Friday, February 10, 2012

In Which I Think About Putting A Wild Hare on a Plane and Flying Somewhere, Part 2


So...where was I? You can read Part 1 of this post here. Either click on the link or just scroll down. The post is right below this one.

Oh yes. I was toying with the idea of jetting off into the  clouds on a DC-10. Or maybe a 737 Airbus. (Have you seen of those babies close up? We are talking about a very large airplane.)



Am I going to look into it?

No, if I follow my usual pattern. I want to live the rest of my life following my usual pattern? I think not. My usual pattern tends to keep me where it's safe and familiar. There's comfort in that, but I'm not sure I want to stay "safe and familiar" for the rest of my life. Call it a female mid-life crisis. Call it what you want, but in remaining "safe and familiar" there's no achievement, nothing to be proud of, no long term fulfillment, and very little need to grow and change and become a better, bigger, more productive person.

I quit a job a while back because, among other reasons, I felt like I was never home. (I've kicked myself over and over since, but hindsight is 20/20 and I learned a lot from that mistake. I should have stuck with the job for a while longer...but, well, it is what it is.)  I understand that my first responsibility is to my home and husband. He is, however, perfectly capable of preparing his own meals on occasion and even knows how to use the washing machine if he has to. He can take out the trash and he knows how to iron. He can even feed the cat and prune the roses! And he doesn't mind doing those things if I'm busy or not around for some reason.

My kids will find that hard to believe...the part about him not minding, but he honestly doesn't. Don't get me wrong...I'm very aware of priorities and what my role is and is not, and I happily do all those things for him. If I didn't I'd probably hang out on Pinterest all day or something. It's not like I have regular commitments that need to be met, but he does. He works full time. He's at home, granted, but he's still working. The man writes three amazing sermons a week that take 10-12 hours of study each. He also runs a weekly men's discipleship class, and takes care of countless other church related things, offers pastoral counsel to people in person and over the phone, not to mention maintaining the house in good repair, taking care of the car and making sure all the bills are paid on time. He also works out twice a day (we both do) to stay healthy. He's a very busy man so the least I can do if I'm not working is take care of all the home stuff so he doesn't have to think about it. What else am I going to do with my time anyway? Blog?


But...roles change in life as circumstances change. Our lives are in a new season (hello empty nest!). I can stay in my old patterns of thinking and living, or I can step out in faith and pursue new or renewed interests.

Most flight attendants work 75-80 hours a month. That's right. A month. That's the equivalent of two weeks out of four. Less time than I was working before, but for days at at time, which would feel, again, like I was never home. Sometimes they have to crash for a few hours of sleep in between flights wherever they can find a place to lay their heads. Without seniority the schedules usually pretty much suck. And, really, is this realistic for me? If you know me, you know how much I like my my own bed...with my own fluffy duvet! But all that aside, am I just entertaining pointless ideas or is this a dream that doesn't yet have feet? Sometimes I get tired of having big ideas and then giving them up for what's "practical." It's that old mode of thinking thing.

A few things I know for sure: I need to pray. I'm feeling a bit restless and I think working outside my home in some capacity would be good. I need to find the right job, and the right balance, and the mind of God! But regardless of what I do on the outward, the main thing is learning to break out of my usual pattern of thinking. Those old ways aren't wrong, per say, but they are no longer current or relevant to my life. Time to grow, to change, to learn, to find out how I can be a productive and contributing member of my family, my marriage, my church, and my community in this new season of life. Time to not be a "non-contributing zero." (Click the link. It's a four minute video. Hilarious.)

Time to pray.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

In Which I Think About Putting A Wild Hare on a Plane and Flying Somewhere, Part 1

When I was little I desperately wanted to be a flight attendant.

After I graduated from high school but before I became a Christian I thought about it again and decided against it. I would have (very much!) liked to do it but I didn't have the confidence. I felt at the time that the process was bigger and scarier and more intimidating than trying out for cheer leading had been when I was a freshman. That whole experience was awful. The comparison, the peer pressure, the cattiness of the girls, the feeling that I didn't measure up and never would and the fact that I wasn't "popular," and therefore someone to be looked down on, was too much for me as a freshman at age 14. It actually affected me deeply for a long time. I shouldn't have let it do so, but what can I say? Fourteen is a pretty impressionable and important age. My high school years where fraught with insecurity and my motto was "I'm in search of myself. Have you seen me anywhere?"

After graduation I felt like applying as a flight attendant would bring up all those old feelings of inadequacy.

So I didn't go there.

I went to California instead and lived in a near constant state of inebriation on Malibu beach and squandered my parents' very generous investment in my education.

Yeah, I really had it goin' on.

But that's another story for another time. Or maybe it's all better to stay forgotten!

Fast forward to a couple of years ago when I was thinking about going (back) to work. The thought of applying to airlines crossed my mind and I started to look into it but things took a different turn, one reason being that my son was still living at home and I felt a need to be home more than be flying the friendly skies regularly. So I went to work as a bank teller. That was a mistake, but that's also another story for another time. (I'm just full of stories!) I thought of the flight attendant thing as a wild hare anyway.

Fast forward to a few days ago. One of my neighbors came over with a gift for me. (So nice!) She picked up a calendar with beautiful pictures of Hawaiian flowers the last time she was in Honolulu. She is a flight attendant for United Airlines and flies the SFO-Hawaii route regularly. I didn't know that until she brought the calendar over. I had noticed she was out of town for a couple of days every two weeks or so, but I had no idea she was doing the exact job I had dreamed about as a child and again as a teenager.

