1. Over the Thanksgiving long weekend, I had a burst of excitement for reading again. Maybe it's because I did away with my Christmas shopping lickety split by doing it online and had plenty of time for rest and reading. I just finished reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Beautiful story of the value of life and the tragedy of those that don't see that value. I've kept a tally of the books I've read this year - 8 so far, and hopefully more - to show me how much I am reading and it is sort of embarrassing. In thinking through my 2009 resolutions, one may need to involve a better discipline to read and expand my horizons. Stay tuned for a future post on my 2009 resolutions.
2. Each year my company works with an adopt a family organization for Christmas. We adopt two families in need and are divided up into teams to work together on shopping and wrapping the gifts. This is one of my favorite things about this time of year. For all the many years I've worked with this management team at this and other companies, we've always done this, and it's a real blessing...as much to my heart as those families that receive the gifts. Our family this year is a single Dad with four children ranging in age from 12 down to two months. The Mom is in jail for drugs and Dad was called back from Iraq to care for the children. And, they heat their home with a wood stove. As we wrapped all the gifts yesterday and they piled up in the conference room for pickup today, we were so excited about the expectations of what the family would get. I'll be posting pictures on Facebook soon, so check them out there. If you aren't my friend on Facebook, add me!
3. Speaking of pictures, I finally stepped into the 21st century and bought my first digital camera....for $55! I'm cheap when it comes to non essentials and refused to pay more than $100 for a camera. I found a Kodak Easyshare 8.2 Megapixel camera (and it's pink!) on sale at Best Buy for $79. Deduct a $25 gift certificate I had from my laptop purchase and voila! $55. I've historically been a horrible paparazzi because I'm too engaged in activity or socializing to take pictures, along with the fact I dreaded getting them developed and putting them in an album. Now with the glory of technology, I no longer have to worry about heading to Walgreens or being a scrapbooker. A simple upload to Facebook or my favorite photo sharing site and I'm in business. So far, after a short stint of buyer's remorse, I'm very pleased with my purchase.
4. I saw the funniest road sign the other day on Interstate 71. There is a sign that says "Stay in Lane." Stay in lane? Like someone is driving down the road and thinks, "Hmm, about now, I'd like to drive on the median for a while and see how that goes." I realize there is construction going on so maybe lane driving is a challenge, but usually bright orange cones make me pay attention even more. I'd take a picture to post, but doing so would require stopping in the midst of construction on a busy highway and well....I need to "Stay in Lane."
5. I am enormously blessed beyond all I can imagine with the job I have. For those that have known me for a while, you're quite aware of the many jobs I've lost due to dot com busts, downsizing, mergers and relocations. At one time I felt like the poster child for the unemployed. In these troubled times, everyone is jittery about the future of their employment. I've heard of numerous folks losing their jobs, taking cuts, etc. I am wise enough to know that no one is immune, including me. But this week we had our annual company lunch to celebrate the holiday and discuss 2009 benefits. We canceled our Christmas Party a few weeks ago in an effort to save on costs and so 2009 benefits were a bit of an unknown. Our management team made a few reallocation of funds to help us keep the benefits of most importance in tact and reduced other areas in hopes that we can restart everything stronger in 2010. I love my job (with all its stresses and responsibilities)....I love my management (they do make wise choices)...and I certainly hope the year ahead will be great in spite of the media's dismal reports.