Saturday, March 28, 2009

Reasons to Smile



Whenever I meet with my Cursillo Reunion group and we talk about study I always direct my talk away from books and instead say, "I'm studying people." It's true! I do study folk. That's how I learn my best lessons in life. How to face disappointments, be kind to others, see things from new perspectives, and be a better servant are just a few of the skills I'm learning from others. All of that's important in life and I'm blessed that I've got friends who accept being studied and seem to consider me just as valuable as they are to me. Friends have been stepping up to the plate a lot lately.

The new friends I'm making at my Census job are turning out to be fine examples of how to act in an office. Many of them have been managers or people in responsible positions and all are team players. We all work together towards a common goal, teach each other what we learn, and cover each other when closing out our day and getting ready for the next. So what am I learning from them? Besides the afore mentioned, I'm also learning how to take things in stride, how to coordinate things, and how to get good advice when needed. More subtle skills include tact, faith, and belief in a common goal.

One of my work friends, a very nice fellow named Kevin, has taken my poor job search skills and done his best to improve them with some well place instructions. He sat down with me over lunch one day, looked at my USA Jobs resume, and told me how to improve it to get a better shot at being hired by our government when I go looking for a new job. He pointed me towards OPM.gov which has handbooks for all the jobs listed on in the "job families/series" on USAJobs.gov and told me to match my job experience descriptions to the key words used to describe the skills used for the job I was trying for. That kind of advice was amazingly helpful! When I went to the site I had a general idea and instructions to do a "series search". I actually searched for those terms and learned about job families. Then I checked out the areas I had knowledge and experience in. I found 2 different jobs I can have a decent chance at by rewriting my resume, so that's my plan! I hadn't realized how varied resumes could be. That's something else I've picked up on this job. Apparently civilian ones are a page or two in length max, but the government job ones are several more pages with detailed descriptions of tasks you've mastered and experiences you've had. Whew! I always had a problem with writing short descriptions. Writing detailed ones should be a piece of cake. Oh! And they extended me at work so I'm employed by the Census for another 2 months! Yay!

Today I was headed to Target to buy a new watch and also Home Depot to get a new lamp. Instead I took a side trip to my friend Jerry's house, partly because he was on the way and could give me advice on whether I should buy a new lamp or fix the old one and also, because I hadn't seen him in a while and missed his company. Jerry and his family took me to their hearts long ago and have become my best resources for many things. If I need a house sitter or cat feeder I call them. If I'm going to the hospital for a procedure they are the ones to sit in the waiting room and drive me home afterward. They are also my emergency contacts and have permission to speak in my behalf if medical issues arise. It makes lots of sense. Jerry's an experienced OR nurse, knows my other friends with medical expertise, and would be able to ask questions that I wouldn't know to think of. They keep 10 cats and have taken care of mine by staying for several hours just to play with them when I've had occasion to travel.

When I stepped into Jerry's place he was relaxing with a book. I described my lamp problem and asked if I could fix it. He asked Susan if she needed him and got permission to go with me to my place where he proceeded to take the lamp apart. Discovering that the socket had gone bad, we drove to Target, followed by Home Depot to get the needed part to fix the lamp. While out running around we managed to get my watch replaced and a couple of very necessary belts of decent quality purchased. (My wardrobe is taking wear and tear now that I'm working 5 days a week.) Once back home the lamp got fixed, the windshield fluid in the car was topped off, bottles were recycled, and I had new CFL bulbs for most of the lights and a new R type bulb for the lamp. Then he played with the cats, or at least Hyram. Hooboo doesn't really trust anyone but me yet. A little later, I drove Jerry back to his place and borrowed a few books and a new computer game. I've promised to return tomorrow so that I can help them organize their myriad books. They need this badly because they are the best lending library I know and finding what they want to lend me is a whole house search project at present.

Earlier this morning, I popped over to my friend San's blog and then visited her friend Bob T Bear Esq. who was having a 500th post celebration. That was fun and I hope to share some of the jokes from his site with my friends at work. San has meant a lot to me as a friend because she started by making herself at home in my blog. She'd never met me, started reading and stayed and read and kept coming back till I think she has read every post I've ever written. In the process we became friends and I started learning how to love abstract art. I'd always been very much a realist and fantasy art lover till I met San. Now I'm seeing things in her work that I'd never have expected to. It's like visions just pop up for me when I look at something she's painted. Wow!

One of the things I shared with Jerry while he was watching Hyram eat was the start of my writing portfolio. David had a hand in that. In fact, I think it wouldn't have been started without his support. I also ran the articles I pulled from this blog past another new work friend. She said they were good too, but pointed out that if I wanted to be a technical writer I needed to write some technical articles. That makes sense. So I have to figure out a good "How To" article to put in there. Or describe a process that I'm familiar with that uses technology. She suggested blogging. I'm not so sure about that but there has to be something I can talk about and describe step by step. So I guess that somewhere in and around my rewriting my resume I need to write a couple more articles.

