Monday, September 7, 2009

Happily Ever After

Once upon a time there was a girl named Catherine. She had a loving husband, a tiny house, an affectionate dog and a college degree. But Catherine was unhappy because she didn't have a job. When she was a little girl she had been told that someday she'd graduate from college and have a career. But hard times in the land where Catherine lived had changed that lifelong assumption. It seemed that after months and months of searching, employment and relief from the pressures of our world were nowhere in sight. Catherine and her poor husband were floundering, scraping together a living from his toil alone. Hope was alive, but dim.

Now this story may seem familiar to you, either because you or someone you know is in a similar situation. The media tells us that never has a generation since the Great Depression faced such uncertainty in the job market. I believe them. I have read and heard story after story of recent college grads and experienced workers alike that tell me it's true. Circumstances in our nation such as they are make it difficult for workers with experience to find employment, let alone the flood of college graduates who have little more than their education and certification of competency from their recent alma maters to offer.

All of this means that those of us who have zealously pursued our goals of learning in the hope of beginning a productive career will most likely have to put our dreams on hold. Some of us are lucky and find a start quickly. Others of us are forced to make concessions, resigning ourselves to taking any job we can get. Again, some of even these are lucky and manage to find a job that's at least related to their field of study. Over the almost four and a half months since my graduation I have stubbornly clung to the hope that I would be one of the latter. I refused to believe that all the effort I put into earning my degree over my entire life could be in vain, even in the short term.

That is why I applied for every social services job I could find that I qualified for. Every interview I garnered renewed my determination. My latest prospect was a part-time position at Avalon Hills, a treatment facility for women and girls with eating disorders. The job sounded fulfilling, it fell under my umbrella of interest in mental health and the pay was good. I went, I interviewed, I waited. And waited. Though I thought the interview went extremely well I was unpleasantly surprised when I was told they didn't choose me.

Now, by this time you're probably saying to yourself, "I thought the title of this post was 'Happily Ever After'?" Well, you would be right. Life has a funny way of turning when you think you're down and telling you how silly you were to think that way. Directly after I was told they didn't want me for their part-time position their HR guy said they wanted me full-time. Though they didn't have an open position at the time they would find one for me. Find one. As in "we will actively look to create one", not "apply again when one opens".

It is now exactly two weeks later and I have just been informed that I have a job. They guarantee me 30-40 hours a week and not only that, they will pay me a dollar more than normal because I have a degree. A dollar may not seem like much but it definitely is in my opinion. I start my employee paperwork tomorrow morning and they are working on putting together my training schedule now. So it turns out my degree will help me after all. I knew my parents wouldn't put me through 16 years of school for nothing.

And they lived happily ever after...

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Still Blog...

So, I believe we were all wondering, including me, what was going to spark my next blog. Since it's been what.....four, five months, we knew it had to be something big. Nevermind my graduating from college, being what seems like permanently unemployed, Josh's pending deployment, the state of the economy. Kid stuff all of it.

What I have discovered is truly big. I saw it and knew it had to be shared. Who knew we common people could ever be so close to such greatness. I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Here it is:

The lumber gibbon is a ruthless overlord. What greatness must be embodied in this seemingly innocent creature to command such respect and level of servitude. I only hope someday I will be worthy to worship at his woodpile....

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mother Nature must be getting Old

As anyone with skin has been able to notice lately, the weather has been a little off. And by "lately" I mean in the last month. And by "a little off" I mean "Where the freak did Spring go?!" Winter lasted longer than usual thanks to Punxsutawny Phil. How a groundhog came into a position to call all the shots I will never know. Once our extra six weeks of wintery imprisonment were over, Spring looked like it was finally on its way. The snow melted, plants were turning green again, I could walk outside without a coat on (which as Josh will tell you is no small feat), and we could finally turn the heater down in our tiny house. I was even able to dream about walking barefoot across campus again. It was beautiful.

Then came another snowstorm. Ok, we can deal with a last push of dying winter. Unfortunate as it was, I never expected what followed. Warm, cold, freezing, snow, warm, melting, cold, freezing, more snow, melting, more snow........ It's almost too much for a girl to handle. I thought maybe the gods just hated us all and were punishing us for some unknown transgression. Then I remembered that, well, I'm pretty awesome. And so are the people I know. So that can't be it. The only other explanation is that the cause lies with Mother Nature. I've always pictured Mother Nature as a hugely dichotomous being, both beautiful and terrible, but never out of control. Always perfectly poised and having a perfect knowledge of what she's doing. Thus, I've come to the conclusion that Mother Nature must be getting old.

Our Great Mother Earth has been around since the beginning of Time. I'd assume that though a few millenia have gone by, the titans of the universe have the advantage of immortality, awe-inspiring power and, as Josh says, the ability to watch us in the shower. But have we ever considered that maybe they don't have the ability to totally withstand the process of aging? Dementia and Alzheimer's are two of the possibilties I have come up with that explain our erratic weather patterns. Moms could be confused about what season it really is. Or she could think she's in a different area of the world where it should be winter in March and April. My latest thought on the subject is the possibility of dear old Mother passing the last milestone in a woman's life. Menopause. Think about it, hot flashes and cold sweats. Not to mention the crankiness and sleep deprivation that could cause her to make a few hasty decisions.

Now the question is: What is our plan of action? Hormone pills, finding a cure for Alzheimer's? I think either option could pose some difficulties. Mostly insurmountable, but hey, I keep hoping. I keep hoping that someday the beautiful days of Spring, flip flops and sunny warmth will come.....and stay. Here's to keeping the faith.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Beginning

What a momentous occasion. My first blog. Ever. I may live to regret this, but Josh has talked me into starting a blog together. I'm not really against blogging, I've just never been interested in it before. I also refuse to have a Myspace or Facebook page. This is me compromising. So here goes my blog:

Josh and I were married November 22, 2008 after what Josh has so aptly termed an 'unorthodox courtship'. For details on this please submit your request in writing. Within four months of knowing each other we knew we were going to get married. We are two vastly different people who have somehow managed to love being together every single day. Since the day we met. Josh proposed June 21. Here's one of our many engagement photos:

and another

(Christy Bodily took all of our engagement photos. Visit her photography site here)

While planning our wedding and getting ready for my senior year of college I somehow convinced Josh to finally go back to school and pursue higher education. So there we were, both starting a new semester at USU and trying to plan our life together. Growing up is a hard and complex process. I started my internship at Bear River Mental Health and Josh continued to work for Youthtrack. We seem to have made it through alright. Then came the best day of our lives. We were married in the Salt Lake Temple on a brisk, sunny day in November. It went something like this:

We've been happily married for four months now. We live in a tiny house, barely big enough for two. Don't believe me? See below:

I guess a more accurate description would be not big enough for two plus all the junk we own. We've been enjoying the trials and comforts of married life thus far and look forward to at least 50 more years in each other's company. In the near future, however, we're just waiting for the day I graduate with my Bachelors in Social Work (May 2) and the day we leave for our four day cruise in the Bahamas (May 18). How was that for my first blog?