Monthly Archives: March 2010

*grits teeth* I’m thankful, really

My three-lettered friend is

DRIVING

ME

CRAZY!!!!!!

Today I left work at noon. Best decision ever. A bunch of stuff has been building up, and then he opened his mouth and that was IT.

I was talking with someone this evening about this, and she pointed out that there’s always someone like that at work. Which is true. There’s always been one wherever I’ve worked. Usually more than one. What makes this guy harder is that, when I was hired on, there was no one like that in the office. Seriously. All us new folk would talk about how there was really no one you couldn’t get along with in the office. Some people had quirks, but in general, it was awesome.

Then my three-lettered friend was hired on.

And it’s just that much harder, because we were so used to our awesome, relaxed workplace.

On the up side, everyone agrees that he’s a giant pain in the @$$ to work with.

He makes fun of everyone.

He works “dumb and fast,” which is incredibly annoying to all of us younger engineers who are then in the position of challenging him, “handling” him, or explaining to our boss why things aren’t done and/or we went over budget as he has us rework things over and over.

The above also means he sets us up to fail, by giving us tasks that are “just 10 minutes” but, really, take longer. Especially for young engineers.

He always works on a need-to-know basis. Not sure if this is on purpose. But he incessantly withholds essential project information that he doesn’t think those working “for” him need, which has caused much embarassment when my boss asks why I’m not taking x into account.

And on and on.

Normally I can deal. I’ve been dealing for a year.

But this week:

Two of my favorite structural engineers started their indefinite stint working out of our office for a job. A third who I also get along with is with them.

My boss is on vacation.

And yesterday:

Two other structural engineers I really get along with were out.

So to summarize:

6 people gone.

3 people in:

Me.

The new guy (hired on a couple weeks ago).

My three-lettered friend.

There was no escape.

I normally deal with him by getting backup, someone to agree I’m right, or someone to override him. He doesn’t like me much (I don’t think) and he hates listening to me, but others tend to agree with me and when they do, he tends to back down.

So. Yesterday. I get in. I’m working on a project for him. I work hard all day on something he gave me to do. As I’m getting ready to go, for the second day in a row, he calls me to his desk and wants to talk, a.k.a. give me something new to do that has to be done right now.

What, you may ask?

Well, there’s a project I finished on Monday. I had 20 hours to do it, it took me 17.5. Another hour or so to organize all the calcs so they could be sent to the client. Yesterday afternoon, he brings the project back up.

Why?

Simple. He had done something he was specifically told multiple times by the head of the department not to do. He called me over to brag about doing it successfully. And then, 10 minutes later, to tell me that based on this, I needed to redo all of my work in a new way because of a “problem” he’d found.

A “problem” he had brought up to our boss twice and been told that it didn’t matter. And a “problem” that the new information did nothing to change.

But now our boss was gone, so he wanted me to redo all my work based on his idea of how to circumvent the “problem.”

I flat-out put my foot down and REFUSED to do it. It would be my name on the calcs and my name on the bill that put us overbudget. Which is a big no-no around here.

He didn’t like that.

I was very polite about it. But I reminded him (again) that our boss knew everything he was talking about, and still told me to do the work they way I had. Then I told him that I wasn’t comfortable going so far over budget without at least talking to our boss.

He glared at me and called him.

I managed to keep it together through all that (and everything else that came before).

Today I got in and he wanted me doing it a new way. It was a fast way (in theory). Fine. Whatever. But he kept coming over. And coming over. And I realized that every time I heard his voice my whole body was tensing up. Even when he was talking to someone else. And dealing with him again this morning was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I couldn’t handle it.

I couldn’t keep myself together.

I couldn’t work.

So I finished up the calc and went home.

I hope to god that tomorrow goes better.

Two more days this week, and then my boss is back to override him for me.

I’m trying not to look at this as a bad thing.

You see, when I gave notice I thought I’d be overcome with nostalgia or something as I spent my last days in this place that I’ve really enjoyed being.

But he is making it unbearable.

So really, he’s doing me a favor. He’s making it so.much.easier to leave.

It’s nice of him, really.

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Why I blog

I have been thinking about why I blog recently, and why I read other people’s blogs (often “mommy-blogs”).

