Friday, April 23, 2010

City Life

I awoke this morning to a city view. Looking out the window, I have been watching people rush to work, cabs being hailed, and vacationers unloading bags for a long weekend. P and I have the day off work, due to Battle of Flowers!! (What prey tell, is that, I will tell you later.) This will be the last time that P and I will be able to get away and relax until the end of August, so we decided to book a room downtown and stay the night. I love city life, I do. The rush, excitement, grit, smog, power, the dichotomy of it all never ceases to thrill me. How can the poor and homeless coexist on the same streets as the wealthy investment bankers? How can the artists and poets scratch out and existence seeking inspiration in the midst of an urban jungle, when surrounded by brief cases and suits? I woke up early, and as I lay in bed I watched the early morning routines of food deliveries, and laundry services make their rounds. Shortly there after I laced up my shoes and hit the pavement. Despite the heat and humidity due to the rain yesterday the run was awesome. I ran downtown near the capital then I hit up town lake.

I ran the dirt path and contemplated my competing desires. I have grown to enjoy the quietness of country life. The past 3 years, I have gripped about it, but somewhere along the lines I realized how nice it is to come home and be away from everything. But, at times, I often feel the calling, the urge of city life. Can I have both? Can I have the slow quite of the country, and the excitement of the city? I don't know. Will I ever live in a downtown loft on the 27th floor? I don't think so, especially not as a teacher.

For now, I will just have to keep enjoying my jaunts into the urban jungle.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Haiti, so cool!

The Haiti national soccer team is staying 5 minutes from my house!! For the last several days and for about one more week the Haitian National Soccer team is staying at the camp that P used to work for. He has gotten to see them practice, play a game, and meet some of the team and coaches. When the earthquake hit, the team was at practice, and the building next to the field which held their offices, and workout rooms was destroyed with team members in it. Their soccer field became a tent city, so they had no where to practice. They lost so much during the earthquake. They lost friends, family, teammates, clothing, shoes, and so much more. We had the opportunity to give to the team, and as a group, were able to provide shoes for them.

I know that in the big scheme of things, after the tragedy, sports seem pretty minimal, pretty unimportant. But, if sport can help the people forget what they are living through, even for an hour, if it can bring relief, something to cheer for, something to spur them on, that is awesome!!

I am going to watch them practice today or tomorrow, so I will defiantly be posting some pics.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I feel like I can breathe again

Life has been kind of crazy lately. Busy. Lots going on. Busy. Lots of changes.
I really prefer to have a few things going on and do them really really well, rather than have a ton going on, and just be ok at it all. I like to focus my energies and get tasks accomplished.
I have forgotten a few things these last few weeks and I think it is simply because I am so busy and have not been able to get organized. So tonight I am playing hookie to bible study. After work I went to the gym and had an awesome work out. I ran a really quick 3 miles and lifted, and I just took my time. I plugged in my ipod and just zoned out. Because I have been so busy recently my workout have been rushed and not great. Tonight I got to take my time, I really pushed myself to lift more than normal, and I took my time, and enjoyed getting my sweat on. While I was sitting there between sets, I took a deep breath and realized that all my stress was gone. My shoulders were not tight, I felt more relaxed than I have in weeks. I sat there and kept breathing in and realized that it was like I everything that had been weighting me down was gone. Working out is like a drug. And I admit that I am addicted. Tonight, like I said I am skipping bible study, P went over to a friends house and I have a few glorious hours all to myself at home to organize my thoughts and get some things done!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ch-ch-ch-Changes, part 1

Ch-ch-ch-ch changes
Turn and face the strain
ch-ch changes
--By David Bowie
I have been holding off writing this for a while now. I think because once I get it written, through pen and paper in my journal, or on my blog here, it will become real to me. Lets start and the beginning shall we.
In January, P got word that the organization he worked for, (a non profit) would be shutting its doors. It was a long time coming and in the end due to several reasons, the company closed. P stayed with the company part time until the end of February, beginning of March, closing things down, and trying to help sell the property. While he was working part time he signed up to sub at my school. Eventually, there was not enough work any more, so he received his last severance check, and signed on to be a long term sub at my school. The p.e. teacher went on maternity leave, so P has taken her place this past month, and he will continue to do so until mid May.
After leaving his former company, P and I had a few house keeping issues that we had to work through. Our income was going down, and then our expenses were going way up. First, his company provided him with a vehicle, cell phone, and Internet card. For the past year we have not had to pay for any of those things, which was very nice. His boss offered to sell us the vehicle, and a very good price. We decided to buy the car, and we worked out a payment plan. After mulling it over for 2 weeks, I realized that we were in debt, a place that we never ever wanted to be in again. P and I talked and we kept going back to "The borrower is slave to the lender" Proverbs, 7:10. We don't want to be any ones slave every again. We dipped into our efund and took out a major portion to pay full price for the car. No debt, smaller efund that needs to be replenished, and a temporary job for P. But we are now the owners of a 2008 dodge durango, that has been fully paid for. As of a week ago that is where we stood.
Let me back track now. About 3 weeks ago P and I drove to Colorado for a networking opportunity. P had a phone interview that went extremely well, however he was not offered the position due to timing, and the organization decided to hire in house. One of the directors invited P and I to Colorado for a little face time and to meet with some of the other directors. We met with all of them, and then we left. No job came about as a result of the trip. We had not been holding our breaths or hoping for an offer. On the drive home, a former colleague of P's called and asked us a question, which leads us to where we are now.
P used to work for a Christian Sports Camp.(That is where we met. I was working as a councilor during the summer while in college, and P was on full time staff) He was the director of the off season program which operates from August-May, offering retreats on the camp property. The camp has 2 locations, one for younger kids, and a second more secluded property high school students. Our 2nd summer we were stationed out at the high school camp where I ran the camp store, and P was the kitchen director. Basically he prepared 3 meals a day for 300+ people for 3 months. The camp is pretty remote (about an hour and 15 minutes from our house), and they have some housing for married couples that come out to help run camp, so we packed up some clothes and lived out there for 3 months. Later that year P ended up leaving the camp and taking a job with a new organization.
The phone call that we received was from a man, M, asking if P and I would like to come out and cook for the summer again. Initially our answer was No. No.No, but thanks. P and I have been talking what to do about his job situation, about the summer with only 1 income, and we were kind of at a stand still. Finally last Monday, we came to the conclusion that we would be going back out to camp. We decided to go back for several reasons, and one of the big reasons is that if we went out to camp, we would move out of our house in order to save money on rent and bills. Plus, we would both be making additional income, and both of those factors will help us get our efund fully funded by August. And here is where the changes start:
- we are moving out of our house
- we have to have everything packed up and moved out in 6 weeks time
- we don't know where we will be living come August
- we don't know what P will be doing come August
So there you go. Thats the story. More to come soon.

Friday, April 2, 2010

What I learned from an 11 hour track meet

Track season is here. That means the last 2 weeks have been filled with practices, late nights, and more responsibility. We had our first track meet yesterday and we did very well. We loaded up our runners and got to the track at about 1. When all was said and done, all the events finished, we ended up leaving after midnight. After we got the vans back to school, unloaded everything, and got home, it was right about 2 A.M. I have not seen the 2 A.M. hour in quite some time, and I must say that it is a dreadful hour to be on the road. I am much more of a morning glory kind of a gal than a night owl and I don't enjoy being up that late. Even more, I don't enjoy feeling groggy the next day, as I do now.
The meet was not run well, and people were getting frustrated by the inefficiency. Teams packed up and left. Parents, coaches, and administrators were griping and complaining and venting their frustrations, and I must agree, as much as I wish I wasn't part of that group, I was.
But I learned something last night in the midst of all the frustrations, and the fatigue, I learned that griping wont do anything to make the situation better. Sometimes, you just have to grin and bear it, and try to make the best of the situation. Plus, a little laughter always seems to help in these situations. (As does a spontaneous cheer, learned from my 8th grade cheer leading stint. Yelling, hand motions and all tend to make people smile and get past the frustrations a bit. " When I say love, you say track, Love--Track---Love---Track!!)
Another thing I learned that, no matter how slow you are, everyone deserves a cheer when they cross the finish line. Even if you walk, or slow down for a while, you must keep moving forward, and you must work past the pain.