The Perks of Part-Time

I mentioned in my last post I wanted to share a little of my vision for this blog and where I see myself going with it in the coming months. Now it’s time to share some news and give you that information. So, with no further ado…

I got a new job!

Yes, the turnaround on that was remarkably short, and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to tell you this. And as of right this moment, I haven’t started said job. I’m still waiting for paperwork to be processed. However, I’m incredibly hopeful that will be taken care of quickly and they’ll clear me to start working within the next few days.

What does that mean for me, my work, my writing, and this blog?

Well, first of all, it means income, a huge blessing considering how low I’ve been running these last couple of weeks. Fernando is thrilled about my new opportunity because it will take some of the financial pressure off of us, and that will make things much simpler for us.

Second, it means a shift in my work-life balance. This is totally different from how I have been working in the past. Normally I look for full-time jobs and positions where I can maximize my income, advance in the company and work diligently until better opportunities come along.

This isn’t that job.

In fact, this is entirely different, and I think it will make my work-life balance so much better in the short term and long run that it will positively affect a lot of areas in my life.

I say that because this isn’t a position I pursued. Inadvertently, yes, but this time around, no. Let me explain.

I got a call from the local school system about a resume I put in before Fernando and I were married for a clerical position that never panned out. The woman worked in a different department entirely and needed clerical help, wanted to interview me for a part-time position, and asked if I was still available. I agreed to the interview.

I came in and sat down for a chat, and before I knew it, I was really interested in the position. Not only will the position be a clerical one at 28 hours per week, but I may, upon proof of my performance, have the opportunity to split those 28 hours between clerical work and a higher paying position–specifically ESL teaching!

So when I got the call that I’d gotten the call, I was pretty excited. It’s with the county school system, which means it’s through the state. So even though the state is pretty adamant they don’t want to hire anyone more than 28 hours because they’d have to pay for insurance (thanks Obamacare); there’s the potential for a higher paying job within the criteria of 28 hours per week.

I’m looking forward to this opportunity, though, because it opens the door to a number of things I haven’t let myself consider.

  • I’ll be able to spend time on my novel writing and work on publishing some of it after doing rewrites and edits, which will be a great exercise in moving towards being a real author.
  • I may get back into a full-fledged TEFL Certificate course (120-hour accredited online program) and earn my certificate to gain more traction in the ESL teaching community and market myself better.
  • Fernando and I are even talking about both of us going back to college (he for another bachelor’s, me for a master’s), which would be a crazy risk to take but totally worth it, right?

All of this said, the job will allow me to do things to promote myself as an author, explore job options I might not otherwise explore, and be present in my marriage with Fernando.

And this makes me very happy indeed. 

I think the key to keeping up with my blog is simply to have and make time for it. You’ll see in the coming weeks that I’ll be posting about the books I’m currently working on. I’ll be writing about the plans I have to market myself, and I’ll be adding news links to this blog.

Fernando is also talking about making me a real author website once he’s finished teaching himself HTML.

How cool would that be?

In the meantime, I think I’ll take Dobby the House Corgi out for a walk and work on some writing, some reading, and maybe do a bit of dabbling in photography. Because in the end, anything I do to learn how to market myself is better than nothing, right?

– RaeNez

P.S. My mood might be slightly buoyed by the fact I tried my hand at a Paleo recipe last night that turned out fabulously. I made DIY chocolate bars (similar to Hershey’s chocolate bars) from unsweetened cocoa, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, and (the best part!) sea salt.

Mouthwatering!! And, yes, I chopped them into bite-sizes, just like Hershey’s… I could get used to this. 🙂

What a Difference…

…a few weeks makes.

I know I’ve been absent, and in absentia, you may have thought I’d retired my keyboard and blog. However, these last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for me. It’s been amazing the amount of things I’ve accomplished in a short period of time.

Let me explain.

I finished out a two week notice at the Call Center Xtroardinaire, and it was one of the craziest two weeks I’d had. Mainly because I was too excited to care much about anything other than being able to leave soon and very soon. Of course, I was professional about it. I did my job and did it well. I did everything as I was supposed to.

Even though my supervisor kept telling me it didn’t matter and I could do what I wanted.

I suppose they’re not used to caring if people do anything for their last two weeks.

Perhaps they’re not used to getting an actual notice.

Either way, I stayed the course, I worked my time, and I quit early. What? I mean, I left early on Friday, my last day, after I had my exit interview.

My exit interview went surprisingly well. I even had the opportunity to kindly mention some of the supervisors who clearly hated their jobs as I left. (Take that, Ms. Jerk who rarely smiles  and even more rarely takes questions from reps!)

Then I turned around, got up Monday, and went to the new job. And wow. What. A. Difference.

