Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just leave the lid open so I can watch

(The Chicken has nothing to do with this post except to say my day began with finding it on the front lawn as I was walking out the door this morning)

All day long today, I felt like I was attending my own funeral. Today was my last day at the Oakley job site, a place I have called home for nearly two and a half years. Yesterday I cleaned out my desk. Today I finished writing the booklet on how to do my job (I swear I missed my calling being a technical writer) and finished cleaning out the pantry with my stuff in it. I met two of the applicants that are applying for my job. I locked the doors for the last time. I cleaned those toys for the last time. I saw certain clients and got hugs from them for that last time. I held back tears as I got tender hugs from those little children.

But the funeral part came as through out the day a stream of people would make quick stops into my office. Each would comment on how I was a big part of the building, how I had a good heart, and how much they were going to miss me. I was hugged by more people today than in at least a year. I'm not a huggy guy (except with Amy), but today I was hugged over and over again. And all I could do was hold back tears.

Earlier today I shut down my PO Box and turned in my change of address form with the USPS.

At 5 o'clock I locked up the building one last time. I put a freshly printed "How to be a Therapy Aide" booklet on what was no longer my desk. I locked the cabinets, locked the office, turned out the lights, and left. And tonight, as I prepare for the final funeral tomorrow, I hold close to my heart the words of my building family and hum a little song in my head.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Could I tweet a life of a super hero?

As I drive into work I listen to a radio program that has a section they call "Celebrity Trash." Without fail, at least once every three days there is a story about Lindsay Lohan or John Mayer and something they wrote on Twitter. For the last few days I've been thinking about getting a twitter acount for the soul purpose of tweeting my super hero activities. I would first have to create a super hero, and then, in 140 characters or less, create activities and a persona that would be the super hero. I have many sources to model a character out of. I could use the teachings of Batman, Captain Hammer, and my own Dad. I could look to the influences of Cindy to have the tenderness of a super hero while look to the FDNY for the rugged running-into-a-burning-building hero quality. I of course would need to create a PR campaign complete with a Super Hero Brand. But really I'm just curious if I could do it. Could I become someone else on Twitter and could that someone else be a Super Hero? What should his name be? Who should he be a super hero to? Should he be a she? Are there other super heroes out there to work withor does he work alone? So many questions - So many tweets! Once I figure out a name, I'll let you know more about him or her.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Snow for the soul

Today was an emotionally challenging day. For starters, it was the last Monday at my Oakley office. I know this because several people reminded me of it. By Friday I'm going to be rather tired of people telling me that it is my last ____ until I start my new job on Monday. I am keenly interested in starting the new job and having a new adventure, but by no means am I in any hurry to leave the job I have loved for so long.
Additionally, today Amy and I broke up. For a bunch of reasons - some complicated, few not - the relationship had ran its course and was done. No matter if you are the breaker or the broken, the break-up is an emotional roller coaster. This one started on Thursday night and ended this morning about 10:30. By the time lunch rolled around, I just wanted to go hide.
Tonight for dinner, I went with several friends to wish Shell a Happy Graduation. She graduates from college this Saturday (assuming she finishes writing her 50 page paper and her printer likes her enough to print it out this time). Shell and I had a strong friendship for a while but it eventually fell apart while I was dating Amy the first time. Tonight was the first time we had spoken since January.

At 5, I found myself in Walnut Creek, at Heather Farms. I was running early for my therapy appointment, but had no where else to be so I just sat and read. A storm is supposed to hit the bay area later tonight and so as I sat, the wind picked up. On the tops of the cottontails that surround the lake are these little puffs of white seeds. When the wind blows, their mother plants set them free to float through the air to new ground. To me it is like watching snow fall. As the wind huffs and puffs, the sky fills with flurries. And I am reminded of peace.

While I was in college, I started having emotional problems every October. It turned out that there were about 50 events in my life tied to October (fiance leaving, mother being diagnosed with terminal cancer, grandpa dying, etc.). After three years of psych therapy, the Dx given was for me to not make any major decisions in the month of October, and instead wait till the first snow. So for years I have yearned for the first snow. The one that comes at the end of October or early November - the snow that says, everything is well again - that the world is at peace.

Today's snow didn't stick and instead just floated away. The bad emotional day remained, but for a brief moment - I had snow for my soul. And it felt....peaceful.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New shoe Rack

Last night Dave and I were sitting around the house. I was rather bored as all of my plans for the evening had fallen through. I asked Dave what we could do and he halfheartedly suggested "Well we could always go swing dancing in Sacramento." I said sure why not. (It is well known that I don't know how to dance, so Dave was really surprised, but I really wanted to try something new last night).

