I Wanna Be Loved Like That

I’m well aware of the stats, or at least what they used to be – that fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce.  For all the attention I pay to statistics, they could now be higher…or lower (wouldn’t that be nice?).  There are countless articles, opinions, workshops, even sermons on why so many marriages fail and how we can ensure ours won’t.  Knowledge is power after all, isn’t it?  Isn’t it?

When we marry, we take vows.  Or to put it another way, we make promises.  Promises that, at the time of their utterance, we have every intention of keeping.  So what happens to make us change our minds?  Why do we break those promises?  I wish I could tell you I had the answers, but I’d be lying.  For each person I’m sure it’s different.  And for each person, I’m just as certain that they think they have excellent reasons for breaking those promises.  Don’t we excel at justifying ourselves?  Our choices?  Or is that just me?

In my opinion, what it comes down to is putting SELF first.  Often, we put ourselves as individuals before ourselves as a couple.  MY needs, MY feelings, MY opinions, etc., are important damn it!

I’ve made it no secret that JD and I have marriage issues now and then.  Show me another couple who have been together for 18 years and I’ll show you a couple who have had issues.  Every couple encounters some friction if they’re together long enough.  I don’t mean that every couple argues or has knock-down brawls.  But even without overt signs, I’d have trouble believing any couple who say they’re perfectly content ALL. THE. TIME.

What is it then that sends one partner over the edge to divorce?  JD’s first wife left him in the middle of the night while he was at work.  It was a complete surprise to him that she was unhappy.  Consequently, he had difficulty trusting again.  When JD and I were still early in our marriage I told him there were only two things that would make me leave him.  Abuse or infidelity.  I even made light of the possibility of infidelity by claiming that I don’t share well.  I don’t give up easily (my first marriage lasted 15 years before I threw in the towel).

Recently I was reminded how much JD loves me.  When I made the connection between the action and the feeling behind it, I re-discovered why I am still with this man after all this time and all our struggles.

I may have mentioned here at some point that he rarely sleeps well.  He’s usually up till the wee hours watching old television shows or movies, surfing the internet or researching something or other.  The other day he had been awake all night, lying down shortly before my alarm went off.  I did my usual groaning and moaning as I shut it off and got started.  A short time later I was in the kitchen doling out our vitamins, his prescription meds, my anti-inflammatories, etc.  That morning I was also opening a packet of sinus pain reliever to add to my collection.  In the struggle to get those blasted caplets out of their plastic and foil prison I bumped the container holding my other pills, sending it to the floor where the contents scattered.  As you might imagine, I was not pleased and muttered something along the lines of “Damn!” then started gathering them up.  From the bedroom JD asked what was wrong.  While looking for the one pill I of course couldn’t find, I explained what I’d done, and that one of the dropped pills was missing.  Since we have a dog who will literally eat anything, I couldn’t ignore that one stray pill but it wasn’t anywhere I looked.  I even reached under the stove to see if it had rolled under the edge.  All I found there was evidence of what a bad housekeeper I’ve turned into.  But that’s a different story.

Without being asked, JD got out of bed and without any complaining he joined me in the kitchen. Once there, he pulled out the drawer at the bottom of the stove and there was the missing pill!  It had rolled further under the stove than I could reach with the drawer in place.  I quickly retrieved it so he wouldn’t have to hold the drawer any longer than necessary.  Forget that the pill had been safe all along from doggy ingestion.  I didn’t know it was out of her reach and I would have been worried about it all day.  JD’s selflessness put my mind at rest.  He put me first despite his exhaustion.  That, my friends, is love.

Today on my commute this song came on my player and it reminded me of the other morning, and emphasized that I am a very lucky woman.  Whether or not you like country music, I think you can appreciate the words.  I wish you all a love like this.

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PSST!*

Everyone knows that things change, right?  Stagnation is not good and as reluctant as some of us may be to deal with change, it happens.  I for one, loathe the very idea of change.  Maybe because I spent the early part of my life ricocheting all over, sort of like the ball in a pinball game.  We lived here, then we lived there, then we moved back here.  I lost count of how many schools I attended before fourth or fifth grade.  See?  I don’t even remember when we stopped bouncing.  But even that was only a temporary respite before our mother came and took us back to live with her.  Then she moved us again.  At least that particular move was within the same county.  And heck, I got to attend the same high school all four years.  Progress I guess.

Fast forward umpteen years to 2015.  A few weeks back–maybe as long as a couple of months ago actually–I was promoted to “lead secretary”.  This amounted mainly to a new title as I was already performing most of the tasks the lead handles.  Life went on without much additional change.  I struggled to figure out a backup system for when one or another of us had to be out.  That might not sound difficult but I have one secretary who has 6 people on her desk on a regular day.  I can’t always expect her to have the capacity to help when someone else is out.  Another of my secretaries only supports one professional, but she doesn’t have the bandwidth to offer help either.  Her workload is hugely different from that of the rest of us and other than the occasional copying or scanning, she can’t provide much assistance.  Plus she works with attorneys in some of our other offices around the country which ties up her time.  (She has since asked to be returned to her previous secretarial group because she felt so bad about not being able to help us.)

There are now six secretaries in our group, counting me.  Each of us has at least 3 attorneys on our desk, most have 4 and as I mentioned, one has 6.  So if one or more of us is out – well, you do the math.  It can get crazy-aunt busy around here.  But I’d come up with a plan that seemed fair and, on paper anyway, looked like it would work.

Fast forward again to a couple of weeks ago.  I received a call from the HR rep who said the Director of Administration was sitting in her office and they’d like to see me.  Oh, and don’t worry.  Phew!  She could have led with that, right?