I wound up in shock after learning some silly little things.

First: I get dual screen monitors. Yes, that’s redundant. No, I don’t care.

Second: I have a laptop. Yes, I’m typing this from said laptop. It’s fun.

Third: I get to do blogging for work. Woot! Not here, of course… but it’ll be such a blast to write for the company even if it does have to do with techy things I don’t quite understand. (You know, like “the cloud” and why we need it.)

Fourth: I get to have Nerf dart wars with my coworkers. Who wouldn’t love that? And it’s during working hours.

And this is only what I’ve learned within the first two weeks of working there. I’ve trained. I’ve already started taking calls. And, yes, I’ve had clients hang up on me. I’ve had people get haughty and impatient with me. But, you know, it’s not too bad. I can deal.

And when in doubt, Nerf it out. Or, you know, just shoot a technician. Because it’s their fault if a customer’s calling back about a ticket, right?

So… this new job thing? It seems like it might be just up my alley.

As for the old job, I’m still keeping tabs on the people I worked with. I mean, they’re my buddies, and I miss them. I did find out Call Center Xtroardinaire is adding 10,000 new accounts in the next month and has decided it’s a great time to announce they’re cutting back 15% of their workforce. They announced this the Tuesday after I left.

As you can imagine, I’m rather glad I’m gone… because I’m positive I would be cut had I stayed.

I’ll be posting more updates soon, but for now, Fernando is waiting to go get dinner. And a hungry Fernando is a dangerous thing!

– RaeNez

Digressing on Birthdays

Days after Fernando asked to marry me, it was time for his birthday.

Now a girl has pressure anyway to provide the right kind of gift for her boyfriend in the first place. Coming up with an amazing birthday gift for a fiance? That’s a whole different ball game. And Fernando’s love language has to be gifts. I mean, look at the flowers he sent me on his birthday.

Yes, his birthday.

They were absolutely gorgeous and so vivid!

So Fernando sent me flowers on his birthday after sending me a gorgeous bouquet of yellow and red roses on Monday following our engagement because Monday the 25th was the official six month mark for how long we had dated seriously.

Wow.

It’s been a crazy week, can you tell?

In any event, I was trying to prepare for his birthday the best I could. I intended to see if I could come up with a great meal to cook for him, but he sent me a text the week before saying he’d gotten reservations for the Melting Pot to do fondue on his birthday.

That took care of one item for his birthday, then…

I had a couple ideas on what I would get him for his birthday, and I’d ordered one thing from Amazon, which turned out to be perfect. We’d seen it when we went to the Lego Store on one of our day trips with another couple of friends. He’d instantly fallen in love with it and asked me if I’d play it with him if he got it.

It’s the Lego Kingdoms Chess Set!

I ordered him this chess set from Lego because he loved it so much. It got here with plenty of time to wrap and get ready for him, but I was at a loss for what else to get him. I had ideas, but I had so little time to prepare because I had another birthday party to attend on Monday, and Fernando’s birthday was on Wednesday!

So Tuesday rolled around, and I was off like a shot after work. I raced from store to store looking for something that I had in mind for him. I settled finally on an iPad cover that he’d wanted, even though I know he would have preferred an iPad Mini.

I wish I could have gotten the Mini.

Oh well.

I wrapped his gifts up for him and prepared for his birthday because I knew he’d be excited to see me and hang out as soon as I got off work Wednesday night.

My wrapping job on Fernando’s gifts… Pretty, right?

I raced home to dress up for a night out at the fondue restaurant. And it was an amazing time.

Fernando and I love going to the Melting Pot, and our waiter rocked. His name was Fred. He was a hoot, and he gave us some excellent suggestions.

When we got back to my house, I let Fernando open his birthday gifts (finally), and I think he liked them. 🙂

All in all, I hope it was a successful birthday attempt for my fiance because I know we’ll have many more to come!

RaeNez

 

 

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…

Do you remember that old children’s game that you would play? Pick a flower and think of someone. Pull the petals off one by one saying, “He loves me. He loves me not.” And hope you land on a “He loves me” when you reach the last petal?

I never used to really do that game, but if I did, I would have changed it up for Fernando. My words would have been a combination of: “He loves me. He loves me a lot.”

In my last post, I mentioned the excitement of finding out I’d get to go to a final interview with a company on February 22nd.

Well, February 23rd was a day with its own set of perks.

Fernando and I like to take day trips to places far enough away that they’re “not home” and yet not so far that we have to spend the night away from home. So that Saturday (namely a week from yesterday) we went one one of our day trips I’d been wanting to go on to a city that’s a couple hours away from home. It’s got a beautiful downtown area that the locals have maintained really well, and the city is home to some neat attractions.

We settled on starting at the famed aquarium and working our way out from there because it’s so large you can easily spend a good chunk of your day there. Located in the heart of downtown, we figured it would be fun to start there and see everything and then walk around downtown for a couple of hours before eating and hitting up the mall and then heading home.

The aquarium was awesome. It’s divided into two buildings for river and ocean animals, and both are such fun to go through. We started with the river building and were surprised when they directed us to stand against a green backdrop to have our pictures taken; of course, we knew they’d try to sell us overpriced photos with different backgrounds at the end of the tour, but we stood and smiled anyway.

As we went through the aquarium, Fernando was wearing a jacket that I thought was odd. It was cool for me but not too cold for him. The forecast was calling for rain later, though, so I guess it was better safe than sorry.

We saw all kinds of neat fish and other aquatic creatures, and even though I don’t typically enjoy fish, I couldn’t help loving the aquarium. And Fernando kept grabbing and hugging me and joking with me. That made it even more special.

Some hidden clown fish I photographed and played with in Instagram at the aquarium.

It took us over two hours to go through all the exhibits at the aquarium, and when we were done, we decided it was time to get dinner. We’d left late anyway and gotten there relatively late to stand in line for the aquarium in the first place. So we went to dinner at a restaurant I’d seen on a website for the city that described it as having the best steak in town.

We were rather lucky. The restaurant was right across the street from the aquarium, and it wasn’t much of a walk for us. Though by that time I wasn’t just carrying my purse. I was also carrying some photos Fernando splurged and bought at the end of our tour. He’d given in as soon as he saw the cutesy backgrounds and said we needed them, even though the prices were ridiculous.

I couldn’t understand it, but I did love the photos, so I was game.

We went to the steak restaurant and were seated immediately despite not having a reservation since it was only 5 pm. It was excellent food, and our waiter was extremely solicitous. I was impressed with the yummy meal and service and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

After we left the restaurant with a small box of leftovers for me, we decided to go back up to the car in the parking garage to put the pictures and the leftovers away. I wanted to go for a carriage ride and be very touristy because they have $30 carriage rides around the downtown area at night that looked like fun.

Fernando’s car was up on the sixth floor of the parking garage nearby, and so we went up there. It was the top of the garage, and we put our things away only for Fernando to suggest we go to the top of the garage and take in the view of downtown. I had intended to go up there when there weren’t as many people anyway, so I walked up with him, and we took in the sights of downtown as the sun began to go down and the snowflake lights began lighting up along the streets below.

And it was there it happened.

On a relatively deserted top floor of a parking garage, Fernando proposed.

It was perfect for me. The most perfect way he could have proposed and the most perfect ring and just so incredibly sweet.

It’s not the best picture, but my ring is absolutely gorgeous. He did an amazing job!

Of course, I said yes after the shock wore off. Though I was still in shock for quite a bit afterwards. It’s not every day a girl gets a proposal, after all. We hugged and kissed and talked. And he put my beautiful ring on for me.

He picked out the ring, and he did such an incredible job. It was amazing how well he knows me and how suited the proposal and ring are to the kind of person I am. It just shows me how much I love Fernando and how much I can’t wait to marry him.

Though, I must admit… it is rather strange to say I have a fiance now.

And now I have a wedding to plan.

– RaeNez

 

Because it’s Thursday…

…and I’m posting quite a few blogs, I figured I’d add this to the mix as I stare at the Darth Pig plushy from Angry Birds Star Wars edition that Fernando bought me and handed me a few days ago when he came to the house. (Also because he pointed out the last two blogs I posted were entirely bitter, and I realize I’m not entirely bitter, just moderately so.)

Doesn’t he just scream, “Rae, I am your Piggie”?

He makes me smile because he’s pretty much adorable, and if you haven’t played Angry Birds Star Wars, you should. Yes, that was a shameless plug, and no, I am not paid by the company to say that. They have enough revenue for their products that they don’t need to pay me to say that (unfortunately).

So today I came home from work and found a lovely box by the creators of one of my favorite websites. Inside were some of my favorite things. Clothes!

Yes, I am girly, and no, I will not apologize for it. 🙂

So I ordered, yet again, from ModCloth and have received an adorable polka-dotted skirt I’m determined to pair with a white three-quarter length scoop-necked white top and red peep toed pumps for work when it gets warm enough. The skirt comes to my knees, which is an entirely appropriate length for work. And, of course, it’s precious and adorable.

If only I could tie the bow that way…

I also bought a navy blouse that I’m currently wearing with jeans. It’s not a complete button down, and the sleeves will roll up and button to three-quarter length. It’ll look great with jeans or leggings depending on the look I’m going for because the blouse is so long. The only downside is the sleeve length. Even though I ordered the size that suited me and the blouse is otherwise almost too large, the sleeves aren’t quite long enough to be “long sleeved,” so I suppose I’ll have to wear them as three-quarter length and make it a summery shirt.

