Month: January 2010

What I learned while about myself while in Utah

For some reason, I didn't take a vacation in the summer of fall for 2009. I should have, but didn't. The upside was that it allowed me to take a full two week vacation in December and go visit Utah. Throughout most of 2009, I thought that moving to Utah was in my immediate future. However, I learned some things while in Utah for my holiday break.

  • It's okay to have slothy days. It's also okay to have non-sloth days where you don't leave the house but you still get up, take a shower, put on clothes other than your jammies and get stuff done.
  • Homecooked meals are awesome. Especially those that never use the microwave. I need a new apartment, so I can start making those happen more often.
  • I can't live in Utah and also have my goal of getting out and doing stuff more. If I could live in California through the winter months and only be in Utah in all 3 other seasons, that might work but I'm not a retiree, so a snowbird lifestyle isn't an option.
  • I need to visit Utah more than once a year.
  • The type of job I want isn't really in Utah right now. The market hasn't quite developed enough.

How I saved Christmas (for the second time)

(Picture is of Ann & Paul Checketts with some of their grandkids.)

About 8 years ago, I began making a yearly trek out to Utah to spend
Christmas with the Checketts family. Christmas has always been a
really stressful time for me. There were a lot of difficult things
that happened when I was a kid, and I used to get really stressed out
around Christmas time. Going to Utah allows me to get away from that
stress and just relax and have fun.

The Checketts family are LDS and for almost the past 17 years, they’ve
had a son (or their one daughter) on a mission. This year, in addition
to having a son on a mission, they are on a mission on the island of
Cyprus. Younger missionaries get to call home twice a year. Most
usually call (or get called by their parents) on mother’s day and
Christmas day. Older missionaries, like Ann & Paul, get to talk to
their families as much as they want really. Paul & Ann use Skype to
keep up with their kids and grandkids.

Several years ago, when one of their sons Josh was on his mission in
the Phillipines, the Checketts were trying to call him with a phone
card to save money. It was not working, and Ann was starting to get
worried that she wouldn’t be able to talk to her son. Turns out,
someone had written the phone number incorrectly. We had to take it
step-by-step and get the phone number correct before we could get the
phone card to work. I’m normally not very functional on an early
morning, but had already consumed a lot of sugar and was able to find
the solution.

On Christmas morning 2009, I was staying with one of Ann & Paul’s
son’s, his wife and their 10-month-old son. We were the first to
Skype-chat with Ann and Paul that morning and then they were going to
Skype with the rest of the kids and grandkids. We loaded up Kory’s
laptop and connected with Ann & Paul. But, instead of Ann & Paul,
their video was showing a giant white cat. The funniest thing ever was
that every time Ann talked, the cat’s lips and eyes moved. I was
laughing so hard I thought I was going to pass out. Ann & Paul had let
someone use their computer the night before and they had obviously
done something wrong. Now, Ann & Paul are not super tech-friendly.
They can usually make things work, but they didn’t even know what
their friend had done — or how to fix it. Thankfully, I have a
similar laptop to them and brought that out. I was able to quickly
find out that the problem wasn’t with Skype but with Dell Webcam
settings and then walk them through where to fix it. (Or, I was able
to tell them the setting that was messed up and then told them to just
start clicking buttons until they got video back instead of the cat.)

Because we were the first to talk to Ann & Paul that day, they were
able to have the video fixed to talk with all their other kids and
grandkids. And, that’s how I saved Christmas (for the second time).

What I Did on My Winter Vacation

To end 2009, I took a full two weeks off of work. It was definitely
needed and made the trip out to Utah worthwhile. Here are some things
I did and didn’t do for the past two weeks.

What I did:
– Drove out to Utah in one of the worst storms I’ve ever driven
through. It broke me, and I actually had to stop in Elko. It took me a
full 24 hours from the time I left California to the time I arrived in
Utah (although that included a long “nap” at a hotel in Elko.
– Hung out with a cute little guy named Trevyn.
– Had a great lunch with my nephew, Jason
– Applied for several jobs and found more to apply to.
– Realized that if I could find a 20-30 hour job that would give me
benefits, that would give me the flexibility to start up a consulting
– Visited the cemetery where my father is buried. There was too much
snow to see his actual grave, but it’s the thought that counts
– Watched the entire final season of Battlestar Galatica (it was
frakking awesome!)
– Talked with Ann & Paul on Skype with Kory, Missy and Trevyn. Yet
again solved an early Christmas morning technical issue for Ann & Paul
all the way from Utah (even though they are in Cyprus)
– Hopefully found a new task management system that might get me organized.

What I didn’t do:
– Not a lot of crochet.
– I didn’t check email the whole time I was in Utah. My work
blackberry died, and I didn’t recharge it. I brought my token with me.
– Think about Bob hardly at all.