First I came across this recent House episode about a woman who blogs her whole life, even when her husband would rather she keep some things private. It goes into the question of why blogging is attractive to people and where the line is.

Then my mommy made some comments to me (which, while not a big deal themselves, added on to things she has said before), asking why I blog and am OK sharing so much personal information with not only strangers, but the whole internet.

After that Christie over at Mommy Drinks Because You Cry wrote her post accepting the award I passed on to her, in which she described me as such:

The lovely Eileen from https://givingherallshesgot.wordpress.com has bestowed this wonderful award unto me.  I am very grateful!  She is a crazy dog lover and self proclaimed nerd.  OMG I just got the name of her blog, she is a totaly Trekkie!  She uses her blog as her own sounding board for life’s issues and never holds back.  Plus, the girl just gets me.  No explination!

and I just love that description. So I’ve been trying to figure out why. (Also, glad you “got” the name of my blog, Christie :-) It was kind of an accident based on blog ineptitude that I ended up with it, but I totally AM a Trekkie!)

And finally, just 5 minutes ago, I read this amazing post by Corey Waters. (I do not stalk this woman much, I promise. She just has written some amazing pieces of late. But seriously, go read this one. This quote is kind of a side-note in it, it’s not all about blogging.)

But.  I sit down on my couch with my itty bitty HP Mini in my lap and start typing away at whatever strikes me, and those social graces don’t enter into the picture because I’m not talking TO YOU, per se, I’m just talking.  I’m just sharing what I think.  And I don’t really think that you’re going to take offense at it, because.. I don’t know, because I don’t take offense when I’m reading what other people write on their blogs.  If they write something I don’t agree with and I feel compelled to, I write a comment about it saying, “Hey, here’s a different take on it..” but I don’t usually get mad about it because… it’s their blog.  If the person writes about a topic I don’t want to hear about, I skip those posts.  If it gets so I’m skipping more posts than I’m reading, I just take them out of my reader.

See, and that just so totally sums up on how I feel about things.

I blog, as Christie said, as a sounding board. Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes life sucks. And unfortunately, my bestest buds now live far away from me and thus are not available for sounding-purposes. Oh sure, we can talk on the phone, but I hate/am scared of talking on phones (this is why my hubby does all the calling). We can e-mail, but then it’s just not as personal. And we’re all busy. One has a new baby. One is in grad school. And I am..well..you hear about my life. It’s a lot easier to live with/right across the street from them and talk non-stop about what is going on in life, it’s easier to take a break to physically sit down with someone and talk to their face. It’s a lot harder to pick up the phone and try to catch each other when we’re both free, since we can’t see what the other is doing. Or to get e-mail and know I really should be writing back, but I’m too busy to type it all out right then (and I know the same thing happens to everyone). Blogging is not as personal as talking to a good friend..but it’s not supposed to be. That level of disappointment isn’t there.

So blogging is not the personal talk-to-a-friend type of thing.

But it is a talking type of thing. And I do get support from it. Support that means a lot.

I guess I view blogging largely as a journal. I always hated keeping a diary. It was so pointless. And I’m bad at things without points (sports, anyone?). What’s the point in writing if no one is going to read it? But when I blog, it gives me a chance to get all the journal stuff out. To put it down. To sort it in my mind. To have it physically electronically to come back to. And to let those who want to read it. I’m not writing to anyone in particular. I’m just writing for my own catharsis. But I know that I love reading other people’s writing for themselves..and so I feel like there are probably some people out there who enjoy my rambling. And that’s enough purpose for me. Not to mention comments. I <3 comments. I’ve gotten some amazing support here.

