Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Impostor Syndrome

A friend (recently departed... from post) commented on how in her job she sometimes felt like an impostor.  When you're tasked with something without clear guidelines and you think you know what you're doing, but are told you don't.  When you arrange something, but can't definitively explain to people how you want it to play out.  When you think you've explained things properly but are peppered with questions because what's clear to you is as clear as mud to everyone else. When the program so carefully planned gets derailed right from the start by people far senior than you and all you can do it watch it crash and burn.  And smile right through it.

Then cry right after.

Growing up is hard and honestly I'm not real great at it most days.  There's really so little we have control over, isn't there, and the ability to bounce back from a bad decision or a poorly thought out plan is one of the milestones of being an adult.

For me, I'm taking a couple days off from work (annual leave... I saw this coming, give me a little credit), distancing myself from the hard feelings, spending some time with the kids as they're off from school for another long (5 day!) weekend, and regrouping.  I have a job to do at the Embassy and if I'm going to make it another 18 months I have to be able to handle these mental setbacks far better than I did this week.  And maybe I'll actually learn something from it too.

All is good here, I promise.  By Sunday I'll be right as rain and hopefully feel a little less like an impostor.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I am not a baker. My kid might be, but I am not.


Today we took on doughnuts.  Doughnuts take an entire afternoon, what with the room temperature butter and the stint in the freezer, followed by time in the fridge, and the mixing and mess.



These doughnuts looked and tasted nothing like what they were supposed to.  Called apple cider doughnuts, I found no apple cider and instead reduced some apple-kiwi juice, and nearly burned it too.  Then... white sugar.  I was sure we had some, but no.  Brown sugar went in instead.  And flour. We started well on the flour but when we didn't have enough I pulled out a box of what I thought was gluten-free flour.  Only it was gluten-free pancake mix.  Too late.  The cinnamon sugar topping also was brown sugar based.  This is why I don't bake.  I'm never prepared and nothing ever turns out.  But they were still edible, so I guess it was a win.


Becca's room is more a mess today than it was yesterday.  Some artwork started going back up on the walls, and she changed her curtains.  Finally. Rather than the heavy cotton curtains with the gold shear she now has more of a light foresty theme going. The faux headboard is actually 2 asymmetrical screens bought at IKEA, put together in the corner.  The rug too is new from IKEA.  The black light stand has been wandering around the house looking for a home and it's found one.


Tomorrow we're back at work but the kids are home the rest of the week.  She has time to pull it all together before school starts back up on Sunday.  Hopefully clean room photos tomorrow.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Big Kid


My folks visited with Katherine at her waitressing job at Buffalo Wild Wings.  :)

Home project(s)

These are the lights our house came with.  Presumably, when the house was built, it had really cool fixtures, but when the U.S. Gov't leased it fun lights were deemed dangerous and removed and these very safe and very ugly replacement went in. Actually, I don't have much of a problem with them other than in a giant room we have 3 of these and they cast about as much light in a diameter as a bad flashlight.  Most of the newer houses here got to keep their cool lights and/or have track lighting and lovely architectural bits.  We have square blocks of rooms with just these.  Bleh.  Even mixing daylight and warm white bulbs still don't make the room inviting.


So to put up something lightweight and a touch more Not That, we got a shade from IKEA and finagled a way to put it up (don't ask) and now one of our living room lights looks like this.  It's not perfect, but it makes me smile. Unfortunately, it was expensive and Ian was not impressed with how much of a pain it was to put up, so it looks like it will be the only one gracing our home.  Even so, I like it.


The next project room is Rebecca's. In order to shame her into actually finishing up the cleaning portion of the project, here is her Before picture:


And at the end of Day 1... still a work in progress with marked improvement (and a trip to IKEA).


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Project Complete

Back on 5 June 2012 when we were still in the States, I showed my new project when I first started teaching myself how to knit and purl.



