Nope

I never received the phone call. Monday has come and the office where I’d applied closed at 4:30PM – 15 minutes ago. It all seemed like it was coming together so perfectly that I feel quite stunned that I wasn’t chosen for the job.

But I wasn’t and so I am allowing myself to have an hour-long pity party.

I even cried a little bit and I’m not a crier. But that’s just between us, okay?

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No phone call. Yet.

“We will make our decision on Friday or Monday.”

I clung to the “Friday” part of that sentence because I didn’t think that my anxiety could handle waiting over the weekend. But here I am…waiting over the weekend. I’ve decided to go ahead and tell the story.

Last August I took my niece to a street fair at our local theatre. Games, arts and crafts, and a sample class of the children’s acting troupe called Footlights. My niece has a huge imagination and I had often thought that she would really enjoy being part of Footlights (lots of theatre games and they meet for one hour every Saturday morning during the school year). She had the opportunity to participate in the sample class that day and man o’ man she was in her element. I decided then and there that I would put her in Footlights as her Christmas present. She enjoyed the first session of Footlights and decided to continue to the second session (each session is 10 weeks). This time, she opted for the Musical Theatre class. Over the summer, a different theatre in our town did a summer camp and at the end they put on the show Treasure Island. My mom knew how much my niece had missed Footlights, that she enrolled her. Their performances were 4:30PM and 7:30PM on Friday. I opted to just take the entire Friday off work rather than try and get off early.

That Friday morning, I was lounging around drinking coffee and decided to read the newspaper. In the newspaper was a job posting for a company well-known for being a great place to work.  In order to apply, you had to apply through the unemployment office. I thought, well, I’m off work so I might as well apply. I had a lot of things planned for that day and I just tacked this last errand onto the end of my list. I figured it should put me at the unemployment office around 2PM. While I was out and about, I just so happened to change my schedule up and decided to go apply for the job second instead of last. I got down there about 10:30AM and finished up about an hour later. As I was leaving the unemployment office, I realized that they closed at Noon on Fridays. Had I left it last, I wouldn’t have been able to apply.

A week later I received a phone call asking me to come in for an interview. They said “Can you come in at 3:45?” and I checked my schedule…I was scheduled to leave at 3:30PM. So I made it to the first interview. The next day, they called me for a second interview “Can you come in at 7:15AM?” Yes, I don’t have to be at work until 8:30AM.” This job is a dream job. The pay is about 6k more per year, they would pay 80% of my tuition for me to get my masters, they pay 100% of my insurance and I could retire with a full pension in 27 years. My mom told me not to get my hopes up – but I am getting my hopes up. I realize that I may not be chosen for the job, but such an insignificant event a year ago has resulted in me being here today – waiting for the phone call. Bottom line is that if we hadn’t gone to the street fair last year, I wouldn’t be in the running for this job. It is all so serendipitous that it would be a shame if I didn’t get the job.

Please feel free to send prayers up about this job. I want it.

Edited to add:

On Thursday my phone that I had been using messed up and I switched back to my iPhone. I just realized today (Saturday) that my voice mail did not remain set up. In other words, had they called me yesterday they couldn’t have left a voice mail. (I had no missed calls, so I know they didn’t call). Is this another It just so happened? Did they need to wait until Monday to call me so that my voice mail would be operational? We will see. Pray saints, pray.

Butterfly Effect

I’ve been awake and out of bed since 5:20AM. Today could be a very big day for me. A whole lot of things have seemingly “just so happened” to fall into place and as a coworker said “God likes to work in the ‘it just so happened'” It has really been the “butterfly effect” and it started almost exactly one year ago (next weekend will be one year since the “butterfly” flapped his wings and kicked this whole thing off)

If that paragraph is confusing, that is how my entire week has been and it all comes down to today (Or maybe Monday, but probably today). I would provide more information…but I need to wait before posting details. I just wanted to share to all three people who read this that I am awake, anxious, and I will be keeping my phone nearby all day long. And if this all ends like I hope…it is going to be one heck of a story.

Plexus Update

A week after my initial post about beginning Plexus, I have an update for you.

I only took it one day.

I received it in the mail and took the accelerator pill and the Plexus Slim drink (It is a mix that goes into your water) the following morning. I made a point to eat a regular breakfast and lunch because I wanted to know how this would affect me. Breakfast was eggs and a slice of wheat bread and I don’t remember what lunch was, but it was something normal and from home – not fast food. I had coffee with breakfast (with cream and no sugar) and a lot of water. Throughout the day, I slowly felt worse and worse until the end of my workday rolled around and I had a pounding headache and a large amount of “brain fog.” I was told this was my body detoxing, but since I didn’t alter my diet with the exception of drinking more water, I can’t imagine what or how I was detoxing. I decided that I didn’t trust the pills or drink and vowed to never take anymore.