We ended up spending all day with her getting to know each other. It was totally spontaneous and a lot of fun. When she brought the calendar over she asked about our church and what we believe and the three of us (my hubby, she, and I) hung out on our doorstep talking for about half an hour. I invited her in but she wanted to stay within sight of her own front door because she was expecting some sort of appliance repair man. We ended up going over to her place so we could all sit down and be more comfortable and she wouldn't miss the repair guy. We stayed for three hours drinking coffee and just chatting and talking. She is very interested in our church and we talked a lot about that but we also talked about everything under the sun.

I mentioned that if I ever went to work seriously, on a permanent basis, I thought being a flight attendant would be fantastic. I'd rather do something interesting other than little retail jobs or house cleaning or something--not that I'm knocking those things. They all have their place, and I've done them all. (I am thinking of starting a house cleaning business again...I could set my own hours!)

This lady worked on the ground for United Airlines for years and then started flying. I mentioned that at 48 years old, I think I'm too old to be hired to fly but she said, no way. She said she herself started flying in her 40's (and has been doing for at least 20 years) but I pointed out that she had already been working for the same airline, just in a different capacity, for over a decade. She said the airlines prefer these days to hire older people, even in their 50's, instead of younger. Lots of reasons, none of which are important here. She strongly encouraged me to look into it, and even mentioned a specific airline that would be good to work for, should I decide to apply.

I get these ideas in my head and then I realize they are a total wild hare and I go back into my well traveled mode of thinking and settle down. My well traveled mode of thinking it what is "comfortable" to the people who know me well. They know I get these wild ideas and half way entertain them for a minute but then they go by the wayside. (The ideas go by the wayside, not the people who know me!)

Here's the thing, though. When my neighbor was encouraging me my husband said...

get this...

"Hey! Well, there ya' go!"

Let me translate: "That's not actually a bad idea. Are you going to look into it?"




...blank...   (not a typo. I was seriously totally blank in my mind, aghast at his response)

 Did he just say that?

So there's the question: Am I going to look into it?

This post is getting too long, so check back tomorrow to find out if I'm looking into becoming a flight attendant or if it's just another wild hare of mine that will go away and then I'll calm down.

Note to my family and friends: No need to panic. No need to call your father (Brittney, I'm talking to you) to find out if I've lost my mind. It will all come clear tomorrow.

Friday, February 3, 2012

What Are You Listening To?

So I'm sitting here at my kitchen table, surfing the net. What I'm actually doing is putting off getting going for the day. It's just housework, a couple of errands, and a work out that's ahead of me today, but I'm feeling particularly lazy and not motivated to get moving.

So I surf.

And read email.

I subscribe to a couple of minimalist writers who "write to the inbox." This seems to be a new way of communicating with readers, as opposed to blogging. Interesting, and I'm not sure how that works exactly, but whatever.

In one of those inbox messages the writer talks about the need sometimes to just be still and listen. That's the extent of her idea of being refreshed and recharged, while my idea of doing that tends more toward prayer and listening specifically for direction from the Holy Ghost, but I like her idea of stopping the busy-ness for a while and literally just hearing your surroundings. So in the interest of playing along, I will do just that.

With my eyes closed, three things that I can hear this morning are:

1. Strains of jazz (Spyro Gyra? I think so). We have music on almost all the time these days. Nice.
2. The tap of my husband's fingers across his computer keyboard. Another sound that can be heard almost all the time around here! Love that.
3. The whir of the fan upstairs that blows the heat down into the living room instead of letting it collect at the top of the stairs and at the ceiling level.

If you stop and close your eyes for a minute and just listen what do you hear?

More importantly, what are you listening to?

There is a difference.

One is a physiological sensory function. The other shapes your life.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Road Kill

Excuse the bad quality phone photo, but I need to ask a question. Answer honestly. Seriously, I can take it and I need to know.

Does it look like I'm wearing a dead animal around my neck? ...'Cause I'm not into wearing, you know, road kill.

Fur coats and leather jackets, fine. Road kill? Ummm. No.

So what do you think? Lose the road kill?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And Now, For the Moment You've All Been Waiting For...

...but first, thank you to everyone who commented or otherwise entered this giveaway. It's been super fun for me to read your comments!

We, my studio assistants and I, have chosen a winner. You can see all the little pieces of paper in the bowl. There is a name on each one. I couldn't figure out a better way to do it. My comments aren't numbered so I couldn't use some kind of online number generator.

My assistant was very busy this morning, as you can see. Someone has to take the naps around here and she is the self appointed nap-taker in this family. When my daughters moved out someone had step up and take on the job! Besides, she didn't think she'd be able to choose the name out of the hat bowl without opposable thumbs. She has a point there, so I let her off.

I enlisted my other assistant to help me. It was no problem because he has opposable thumbs. 

And the winner is...

....the winner is....


Michele! Yay! Congratulatons! (oops! I misspelled your name on that slip of sorry!)
You won with this comment: 

Michele Aguilar said...
LOVE!!! I want matching umbrella and rain boots!

Here's your prize. Kind of a Valentine's Day theme, but not over the top so you can use it all the time for make up, miscellaneous stuff in your purse, whatever. 

The outside,

the inside,
and a closeup of the embroidery.
I hope you like it, Michele! Would you please email me at catfeetstudio at gmail dot com and give me your mailing address? I don't seem to have your email anywhere. Thanks! I'll get it into the mail for you as soon as I hear from you. And thanks again to everyone for playing along.

Giveaway Is Closed!

My giveaway is now closed, and I'll announce the winner later today. Stay tuned!