Big changes are afoot.  The firm has mandated that support for associates who are in their first, second or third year out of law school, be provided from a team rather than individual secretaries.  This announcement wasn’t supposed to roll out until everything was in place for its initiation at the beginning of May, but apparently rumors were floating about and a secretary brought them to the attention of the Administrative Partner (or the Local Poohbah).  LP met with the Director and the HR rep and they decided to make the announcement early to get the facts out there.  I never heard the rumors but I’m guessing they were way, way over the top if they inspired an early reveal.

As you might imagine, this wasn’t happy news.  To some of the secretaries already supporting those associates it sounded like a death knell.  Other secretaries heard translated “shared services team” into “secretarial pool” and cringed.  The Powers That Be in our local office are trying to spin it as positively as possible.  In making the announcement, LP started off by saying there would be no layoffs.  (They can learn!)  She then explained that our office had dragged its feet (so to speak) as long as it could get away with it.  We were one of the last large offices to switch to the team model.  Because there is no choice, we have to make this new model work, and hopefully fit into our Northwest culture in as effective a manner as possible.

Enter me, and four other secretaries in our office.  We are The Team.  Oh and did I mention I still get to be Lead for my group?  Whoopee!  

 

 

*Pretty Spectacular Support Team – my initial thought for a team name.  I doubt it will fly but it made me and at least one of the other secretaries smile.

The Quest for the Holy Something or Other by Kylie Betzner – A Review

The Quest for the Holy Something or Other

In The Quest for the Holy Something or Other Kylie Betzner has created a warped version of Camelot, but in a good way.  Remember the infamous Round Table?  It’s been transformed into the Pineapple Table.  King Arthur seems a bit apathetic, Merlin hides his plotting behind a façade of craziness, and Sir Lancelot is a dick.  In fact many of the knights are less than knightly, including the King’s own brother, Sir Kay.

Sir Kay is the epitome of middle-aged ennui, caring about very little.  He’s known in the kingdom for regularly losing pages and not the kinds in books.  Most of the young boys serving him met with untimely but completely accidental deaths.  Sir Kay has really bad luck.

Enter Pig who, as a gong farmer, shovels excrement, and is widely reviled as a consequence.  She is made page to Sir Kay (no one realizes she’s a girl) as a joke.

Later, Merlin sends all the knights off on quests to get them out of the way so his scheming can proceed unhindered.

Follow Sir Kay and Pig as they embark on a journey unlike any other, where they meet the Lady in the Lake, are joined by a champion of sorts, and discover that attaining their goal is not the most important thing.

I enjoyed Kylie’s Camelot though I had difficulty at first getting into the story.  That was likely the fault of the reader who is easily distracted and often reads multiple titles at the same time.  Once I was hooked however, I was very happy the book was on my phone as I could read it anywhere!  Kylie’s characters feel very genuine and I can imagine sitting down to chat with Sir Kay over some ale.

If you’re looking for a fun and funny read check this out!

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Happy Tuesday

Work has quieted a bit, although I’m risking a crazy afternoon by using the Q word.  One of my attorneys is readying for trial, another is working from home this morning, and yet another is holed up in his office doing heaven knows what.  I’m not sure what the fourth is doing; she’s pretty self-reliant.  For the time being, I’m caught up.  Soon I’ll send an email to my secretaries letting them know I have some free time if they need any help.  Then perhaps I’ll stop procrastinating and address the filing situation.  Before I do that though I wanted to share something I stumbled across the other day which made me laugh out loud.

I'm a lumbercat and I'm okay!

I’m a lumbercat …

The photo itself wasn’t what made me laugh but as soon as I saw it my brain filled in the rest.  Enjoy!

Things NOT to do

Laughter is wonderful isn’t it?  Especially those deep, carry-you-away laughs that you can’t seem to stop.  And the endorphin release?  Yes!  I love laughing.  But I’m a horrible grandmother.  I know – how did I get there from here?  Let me tell you a story…

A couple of weeks ago JD and I went and picked up the grandson’s birthday present.  Grandson was turning 13 and we wanted to make sure to get it in the mail early enough so he’d get it on time.  It also needed to arrive unbroken so we took it to the UPS store and paid more to have it safely packed and shipped than the remote-control helicopter cost in the first place!

Friday after work JD and I were heading out to do errands and grab a bite of dinner.  My cell phone rings and the caller ID says “Private Number”.  Now I don’t usually answer the phone if I don’t know who’s calling, but a few days before I’d been on the phone with the Grandson to be sure the package had arrived when UPS said it would and I knew the other grandparents’ phone number showed up as “Private Number” so I took the call.

After confirming he had reached the correct number, Grandson started off saying something like, “You know that helicopter you got me?”  I acknowledged that I did, expecting him to offer his thanks but his next words were totally unexpected.

“Well, it flew away.”

Dead silence at my end for two or three seconds and then I was laughing – huge, belly-hurting laughs.  And Grandson is continuing in my ear that when he ran inside and told his other Grandma it had flown away she laughed and laughed too which made me laugh all the more.

We are horrible grandparents!  Just horrible.  But whenever I think about that little helicopter* disappearing into the sky I still find myself chuckling.

*The helicopter was intended for indoor use but the other Grandpa wouldn’t let him fly it in the house and Grandson didn’t realize it was meant for indoor ONLY.  Poor kid.

Short and sweet

Work has me so flippin’ busy I haven’t been able to find time to read my blogs!  I’ve been trying to catch up here and there on the train but sometimes I just want to sit there with my tunes playing and my eyes closed.  This morning when I got on the train there was an unattended backpack in a seat near me.  How crazy is it that one of my first thoughts was that being at ground zero I wouldn’t feel a thing?  Sheesh.

So enough about work; it’s boring and depressing.  But this is hopeful and sums up my own feelings and beliefs.

Plain and simple.

Plain and simple.

Happy Friday!