Sunday, October 21, 2012

Making Community Happen

As I was driving to church last week, I noticed that many of the trees I passed already had most of their fall colors going on. How did I miss one of my favorite parts of my favorite season?! I love noticing when leaves start turning yellow, red and orange. Just a hint here and there until the whole tree is a blaze of color.
I noticed even more leaves changing color this week on my weekly drive to church. My radio has been dead for, oh I don't know, maybe a year? Or almost. Something like that. Anyway, with the radio dead I have time to notice the trees and the colors. 
You know what else I had time to notice? Some of my flaws. 
Last week I had the great pleasure of seeing one of my friend's during Sunday morning activities. She is worship team leader, pastor's wife, and mother extraordinaire so she is always busy on Sunday. We caught a few moments to see each other and say hello between services and I was caught off guard by something she said to me, probably off hand. 
I'm backing up my own story to insert a bit of personal information that I think is the glue to the story. I have been reading a lot about community. Both in the church and out of it. I have been reading about how hard it is to create community and also how important it is to make community, no matter where you are. Community is supposed to be safe place you go, the place where you can lead a messy-real Christian life without fear of judgment or rejection. I have been talking to my friends about it. I've been talking to my co-workers about it. We talk about how important it is in the church and how important it is in the neighborhood you live in.
Anyway, I've been processing all of this information about community around the same time I've been feeling cut off from my community. Like I've mentioned, my schedule has changed so drastically over night. And with that change, my small circle of friends feels like it has been cut down to me. And sometimes, my mom. 
Ok back to the story. Remember? Sunday morning. I am chatting with my friend and I say something like, Oh I miss seeing you! I feel like I don't see you any more!" And she immediately says, "Well we are home in the morning! Stop by for coffee before you head to work!"
And for some reason, that caught me off guard. 
There I was, crying into my beer, as the expression goes, about my lack of community, my circle of friends feeling like it is shrinking and she says something so simple: YOU can visit us. 
Why yes, I can. I'm still getting used to my schedule and the weird sleeping schedule (like right now, I should be in bed. Obviously, I'm not.), but I do have some time in the mornings. Instead of using it to catch up on TV or sleep more than I need to, I can get my lazy butt out of bed and go see people! I'm still not a morning person, but my mornings feel more free and less stressful knowing I don't have to be anywhere until 3.30pm.
And isn't this what I was looking for? Yes! Community! But--oh, it really is hard. And it really will require an effort on my part. And I can whine and complain all I want about not having it...or I can go out there and make it happen. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

New job, new rules

This week marks my 5th week at my new job!
It feels like hardly any time has passed at all...and at the same time, it feels like I've been here ages.
I was really vague on details last post -- on purpose. That post wasn't about the job. It was about making the choices I needed to make in order to get the job and move to the next chapter of my life. This post? This post is about that chapter.
Officially, I am the evening & weekend library assistant, but sometimes I am also photocopier technician, IT specialist, computer pro, Sherlock Holmes (finding stuff that is missing and getting to the bottom of weird problems) and telephone switchboard operator. And that doesn't even cover the work I do with books, movies and periodicals!
I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this on my blog, but if you know me you know God created me to be a night owl. I've often talked with Him about it saying things like, "God, I know you don't make mistakes, but I think you put my internal clock in upside down!" I can be up at 7.30 or 8am if I have to be, but I prefer to sleep in. And no matter how early I am up, I can always be found awake at midnight, and a lot of the time much later than that. When I interviewed for this position, they asked me if I was aware that this was a 3.30pm to midnight position and if that would at all be a problem for me. I think it took every ounce of control I had not to laugh at the question. Far from being a problem--that was one of the reasons I applied for the job!
The transition was hard and will probably continue to be a little difficult for me. It isn't hard being up late. Winding down when I get home is hard and getting anything done at home before I leave for work is sometimes hard too. I think the thing I've had the most trouble with is having 99.9% of my friends on a day time schedule while I am not. I cherish those fleeting moments every Sunday when I can wave, hug, and cheek-kiss my friends and family (and friends that are like family) between services. Getting up at a decent time in the morning is no longer about getting to work on time, but making sure I have enough time to grab coffee and a decent conversation with a friend before jetting to work.This Sunday was the first day I've set my alarm to get up and I gotta say, even though it feels like it goes against everything I believe in, getting up and getting ready right away makes me feel awake. Even if I'm not. So I guess I'll be trying that alarm again tomorrow...yeah, we'll see how that goes...