Pre-wedding Jitters

I’ve got pre-wedding jitters, only it’s not my wedding and they are jitters of excitement and anticipation. Today I am flying out to Washington. I’m coming into town a week before my little brother’s wedding so I can help with the last minute planning and participate in pre-wedding events. My pre-wedding itinerary includes: a bridal shower, moms and daughter(s) manicure date, pottery decorating class, bachlorette party, and of course the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner and the big wedding day: August 3rd.

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In the midst of all of this, I plan on making up for my lack of involvement as the future sister-in-law and as a bridesmaid. I expect to be running back and forth to the craft store, helping the moms with last minute details and most importantly helping in anyway possible to keep the bride-to-be Stina calm.

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Such a beautiful state 🙂

I would love to make this into a vacation and re-aquaint myself with the state of my college years and potentially visit with some friends, but I doubt I will get out of town that much considering I am not renting a car.  Although Luke and I have grown accustomed to sharing one car, I am still used to having a much more significant amount of time to myself: my schedule, my space, my quiet introverted world.

say goodbye to the car for a week
say goodbye to the car for a week

But this trip, from tomorrow until next Thursday, I will be staying with my parents and sharing a car with them. This is the first time since I moved out and got married that we will get this much quality time and in each other’s space time (aka sharing the same room/bathroom). It will require us all to have a little patience and show each other grace.

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In a few days we’ll take the same picture but this time I won’t be the one in white

Also this is the first time Luke and I will be away from each other since we got married. There were a few nights the first two weeks of marriage Luke worked nightshift but since last October we have seen each other everyday.  So we will be making quite a jump from never being apart to being apart for a whole week. It will be challenging probably in ways I don’t understand yet. But I’m interested to discover how often we will want to text or call each other while we are apart. Let’s just say I am glad I will be busy and distracted. By the time Luke comes into town and checks us into our own room at the hotel the wedding events will be in full swing: family and wedding party arriving from out of town for the rehearsal the next day.

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I’m looking forward to spending time with my family and friends and to sharing these moments will all of you. But you will have to be patient since I expect to be away from computer a lot in the next week. Until then I’d appreciate any prayers or good wishing vibes you want to send for safe travels and a successful and calm (as can be possible) pre-wedding week for everyone involved.

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What are you looking forward to this weekend/next week?

Contentment is . . .

“Contentment is a choice based in actively choosing a perspective of thankfulness”

I thought I would follow up my post Summer projects, the waiting game, and being content with this quote. It is easy to get frustrated when you are looking ahead and wanting to be there and not where you are. But awhile ago when I was just as discouraged, impatient, and frustrated with waiting and job search as I was a week ago, I wrote down this quote and put it up on my dresser mirror to remind me.

I need to actively look around to recognize I am in the here and now for a purpose. What will help me be patient is actively focusing on that which I am thankful for now. And there is plenty to be thankful for, many things I have learned to take for granted beyond a great family and wonderful husband. There is a large portion of the world that is not credit card debt free, or doesn’t have a roof over their heads, enough food to feed their family, a bed to sleep in, a working car, and means to pay the bills on time. I can easily forget thankfulness in this culture that teaches us consumers to be discontent so we want more.

Discontentment is wanting change or to add to life, to be somewhere or something else. I am wanting to be down the road about four months (anticipating by then I’ll have a class to teach). But I will get there when I get there. On the plus side, I have, as of last night, turned in my last application: seven different courses as an adjunct English instructor split between two colleges. So now I will try to contently wait to hear back.

How do you learn to be content?

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?