Settling In?

Wow–it’s been almost 60 days since I last updated my blog. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t drama (OH THERE WAS!) but I wanted to spare all of you. I am, however, surprised at how many of you have reached out to ask me to update my blog—I didn’t think anyone was still reading this. I have to be honest—the last four months of my life have been  exhausting—I resigned from Microsoft after 11 years, moved across the country by myself, started a new job, rented an apartment, rented another apartment, sold a house, bought a condo, etc. And most of it didn’t go smoothly, so I was waiting until I had something nice to say. But God is good, I had support from many of you and I made it through. YAY!

I kept telling myself that after the New Year, I’d be through the rocky season of transition and could start “settling in” to my new life on the East Coast. Well that day has arrived. Things have definitely calmed down. For the first time, I feel like I can take a breath and let out a sigh of relief. But I’m suddenly aware that I have two slight problems. The first…brace yourself—I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Ready? Here it is: I’m a little bit of a drama queen (this is where you act surprised!). I’m just going to pause there for a second and let you laugh 🙂 . Okay—stay with me. My sister asked me this weekend “Why does crazy stuff always happen to you? I leave you for 3 minutes and you have a story about an old man that almost ran you and the kids over in the parking lot and called you a b*tch.” (As always, lying was quickly ruled out as an option; this time because Luca vouched for me) The truth is I don’t know why, but crazy things seems to happen to or around me quite often. So I cannot guarantee there won’t be more drama. But it makes for good blog entertainment if nothing else.

The second problem is that I’m impatient and like to have things my way. When I was little, I’d always ask my dad “what are we going to do next?” He always used to say something like “Amy you should focus on enjoying what we are doing now or you will miss it.”  That tendency to live outside of the moment was further exacerbated by the A.D.D that I’m convinced I developed while at MS—I had an insatiable passion for multi-tasking (ex. answering numerous IMs while typing an email during a conference call while responding to a text message 🙂 ). And my mom used to always say to me “Your problem is that you can’t take no for an answer.”  I never saw that one as a problem because I believe it fueled my goal-oriented work ethic.

I’ve decided that both my impatience and life as a drama magnet are worth exploring deeper –not in a sit on a couch and dive into the past sort of way, but more in the context of my faith. I’ve invited the Lord to help me learn how to “settle in” to a place of contentment and peace in all circumstances. This should be a fun journey—but hopefully not as “fun” as when I prayed for humility. In the meantime, I thought I’d share answers to the six questions I’m most frequently asked by friends on the topic of “settling in” to my new life:

1. How do you feel about turning 33?

New Years Eve was my birthday (no its not cool to have a birthday on a holiday—it’s overrated and the holiday steals the attention from me which as we all know, poses challenges for me). My sister Jamie calls birthdays like this one “the year of the palindrome” because the numbers read the same way in both directions and she thinks that is cool. I was calling this “the year I turn the age that was so huge for Jesus” until my brother-in-law suggested I consider what Jesus accomplished by 33 vs. what I have accomplished thus far in my life. Good point—I should stay away from that one. Up until my birthday, I wasn’t sure about turning 33–some friends asked me if I’m sad because I am not married with a family yet. (Um not until you mentioned it!) Others say “33 is just a number”, which I tend to agree with. There are actually other numbers of greater significance to me these days. Here are some that are top of mind today:

  • 27,000,000—the number of slaves in the world today that need rescue
  • 7,642—the number of pot holes I’ve encountered in the VA/DC area. What is up with the crappy roads?
  • 3,500 or more—the number of miles between me and some of my closest friends
  • 75—the temperature I WISH IT WAS in D.C. right now
  • 25—the temperature it ACTUALLY IS in D.C. right now
  • 8—the temperature (including wind-chill factor) that I’ve determined is my cutoff for walking oustide. I called a cab to take me 3 blocks the other day and the driver gave me the look of death but I didn’t care.
  • 7—the number of pounds I’ve gained since I moved to D.C. and the number of days a week I now work out to rectify that 🙂
  • 5—the number of errors in my new personal budget spreadsheet (Ipek I need you!)
  • 4—the average number of times I hit the snooze button every day (some things never change)
  • 0—the % of time I spend wishing I was prepping for MYR right now

Back to my birthday, here are the highlights: The Spiderman party with my nephews in Charleston. Ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins (and my brother-in-law singing “ice cream & cake…ice cream & cake”). Finding my first grey hair (not one but three!)….okay that’s not really a highlight but apparently I need “highlights” now. (by the way..I’m blaming all premature aging on my previous workaholic lifestyle so all you kids out there, take note)

2. Are you happy with your new life?

Everyone wants to know—was it worth it? How am I settling into the radical changes I’ve made in my life? That’s the thing about callings—there is no promise your life will be happy. Callings are about being holy (I have to remind myself of that often because I like to throw pity parties in my honor quite frequently). The answer? I LOVE my new job and the people I work with.  And there are many little blessings every day. As for other things (making friends, building a new life out here and finding joy and peace in all circumstances), I’m working on those one day at a time with God’s help.

