Summer projects, the waiting game, and being content

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Well summer has officially started as of today. This calls to my mind what this season might bring for me.

Since vacation in May (see Vacation Highlights part 1 and Vacation Highlights part 2) I have felt pressure to work hard at my job: the job of finding a job. It is hard living in a place where you know no one because with jobs these days it really is all about who you know. And who do I know here? A handful of people by name and even then not well at all.

a card my brother game me after graduating from college

a card my brother game me after graduating from college

So then what do I do?  Gather all the needed materials, send it to any job in my field of experience then hope, pray, and wait. Last week I sent off a job application for several positions teaching at the local community college.  Every time I think about that application  many “what ifs” come to mind. You know the game: what if . . . they didn’t get it, it’s buried in paperwork, they are already done interviewing for the positions I was looking at etc. Then I remember the “what if” game gets me absolutely nowhere but very stressed and frustrated. It is out of my hands, in theirs and I need to choose to hope for the best instead of wondering.

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What do I do while I wait? Good question. This has been the longest I have been without a job, school, or some combination of both ever. My life and calendar=very open. So again-what do I do with my time? Well you are reading part of it. (Just in case you wondered why I post so often). Other than blogging I do some editing work for my mother-in-law’s who is an author , weekly catch up with family and friends from out West. Past that? My life consists of a  pretty mundane routine of  dishes, getting groceries, laundry, cleaning the house, prepping dinner, exercise, reading, and watching netflix shows. For some people this limited level of responsibilities would be bliss. For those busy women out there with several jobs and/or possibly several children I know you must envy my spare time. But for me it is torture.

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I am a very active person who enjoys deeply, fully investing in a cause I know I can make a difference in. I am ambitious, hard working, diligent, detail oriented. (I know I sound like I’m rehearsing for an interview or rattling off one of my more recent intent letters for job applications). But I promise this is just me being transparent with my readers about my personality. I told Luke the other night “How do you think you would do with having 8 months of no work, no school, and not having your own car?” He thought about it and realized “not too well”. I’ve been trying, really, to not be “not doing too well” with what I’ve been given.

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I  try a lot of new recipes, and gratefully appreciate time with Luke.  But mostly I do a lot of thinking about what my purpose is here in NY? What am I supposed to be doing while I am here?

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So now I come to the topic of summer projects. I don’t currently have any. I am a creative person and could apply myself to several new tasks or old hobbies and enjoy them. But I am also very purpose driven, so if I don’t have a practical reason to do these projects then I have a hard time starting them. Luke has mentioned trying to find me an electric piano because I haven’t played since we moved. I could finish a painting I’ve left undone for almost a year, start making or learning to make more jewelry (or sign up for a crafting class) but none of these would be investing in others or serving for a deep or greater purpose then taking up my time.

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I promise this post is not a  group invite to a personal pity party or written to pull your heart strings to elicit sympathetic replies. It is instead a realistic view of where I am at. I am trying to be grateful for the many details I can take for granted and continue to exercise the disciples of being patient and content. Two very difficult and necessary virtues.

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As for what I am enjoying about the summer season? The weather of course for one. This past winter left a pretty deep imprint on my mind. Secondly there is a new activity almost every weekend in the area. It is as if each little town, village, or city has it’s own weekend (or several) for summer festivals. And that is not including the county fairs, state fair, and farmers markets. Of course  there are also so many outdoor activities and places to explore : kayaking, hiking, camping, swimming at the many lakes, waterfalls, and wooded hills and mountains surrounding us. And last of all of course I’m looking forward to my brother’s wedding in August!!

Invite came in the mail this week!!

Invite came in the mail this week!!

I know I will enjoy this summer and that I should be  content with the limited responsibilities and activities I have. But I also know I would embrace the time even more if I knew that it was limited and had an idea of when it will end, knowing I am progressing towards some purposeful activities here in New York.

So answering my earlier question I believe this Summer season will bring me: sunshine, a great time celebrating with family at my brother’s wedding, and hopefully a job come fall.

How about you? What are your summer plans?

Social Media: Beauty or Beast? Part 1

Starting off my newly-married life far from family and friends, I find great beauty in the internet and it’s social media sites. It has helped keep me connected to those I love around the world or a few time zones away.

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Not only do I have the opportunity to share in the lives of those I know and love, but also with those I have never met who also desire to communicate their creativity and life experiences through blogging on wordpress. WordPress has provided me with the venue to communicate my heart, my ideas, my cooking, and my life with all of you.

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Facebook provides me the ability to share in other’s pictures, or encourage and celebrate in my friends/family’s life moments with a comment, like, share, lol or consolation. I have the ability to quickly share a quote, song, where I am, or where I am going.

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LinkedIn allows me to find organizations I care about, people I have worked with, or contact those I used to be employed by. I can endorse those who I have worked for and with, or those who have taught and trained me. In return they can endorse or write references to my job related abilities.

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And most recently I have start on Pinterest with which I can share pictures, ideas, and words that mean something to me. From my baking, to decorating, travel, crafts, to party planning: I can get gift ideas or learn more about the style, preferences, and values of those I know-or connect to others who have similar interests as me.

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 This past year we have joined in our families holidays celebrations including Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays, and Easter via a phone call and/or skype. Or I can go on skype and see my niece and nephew and/or brother and sister-in-law just starting tomorrow in China as we are relaxing and finishing today.

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In addition to these, Luke can go on Xbox Live and play some of his favorite games and chat with his best friend on the WestCoast.

It is a beautiful thing; getting connected with others in a way never dreamed of less than 50 years ago. Through the beauty of the internet’s social media I can share in the process of engagements, weddings, family vacations to Disneyland, college or Master degrees, new careers or jobs, new additions to the family, or the passing of others through just a few clicks and typed words.

How about you? What do you appreciate about the world wide web’s social medias?