Memorial Day

I have to pack today for an 8-day business trip and finish up some wash and make sure things are in order at home before I head out early tomorrow morning.

Before I even opened my eyes, I was feeling the stress and anxiety of these preparations. I sat down a little later to finish my coffee and take a breath and turned on the TV. I surfed through the channels until I settled on CNN where President Obama was about to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. Further coverage at Arlington National Cemetery was shown and as I thought about all the families who had lost someone in our military, so that we could be “free to move about the country” and to pare it down, so that we could be “free”. It put the packing and the wash and everything else into perspective.

Packing, schmaking. Wash, smash. It’s all small stuff and Arlington and our brave men and women in the Armed Forces. That’s the big stuff.

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Ho Ho No

Record-setting weather here in Pennsylvania for the end of May, with highs reaching into the 90s.

Today, and I beg you not to judge me, my husband and I worked for over six hours taking down our Christmas decorations, including our tree. We normally keep our decorations up until the end of January, enjoying them after the rush and craziness of the holidays is over. However, with all the traveling I’ve been doing, we just couldn’t find the time to do it before now.

I’m leaving for a week on Tuesday for another business trip and I was determined to get it done before wheels up on Tuesday morning and we did it. We sweated through it, walking up two flights of stairs countless times with heavy bins.

Life sure has changed since being home every day searching for a job. Now I’ve got a job and I’m searching for time to take care of my home. Today I found the time — no, I MADE the time, and Christmas is officially over in the Sister Rain Household.

Until early December when the process is reversed. A mere six months away.

Fa la la la la . . .

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A Heat Wave In A Normally Cold Location

There is no colder place than the inside of a plane as people are boarding. No one wants to look anyone else in the eye for fear that they are going to take that middle seat next to you or (dare I even speak it?) bring their child into YOUR row. The long process of getting everyone and their “things” (thanks, airlines, by the way, for adding the baggage charge so everyone is determined to carry-on no matter how big or bulky or heavy their bags are) into that tube is arduous and not for the meek.

Yesterday, I was securely fastened into my window seat (Zone 2 — can I get a what, what?) I noticed a woman in maybe her 60s trying to get her suitcase into the overhead bin. What caused me to notice was that at the exact same time, not one, not two, but THREE people all jumped out of their seats to help this woman with her bag.

The first one to reach her assisted and the others sat back down seemingly unfazed. Although I had my air conditioning vent above pointed directly at me, a warmth swept over me, starting at my toes and working its way up. I saw kindness and caring in the unlikeliest of places — a commercial jet airliner. Good job fellow passengers, good job!

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A Life Without Scars Is A Life Unlived

Almost a week has gone by without a post for me. Life is moving so hard and so fast and it’s mostly centered around work and the shell of the woman I once was when I return home after the work day is over.

Tomorrow morning I am flying to do a site visit at a hotel and will be staying overnight and returning Thursday morning. Then I’m home for the Memorial Day weekend and then I’m off again for over a week. I’m not complaining, these are the facts ma’am, simply the facts.

Although I have been at this job for 5 months and logged over 20,000 air miles since March, when I sit in my home office chair and write my blog I am often that unemployed woman of three years. I said at the time that it didn’t define me, but it certainly did, most especially to myself.

I wonder how long and how many air miles it will take for that feeling to go away? Maybe it never will. Maybe like the scar on my ankle it will fade with time but always be there and all I have to do is sit in this chair, in this room, at this computer, and touch it.

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What I Have In Common With Maria Shriver

We both keep asking:

“How did I get here?”

Yesterday was my 5 month anniversary with my company and yesterday I found out the following:

We are moving to a new office location

Our manager will be leaving for maternity leave in September and when she comes back she will be part-time and in a different role

A co-worker will be leaving for maternity leave in June, returning in September, and take over as manager

I have been assigned a lot of meetings in the next couple months

My head is spinning but at least a long-lost illegitimate stepson hasn’t popped up under the ole Christmas tree.

It’s all relative my friends. Literally.

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A Wish To Grant Wishes

My dream job would be to work for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I used to work with a group that raised money for this wonderful organization and I can’t imagine a better use of my planning and organizational skills than to grant wishes to children in need of a break from what they are going through.

I check my local chapter’s website all the time for job openings. Make-A-Wish is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona and sometimes I check their site as well just for the heck of it. This week, my absolute dream job was posted:

Celebrity Project Coordinator
Make-A-Wish Foundation of America – Phoenix, AZ
Posting Date: May 2, 2011 – Closing Date: May 16, 2011

This position serves as a liaison responsible for research, cultivation and stewardship for celebrity and sports needs. The individual coordinates incoming wishes and publicity/appearance requests, creates and maintains databases and tracking systems, prepares presentations and training materials, and provides support for team members during absences. This individual will also handle a small case-load of wishes working in conjunction with celebrity program manager as needed. The candidate will write publicity-related materials, generate reports, and prepare recognition letters. The candidate must possess a Bachelor’s degree in business administration, project management, public relations, communications or equivalent work experience. Excellent computer skills, including database systems and presentation software knowledge are required. Public relations writing skills and strong verbal skills needed. Ability to work with a potentially health critical population, handle confidential issues, sensitive information and stressful situations are a necessity.

There’s no way we’re moving to Arizona, not at this stage of our lives anyway, so my wish will remain ungranted for the time being. But I hope people continue to give of themselves to grant the wishes of these heroic children.

For more information on the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit

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If You Can’t Be With The One You Love, Honey, Love The One You’re With

I have been at my current job for almost five months and almost every day I do some kind of job search. I don’t think I’ll ever stop looking, it’s part of my DNA now.

What I have discovered is that there aren’t any jobs out there in my field. Truly, since starting this job in December I have not seen one posting that matches my skills and interests.

This job I’m in now is OK but certainly not as good as the one I lost when we shut down and certainly not what I want to do forever. But when there are no options, it’s easy to dance with the one who brought you.

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After a rough day of returning to the office after being on the road the week before, my husband came home from work and changed into his softball uniform and left for his game.

I changed into comfy clothes, got in my bed, and read my book for 2 hours.

If I am sent to Heaven, and Lord knows it’s touch and go from day to day, this is how I will spend my days in eternity.

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Birthday Wish Granted

After a wonderful birthday weekend, it is Monday morning and I am home today. My company calls this a “rest day” and you are entitled to one when you work during the weekend.

Being home is reminiscent of all the days when I was home unemployed but without all the terrible worry and pressure of finding a job. I am doing some wash and tidying up after being away all last week for work. I find myself thinking I need to do the job search, a day like this so ingrained to be an unemployed day. But those days of that stress are over, filled in by new stresses that a job brings, but nothing so dire or important as finding a job.

On Saturday when I blew out my candles, I honestly had to think very hard what my wish would be after constantly having the same wish — to find a job. What a strange moment that was.

Life has been good all weekend and continues to be good today. A new year of life is starting for me and three days in, I am healthy, my loved ones are healthy and I am employed.

Looks like all my wishes have come true.

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