new icons… reflective post… longish.

well, flisties…..

been thinking about LIFE.  *sigh*

my birthday went really well.  we had a party and it was super nice.  friends over.  mom helped with the food and the Moste Beautiful Lead Crystal Party Trays with the Lovey Vegetables on them….  lotsa people over.  lotsa laughs.  and once I kinda calmed down and enjoyed myself, it was a really lovely time. 

things are going well with Sam.  He is not particularly forthcoming about his own family drama.  I think his father was abusive – he told me as much and he over-apologizes like I used to all the time (sure sign of a controlling parent) and he gets really tense and uncomfortable talking about it.  whereas I, open booky, can talk about all or most of that stuff without getting tense or reliving it or feeling pain.  (most of it – it still chafes that my older brother Greg won’t talk to me.  his silence is troubling.  but he chose.  he’s actively choosing not to be involved in my life.  it’s childish and selfish of him.  but when is that a surprise?)

things are going apace with roommie.  she’s doing well.  staying on here in Spoka-ville for another year.

Sammy is also staying at his job for another year. 

both AmeriCorps. 

I kinda feel like I’ve missed the boat:  the AmeriBoat.  I am undecided about next year. 

My boss told me flat out that she wasn’t sure if she had enough money to hire an AmeriPerson next year – that she wouldn’t know until October.  I don’t think that this is a referendum on my job performance.  I’ve done a good job.  perhaps not a great job or an excellent job.  but I  have pulled out a lot of work and dealt with some surprises, and dealt with my boss.  and shined through it.  I think – again, hindsight – that there were a lot of things I had no idea what was coming – now I know, I would be better prepared to do an excellent job.  and more motivated. 

There are a lot of things about my job I like:  the hours.  the people.  the networking, and going to Really Exciting Events in Spokane.  I like Spokane.  I have enjoyed working at Unity House on Gonzaga campus – but we’re moving out of that office soonish.  who gets to coordinate that?  ME.  I’ve occasionally enjoyed reading those church newsletters – of which I have a LARGE PILE on my desk, even as we speak.  I genuinely enjoy coordinating events.  I also genuinely enjoy members of the board, our interactions, the Little Old Ladies (I wrote a piece for an AmeriCorps bulletin – I should post it.)  

I’ve enjoyed meeting people and doing articles.  My first article was kind of a flop:  my editor/boss kinda killed it (all the interesting bits – whoosh!  gone.)   but I think it was a bit of a stretch for this publication – the org I wrote about is a secular organization, my first article, and the organization is so much more than one person…  but it was totally a learning experience and I should have worked harder on it.  

and I’ve enjoyed the editing.  I am a GOOD EDITOR.  

the cons?  I have set up Google Calendar – which would eventually, hopefully, with grace and such, be put on on the newspaper’s website.  I could add community events to it.  "it’s too much, too complicated," says my boss.  there have been a few ideas I’ve had, like that, and they’ve just been quashed (sidenote:  I love this word, quashed) because my boss/editor doesn’t have TIME to deal with it.  she doesn’t have time to deal with huge changes, which have been afoot since I signed on.  which is sad.  

another con:  huge communication problems, both sides.  many projects were not communicated properly – so what my editor/boss thought was a two-hour project would take me days to do.  because it wasn’t properly explained….  either by her or my co-worker, or something got lost in translation.  then the yearly events calendar.  which is a lot of work.  not to be confused with the monthly events calendar (also a lot of work) both of which get published.  see?  confusion.  (again, I would do this much better since I know what’s coming. 

another con:  Mac/PC.  the iMacs are really beautiful pieces of machinery.  the Mac software is different but not entirely overwhelming all the time (just most of the time), and I think the biggest thing was the lack of training.  (Mal tried to train me on this database, but then he let this huge fart go and I threw him out of the office.  so much for that.  stupid boys – no offense Jon.) 

another con:  huge gaps with not much to do besides busywork, which I am mostly not interested in doing.  oh feh!  there’s that in any job.  I have goofed off entirely too much this year, on LJ, FB, and even cruising news sites.  one should be properly informed.  the fourth estate, and all.  but there’s so much out there that’s good, bad, and ugly and perhaps it doesn’t all need to be in my head.

"growing edge" – I need to be much more disciplined with my time.  much much more.  I think I would be happier, even, if I felt that at the end of the day, there were tasks – I accomplished them.  checked off ticky box lists and was productive! 

another "growing edge" – being STRATEGIC about my time, energy, projects, skills, and such.  it has felt in the past that setting goals was a risky business:  what if I failed?  would it not be simpler and more productive, to have a generalized picture of where I want to be, what I want to be doing?  then if I fail, I will not dive into depression and feel like an absolute waste of space and  – and this kind of thinking actually holds me back.  it holds me back because I don’t hold myself accountable:  I don’t value my time enough to set goals, to place structure, to get things done on time and with grace….  so it allows me, more or less to stay stuck.

anybody else feeling me on this?