I’ve decided that I prefer to do things the normal way. Eat lots of vegetables, some fruits, very little sugar and processed foods, take a multi-vitamin and keep my eating out to a minimum. Since it is Saturday I was able to hit up the farmer’s market this morning. Dinner will be asparagus, broccoli, green beans, corn on the cob, some ham slices and cheese. All of that is from local farmers except the cheese. Yum!!

Plexus

I’ve never taken a diet pill. I’ve never taken part of a diet that was more than “eat more vegetables and less junk food”…until now. Or not now, I only ordered it last night. I’m going to try Plexus. I know a few people who sell it and I’ve researched it online – the success stories I keep reading go deeper than weight loss. People talking about energy, feeling more clear-headed, and many other general aches and pains disappearing. Since I am now 36 years old – I hate to admit it, but I am feeling more aches and pains lately. I’d like to lose 30-40 pounds as well, but it is the other things that I am most interested in. The downside is that Plexus is quite expensive – but I’m going to give it a try. If it really is as fantastic as what I’ve read…I think it’d be worth it. I only bought a 7 day supply, so we’ll see how that goes.

Have you taken Plexus? What did you think?

Money

I’d like to create a job for myself where I help people with their budgets. I have seen this scenario far too many times:

Family of four – mom, dad, older child, and new baby. Mom has been a stay-at-home mom and now that the baby is getting a bit older (Usually getting close to a year old), mom and dad decide that she is going to need to get a paying job. So, mom gets a part-time job and she’s bringing home, let’s say, $800 a month. The parents have to pay some of that towards a babysitter, but still bringing home $500 extra per month and they rejoice. They start eating out a bit more. Get cable, because that was a luxury they did not indulge in before. And in a couple of months…they buy a new (probably used) car. Here we are, 6 months after the mom getting a part-time job and she is working so that they can have a few more dinners out, cable, a new car, and a babysitter. They find themselves at the same level of broke-ness as before and cannot put a finger on why. 

Another scenario that I’ve watched play out over Facebook the last few weeks:

Mom, dad, and one child are the characters in this story. Mom and dad only plan on having one child (who is now in elementary school) and they both work full-time. Just after their baby was born, they moved into a very nice (but regular-sized) 3BR 2 bath house. It had a pool and neighbors that they loved with lots of wide-open space for the boy to play. As the years have passed both parents have moved ahead in their careers, they now make significantly more money then before. So they’ve moved into a much larger home. But…why? They aren’t having more children, so “more room” isn’t really necessary. They had a beautiful home before with good neighbors. Why not stay there, pay that house off, and have a paid off mortgage by age 40?

I work at a bank is this happens far more than it should:

Families don’t really keep that close of an eye on their checking account. They overdraw a few times per month. With overdraft charges being nearly $40 per item these days – overdrawing 4 times a month is $160!! Does anybody really have that sort of money to just give up to their bank? 

Another scenario:

I see this one at tax refund time. Some people really get a LOT of money back. Sometimes they get $10,000+. They get their checks and they want to cash them. I hear them talking about their plans – new furniture, a new TV, etc. All fine expenses if these were not the same people for the remaining 11 months of the year who have multiple overdraft charges per month. These are the people I want to reach the most. They will blow through this $10,000+ so fast it is alarming. I want to tell these families to spread this money out over the year instead of spending it all at one time. A $10,000 tax return would equal $833 extra per month!! Why not pay your house payment/rent for the year. (The whole YEAR!) Or continue your bills as normal and let this money just be extra income all year long and improve your lifestyle. I see these families, though. They will spend $10,000+ in 3 or 4 weeks and then struggle to pay their bills for the rest of the year.  

These are just some financial rants that I’ve had for awhile and wanted to tell someone. I encourage you to examine your finances. Are you struggling? Where can you make cuts? You might say “nowhere” but it probably isn’t true. I felt that way until recently. I decided to give up my iPhone and go back to a “dumb phone” and my cell phone bill is now $70 less per month. I still own the iPhone and so use it when I am on wi-fi. Sure, I can’t check Facebook at red lights anymore, but I think I can deal with that. I don’t have cable, but I know that it can easily run $150/mo. Netflix is $8.23/mo and your local library has DVDs you can rent for free. Call your providers and tell them you want to cancel – they will likely offer you a better deal. 

I wanted to offer a different spin on “how to cut back” that is more than just “stop going to Starbucks every day” because honestly…who is really doing that? Does someone really need to have that pointed out if they are struggling with money? I drink Starbucks once every couple of months.  So my advice summed up is this: 1. Do you really need a big house? Can you downsize? The kids don’t REALLY need a playroom and it is okay if they need to share a room for the sake of financial sanity. 2. Keep an eye on your checking account. Get internet banking, create a bills calendar and write everything down. Stop overdrawing even if it means eating Ramen noodles for dinner once a week. 3. Ditch cable and your iPhone if you are really struggling. Netflix is cool! 