Dave took 10 minutes and I took three to find my shoes. My closet eats my shoes and Dave's are always scattered through the house.
This morning when I was cleaning house I kept finding shoes scattered through out the living room. I just had enough. So today while I was out shopping for other stuff, I bought a shoe rack. But I just couldn't buy a shoe rack and be done with it. The first set of shoes I added to it were my swimming flippers. I'm hoping it inspires conversation with visitors.

Friday, April 23, 2010

bumper stuck

I'm not one for putting stickers on my truck. That said, for the last several weeks, I've been thinking about two bumper stickers I would like to put on my truck. I don't know how to design bumper stickers or even where to get one made off of my design, but these are two bumper stickers that wouldn't bother me to have on my truck.
The first one is my sense of belonging. Beyond being on Team Jacob (Edward needs a stake through his chest), I'm not really a Team Guy. I love teams. I was on the winning amateur Volleyball team at BYUI in the Winter of 2007. But that was the only team I've been on in the last several years that wasn't wrapped around helping with people disabilities. Recently I've been riding my bike. People have asked me why I ride and the only reason I have is because I want to be fit enough to help people with disabilities. Whether that is being healthy enough to referee Power Soccer Games or healthy enough to ride in Charity Rides. I used to ride so that I could keep up with the adaptive cyclist or be in good health to ref the Wheelchair Basketball Games. So I would like a bumper sticker saying that I ride for Team Blue (Placard).
This second bumper sticker might seem a little odd. About 5 months after I graduated from high school, I was hanging out with my best friend Mike. He was dating a girl who was pregnant at the time. (He started dating her when she was already three months pregnant). I had gone on a date with a girl a few months earlier. She spread the rumor that we had sex (we didn't. I'm a wimp and didn't want her ex knocking out my teeth) then a few months later spread the rumor that she was pregos with my kid (she wasn't. She wasn't even pregnant). Anyway, one night we were driving around talking about this girl and his girlfriend when we saw this woman's car. On the back it had three bumper stickers "My grandkids are cuter than yours" "My grandkids are smarter than yours" and "My grandkids can beat up your grandkids." Mike pointed it out to me and I was just so annoyed at the pride of this woman. I screamed out at her "My teen daughter is more pregnant than yours!" Mike thought it was hilarious. So I put it a licence plate frame and put it on my truck. For years it was there until it got hit by something heavy loaded into the truck and some of the pieces fell off. I would like to put it back on my truck, just as a reminder of days gone by.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Send Off

In case you haven't heard yet, on May 3rd I start a new job. Some how I bucked the system and managed to get a job, while already having a job. The job is essentially the same - except instead of working with children with disabilities, I'll work with adults with disabilities. The new job also comes with benefits, dental, paid holidays, dental, sick leave, dental, and payment into a retirement. Oh and did I mention dental! The position I've had for the last two years had none of that. I can now afford to get sick.
Sadly, though, in able to go to the new job, I have to leave the old one. I have many friends at my job here. I have ties to the community (I'm giving up Lumpy's and Mike's Pastry and the USA Donuts). I have irrigation "customers" out this way that I will also be leaving. It is a very mixed emotion experience, but in able for me to achieve my goals, this is something I have to do.

One of the things I do enjoy about leaving, though, is the send off. I am a good employee and am often loved by those I work with. When I quit being a crossing guard, there was an assembly where the students honored me with a plaque and a local newspaper came and wrote up an article in the newspaper. (My mother would hear people say "I heard Sean was in the paper. What was that about?" She would respond "Oh, he quit his job.") When I stopped teaching special education to move to Idaho, I was a 1:1 to a student with autism. One of our assignments was collecting attendance sheets each morning. On my last day, each classroom we went to had a small gift waiting for me and a bigger gift waiting in the office.

On Tuesday of next week and on Friday of next week, I will once again be sent off. First at the Oakley office where we are having a dessert bar. Then in the Antioch office where...well I'm not totally sure what we are doing. As much as I know I will miss all of these people, I am so grateful for this last opportuity to say good bye.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A photo a day day

Some days I miss doing a daily photo. Today would have been a great day. For almost a year now, my stomach and throat have been having spasms when I eat bread, meats or if I eat rice too fast. I keep forgetting to see a doctor about it. Well today at work, the problem took an unfortunate turn. Evidently my esophagus has a shrinking problem when it comes to certain foods. Today it shrunk around a piece of chicken and blocked the passage. Nothing went down, including my saliva. I kept vomiting my saliva. So I was rushed to the ER. I first got a medicine to relax my esophagus, but that only lessened the problem. Eventually I got to go to surgery. I was sedated and had a camera shoved down my throat and had the piece of food removed. Then I woke up and was told I was on a 72 hour liquid diet.

And of course all I can think about is how cool a photo a day shot this would have made.