life lessons

Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back

Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back

I don’t know what I was thinking with this Every Day In May blog challenge. I’ve done these kinds of marathon challenges before, and they always turn out the same: they feel like a marathon. More specifically, they transform my passion into a chore. I hate that. Sure, the pride of finishing the challenge is a great momentary high, but in the end, not worth the collateral damage of burn-out.

So I’m calling quits to this one right now, even though I have several days of posts that I just didn’t get to posting. I could go back and just delete my original challenge announcement and reschedule the two other posts that I did manage to publish. I wish life was as easy to edit as a blog. But I am not going to do that. I am going to honor my process, even though it includes a failure, ummm, or rather, set-back.

I just re-watched the

A Cracked Cross and Jeopardy

A Cracked Cross and Jeopardy

I am sure you have heard of deferred maintenance of a house. You know, those projects that aren’t super important, but still should get done at some point. Well, I’ve been tackling some deferred maintenance of my life. Projects of all types of randomness that I’ve wanted to get done for a very long time, yet, somehow never made it to the top of my to-do list.

One set of projects I would classify as “needing repair.” One of the keepsakes on this list is a really pretty decorative glass cross that I bought almost 10 years ago. Unfortunately it has been broken for almost half that time. The story goes like this: In 2008, the Presbyterian Church had its bi-annual national conference in San Jose. Andrew and I, being local Presbyterians, volunteered to serve on the organizing committee. Specifically, we helped organize and make arrangements for attendees who have disabilities. Just a footnote to conclude: it was a great conference, a lot of fun, and an honor to serve. But back to the glass cross.

Part of the conference was a traditional Expo. An area set up where vendors and artisans could share information and also sell their products. That is when I came upon the booth selling the glass crosses. Now, truth be told, I’m not a big cross person. I only own one other cross, which was given to me at my baptism, and I don’t own any jewelry crosses. As Seinfeld would say, “

My First Job

My First Job

I actually had two first jobs. One I consider my first job ever. And the other I think of as my first job as an adult. Both were very good learning experiences that taught me life lessons. And they also reinforced a common process of decision-making in my life: they helped me understand what I did like, by doing what I didn't.

The employment options available to me in high school were limited because of my disability. Most retail and fast food positions, common sectors for teenage hires, were too physically demanding or inaccessible. So when an opportunity came along to get paid for talking on the phone (telemarketing), it seemed like a perfect fit. For about six months of my junior year, I did cold calls about three nights a week for Farmer's Insurance. This was back in the early 90's when insurance agents had list books of phone numbers and they would pay young folks such as myself, to call and solicit people for home, auto or life insurance. I mostly pitched auto insurance. If I could keep someone on the phone long enough to answer some basic questions, and ideally agree to have an agent follow up, that was a win. A minimum of 10 wins in one night was considered a good night.

Well, good, according to the agent. Bad for me. Looking back I have no idea how I even lasted six months at that job. While I felt a temporary sense of accomplishment, only punctuated by the delivery of a paycheck every two weeks, it wasn't enough to make me love the job.