Here is it, 5 October 2014 (exactly 2 years and 4 months later), and it's complete.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Heading into Eid

Everyone needs a break.  I think we're actually still recovering from our trip back in August, or maybe that's just me, but we're just plain ready for some time to stay home and play games and knit and read and watch TV and clean out a few more cupboards and closets and just Be.  I was sick last weekend but if you've been reading Facebook you know that I've actually been sick since we got home.  Things were off.  I knew they were but I just shrugged and pushed on and felt bad without putting my finger on just what was wrong.  Ask Ian, for weeks I told him that things just weren't right.  But it's not like there was a fever to point to, or stomach cramps, or a broken toe.  There wasn't a headache or a sore muscle or an aching back.  Then last week something physical did happen so I went the antibiotic route and the change was amazing.  For a day I felt AWESOME, like the huge cloud over my mind had lifted and I realized that the prior weeks I wasn't just off but actually really sick. 

The fact that I didn't quite understand that I was ill is both weird and, I'll admit, pretty darn scary.  How could I not know?

Unfortunately, last Wednesday I got slammed with a cold which I really didn't need, and that brought back the physical trouble I thought I'd taken care of, so I'm back on antibiotics and slowly recovering from, well, everything.  It's been a long week.  Thankfully I think the brain fog, or whatever it was, is gone.  I don't feel off anymore and that's a good thing.

I'm still easily crankified about everything though, my sense of humor is no where to be found and that's sad.  Could that be me at 40, the new normal?  Cranky about everything?  Get off my lawn!

No, I refuse to believe that.  I'll take the long Eid weekend and find myself again.  At the very least I'll reach my goal of finishing my blanket and that will put a smile back on this face :)

And sleep.  Sleep is good.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Things, they are achangin'

Last week was a tough week at work, nothing felt like it went right. There was more frustration than joy and that is unusual for this position.  I think part is that our boss and boss' boss and boss' boss' boss have all changed and they're all working out how our Post runs and with that comes a certain amount of uncertainty that we didn't have the past year.  Uncertainty leads to a lack of guidance and a level of confusion that I haven't experienced before.

I'm a little off and that's OK.  Goodness knows the world doesn't revolve around my comfort zone.  If it did, we'd all stay at home wrapped in a fuzzy blanket reading a non fiction novel while sipping a pumpkin-spiced-something coffee in silence.

If I could then make it rain or softly snow, and if I only had a fireplace.... oh you get the idea.  At my core I'm a hermit.

So to make a hermit's life more comfortable we've been cleaning out and rearranging.  The biggest problem with interior designing (if I can be so bold to use that term with gov't issued anything) is having too much stuff and right at the top is too much furniture.  We've had too much furniture in this house for the past 2 years.  It's not just our daughter's move to college and the reorganization of her room, but the overall need to see the two years ahead of us and know that we needed to change things up.  Five high back formal chairs, a room rug, 2 headboards, 2 night stands, 2 bedroom lamps all make their way back to the warehouse.

Our living room is now much more open.  Our little walk-through room (really, there's no way to make that room useful) is open.  And the room formerly known as "Katherine's Room" has been dubbed "The Lair."  Bunk beds are moved in to clear floor space yet still give Katherine a place to sleep when she visits, a computer desk takes up a corner (IKEA wasn't a totally shopping loss), and a TV cabinet with TV is along the wall.  Our challenge now is finding reasonable, movable floor seating for kids.  We searched high and low at IKEA and came up dry.  The current thought is Bedouin tent seating.  That sounds reasonable, right?  Oddly enough, finding it may be even a greater challenge.  We have two years.

We're also taking this opportunity to clean out.  A large stack of shoes went out the door which allowed us to move the shoe racks to a more secluded spot.  Becca got a rug from IKEA and she's full force into cleaning her room. More items are heading out.  Books will be re-homed to the CLO library. Dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing are a go.  Two sets of patio furniture made it to the upper deck so once I have some lighting we can sit out there in the evening and our patio isn't jammed with chairs.

Less stuff equals more room to breathe and an easier time to clean.

And a better feeling about sitting in my jammies with a cat on my lap and a coffee in my hand.