Thursday, April 16, 2009

what i've learned... ha!

So, Monday I have an orientation for my new part time job. I'm taking 18 credits of classes, so I'd like to only work maybe 20-25 hours a week, and I'd like it to be only mon-friday. And I'd like to get paid the equivalent of working full time at a nice paying job. But none of that is in the cards! Well, the 20-25 hours is but I think that's about it. I'm going to work in a nursery. Plants not babies. They probably don't call it nursery, maybe gardening center? It's its own business, not like a section of Lowe's or something. I love gardening, although truthfully, i'm not great at remembering to water (drip sprinkler systems rule!) I think it'll be a lot of fun, so long as I don't sneeze like crazy. What a journey in these past few years. In some ways, i feel like a total failure. Let's see, good career-type job, great benefits, great coworkers. Then I stayed at home for awhile and remodeled bathrooms. Great fun! Then I got a job where i could see the inside of people's heads and chests. Yumm-O! Not. My goodness, that very first autopsy repair is still branded inside my brain. It may not ever go away. I've not eaten a chicken nugget since. Then I got a job where i didn't have to look inside folks too much, whew! Just got to work with their grieving (or not so much) families. That was awesome and hard and rewarding and frustrating. Then I got to be invited not to come back. Geez, cremate one person when you're told not to and no one ever let's you forget it. It's a long story, but the short version is that morally, ethically and legally I did what I judged was right for the family, not that i did the actual cremation, there are checks and balances, and everything checked correctly so the cremation was done by the appropriate personnel. But my immediate supervisor asked me to hold off and get one more signature (again, not required legally). I chose to act superior and judge that i knew better than he did, plus I figured he was just embarrassed that I'd overheard a coworker telling him what an idiot he is, so I presented my paperwork to the crematory anyway, and the cremation took place. I know all this probably doesn't make a lot of sense and i'm not explaining well and i don't even know why i'm writing it at all. Maybe i'm still feeling smug and somewhat superior and still rationalizing my actions, when the point is I did not follow directions. In the end, it didn't matter if i was "right" because i lost. And it threw me into a tailspin like i'd not experienced before. so that's been a pretty black part of life.

But now, in some ways I feel like a new soul. (I've run twice this week, woo-hoo!) I'm learning and learning and learning. I now know how to tile a shower and a tub surround and a floor; I know how to texture walls and ceilings (well, in my own opinion I know how and it's my house, so that's all that matters!); I know how to sew curtains (but I can not make a Roman shade to save my life); I know how to make up and style a dead person; I know how to pull off one heck of a funeral service, with tears and laughter; I look super hot driving a hearse (ok, maybe not, but it sure is one of the best parts of the job, well, when it's empty not full); I know how to communicate in a small group (don't ask my classmates, just look at my "A" grade); I'm leading an anger management class, so obviously I know a little something about anger :), ok that one doesn't really count as I haven't just learned it in the last few years; and, finally, I know what Aristotle thinks about happiness. Hmm... semi-conductors, bathroom tiler, office manager, funeral director, student, nursery worker... some would say I'm going backwards, and financially they'd be right, but maybe, just maybe, all of this doesn't make me the failure I was beginning to think i'd become.

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