Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Slow down for just a minute, life...

Hey. Hope all is well with everyone out there. I am doing pretty well these days. Still at J's. Still teaching color guard at Page 2 days a week. Still at Two Rivers. Still struggling to be who God has called me to be everyday to everybody in every situation.
Today, I worked 12.5 hours in the restaurant, and let's just say we were slow enough that the monetary benefits were not great. However, I got to experience something wonderful today. One of my tables during the lunch shift was a couple with 2 small, special needs children and 2 older gentlemen who also had special needs. The couple was very nice, and surprisingly low maintenance. I wasn't sure how to respond to the other four at the table, so I just went off of how everyone responded and thought about how I'd want to be treated if the roles were reversed. Apparently, this family comes in about once a month. Sometimes they have the 2 kids with them, sometimes it's 4, sometimes it's a whole slew of people... They order pretty much the same things every time they're in, so they knew exactly what they wanted when they sat down. I tried to be as accommodating as possible, asking questions when I was unsure, and treating everyone equally. I brought extra ketchup and refilled iced teas and water glasses. Nothing special. No complications I had to work with. No belligerent guests. Their meal was uneventful. However, when I came to the table to clear away some of the dishes, there was $6 laying on it. The lady said that money was for me from "the boys" Brian and Malcolm--the two older, special needs gentlemen. I said "Oh! That's for me?" and they both nodded their heads and said "Yeah, yeah, for you." I said "Thank you so much!" and walked away. I had made it about 5 feet before I nearly collapsed in a puddle of tears on the floor. I was overwhelmed. When I came back to the table one last time to drop off their credit card and say thank you, "the boys" both shook my hand and told me thank you. It made me think about how often I take my life for granted. I've never struggled with major health issues. Neither has anyone in my immediate family. We're very lucky, and so many times we're concerned about what type of bottled water we drink or something else that's ridiculously trivial. Spending that little time with that family today made me so thankful for my health and mental stabilities and for being able to go out to eat and order for myself and tip my servers. I was immediately thankful for that couple and the gentleness and love they displayed for the people they had brought to lunch. It was apparent that everyone feels like an equal part of that family, and it was a blessing for me to get to see into their lives for just a little while. I can only hope that they were blessed by me today too, because they sure did change my whole day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Long time, no post

Hello All...All 6 or 7 of you. :) I am tired. I'm a tired girl. I need to be sleeping right now, but I rarely have computer access through any avenue except my iPhone, and let's be honest...who wants to write a whole blog post from their iPhone. Not me.

Why am I tired, you may ask? Well I suppose I will tell you. I'll try to keep it brief and non-complainy. I work a lot. I love my job and 95-98% of the people I work with/for, but I do spend just about as much time at the restaurant as I do at home...wherever home is... haha. I'm a bit of a nomad these days until I figure out the grad school/student loan/whatever else situation.

After I graduated from Belmont, I moved home. I knew that wouldn't last long, so I started staying at my sister and brother-in-law's house in April. What started out as me staying there when I worked late and had to be back early the next morning turned into me having 2 crazy little roommates who were married and related to me. It was an adventure... one that ended with Amanda asking me to move to New York with her and Chris when they go so I can be their roommate. No thank you. :)

When they left the country for their current escapades in Central America, I moved back home for about 3.5 days. Since then, I've been living with Chris's parents. Yep. My sister's in-laws. They're out of town a lot this summer, and it works out better for all parties if I just stay here. It's closer to work, closer to friends, and they don't have to pay a house-sitter or ask a neighbor to feed the cat every other week. So it works out.

Now that the story of my nomad-ness is complete (for now), I'll continue the "why is alicia tired?" saga:
For the past 3ish weeks, my sweet little grandmother has been battling pneumonia. She was sick at home for a week, sick and then recovering in the hospital for a week, and then came back home to continue her recovery on Friday. She's lost a significant amount of weight, and is all around pretty weak...so it helps her out to have someone at the house with her. She can't be up all day fixing her meals or doing laundry and the dishes, so my mom and her brothers and sisters have all been taking off work so they could stay with her and help out. Yesterday and today, I took my turn. My days went something like this: get very little sleep, help fix breakfast, try to eat my breakfast while running back and forth to Nanny's room getting her whatever she needed/wanted, fixing lunch, eating lunch, sneaking little naps, running some more, answering the phone, calling my mom to see where to find something, making sure the chickens and the dogs and the cats are fed and watered, etc... and on Tuesday, I got myself ready and to work on time where I trained a new server and then did cashouts--meaning I was there from 4:45 until 11:45. It was a lengthy day, and Wednesday I got to do it all over again minus the job. Don't get me wrong. I love my grandmother very, very, very much, and it physically pains me to see her so weak and frail. I can definitely understand why my mom and aunts have been taking shifts though. Taking care of any other human being is hard work and does not include instant gratification.

That's a lot like life in general though when you're just taking care of yourself. Dieting and working out brings delayed results. Studying for classes and exams...delayed results. Investing in the lives of those around you...delayed results. Being faithful in my relationship with Jesus...delayed results. In a society that is so obsessed with instant everything, it's ironic (but also a bit exciting) that the best things in life--the blessings--rarely come instantly. That proves the faithfulness of God (as if He needed proof). Just another picture of how deep and wide and great the Father's love is for us...and how intricate and perfectly designed. Thank you, Jesus.

Monday, January 4, 2010

oh, hey 2010!

so this one time, i graduated from Belmont... it was pretty awesome and overwhelming. and now everyone is asking me what i'm doing now. I really just want to hang out with my friends in various assorted cities around the country... so i think that's what i'm going to do. Katie is in Lynchburg. Erin and Brittany are in Denver. There are so many wonderful people in Atlanta (mainly the Haines sibs, Brandy, Amanda, Maddie, etc :]). Erin could possibly be in Seattle in June, so I might go there to see her. I just want to work and make money and travel for a little while. I don't want to miss Alayna's last semester of high school or Autumn's experience with her driving permit(which she got today...wow I am old.) or any part of my grandmother's or cousins' lives. Mom and I might drive to Arkansas to see my aunt, uncle and cousins who are building yet another house. I'm excited about opportunities like this. I need to get my schedule changed at work so I have more of a travel friendly one...
Terra Nova 09/10 just ended and I met some absolutely incredible people that I'm really really excited about starting friendships with. I also got to spend some time with old friends I haven't seen in too long, and that was good too! I'm probably going to try to go to Haiti this year too, so add that to my travel list. :) So far I have: Atlanta, Lynchburg, Denver (when it's warmer...), Seattle, Haiti, Arkansas, maybe Texas and definitely random parts of Tennessee. I'm going to have a good year. I'm determined. God is good, so what else matters? Loves.