I guess, in the past, being strategic felt like being manipulative – like tweaking people or circumstances to get what I want.  I certainly don’t want that. 

but, here’s the thing:  I don’t know what I want to do with my life, still. 

still.  (anybody remember Good WIll Hunting:  "What do you want to do?"  "be a shepherd…"  then he rants about how Will can’t answer a very simple question, and throws him out of the office….) 

my "objective" line on my resume has been whittled down to something like, "to secure employment in a non-profit organization which matches my skills and values" or something as vague.  

what I would like my objective to be is more like, "to be liked and valued and cherished in an organization which sees and utilizes my talents, skills, and aptitudes, advocates for a more just world, actively participates in community building, and is otherwise awesome."  

I feel like it doesn’t even matter what I do – if the organization is a right match, then I would do more or less anything (maybe not scrub toilets, but really, I might.  but not on a regular basis.)

which brings me to the organization I currently work for:  The Fig Tree.  Faith in Action.  I’ve become more and more of an agnostic this year, which is a surprising turn in my spiritual journey.  it’s not so much that God is irrelevant.  I feel disconnected from god, from the sacred, from a religious community.  my response lately about other people’s faith journeys has more or less been, "oh.  how nice for you."  

which is patronizing and not, not, not where I wanna be.  

I have indeed felt the absence of a religious community which mirrored my faith – which is doubt-ey. 

(not to be confused with dowdy.  come on peeps!  a homonym!)

so….  thinking a lot about media literacy, and my editor’s wish "not to be too loud,"  in her publication, have really made me wonder whether this publication will go the way of the dodo. (which goes back to believing in what you do, believing in the organization’s mission and vision.  I think I can be an agnostic in this job and still be successful – religion is a language I speak.  but it might be an unnecessary obstacle.)

I don’t want this publication to fail:  niche journalism is kind of exploding and people are much more interested in authentic stories, actions, and news, now more than ever.  but this publication moves too slowly.  I’ve felt this for a long time. 

we need a blogger.  a regular blogger.  something weekly, to put on the website.  we need distribution of labor:  training up the next generation so the publication can survive.  we need ot move out of the editor/boss’s freaking HOUSE.  a real office.

make big changes, the money will follow.  I see this so clearly.  I’ve tried to talk with my boss about her five year plan.  she’s interested in "more of the same."  which is okay – but not if you want to grow.  she thinks it’s all on her shoulders and this doesn’t have to be the case. 

I have a deeper appreciation for the work she’s done.  (the archive project/entering into a db the title, heading, etc of all the articles.  I’m working on 2001.  feh.  killer boring, but also oddly interesting.)

I think if I stayed on for another year, I would be able and interested in setting up the structure for the next 25 years.  I think I would enjoy that sincerely. 

I also think that I would set goals:  do some work on grant writing;  do some web design/input;  do more presentations;  be more involved in the community;  write more articles.  track volunteer hours much more thoroughly.  do more than stare at a computer all day. 

I wish I could have this kind of conversation with my boss.  I wish employees could evaluate bosses – this is not really a top-down organization.  there aren’t enough people for that:  it’s a loose network.  I tink I would ask for regular meetings.  maybe even to take classes at the community college.  or to help with grant research.  I do feel a little disconnected.  STAFF MEETINGS, hello?!

I think that’s everything.

for now.  😛

3 thoughts on “new icons… reflective post… longish.”

  1. Happy belated birthday my lovely! Glad you had a nice day!

    Re the work thing, you sound like you know what you want to do for an organisation, but that you’re not going to get the support you need where you are. That’s got to be so frustrating, and could be why you mess around on LJ a lot of the time? It’s a shame your boss doesn’t have time to look at the future much, and that new things eseem to scare them… Perhaps come October it will naturally be a time for you to move on?


    1. thank for the birthday wishes! (we have “seasons” birthday seasons, christmas seasons, etc, in case we don’t get all our presents on time.) still have a present from my mom, so it is still my birthday season, as it were.

      ummm… yes. I think the reason why I have goofed off too much in the past is that I was frustrated about some of the things at work.

      given that the american economy is still very much in the toilet, part of me feels like I should have an “any port in the storm” kind of attitude. and I do think I could still do some fantastic work there, and enjoy it. and two years on a resume is almost always more impressive than one.

      yet – there are some problems that would continue. boss’ attitude – which there’s a name for “founder’s syndrome” and communications… might be more difficult. or just as difficult. it’s just that my boss has been in this area for the past 30+ years, knows everybody who is everybody in the non-profit world and faith communities here… and a good recommendation from her would take me places.

      I think I *do* have a positive recommendation from her already – but I think if I muddled through another year, it would be a stellar recommendation.

      AND…. it would save me from looking for another job, which is maybe what I’m trying to avoid – all that DRAMA.

      so there’s that I suppose.

      I wish I felt more certain about my future. that’s all…

      thanks bebe. 😛


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