Blogging also makes me aware of what is going through my mind. To some extent, I am aware that people are listening. And I don’t want to come off as 100% negative. So, through blogging, I force myself to focus on the positive. It’s using my phobia of what other people think of me to work on handling the depression! Ha! The upside of multiple illnesses! Anyway, when I get practice focusing on the positive, through writing about it, it helps me focus on it more all day. I’ve definitely noticed that I’m more positive since I started blogging. (I hate to think how much worse quitting would have been if I’d done it pre-blog. Of course I could have gotten through it. But this was way better. All you awesome people in my computer + more positive outlook = VERY HELPFUL)

Now, would I say some of this stuff to strangers or people I’m casual friends with face-to-face? No. But 1) I’m fairly anonymous here. You know my first name and the general region I live in, and I’m sure you could find me. If you really wanted to. Which leads me to 2) I don’t so much care if strangers KNOW the stuff I put on here. I just don’t want to vocally SAY it (the whole phobia thing can stop my throat). Beyond that, I’m careful not to give this address out to people I’m casual friends with (i.e. my blog is NOT on facebook and I do not link there), very few “real life” people know about it. Those who do are close friends I’d say this stuff to anyway. But I do realize that anyone could find me. And so I’ve decided I don’t care. I’ll take some steps towards privacy (no home address, no last name (not that it’s identifying)) and I won’t admit to illegal activity (if I ever partake in any) and I’m gonna call it good.

Because it’s far more valuable to me to have this resource, this journal, this place I can come and pour my heart out, and try to leave a little bit less for my heart to have to handle on its own, than it is to keep utter privacy. I spend too much time and energy worrying about my privacy. It’s nice to have a place where I don’t.

It also gives me a place where, as Corey said, I can just TALK. If I’m talking to a person I put so much energy into reading them and trying not to offend. Here, I don’t have to worry so much. If someone doesn’t want to hear it, they can skip. And like Corey, sometimes I come across posts I don’t agree with or don’t want to hear about…so I skip them. I figure people will do the same to me. If they aren’t mature enough to do that, well..I don’t really care about them.

I read other people’s blogs because..I like feeling the connection. I like hearing about other people’s lives. It’s the same reason any of us chat with friends, or strangers on the bus. There’s something good about being shared with, and hearing about how someone lives. Eventually I was reading so many blogs, which seemed like good things for their authors, I decided to join in and write my own.

And I do.not.regret it.

Could bad things end up happening because I blog? Yeah. Bad things could happen a lot of different ways.

The tangible, definite benefits outweigh the possible costs to me.

Thoughts?

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TTT: Secret List

It’s time for another installment of Too True Tuesday! Time to share all our embarrassing secrets!

This week’s topic: Our secret lists.

On a TV show called Friends 100 years ago, there was a couple that had been dating. They each established a list of 3 people they could *ahem* stray with and it wouldn’t count. As long as the person you cheated with was on your list, you got a free pass! In addition, none of the 3 people could be ya’ know, like your neighbors. Or the mechanic down the street. Each person on your list had to be an unattainable celebrity of some sort.

Thanks for the explanation, Essie! So, moving on.

I’m a rebel. A rule-breaker  you might say.

And quite frankly, I am not at all visual, like I mentioned last post. Unable to make mental pictures. So the visual hotness of guys I see doesn’t really catch my eye. Given this, celebrities are generally not appealing to me. I mean, the only celebrity I’ve ever had any sort of a crush on was Harrison Ford, and that was largely started because I loved Han Solo.

Mmmmm, oh yeah....

But really, that started when I was around 12. And it’s just kind of lingered since then. No serious crushage going on.

So if I could pick guys to *cough* play with, no guilt, they wouldn’t be real guys.

Remember how I said I am full-on addicted to reading?

That’s right.

They’d be fictional characters.

The first character I’d looooove (*drool*) to..um..spend some time getting to know better is Joscelin, from the Kushiel series. He is this strong, well-built, GORGEOUS man, with incredible self-control and incredible dedication. The kind of guy who will literally fight to the death for the woman he loves. And who is very, very, very talented in the “bedchamber,” as he would call it. Yeah. Him. *drool*.

(As a side note, I had no idea Joscelin was a girl’s name nowadays (with different spelling). See, Joscelin Verreuil is about the epitome of the perfect man. So of course it’s a manly name! Stupid culture.)

