In The Trenches

Mar 23…I went to the gym at 6am.  My day was full of meetings and my bad mood/frustration on a work assignment from Friday bled into today.  I complained a lot but only to a select few.  I may have even cried a little.

Mar 24….Repeat of Monday.  I cancelled every meeting I had in order to work on the same work assignment, I barely had time to chit chat with others, and I left work a little before 8pm with a red neck and face and comforted myself with food that is typically saved for the night before you claim your diet starts tomorrow.

Mar 25…my 33rd birthday.  I felt loved by my team at work when they gave me gift cards to all my favorite stops at Easton.  Plus, their general awesomeness in covering everything this week and giving me time to work/checking in on me as I was heads down all day.  I felt a little guilty when I was whining a little bit about what I was working on and am always asking myself if I’m setting a good enough example.  I’m still rounding out my first year as a new leader/boss….so I’m still figuring that part out.  I received lots of phone calls, cards, and gifts.  Dinner reservations (that were made a month ago) were cancelled due to the work assignment noted above.  I took a break from work to drive home and eat a semi-organic (I don’t know what that means either?  I just made it up) frozen pizza and worked until 10pm.  I decided that by Saturday this assignment would be close to done and Chris and my dad both agreed to pretend it was my birthday again by the time the weekend rolled around.  I’ve never appreciated my family more than when they get it and meet me where I’m at.  If I want to proclaim my birthday is now Saturday instead of Wednesday, they roll with it.  I don’t know how I feel about 33 yet?  I guess I’ve been too busy to think about it.  It’s somewhere between young enough that if you won a million dollars you couldn’t necessarily quit your job because it wouldn’t last your lifetime….but old enough that people who are younger than you start getting hired at your work (which is the moment my mom always warned me about – I believe her words were something like “oh just wait until someone younger and prettier than you gets hired at work….you’ll pretty much hate them just because.”)  I didn’t complain in what I’d call the typical complaining fashion today, but I did vent to Chris about work.  I used less words than normal and saved the dramatic “always” and “never” that I noted as a complaint qualifier….but I just had to get it out.

Mar 26….My dad text me today…”One more full day until your birthday.  Saturday will be the best 33rd birthday ever.”  He gets me.  #bestdadever.  I had lunch plans for my birthday with a coworker and was ready to hit our typical restaurant next door to our building.  Once she heard about my cancelled dinner plans from the night before, she made a reservation at the restaurant Chris and I were supposed to, drove me there, did valet parking, and paid for my lunch (and dessert!)….and she let me vent about the week/work while promising not to tell anyone I was violating the rules of my goal/this blog.  It pretty much made my day that someone cared so much to take the time out of their day and do something special.  When I wasn’t eating artsy foods at a trendy restaurant downtown, I was spending the rest of the day on the same work assignment.  Yesterday, Chris rode to work with me because he had a meeting downtown.  On the drive home I told him that I didn’t want to complain about this work thing but I was having a hard time keeping things in perspective because I was just so buried in it….I told him I felt like I couldn’t see my way out even though I know it’ll all be done this week.  He said, “yeah, it’s because you’re in the trenches right now.”  Exactly!  In the trenches.  I have complained this week, cried this week, eaten too many calories this week, and just felt so frustrated.  I haven’t complained about “stupid stuff” but I have expressed my general frustration.  When I did my first few blog posts on not complaining I tried to categorize complaints.  By day 21 I actually thought not complaining was fairly anticlimactic, claiming that it’s just a habit and once you get passed it….it’s not that hard.  Well, God challenged me this week.  Some would say I had room to complain, some would say venting was healthy, some would say I violated my goal.  What I do know is…..when you’re in the trenches….it’s different.  I think that more than learning to not complain about the weather or how the inside of my car gets dirty or how I wish I wouldn’t have eaten so much – this week is challenging me to think about how I deal with times that I’m in the trenches.  These times don’t happen often (thank God) but they do happen.  I don’t have a profound answer yet on this one – I’m still in the trenches.  Jobs, life, etc can’t always be smooth sailing.  I guess you just have to surround yourself with people who ask what you need, make cancelled plans happen, and pretend your birthday is whatever day you want.