Thursday, December 13, 2012


I am unbelievably excited for Christmas this year. I've been marking the days off of my magnetic advent calendar with increasing enthusiasm; now that only a day stands between me and vacation I feel like I'm about to explode! I'll fill you in on more Christmas details soon, but I wanted to kick off the season with a tribute to my all-time favorite holiday songs. I'm kind of a Christmas music junkie, and from Thanksgiving to New Years I'm content to listen to holiday music non-stop. If I had to pick my top ten, here's who makes the cut:

10. "Mr. Grinch"- Thurl Ravenscroft (I had no idea who sung this song until about 2 seconds ago. Who knew!?). It makes the list because it's such a juicy compilation of insults. I love it! "Your brain is full of spiders, you have garlic in your soul..." them's fightin' words.

9. "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"- Mariah Carey. Say what you will about me, but I really am burnt out on "All I want for Christmas is You." Please, it was my favorite song in 1999 when I got the Mariah Christmas CD, but now it's totally overplayed. Someone needs to recognize her other Christmas songs.

8. "Christmas all Over Again"- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Tom Petty does Christmas and it is everything you hoped for and more.

7. "Wonderful Christmas Time"- Paul McCartney. This song is so peppy, it really makes me want to go shopping. Take note, retailers.

6. "Old Toy Train" - Raffi. Are there any other children of Raffi out there? He is the greatest, and I will force feed him to our future kids, whether they like it or not. His Christmas album gets two thumbs up, but this song is one of my favorites.

5. "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"- The Pointer Sisters. This is the first song on A Very Special Christmas, and will forever remind me of being hopped up on the Christmas spirit as a child. The best part is right at the beginning: "I want a BICYCLE!"

4. "Jingle Bell Rock"- Hall and Oates. Because I love Hall and Oates and I love Christmas. If you have an extra minute or two, this video is really a gem.

3. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"- Judy Garland. I swear I get weepy-eyed every time I hear this. A definite classic.

2. "Christmastime is Here"- The Peanuts. Ok, really the entire Peanuts Christmas album is to die for, but this one has to be my favorite. The Peanuts are timeless, and so is this song. It only got better for me when I watched the Arrested Development episode where all the characters are moping around to it.

1. "Little Drummer Boy"-  Bob Seger. While I love each and every rendition of this song, Bob just has a way of making me really feel for that poor little drummer boy. Plus, how can you not like a song that allows you to sing "pa rum pa pum pum" repeatedly? I rest my case. Clearly, the makers of this video agree with me.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Cat is Out of the Bag


As many people know by now, I have very exciting news. I found a new job!

Let me rewind a little bit to share the not-so exciting, somewhat embarrassing part of my story, so you can all appreciate how thrilled I am about my news. For months now I've been moping around because of my job*, dreading each week as it was about to begin, and convinced that there has to be something better for me out there. I've been living for the weekends, for time spent with friends, and for the evenings when I could hang out with Carl, the dogs, and binge on Netflix to forget about my day. Except a lot of times I couldn't forget about my day. I'm the kind of person that, when something bad happens or somebody does something particularly mean, it weighs really heavily on me and I carry it around far longer than a normal person should. An easy solution would be if everyone could be nice to one another (or civil, at the very least) but alas, we are living in a bully's world. And working in a customer service job has exposed me to a lot of the bullies.

I read this article about how people, by nature, will endure a certain amount of misery without taking action. If you have a small headache, chances are you won't drop everything and rush to the hospital.  The same holds true for our jobs; people will work day after day at jobs that they don't like because their unhappiness hasn't reached a degree that would justify giving up reliable employment. Something extreme needs to happen before they'll throw in the towel and look for another job. This is exactly the situation I found myself in. To be fair, I had a lot of good moments at work that made the rest of it much more tolerable. But did I really want to be the kind of person who is just tolerating their job?

Perhaps I'm too young to know any better, but I truly believe that it's possible to get up in the morning and look forward to your work day. So I decided to quit my job, not because anything extreme happened, but because I felt it was necessary to pursue happiness.

Here's where the risk-taking begins, which is really uncharacteristic of me, but when you're going through a quarter-life crisis a few risks are just par for the course. I gave a four week's notice at my job. I knew I was exposing myself to the potential of being let go early, but I also knew that it would be in their best interests to keep me there as long as possible. My conscience wouldn't allow me to only give a two week's notice. I wanted to leave on good terms, and I didn't want to see my coworkers punished by my selfishness. Luckily, my gamble paid off and I am about to begin my fourth and final week.

I arranged our finances such that I could potentially be unemployed through the end of February without having to dip into savings or become delinquent on any bills. Two and a half months seemed like plenty of time to figure out what the heck I wanted to do with my life. I envisioned myself meditating in the mornings, taking the dogs on long walks, cleaning our house from top to bottom, and then having the answer to my life's happiness fall into my lap one day during this time of joblessness.

But then I had a rude awakening. On the drive home from Columbia on Thanksgiving Carl's car started making some crazy noises. We were fortunate enough to make it all the way home without issue, but weren't quite as lucky when we got the estimate on the repairs. It would have cost more than the car was even worth, so we decided it was time to buy Carl a new car. Something about this experience completely changed my outlook on what I was doing. While at first I thought I was being courageous in walking away from a job that makes me unhappy, I realized that I was being somewhat stupid in willingly walking away from my source of income. Most people don't have the luxury of just quitting their job in this economy- why did I think that this was a good idea?

And so my job hunt began.

And then it ended, almost as quickly as it started. I felt as though the stars and planets must have aligned perfectly for me (that, or I had some good karma coming my way) because I submitted my resume to the hiring manager on Tuesday night, received a response on Wednesday, applied and interviewed on Friday, and three hours later got the job offer. I'm still in shock. I'm pleased to say that starting January 2nd I will be working in the mortgage department of a small, local bank. I'm delighted to be embarking on something new and fresh, and even more excited that I did not have to become an unemployment statistic.

So hopefully you'll be hearing more from me, blog-wise, because I vow to no longer come home from work and immediately put on my pajamas and wallow in my sorrows. I will be seizing the day, grabbing life by the horns, etc. etc. Be back soon!

*For professional reasons, I'm not going to divulge exactly where it is that I work or what it is that I do; plus, I'm sure most of you know already.