Next up, (and you might have guessed this from yesterday’s post), Edward Cullen. (Have I mentioned all the *drool*?) Oh. My. God. Talk about giving unreasonable expectations for love/men. He is a different epitome of the perfect man..and again, utter devotion to the woman he loves, willing to do whatever it takes to protect her..almost to the extent it can be annoying, but hey, that’s OK. Gorgeous. Generous. Head over heels in love. Never gets tired *cough* I mean, if you’ve read the books, there is no explanation needed. You get it. If you haven’t, you won’t until you read the books. So do it. Read them. They are so good. (This coming from a very picky reader and someone who haaaates following fads). Though maybe don’t if you’re having troubles in your relationship. Again, unrealistic expectations…

The third..doesn’t exist. I don’t want to pollute my first two with a third. If I’m going to get one off my list, those two are soooo far above anybody else I could come up with, there’s no point in adding a third.

Um..except..my hubby of course…(Hi hubby!)…*cough*

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Random Tuesday Thoughts (shhhhh!)

I am going to follow the lead set over at Tiptoeing Through the Tulips and participate (for the first time!) in Random Tuesday Thoughts…on Monday.

I’m busy. I’m tired. I have a bunch of random thoughts. And besides, Too True Tuesday is going on tomorrow. (Essie, I get way too excited about this!)

So, without further ado:

First, I’m very excited that today I got my first interview request from a job I applied to! Even better, I just applied to this job last night, so I’m EXTRA excited given that! It’s a job teaching small groups of ~ 3 students at a study center (evidently people actually use them, who knew?), the possibilities of which I’m cautiously very eager about. I love teaching, as I mentioned before, and they supposed minimum pay is about 75% what I’m making now. So if that works out, it would be amazing!

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There are many things I could be teaching, including SAT prep. Given this, when they wrote me to request an interview (yes, they WROTE! I love these people!) they told me I would have to take the SAT after the interview. So now it’s SAT, take two!

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There are so many things I want to do in life. The first is going to have to be finding the energy to do all the others. :P

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One of the things I’d love to do is therapy dog work. I have wanted to do this since I was about 13, but kids aren’t allowed to. Now I will actually have time…in theory. I’m going to MAKE SURE I have time so I can do this!

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I don’t understand people acting crazy. But I really don’t understand people defending people who are acting crazy. I know there are always people who are on fringes and do messed up things like screaming “nigger” and “faggot” at congressmen and threatening to send snipers to kill congressmen’s children…but how can so many mainstream people defend them? When people do crazy things, even if I agree with their stance/motivation I’m going to call them crazy and distance myself from them.

I would just like us to all stop taking sides. All I want for Christmas..but I want it sooner…so how ’bout all I want for Spring is our country holding hands and singing Kumbaya. Figuratively. Though if literally is what it takes, that could be fun, too.

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I am so proud of myself. I did not watch TV this weekend! Well, I did for about an hour and a half on Sunday night, but that’s because I was folding laundry and really, that’s far too mindless to do without something else going on.

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The REASON I didn’t watch TV this weekend is…..I was busy finishing the Twilight series.

And now for my review. I’m going to group all four books together.

First off, I am a book snob. Total snob. TOTAL snob. There are exactly three series I will heartily recommend. One stand-alone book. And all of them only to audiences I think would appreciate them. So while I read a lot of books, I really like very few. (We are talking fiction here. I don’t have a lot of experience with non-fiction). I’ll casually recommend some, and say they’re fine, because quite honestly, to people who love books, you need lots of material or you eventually get bored, but that doesn’t mean I think they’re amazing.

Now, with that said: I. Loved. Twilight.

The whole series.

LOVED it.

And I do not say that easily. If you remember I came to this series kicking and screaming. I did not want to read it. I made fun of one of my bestest buds for liking it. Despite that she sent me a copy of Twilight for Christmas, knowing that if it was sitting around and she pressured me enough, I’d eventually pick it up.

So now I say to her, “Thank you, hot momma!”

Now let me clarify. This series has no deeper meaning. No issues to explore. Nothing to make you think. No value at all.

Except it makes you happy.

And you know what? Sometimes that’s enough.

If all you want is some brain candy..well..this is incredibly well written brain candy, for those who love a good love story. And I do mean a good love story. Don’t think about it too deeply. It’s a love-at-first-sight kind of thing that develops. But if you’ll suspend reality and just accept that such perfection can exist…these books will sweep.you.away. Such a powerful love story.