 

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Revolution

Every time I pay my cell phone bill, I die a little on the inside. I have an iPhone and I really like it. Except I do not like paying $120 a month for my cell phone. I see the $50 for my monthly data plan on the statement and cringe as I realize that it costs me $4/mo more than my home internet. I have internet at work and I have internet at home. Why am I paying $50 a month so that I can also have internet…where? In line at the grocery? Waiting at stop lights? When I am at dinner with friends or family and feeling bored? Admittedly, I will miss having immediate access to Hopstop when I am in New York – but as I am only there 5 days per year, I feel certain that I can work around that.

Can I do it?  Can I declare a revolution and turn my back on smartphones? That isn’t as easy as it seems, since the one feature I am unwilling to give up is a Qwerty keypad. Can you even imagine having to text the non-qwerty keypad way again? While I was once quite speedy, I don’t intend on reverting quite that far. Verizon no longer sells a dumb-phone that also has qwerty keypads and this is probably the reason.  I’m in a contract until October 2015 – after that…I may even ditch the contract phone and move over to Straight Talk. Does anyone have any experience with them?

Will I really find myself all that disconnected? I’ll still have a phone, I’ll still have my iPhone for use on wifi, and I have a Kindle which also can connect to wifi. OH, and I have a laptop with internet access at home and I have internet access at work.

I think I’ll be okay.

Have you ever considered ditching the smartphone?

Good, Not Better

I’ve been thinking.

I hear this from people – when something bad happens to someone or occasionally I see memes on Facebook that insinuate this…that God won’t take something from you if He does not intend to replace it with something better.

I’m not sure that is biblical.

Yes, the bible does say “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. Does this verse imply that everything will work out for good to each individual person if they love God?

It cannot mean that, it just can’t. That would mean that if someone’s child passes away, that God has something better in store. Any parent would tell you that NOTHING is better than the child they lost. There will never be a situation given to them that causes them to look back at the loss and be okay with it. I will say that, in my experience, people who have suffered such a horrific loss are some of the most beautiful people I know. Not right away – but as the years pass, they become beautiful spirits.

Here is what I think it means: It means that all things work together for good. ALL THINGS. Not YOUR things. In the whole big scope of the world and every single living and breathing person existing upon this earth…such great losses can be worked together for good for someone. The word is GOOD and not BETTER. The bible doesn’t say that all things work together for better. Your child has a debilitating illness – it will lead you to meet people that you never would have met with a well child. Is it better for you to make those acquaintances rather than having a healthy child? No. But for somebody it is working together for a purpose.

What now?

So sorry, dear blog. It has been 3 months since I updated you.

Last weekend I graduated from college!! I also gifted myself a two week vacation from work. I would have gifted myself a trip somewhere, but finally had to decide in the end that I didn’t have the money and apparently the money you receive upon graduating high school is a one time deal. I did receive a $10 Chick-fil-a gift card and a $20 bill…but not enough to fund a vacation. Or enough to make my first student loan payment.

The thought pounding through my head over the last 9 days since graduating has been “What now?” and it has maintained a nice steady beat. What now? I know that good jobs exist in my little town of 70,000 people – but you have to know the right people. I don’t know where to find these people, but I am trying.  In the mean time, I am blowing up Indeed.com and applying for everything that could be a step in the right direction for a 36 year old bank teller with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and who minored in Human Resources. I can tell you that being a bank teller is not what I wish to continue doing. At first, I just didn’t want to continue doing it because I am very bored of that job and it does not pay enough. But then last week, just 30 minutes from where I live, 2 bank tellers were murdered during a botched robbery and I definitely do not make enough money for that sort of risk.

Love

We are all pretty familiar with the “love chapter” in the Bible.  I was listening to Christian radio today and there was a song that started off quoting part of it “If I give all I possess to the poor and give my body over to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3 NIV)

I don’t think that I love people. There are people that I love – I love my family, my friends and (some of) my coworkers…I love those people in my circle. But I don’t love people. They annoy me with their selfishness (But really, it is just my selfishness reflected back to me). I’m annoyed when they cut in front of me in line, when they take the last of an item, drive too slow, drive too fast, or take too long.

If I am understanding the Bible, I’m meant to love people. For a while I interpreted that to mean that I would just make a point to not get annoyed by them. But that isn’t love.  I see people who genuinely love people. I am not one of those. I don’t know how to become one of them. But it seems to be pretty important to love everyone, not just talk myself out of being annoyed by them and calling that love.

“And now these three things remain: Faith, Hope, and Love.  But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV