a lot, and that I'm good at it. And I didn't even do anything spectacular - I provide chocolate, kleenex, information and advice - and I listen to people who need to siphon off some stress.

Thanks, T. Come in as often as you want - it reminds me why I like my job, and why I do what I do.

Monday, October 09, 2006

okay, okay, I admit...

I'm a dork. And sometimes (okay, a lot of the time), dorky little things make me happy.

In the advising office, we have this little bell with a sign that says "Happy with our Service? Ring the Bell!" Most students don't notice it, and if they do, probably don't feel like drawing attention to themselves by ringing it. But today, one of my students left and rang the bell on his way out of the office. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I confess!

I'm having a cranky morning. This past week has been kinda tough, and some of my frustration has (I believe) a legitimate base. However, I'm well aware that it's eating at me in an unhealthy way, and bringing out my not-so-favorite characteristics.

My problem is that when I get upset or frustrated with one area of my life - it tends to seep everywhere. Feeling lonely makes me cranky with Mark - stress at work makes me not want to participate in my other commitments - the house being a mess leaves me feeling upset with everything that is keeping me from being able to spend the time cleaning it up...

I'm not sure why I always react this way. I tend to put myself personally into things - which a lot of the time is really a great thing... but in these situations, it means I don't keep things in perspective very well.

Anyone else know what I mean? Have any tips?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

split personality

I'm Feeling: chipper
Background Noise:

I went to an MBTI training on Friday (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - it's a personality assessment tool). It was fun (to me) - I like those types of things. My problem with Myers-Briggs has been that every time I take it, I have a different personality.

It measures 4 different aspects of personality:
1. Introversion v. Extraversion
2. Sensing v. Intuition
3. Feeling v. Thinking
4. Judging v. Perceiving

I took the assessment again over the weekend, and my results declared me an ENFJ - with strong scores in the "N" and "F" categories, and very slight tendencies toward the "E" and "J" side of life. I think this is fairly accurate, although I'm inclined to believe I'm actually an introvert who likes to talk and interact with a couple people at a time. True extraverts like big crowds and new people - those things tend to drain my energy a bit.

At any rate - it was fun to "discover" my personality this morning when my results came back - and it appears that if ENFJ is indeed my true personality type, that I'm in the right line of work. Way to be.

Monday, October 02, 2006

rain, rain...

I like rain - but I mostly like thunderstorms and big, dramatic shows of nature's (God's) awesome power. Just gloomy, dreary rain isn't so much. Especially when roughly 75% of the past 2 weeks has been like that...

The cool thing is that the leaves are starting to turn - and since I also really like autumn, that makes me happy. I like crunchy leaves, chilly air, apple cider, pumpkins, and all kinds of other fun outdoor-fall type things. But it has to NOT be raining in order to enjoy. *sigh*

Had a nice, relaxing, semi-lazy weekend (I was productive in ways that make me relax, which helps me feel like I was lazy - it's a nice pattern, actually). Laundry, crocheting (yes, I'm basically a grandma), watching Friends DVDs, breakfast with a friend, church, bible study with my 8th grade friends. It was good.

Now it just has to stop raining.