At first the main character is whiny. Stick with it. By 150 pages in, you will be hooked. If you’re not..you may well never be. But I sure was! At the start of the second book, she is kind of whiny again. But if you’ve been sucked in, you can understand why. And she is trying. After that, she grows up a lot…but she’s still a teenager. And I like that. She’s not perfect. She’s a person. She has flaws. She doesn’t have enough self-confidence. She is bad at bouncing back. She doesn’t always think things through the best. Sound like any teenager you’ve ever heard of? Yeah. But she grows. She develops. And her love story is so. Good.

The world is pretty well-thought-out, and the plot just sucks you in. The books are primarily a love story, and there is other action which gives the rise in tension and resolution in each book. Those are fun, too. And if I haven’t said it enough, love story = amazing. That also develops, it starts out maybe unbelievably strong (to those of you romance-haters out there), but then it grows, they learn each other, they learn to compromise, things continue to develop.

So I will say it with pride now: I love the Twilight series. If you are looking for a deep, “good” book, this isn’t where you want to go. If you want a great, powerful, overall happy escape that doesn’t make you think but just lets you leave where you are and go somewhere amazing, this book is for you. As long as you like romance.

I am currently re-reading it. Finished yesterday, picked up the first one and re-started today. It’s even better this second time through. Makes me wish I had the ability to visualize things (I’m one of those rare people who is not capable of making pictures in her head) because some of these scenes I’d love to play out in my mind. But that’s OK. I’ll just reread them over and over.

If you’ve been holding out, just give them a try. Acknowledge what it is, well-written brain candy, and enjoy it for that. If after 150 pages you don’t, you tried. But this book is for far more than teenage girls, in my opinion.

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NOW WAIT A MINUTE!

I am looking to buy the last Twilight book. (No judging, remember?) I bought the third one yesterday. And I might *cough* have just finished it. So clearly I NEED the fourth.

So what is this I see about the paperback version being available August 3rd?

UH UH.

See, I have a thing about my books. Any books in one series must match, if at all possible.

So if I have the first three Twilight books in paperback, I need the fourth in the SAME paperback version. Same dimension, same type of cover art.

I cannot have 3 in paperback and 1 in hardcover! That would just be CRAZY!

On of my absolute favorite series (Kushiel) just recently finished its second trilogy. And by “recently” I mean “over a year after release that I read the final book” because first the books were always released in hardcover. And I refused to buy the hardcover. So I put off reading, I put off the resolution, I put off knowing what happened to characters so real it felt like I had met them, to wait for the paperback version to come out.

But now..NOW…Twilight? I mean, if I’d read them one-at-a-time and been waiting for the last anyway I’d wait the extra, but having just burned through the first three in four days (What? I read fast!) and knowing there’s just one left and it exists I need to read it.

Crap.

What do I do?

Could someone please tell me I’m wrong about the paperback thing? Just let me know where to find the right version?

I’m off to frantically search some more and deal with this crisis…

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I <3 Fridays

Here we are at Friday again, another day, another chance for me to totally ignore work and post :-)

Let’s get the ball rolling with some Dear So and Sos…

Dear friends, bloggy and otherwise,

Thank you for being so darn supportive and positive as I’ve had a(n extra) hard time this week. Officially quitting was difficult. Your words of support and encouragement, and hearing you tell me I’m doing the right thing, mean a lot. I cannot hear it enough.

Grateful soon to be former engineer

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Dear three-lettered-friend,

Thank you, so much, for making it easier for me to leave. I’m sorry if you’ve started to notice me grinding my teeth when you come and talk to me. That’s just me trying not to explode. Really, though, I’m not sure if you’re reaching to new heights or I just have a lower tolerance at the moment, but it is making the end of April look mighty appealing.

your subordinate..kind of

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Dear extremists,

Please stop acting crazy. I don’t really care what someone voted on, that gives you no right to threaten to send snipers to kill their children, as one example.

Whether you like it or not, the bill passed. This is where we are. If you want to fight it, go ahead. But stop focusing on revenge. Can’t we try to come together and move forward on what’s best for the country?

Please?

Fed up citizen

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Dear lovely student,

Remember last week when I said wrestling with your dog and in the process rolling her on her back wasn’t making her submit, it was play? I’m sorry you had to learn that lesson by having your dog accidentally break your daughter’s skin. If you don’t want her mouthing and wrestling with your daughter, you need to stop letting her do it with you. It’s not dominating her. It’s playing with her. And she likes it, so she’s going to try to do it with all the people she likes.

I’m glad you understand that this is not your dog’s fault.

Frustrated trainer

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OK, well those were a bit…negative. Let’s turn that frown upside-down!

I am happy that actually quitting is behind me. The conversation is over.

I am happy that starting in May I can focus on getting myself back to a healthy place.

I am happy that tonight I am meeting with the new doggy daycare owner at a fun event to discuss how our businesses can help each other.

I am happy that I have a husband who is so very supportive of me, even as I cause a drastic hit to our finances.

I am happy that I have found a fun brain-candy series to read, just when I needed it most…even if I didn’t know I would when I started.
Mmmm, love the focus on happiness. Even when I have to work to come up with things..it’s so good.

Hello all you people in my computer!

My question for you this week:

If you could have any job in the world, practical considerations aside, what would it be?

My answer’s pretty obvious to those of you who know me: dog training. Lucky for me, I get to focus on it soon :-) Tell me your answer in the comments!

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WW: Affirmation

Writer’s Workshop time again:

2. “I need all the help I can get and if repeating something healthy and inspiring to myself several times a day helps, then I’m going to do it!” -What affirmation makes you feel better? WELL THINK OF ONE.

My current affirmation that I just made up need to keep repeating to myself (and hearing from as many people as possible):

My most important job is taking care of my health.

This applies to both physical and mental health.

Today I quit my job. Yes, I realize many will think this is stupid with the economy. I don’t care. Or at least, I’m trying to tell myself I don’t.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

Physically I have been so exhausted I am having a hard time getting through each day. I keep making mistakes in simple things. I keep catching myself losing my train of thought mid-sentence. I have no idea of what has happened the last several months..and not in the normal way that I’ve experienced before, that everyone experiences sometimes…in a weird way where all my energy went to just making it through and there was none left for memories or enjoyment.This comes largely from the 10-11.5 hour days I work (getting paid for 8) thanks to “voluntary” training lunches and big long commutes. Not to mention the high stress and mental exertion necessary non-stop all-day.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

I have been getting sick, more than I ever have before in my life. I did not used to get sick. I have been sick repeatedly this winter, and with some of the worst illnesses I can remember having (excluding mono). I threw up for, literally, the first time I can remember. Not cool. I am wearing out my body. No energy left for an immune system.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

Mentally..things have not been good. When injuring myself so I can stay in the hospital with no responsibilities and nothing to do but sleep sounds like a not-half-bad plan..well..that’s not how it should be. The depression has been strong. And constant. And dipping down into the really low levels more and more frequently. Life’s not worth living when you can’t bring yourself to care.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

So I quit. This way I can get myself back under control. I can re-find balance. I can get the help I need to do so. Hopefully I can even find out what is causing the CFS (long shot, I can hope).

My most important job is taking care of my health.

My boss was so nice about it. I told him I was leaving for medical reasons, and that I had been trying to deal with/get treatment for my medical problems and keep working full-time and I just cannot do it. I need to stop so I can get well. He told me he valued my work and didn’t want to lose me. He asked if I would be willing to go on medical leave of absence so they could maybe get me back when I was ready. I told him that I had no idea how long treatment would take, a minimum of many months, and that I didn’t know if I’d even be able to work full time right after it was done. He said he didn’t care. He valued my work, he valued me, and he wanted to help me do what was best for me and get me back if possible. I had no idea he thought that highly of me.

He never once tried to convince me to stay.

He never once tried to guilt me.

He told me to take care of myself even while making it clear he was sad to see me go.

It is hard to leave such a supportive, tight-knit company.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

I’ve been slowly telling my work friends. Every time it’s hard. Every time I cry. The thought of losing them hurts. Their shock at losing me is hard. And it’s not like I’m going on to bigger and better things. I’m just crazy and sick.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

With so much support it’s even harder to go. If they were assholes at least I could say, “Screw you,” and leave and focus on me. But they’re not. So I feel guilty. And I feel scared for my future. And I worry if I’m doing the right thing.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

Being an engineer is not my most important job. Starting in May, I am taking care of my health. This is what I should be doing.

Breathe.

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