Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Rebel that I am

Gretchen Rubin, one of my favorite non-fiction authors, came up with a new way to evaluate people.  She divides them into four groups based in how they respond to expectations. One group responds readily to both outer and inner expectations.  One group responds to external expectations but not inner.  One group questions everything, then if they decide in favor of the expectation they meet it.  The last group rebels against all expectations, both outer and inner.

When I first heard her talk about her "framework," as she calls it, I assumed I was a questioner.  After all I ask a lot of questions.  About everything.  But when I talked to someone else who was a questioner I could see that I was really quite different than her.  

And then one day on Gretchen's podcast she had people send in mottos they had made up for their tendency.  She read a bunch, and then read off this one:

I'm a rebel: you can't make me, and neither can I.

I can't tell you what a light bulb moment that was, and how confusing at the same time.  After all, I don't LOOK like a rebel.  I look like a normal middle aged Mormon woman.  But from the moment I heard that motto I started seeing the signs in myself.  Want to shut me down? Tell me I *must* do something.  Want to get me to actually do something?  Tell me it probably can't be done!  And on, and on.

This makes so much sense with the rest of my life, especially when you combine this rebel tendency with the fact that I don't transition from one activity to another very well.  (Something I realized about my kids when they were young and I've known about myself for years now.)  Even things that I want to do are difficult to actually get myself to do.  Remember, "neither can I."  I've found that I have to be strategic to get things done that I want to do--either by sliding into them sideways or by putting myself in the correct place first instead of expecting that I'll be able to transition from one activity to another.  It's still a work in progress, but at least I feel like I have a grasp of what the issue is for the first time ever.

One last funny bit.  I realized after the first couple of days at work that I was feeling very uncomfortable ending phone calls.  As I thought about it I realized that this was the problem--I would end the phone call by saying "Have a great day," but then I felt like I was "bossing" the person around!  Because they might not like to be told what to do!  Not sure how that will end up, but at least I know that it's ridiculous.  Mostly.  ;)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

My job (I guess I have a job!)

For several years now I've worried about how we're going to pay for the triplets' college.  Even if they're able to get partial scholarships and jobs too, they're still going to need help from us.  And help x3 is a frightening scenario.  The only thing that I could think of to work and earn money was to substitute teach, but I knew that I don't want to do that now because I'd have to leave before my kids go to school.

When this worry started coming up over and over again I made a decision.  Since it was so far in the future, and since I really didn't know what the future was even going to look like, I decided that when the worry surfaced I'd turn it over to the Lord, and ask him to guide me in the ways He knew I'd need to go.

I can't tell you how many times I've done this in the last few years, but it's been a lot.


While I was in Utah for Elise's wedding my phone rang.  It was my walking friend Lorraine.  Lorraine is a marriage and family therapist, and in her office suite she also has a naturopath and a diet clinic.  She was calling to say that her front desk guy, John, was going out of town, and she wondered if I would be willing to fill in for him for 4 days the next week.

This all came as such a surprise to me.  I'd never expected someone to just ask me to work for them.  Especially someone with such good hours-- 9-3.  I told her that I thought I could do it and then promptly forgot about it and got on with the wedding festivities.


The next week I got up even earlier than I usually do for family scriptures, and instead of going to the gym after I dropped the kids off I went to work.  It felt so strange, but within a short time (faster than Lorraine expected) I started getting the hang of things.

What was surprising to me was that I really enjoyed it.  I enjoyed interacting with the patients, I was surprisingly ok answering the phone (although I still have to stop and think about what I'm going to say because it's a mouthful), and I enjoyed the little projects that Lorraine and Dr. Sandell wanted me to work on for them.  I'd been worried that I would sit there and be bored but that didn't really happen.


At some point Lorraine told me that John was wanting to take a day off and would she wondered if I'd be interested in working Wednesdays going forward.  I thought that sounded good.  Then she decided that they were going to move to a new building, and the upshot of that was that I could work more if I wanted to.  I decided that during the school year I think I want to work 2 days/week, and during the summer just one.  She asked if I'd be willing to do 1/2 day of work at home every week on her projects and I think that will be great.


It still all feels so strange to me--like it appeared fully formed from no where.  But I'm willing to believe that maybe this is Heavenly Father guiding me and directing me to the place where we'll be able to afford having three kids in college at once.  I'm delighted with the school-kid friendly hours and the flexibility.  And surprised at how much I enjoy it.  Now if I could just get the hang of going to bed earlier...