The material is light enough that would probably work best anyway.

Wouldn’t it be cute with a belt around the middle to shape it a bit?

And finally, my favorite items purchased this time around were the shoes I bought. They’re adorable and will look great with that navy shirt… if I can find enough yellow accents to go with them. Pair it with jeans and the shirt and the shoes, and voila! Instant comfort meets cute.

Why yellow?

You’ll see.

I never wear yellow, but I couldn’t resist the cheerful vibes…

If it doesn’t rain tomorrow, I’m very tempted to wear them to work. I’ve got just the shirt to wear with those and jeans. Since it’s casual Friday, they’ll fit in very well and be a bright spot on a 4-hour work day (soon to be 8-hours but not too soon).

In any event, tomorrow IS Friday, and I’m most definitely looking forward to finishing my week off without too much of a hitch. Maybe my cheerful yellow flats will give me good vibes and allow me to end my work week with style.

And that’s all you get tonight… three posts and a tired RaeNez who is now on her way to bed.

RaeNez

 

 

Happiness is…

…apparently a three day, unintentional vacation created by the unfortunate condition of having been infected by this lovely condition known as an ear infection.

I was writing about escapes as you’ll recall, and apparently the boyfriend noticed.

Perhaps I should give him a spiffy title. He’d appreciate that. I’m not sure what. The women at work ask me about my man, which always seems so crass. He’s not my man, and I don’t have a ring on my finger. Besides, even if I were married to him, I wouldn’t call him my man. Then he’d be my husband.

Again with the digressing. (That is rapidly becoming a theme here.)

Well, well, the boyfriend has spoken. In an effort to protect the innocent (though how innocent he is I cannot disclose), he will henceforth be known as Fernando. (Until he changes his mind.)

In any event, it came to my attention through dearest Fernando that I am, in fact, sitting here in my bed happy on a sick day. I’ve been utterly wracked with coughing, suffering from a perpetually sore throat, had piercingly sore ears, and a plugged up nose. And yet, I’m happy.

The last two or three days I’ve been happy. It’s a lovely feeling. An escape, if you will.

I watched Doctor Who with Fernando. We’re not aficionados or hardcore fans. We’re just starting our way through the series. But it’s silly and goofy, and we’re loving it. It’s relaxing and entertaining.

I’ve immersed myself in the world of Downton Abbey as well. The large, old British castle brings out my inner dream to have lived in a different time. (My mother would say I was born out of time. I could certainly rock the vintage fashions of Downton Abbey and look fabulous doing so.) I’m making my way through the free seasons on my Amazon Prime account and mourning the fact the remaining season is paid only at this point.

What else? Oh yes, I’ve been blogging incessantly in case you weren’t aware. I suppose there’s a limit there somewhere, but I haven’t been made aware, and WordPress hasn’t stopped me from posting yet. I suppose my blogging will slow down a bit soon, but it won’t fade away.

And I did some random things today, like searching for more jobs, crafting more cover letters (despite myself I can’t help loving writing in any form), and, well, looking for puppies.

I swear I was looking for a puppy for Fernando. Promise. Okay, okay. Even he doesn’t believe me. However, I did find a couple adorable faces that yearn for adoption. Even Fernando would be swayed by these adorable faces.

Madison – 3 month old Alaskan Husky/German Shepherd Mix

Now tell me: who could say no to that face? Even if she will grow up to be a rather large dog given her particular mix, she would be an adorable addition to anyone’s home. (I will say I already have a dog of my own, so I’m not exactly allowed to have another one until I move out of my house, which is why I’m looking at dogs for Fernando – besides, his birthday is coming up!)

Gary – 3 month old American Pit Bull/Terrier Mix

Have I mentioned Fernando needs a lapdog? And Gary clearly needs a lap? And the two would be an adorable couple? Perhaps I should become a matchmaker.

Needless to say, the point of all this was really due to the conversation Fernando and I had. Here’s the recap:

Fernando: “You’re so sappy today, looking for a puppy, writing blogs, thinking of love and happiness.

Me: I’m not at work. There’s a difference. I can be sick at home and happy as a clam if it involves not working.

Granted, he said “sappy” and not “happy,” but me being a sickie, I read “happy.” So put two and two together and get, well, a puppy. Or just get that sick days, while unpleasant, are my own versions of escapes because they’re better than being trapped in the world of cubes on the phones, being yelled at for no fault of my own.

What’s your happiness?

RaeNez

P.S. I promise not to post like a maniac all the time, but I do rather enjoy the inspiration I get from blogging… and, well, I’m sick. I have to have something  to do!