Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Been A Rough Week

Work has officially sucked the life out of me this week. Drained it. Yanked it. Completely wiped me clean.

I have been working from home for the past three days, but it is a seemingly tricky and deceptive thing - working from home. Instead of feeling flexible to do the laundry, wash the dishes, and clean the house while working from home, you do all of the above plus work 10+ hours. In my defense, we had a huge deadline of which I only missed by one hour (give or take) and knowing it would mean a relaxing Thanksgiving pushed me to the max.

To make matters worse, I have lost my ability to persevere through client work the way I used to. I'm older, more feeble, more weak, less capable and more whiney. I did a site visit on Tuesday to an old client and was reminded of my old days in client service when we worked 7 days straight for 2 weeks with the average day being 15 hours. Wow... how did I even survive? Then, begrudgingly, I thought how long my site visit day was that started at 9, ended at 7, and was a 1 hour commute each way.... really? Compared to what I used to do... that's nothing! Yet it's something.. something awful and painful and ugh... I'm just ready for the week to be over!

It's been a rough week. It's been an exceptionally hard week to get through my scripture study. Isn't it interesting how the adversary will get you when you're already down? And so you just have to persevere and try harder.. because at the end of every frustrating moment, is a surprisingly spiritually uplifting moment that confirms everything you know in your heart and mind. Don't let the adversary get you when you're down. You're more susceptible, but you must stay strong!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Insecure Big Booty

When I moved all my stuff from my parents' home into Andy's then apartment (now OUR apartment), I strategically left out the comfortable soft $10 bucks purchased, pink but almost white and kinda see through, velour Ross purchased sweats that I loved SOOO much because they were old. And dirty. And see through (a bit). And kind of high water. And kind of gross. Well, actually... none of that mattered as much as they made my butt look big and how could I let my fiance, soon to be husband, see the true size of my butt in those sweats?!

I also had an old pair of Juicy Couture pink bottoms (not velour, surprisingly) with a little heart on the right side which after a few washes, was too big, so I put into the dryer for too long and was then too short and too big.... so naturally, I left those at my parents' home as well.

Before I met Andy, when I had left for San Jose on my adventure of 3 months living on my own in Corporate Housing with the mini-rotation with Learning & Education, I had done the same thing with my favorite bright green Macy*s velour pocket sweat pants, with a promise to buy some cuter "lounge around" pants. I had purchased this beauty for only $6 but my brother constantly reminded me how he absolutely hated them and whenever I slothfully adorned them to every late night movie we watched out on the town together, it only added to his pleas for me to stop wearing them. "They're so BRIGHT and UGLY!!" he would complain. They were the vivid color of bright green grass like said photo below. "But they're so comfortable!" I said. "And cheap!" I reminded him. "Then go get another pair that's not so ugly or don't wear them out of the house!" he would say. I didn't listen to him until it was time for my adventure alone.... and I thought the only incentive for me to go buy cute lounge pants was to be void of any lounge pants at all.

How naive I was. Three lounge pants unavailable later.... the cold hits LA, I am freezing because I have no comfortable velour Ross pants and only a pair of Andy's pj pants that are too big for me and don't keep me very warm at all.

Friday, November 5, 2010

White Friend Make Vietnamese Food!

I am leaving work early to go make Vietnamese spring rolls!!! I LOVE Fridays!

I made Vietnamese spring rolls once but my roommate at the time did not enjoy it as much as I did. Since the rice paper used to make it is so cheap and healthy, I have it in our cupboards just to be safe.... but of course, it takes the incentive of our non-Asian and yes, white friends to decide on pho for dinner to get me to crack out the spring rolls! I'm so excited... but a lil ashamed that it took me this long to get around to makin 'em and that it came at the suggestion of the Bairds. Hehehe.

White Friend Make Vietnamese Food ... so I guess I will too!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Proactive Outreach for Me, You, EVERYONE!

