the fat girl report: 1/21 to 1/27

I had a great week. I had success in several categories.

Tracking: I tracked every day. That was huge. When I track I always know what’s happening. I don’t have to guess what went wrong. When I’m tracking I’m forced to pay attention to what I’m eating. That always helps me to eat better.

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Veggies: I did well. It was the best week for eating veggies on months. I had two servings of veggies Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Fruit: I did well here also. One serving of fruit five days out of seven.

Fluids: Only once did I get over 32 oz in a day.

Exercise: I was in the gym four time in the week.

The results showed up on the scale. I was down almost 6 pounds.

t minus 42

t=termination day. Providence will terminate my employment on March 13th.

BORED?

It’s a dead morning here at the Print Center. No new work is coming in. It’s all part of the shutdown process. I suspect that there will be more and more days like. However today that truth doesn’t feel as painful as it was last week. If I have to land the flight and then dismantle the plane, so be it.

I will continue to do my work even though there will be less and less of it over the next 42 days. It’s going to get boring here, just waiting for the occasional urgent local job to roll in. The rest of the work consists of cleaning out space for its closure. The only reason for playing out the string is that if I stay until t-day, I’ll get a small severance. That’s free money and I can’t pass that up. Plus in the meantime Prov will pay me to be bored.

bored

clarity returning

Working at Prov makes me feel bad these days. Working there has become a 5 day a week assault on my self esteem. When I came to the end of this week, I was so beat up that I had become unclear about my own next steps. All it took was 24 hours away from the place before the fog of begin told “you are useless” cleared.

A packet from the publication Christian Century arrived today. It included the January 18th edition of the magazine. In that edition a piece I was asked to write appears as part of a larger article. Several of us were asked to write on the question: How do you hold together your trans identity and your life of faith?

I read the article and was moved by the expereinces of trans folk of faith. I re-read my own contribution and thought, “I like what this woman says. Where is this person Monday through Friday?” I read my own stuff and said, “That person ought to be working in church.”

My tech savvy niece sent me a list of no less than 10 positions in the Episcopal Church that she thinks I should look at. Today I started to follow up on them. My own sense of worth shot up, just by looking at them.

I have no idea where I will land. However it is high time to return to church work. Prov tears me down bit by bit each day. Yet when I’m away from Prov clarity returns and I know what I must do.

clarity

hangin’

I’m in a place of indecision right now. Several possibilities are circling around me but nothing definite has come from any of them yet. Should I sit tight and wait or should I plunge ahead and seek other opportunities?

The problem with waiting is that I feel helpless. Feeling helpless just feeds the gray monster of my depression. At the same time waiting for some things to play out might be better than jumping into something else and then having to stop the train.

Just hangin’, not sure what to do.

Lost and Confused Signpost

t minus 45

Dismantlization

While the new president goes to work dismantling everything he can, I have been pushed into a dismantling job. Yesterday I learned that the Print Center is not being downsized. It’s being closed. Providence is going out of the printing business.

That means practically everything must go. The printers will be returned to Xerox. The paper will be sold back to Kelly. The useful furniture and supplies will be sent to Lacey. The rest will be dumped. The sorting and dumping is mostly my job. Presiding over the dismantling of my own workplace after learning that my job has been eliminated, feels like insult to injury.

insulttoinjury

 

job/vocation — it’s complicated

I have a meeting this afternoon with a possible new employer. Naturally I’m looking at my resume. It reads as if it’s the resume for two different people. Today as I look at it I’m struck by the chasm between and the closeness of my daily work and my life-long vocation. The relationship between what I do to live and what I live to do is dynamic and a bit complicated.

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Sometimes they are in conflict with each other. What I do to live sometimes feels like it’s getting in the way of what I live to do. Working in a print shop I get injured from time to time. At least twice those injuries have kept me out of church on Sunday. I sometimes resent the time and I have to spend doing my job because it’s time I can’t spend on reading and studying, praying and reflecting, planing and doing ministry, developing myself as a leader. I frequently feel frustrated because the energy I have to use doing my job leaves me with so little energy for ministry.

By the same token there are times when my vocation gets in the way of my job. The church’s calendar and the world’s calendar don’t always peacefully coexist. There are times when I have to take time from work to do what I’m called to do and I pay for that (literally).

The conflict between the two is fierce at times and it takes an emotional toll on me. One day I was lying on the Print Center floor, trying to repair the online finisher. As I tried to get my hand into a tight spot to adjust the machinery, I cut myself for the umpteenth time. I yelled, “What am I doing here? You’ve given me gifts and I can’t use them. What’s the point?” I sat there on the floor and cried.

But on the other hand, there are times when my job and my vocation feel like they are working together. There are times when I can help the church because I work in the Print Center. There are times when I can answer a question at work because of what I know from my vocation.

However the place where the two most often work together is in my personal spiritual development. Vocation and faith inform what I do at work. My work is a place where I can put into practice what I say in my vocation. My work is the place where I daily get to “do justice.” The daily choices I make about how to do my job with honesty and integrity are informed by my faith and my vocation.

My work is the place where I daily get to “love mercy.” All of my interactions in the workplace become chances to love my neighbor. Even the current moment is an opportunity to “do good to those who despitefully use you” (not that i’m doing well at that but let’s call that an area of growth for me).

My work is a place where I daily get to “walk humbly with your God.” I’m at the bottom of a large and complicated organizational chart. I have no title, no office and no institutional power. No one sings my praises. No one tells me how gifted I am. My name is not known. I’m just (as I heard one person describe me) “the older black woman who helps Darren.” Being a nobody in an institution like this stinks and I chaff under that weight. I guess humility is another area of growth for me.

My vocation informs my work but work also informs vocation. At work I hear what people are talking about and what’s important to them. I see behaviors. I notice priorities. I see how people are with each other. I observe how people struggle at work and in their lives beyond work. These experiences inform how I read the Scriptures, how I preach, what I think about the church’s mission priorities, and how to engage people in ministry.

That’s the dynamic relationship between my job and my vocation. I don’t see this changing anytime soon. The mix of that relationship may change but the interplay between work in the world and work in the church will probably be mine for the duration.