Well I don't think this article is turning out as I'd intended. It's become a ramble whose whole point seems to be that you can't survive without friends and that I've got some really great ones. But when Jerry and I were driving around we talked about disappointments in life. People often disappoint each other. Sometimes they hurt you very badly in the process. One can lose faith in other people if you hurt them often or badly enough. I've seen several examples of this during my life. The result seems to be that they lose faith in establishments, authorities, and powers too...including God. When Jerry and I are together we can seem like opposite sides of the coin. He's gloom and doom and I'm joy and light, but it wasn't always this way and I remember fondly the man who could convincingly make believe he was Merlin. So I talked about the need to forgive or just let things go. Granted, I'm not always good at that, but eventually I have to come around to that because I am, at heart, an optimist. I want a rosy tinted outlook and I'll move heaven and earth to get it. I wish I could gift that view to all my friends and anyone in need of a better feel about life because I think that without it I would have been a very unhappy teenager and possibly become a statistic of the worst sort. When I was just a kid my mother and I coined the label "Pollyannas" for ourselves signifying that we wanted to find something to be happy about in any situation, just like Pollyanna did in that Disney movie. So help me, it stuck! And I've never once looked back. In fact I resent any effort to teach me better. Life has a way of doing that despite our best efforts, so I can't claim that I'm totally unscathed, but I know things are getting better when I can share the smile that in my 20's earned me the nickname "Sunshine" and find time to appreciate the goodness of those around me. Thank goodness for friends! So yeah, let's smile! Just like the song!

28 comments:

grammy said...

As a young divorced mother of three, I had friends like that. God knew I couldn't make it alone, and He sent me Paul and Linda. Poor fellow, When there was water running across my kitchen floor, or my bathroom sink fell off the wall, or my furnace quit on a -10 night or my car wouldn't start, I called Paul. And Linda graciously loaned me her husband and became one of my very best friends. My children are grown and have children of their own, but the bond with my friends is as strong as ever. And it is a reason to smile!

Lee said...

Ah, Grammy, you are blessed, as am I! Thank you so much for sharing that. I hope my friendships last as long as yours have.

Peace! Hope! & Joy!
Lee

jinksy said...

I'll back you a hundred percent on the 'love and let go' attitude - keep smiling! x

Lee said...

Thanks Jinsky! Don't know what we'd do if we loved each and every hurt as a prized treasure.

See you soon!
Lee

Lisa said...

love reading your blog- i always feel something special in your words. you are authentic and that is nice xx

Lee said...

Thank you, Lisa! Your words make me feel cared for and that's a gift beyond words. Hope you have a great week!

Hugs!
Lee

Star said...

You are very caring, Lee. I always feel "looked after" when I read your Blog. Thanks for the job tips. As a newbie to America, finding a job is hard because my resume is so different in content to what the employers are expecting. It is hard to break through the ice. I had no luck whatsoever at the agencies even though I did very well at the tests. I think my qualifications were just too "unknown" over there.
Blessings, Star

San said...

You are sounding really good these days, Lee! I enjoyed this post, learning about your people-studying activities. Maybe your next job will be as an investigator. Just kidding.

I am honored that you wrote about me. I well remember the day I discovered your blog and I am thankful for your friendship.

HUGS.

skywind said...

Since the weekend I have been very happy, I smile. :)
Health information
Humor & Fun World

jsd said...

Your co-worker gave you some awesome advice! Awesome writing vibes your way!

Lee said...

As am I, San! As am I! Thank you!

Hugs!
Lee

Lee said...

Star, your kind words mean much to me. Thank you for sharing your story. I'll pray for your quest.

Peace! & Blessings!

Lee said...

Wonderful, Skywind! Activity is the one of the best reasons for joy! Congratulations!

Cheers!

Lee said...

Thanks, JS my soul friend! I'll keep on thinking about that project. I'm sure inspiration will strike!

Hugs!

Cheffie-Mom said...

Thanks for the smile. (:

Lee said...

Debbie, you are SO welcome! Thanks for popping in. Hope your day stays as bright as your comment made mine.

Cheers!

david mcmahon said...

No, it's not a ramble, Lee. It's a lesson in appreciation. Simple as that.

Lee said...

Thanks, David! I guess I was originally focusing on a view that while I reached, didn't happen in quite the path I originally intended. :-) Nice to know you like it!

Cheers!

philly5113 said...

Thank you for the reminder. Oh yeah, friends? who can make it without them. I always say, friends are like sisters or the things or people who come and stay by you even when you are rambling. I get a warm fuzzy feeling when I think about friendships. You just have to smile!

Count Sneaky said...

You are on the right track Lee.As you cannot hold another person in your hand, you cannot fashion expectations of another and then be hurt when they disappoint you. Acceptance
is love. Accept people as they

Lee said...

Ah yes, acceptance! I used to tell people that acceptance was the most important thing in a friendship to me. I guess that would hold true for everyone else as well. So glad you could find time to stop in, milord!

Cheers!

Lee said...

Hi Philly! Yes, friends are the best reasons to smile. They bring us so much joy. How wonderful to know that you have such wonderful ones!

Cheers!

ccna said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
ccent

Lee said...

Thank you, CCNT! Following the link for your sig, I discovered you work for the same company that a friend of mine used to work for. Thank you for stopping in! Please feel free to come back often!

Cheers!

lscollison said...

Nurses and cats make the best friends.

Lee said...

Hi Iscollison, yes they certainly do! Followed closely by pharmacists and dogs. :-)

Cheers!

Count Sneaky said...

Ah, my dear, don't forget doctors when it comes to good friends. My bride and I have enough doctors to form a football team. Not to disparage cats as pets, but so many of them are just in it for the food and fireplace. My best.Count Sneaky

Lee said...

Fear not, dear Count, I've got doctors among my friends too and do not forget them, especially since my sister is one. I chose to mention my pharmacist friend because I think they get less notice as a profession overall among those who hand out medical advice.

LOL My cats act like starving children till it's bedtime and then compete for space on the bed. As a general rule it is first come only one, but some rare, delightful mornings I wake to find them both on the bed, one on either side of me. When it comes to pets I am bipartisan, but while living in an apartment won't suffer a dog to be so confined.

Joy!
Lee