Lately, work has been mundane but apparently I'm not alone - needless to say, I'm part of a club called "EVERYBODY." Luckily, I get to participate in interesting human relations type meetings and one was discussing why minority females tend to not succeed in the Firm and at some point, the questions were directed at me since I myself did not stay until manager and am indeed a diverse female (I'm Asian in case the black hair and brown eyes did not give it away and upon quitting, I was given another role and along with it came the title of "manager.")

Cornered, I wasn't sure how to respond - truthfully or politically? Not that the two aren't the same ...but....

I hiccuped a bit as I tried to explain at some point in the career, a determination of lifestyle is necessary... and that in my case, wanting a family and understanding this job could not coincide with that decision became reason enough to quit. Soon the conversation shifted from me and became a general discussion about how necessary proactive outreach to a female was who would one day reach the top at the Firm. You see, apparently females do not see many role models at the top and most often, do not even ponder the thought of reaching the top. It's not sexist, it's just a lifestyle choice that becomes very realistic after 5, 10, 15 years. And a lot of people do not value the time and effort it takes to reach the top where the money and prestige is. Many of the successful females at the top today, may not have seen themselves at the top and needed that proactive outreach at some point in their career to come to the realization that they indeed could make it, if they so desired.

It got me thinking about converts in the Church and how they too, need proactive outreach. I remember joining the Church and not really feeling like I belonged. Sure I had a testimony, sure I felt the Spirit.. but man was I behind on both Church doctrine and culture. Having not grown up as a member of the Church, comments in Sunday School or Relief Society about how "this is old stuff," or "we all know this popular story," are not well received by converts like myself. Familiar Bible stories are instead completely foreign to me. Besides Noah's Ark, Cain and Abel, and Adam and Eve, I know near nothing.

President Hinckley once said every new member needs three things:
1) a friend,
2) a calling, and
3) nourishment by the good word of God

Might I be so bold as to add to his description of a friend, they also need that friend or even better, numerous friends, to proactively outreach to them and reassure them that despite not envisioning themselves as a member of the true Church of Jesus Christ before, they now indeed are and they should remember that if they so desire, they can be more assimilated.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Sure Miss Glendale 7th

Yesterday, Andy and I got to go back to Glendale 7th after 2 hours of Church at our family ward to listen to Lucy give her first talk ever. Even though we didn't recognize the majority of the people in the chapel, there were still a good 3-4 rows of familiar faces.

I've often complained that the hardest thing about transitioning to married life is the family ward but for me it goes beyond that. Glendale 7th, though not the first ward I ever went to, was where my testimony really grew, where I made Church friends for the first time and where I would meet my eternal companion. It was a ward so vibrant and alive with missionary work that barely did a new convert last as the "newly baptized member" for more than a few weeks. It was a place where I felt accepted and though I didn't feel like I knew many people then... I feel even more lost now in the huge family ward.

Listening to Lucy's talk and watching her sniffle on the stand was amazing - not only because of the Spirit but because of the journey I have witnessed her go through. The person I knew before she was a member and the person I have seen her become. I remember how hesitant she was to meet the missionaries and yet the desire within her to learn more and can still recall how happy she was after getting baptized. She has been such a source of strength for me, especially when I would wonder if I was truly insane for feeling the way I did. She is so strong in her faith and always seeking to improve herself and is able to recognize the Lord's hand in her life and accept and move forward in faith.

I also miss Bishop and his funny chastity talks to the group. The last hour was a combined Relief Society and Elders' Quorum meeting and he had prepared a very TO THE POINT message to the young single adults in the crowd and unfortunately, Andy and I missed it but heard about it later. Our friends from Glendale 7th came over for a potluck fried chicken wannabe KFC themed dinner and it was a blast and though it oddly resembled a Relief Society outing with 2 men (some guys canceled last minute), it was just comfortable, relaxing and fun. I sure do miss those girls and sure am grateful Andy and I are able to still spend time with our single friends and still make friends with couple friends from the new ward.

But deep down... I sure do miss Glendale 7th.

At least we get excuses to visit anytime a friend is speaking.