3. Do you miss Microsoft?

People can keep trying, but no one will get me to bash Microsoft. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work and lead at what I still believe is one of the top companies in the world.  It was just my time to move on and I’m excited about the kind of work I get to do in this chapter of my life. But I DO miss my friends from Microsoft very much.

Microsoft is still in my DNA though.  Today, we played a game at a work event that required logos of “top” companies be hung around the room. When I saw both the Apple and Google logos hanging from the ceiling, I could literally feel my chest tighten. I became tense, my heart started racing and my competitive (yet compliant with all laws requiring fair competition 🙂 ) nature kicked in. I was extremely agitated and couldn’t concentrate during the exercise.  My colleagues thought it was pretty comical.

I also have moments of disorientation where I think I am still at Microsoft—I’m convinced that’s what happens when you work more than 42,000 hours at one company (yes I did a rough and quite conservative estimate, factoring the limited vacations I took and excluding any weekend work. My former Business Manager and I also calculated the translation to hourly rate over IM tonight—an exercise I do not recommend because it will depress you). Anyway, my most recent moment of disorientation happened after my movers dropped 68 boxes in my new condo. These boxes were packed by professional packers, so it was sort of like Christmas opening them (the secular Christmas, not the Jesus Christmas. Sorry Kels, although I LOVED your blog).  As I reached into the closet, I found numerous boxes had “MBR” written on the side of them. For a split second, I got confused and wondered if I was supposed to be prepping for my old organization’s monthly review.  Then I realized that in my new life, “MBR” simply stands for “Master Bedroom”. Sigh of relief.  That was pretty comical, but my favorite moment of disorientation happened almost 9 years ago in my apartment outside of Philadelphia. I was hanging curtains and as I stepped back to look at them, I decided I didn’t like the way the swag was draped over the rod. So I thought to myself “just hit UNDO”. Then  I realized that in real life there is no Control+Z.

4. Do you have better work-life balance in your new job?

For almost 11 years, I happily worked ~15 hour days. This was my ritual on most weekdays: Wake up ~7am, do e-mail while getting ready for work (which delayed the entire process of getting ready). Arrive at the office ~9ish (except early meeting days 🙂 ). Work until about 6pm. Drive home and get back online around 7pm—eat dinner while working. Work at the kitchen table until around 9pm and then take the laptop up to bed. Work with laptop in bed until I fall asleep and/or midnight, whichever came first.  That wasn’t Microsoft’s fault—I just was addicted to my job and didn’t really understand the concept of rest. I promised myself that I’d get a fresh start in my new job and I can happily say I work something that resembles a 40 hour work week now—and I still get a lot done. YAY!

5. Do you have a boyfriend yet?

Yes actually. We met about an hour ago, totally hit it off, my friends and family already signed off…and I’m hitting “post” on this blog from the airport in Vegas, where we’re about to tie the knot. PULEESE. I just moved here, people!!! Besides, I’m trying to get comfortable with the fact that God may have called me to singleness. But of course, I’m still holding out for what I call “MY Tom Cruise” (not to be confused with THE Tom Cruise..the two are quite different). We’ll see.

6. What can we be praying for?

Prayers of thanks for the many ways God has shown up in my life and in this new adventure. Also, there are a handful of people in my life that are dealing with very serious issues of the personal and medical nature. There situations are heavy on my heart so I ask that you would pray general prayers for healing of hearts, souls and bodies for those 5 people. God knows who they are and I know He loves them dearly.

That’s all for now–I’ll meet you all again here soon! Thanks for checking in!

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~ by amylucia on January 6, 2010.

4 Responses to “Settling In?”

  1. For you Amy…
    1. For the long version:

    2. For the official version:

    3. To learn the dance:

    Hope this sticks in your head for hours. 🙂
    We’ll save the cake in the freezer until your next birthday.

    PS.. Thought it was funny that I got that chest tension too when I read about the Goog and Aapl logos. I guess you have not had your chip removed from the back of your head yet. 🙂

    Your bro

  2. i love your writing. i feel like we just had coffee. thanks for the shoutout. muaaa! (that’s a kiss)

  3. aw friend. i miss you so much more when i read your blog (cuz kelly’s right…i feel like we just went for pedicures). still praying for you and i love the updates. skype soon?

  4. Ha, ha! Yeah pot holes in a city, right? It’s called frost heaves. Winter weather always hits paved, city streets hard. DC is the furthest south I’ve ever lived, with the most mild winters I’ve ever experienced. I’m actually envious of how much snow you got this year! I grew up in Vermont and now I live in Minnesota. Why do I keep moving to cold climates??? All I can say is that about a year ago I finally bought good winter gear and it has made all the difference. A down winter coat that goes down to my knees. Black leather, wool lined winter boots from Keen that actually don’t look too bad with dress clothes. Down gloves. Plus you need scarves and hats. I lived in Lithuania for a year and a half and went without a hat. Within a couple of days, I had purchased two hat/scarf sets. All I can is that all of this gear has made winters bearable. Stock up for next year!!!

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