Monday morning, I was located in my usual corner of the office, working on reports and projects. At 2:32 pm, my cell phone started buzzing. I hopped up from my desk and took the nearest elevator downstairs to greet my mom outside the Library. She had quite a load to drag around the Hill, so she went straight back to my place to rest and get ready for the game. The rest of the afternoon was hard to work through, as I was itching to get home. Finally, 4:55 rolled around, and since I had signed in 5 minutes early, I signed out 5 minutes early, too.
At home, there was ham, sweet potatoes, and sweet peas waiting for me. Mom and I ate a hearty dinner and then headed to metro - she in her red sweater and I in my borrowed Ovechkin jersey. Standing at the stoplight, we noticed a fellow Caps fan drawing up behind us. We chatted about the game and he kindly showed us the quickest way to get to Verizon Center. By then, there was a growing crowd of folks dressed in red Capitals jerseys and it was beginning to get very exciting. Mom and I stopped in at the store to check out jerseys sizes; and once determining that the large was on the small size for me (who normally wears a medium), we got our tickets scanned and started walking around the building for the escalator to section 400. Along the way, I was tempted by Guinness stands, but eventually we found the right section and plopped down in our seats. My coworkers' husband stopped by saying, "I like that jersey." (It was kindly loaned to me by his wife and their seats were the ones that we were enjoying that evening!) We sat right at the front of our section with a clear view of the ice. The teams were out practicing when we arrived, and so mom snapped a bunch of pictures of them as they skated around. She also took a video by accident, which was quite fun to watch later!
It wasn't too long before the game began. What a fun game! Both of the Capitals goals during regulation were reviewed, one Cap scored for the other team (oops!), and each team scored a goal in the last second of a period. It was such an interesting experience. Of course, there were no announcers talking during the course of play, and the rink seemed a lot smaller in person, so it was really different from watching the game on TV. In the end, the Caps won, so we went home happy, accompanied by many singing happy fans.
I had taken leave for Tuesday. Mom and I slept in a little that morning, and as I woke up coughing and hacking from sinus congestion, she recommended a trip to the doctor. We were able to make an appointment that morning, and thankfully, we made it there in plenty of time. Since I just transitioned in jobs, my insurance and doctors are all new. The doctor and staff were all incredibly friendly, which was such a blessing. I don't think I've ever had such a nice doctor before! She checked me out, took down my family history, and told me that this was a textbook case of springtime allergies. I've never suffered from pollen-related allergies before, so I was rather surprised. She said that it's quite common to develop them in this area, since all the trees and flowers bloom at the same time. She wrote out three scripts for medicine and we went off to CVS to get them. While waiting for the scripts to get filled, mom and I went across the block to Dunkin Donuts for an iced tea.
After getting the medicine and plenty of bottles of powerade, we chatted with a neighbor and invited her over for sandwiches. She told us some really interesting stories about tobacco farming back in her childhood days in Virginia. After lunch was over and our neighbor returned to work, we took a short trip to see the cherry blossoms. They were no longer blooming, but we had a really nice time sitting by the Tidal Basin and watching the paddleboats float around the sparkling water. Planes were diving back behind the Jefferson Memorial to land at the airport and we saw a turtle swimming around under the water.
On Wednesday, I went in to work. I was dreading the day, as I had a number of meetings scheduled both with staff and external consultants. The meetings went tolerably, but work continues to be a stressful and heavy burden on my shoulders. I keep dreaming about finding other work closer to the ones I love, but I was not placed in this unique spot in order to throw up my hands and leave. I can't give up right now, even though I want to. What kind of witness would that be? Even if I do a botched job on one or two things, it's better than leaving the department high and dry with no one to manage this area. I need to learn to overcome the fear that my work is less than perfect. Perfectionism tends to drive everything that I do. Working hard and producing high quality work is a good thing, but being controlled by the fear of producing less than perfect work is consuming. It's not healthy or useful for anyone. May God help me to work contentedly, resting my trust in the fact that I am doing my best by His strength. I don't need to kill myself just to get work done. There are better things to be consumed by - such as zeal for God's house.
Anyway, Wednesday ended and I came home bearing Quiznos sandiwches to find that mom had been doing a lot of work at my place. She cleaned out the old, moldy air conditioner from the bedroom, washed the curtains, and cleaned up the back patio. Wow! I felt bad that my guest had to work so hard, but it really made a difference for this old place. Thanks, Mom! That evening, we walked up the street to Capitol Hill Baptist Church for Bible study. We weren't in I Corinthians as usual, but we heard a draft of a presentation about the ways that the church is designed to express God's character.
On Thursday, I was still feeling really beat, so I took sick leave for the afternoon after my morning meeting (which had been scheduled for 30 minutes and lasted an hour and a half). I slept the whole afternoon while mom continued cleaning out things around the house. Thursday evening, we spent some really nice time chatting and enjoying fellowship together. I also ordered myself a Caps jersey and we caught up with news from home and from my brother in Rochester. He is also in a tough spot at the moment, trying to find a co-op for his last year at school. Jobs and co-ops are very hard to come by these days, and he has been struggling to find something in his field to complete his graduation requirement. This week, two doors seemed to partly open before him; and so we are praying and encouraging him to take advantage of both opportunities, not yet certain of which God will provide.
On Friday, I moved from my corner of the office to a new temporary cube on the other corner of the offices near my temporary supervisor. My computer tower made the move, too, but my telephone was growling and buzzing at the new location, so it's tucked away up in a cabinet for now. My new space is pretty nice. I had a bit of trouble figuring out where to print documents, but otherwise, I was able to settle in easily. I had a meeting downstairs that afternoon and I got to see some neat prints from the FSA and CWP collections (http://www.loc.gov/pictures). Mom met me at work at 4:45 and we went around meeting various folks in the office before heading home. We stopped at Popeyes for dinner, since mom and I had never eaten there. The chicken, fries, and biscuits were tasty! We also picked up sundaes for later. We spent the evening watching the Capitals game on TV and waiting for Dad to arrive. He pulled in around 10:30, so it was around 11:30 by the time the car was parked and mom and dad were back for the evening. We snacked on the sundaes till well after midnight, at which time we all promptly fell asleep in the living room (the bedroom still needed some airing out from the moldy water damage).
On Saturday, mom and dad worked through the morning to get a new air conditioner and air purifier in place. Thanks, Dad and Mom! I, meanwhile, ignorantly slept away till after 11 am. I'm still fighting this sinus infection/allergies/cold. At noon, we all went to get some lunch. We weren't sure where to eat, but we ended up at a Tai restaurant. It was really quiet inside, which was nice, and the food was quite tasty. After dinner, we shared a banana split and watched English Morris dancing at Eastern Market. By then, it was about time for mom and dad to hit the road. They left about 6 pm, and I spent the rest of the night napping till 9 pm when I went to bed.
This morning, I made it to my last membership meeting at church and then stayed for the worship service. Since I've attended all 6 of the membership info sessions, this means that I can talk to an elder at the church about becoming a member. I'm excited about this, since I've been attending the Sunday services and Wednesday evening Bible studies for 3 months now.
This afternoon I watched the game on TV while catching up on email, and now I've been catching up here on LJ. I'm not ready for tomorrow, but God-willing, I'll do all right.
Have a nice Sunday, everyone. Best wishes!