A Bird in One Hand……

A Bird in One Hand……

DSCF6116 (2).JPGMost people have heard the saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”  We roll our eyes when we hear one, but clichés serve a purpose. They are the way elders to offer sage advice to younger people in the hope they will be spared pain and sorrow for certain mistakes.

I have found in most cases; however, the best teacher is experience herself.

Satisfaction does not come easy for me. I am a perfectionist by nature and tend to want immediate results. Fortunately, I am also a bit risk-adverse, which keeps me from throwing caution to the wind in search of gold at the end of the rainbow. This is particularly true when it comes to my job. I work in Information Technology and my daily challenge of “too much to do and no time to do it” weighs me down. When it gets to be too much, I daydream about a better job. Granted, there is nothing wrong with wanting a change, but I have been here before.  I learned the hard way that not appreciating what you have can cause a person to stop thinking rationally and to make bad choices.

When I was much younger and just starting my career, there was a time when I felt I was not being treated fairly by my employer. I accepted a job with a company that had a bad reputation. My friends warned me, even my manager warned me, but I wouldn’t listen. I told them the company had changed, that they really did care about their employees, and that all those old rumors were no longer valid. Blah-dee-blah-dee-blah. In retrospect, I was rationalizing why giving up a perfectly good job (and it was) to work for a questionable employer was somehow the right thing to do.

I should have realized my mistake on my first day. It was after 5:00 p.m. and the employee I was working with not slowing down. My daughter’s daycare closed at six and I said I had to leave. The woman I was working with looked at me dead serious and said I might need to find other arrangements. Limited overtime was one of the conditions discussed during my interview, and this deal was broken the first day.

I started work in February, and for first few months, things seemed fine. I liked the people I worked with, I was treated well by management, and atmosphere was great. Around May, however, the job started taking over my life.  As a computer programmer, I was no stranger to being called in the middle of the night to fix a coding problem. At my old job, this was a shared responsibility that prevented burn-out. At my new job, I was part of a two-person team: my supervisor and myself. Guess who got most of the calls. On an almost a nightly basis, I would receive a phone call, drive to the office, fix a problem, drive home, get a little sleep, then back to work. Some nights I would barely make it through the door when my husband would tell me that the computer operator had just called again. The lack of sleep and having to care for a two-year old daughter was starting to wear me down.

I remember the night I finally reached my breaking point. I got a call telling me to come in and fix a problem. It was a Friday night and my husband was out with friends, and I had no one to take care of our daughter. I packed up my sleepy little girl and drove to the office. It was after midnight before my husband came to pick her up. When he got there, I was sitting on the curb in front of the building, hysterically crying. I was so exhausted and overcome by stress that no bird would have been better than the one bird I had. The next day, I managed to pick myself up and go on. In the end, however, I finally gave up and called my ex-boss and asked for a job. My lesson had lasted than a year.

Whenever I get too disgruntled with my current job, I remember this story. For some, it may sound like failure, but for me, it is a check-point. I may not stay in my current job forever, but I will never leave a for emotional reasons. I learned the hard way about clichés . Before I give up this bird, I will make sure the others birds are worth pursuing.  

 

Baby Dragon (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Baby Dragon (Sunday Photo Fiction)

dragon-puppetThe little girl stood outside the giraffe pen, mesmerized by the mother and baby. The gigantic orange and white creatures stood in the distance, and she thought the baby looked just like the dragon puppet her grandmother brought from China. Suddenly, the pair began to make their way toward the little girl.

“Would you like to feed them?”

An old woman, dressed in a khaki gray zoo uniform, stood next to the little girl. She held a bucket in her hand, and offered the little girl a carrot.

“Don’t be afraid”, the kind woman said. “Hold out your hand and she will take it from you.”

The little girl placed the carrot in between her fingers and carefully reached out toward the mother giraffe. With her large, thick tongue, the mother giraffe snatched the carrot and began to chew. Delight replaced fear and the little girl laughed out loud.

She could have watched for hours but her mother was anxious to move on.

“Time to see the elephants,” her mother said, in a voice that meant there was no choice in the matter.  Sadly, with a backward glance, the little girl moved on.

In response to: Sunday Photo Fiction – February 19th 2017
Image credit: A Mixed Bag

Why I write

Why I write

Why do I write? That’s a very good question. I don’t proclaim, like other writers, to have stories swimming in my head, bursting to get out. I have maybe six ideas. Maybe. Does lack of ideas mean I am not a writer? Does wanting to be a writer count for anything?

Why do I Write?  Writing is the only way I feel comfortable communicating with the world. I express myself better through written words. It gives me a chance to review, revise, or even resist.

Why DO I write? Do I really want to share my intimate thoughts with strangers, or even worse, my familiars?  That’s scary. Writing means exposure. Do I really want that?

Maybe I write so I can examine the demons that prevent me from reaching my full potential. A form of therapy, so to speak.

Maybe I to write because I am tired of the world I live in. Who wouldn’t want to skip town in a literary sense.

If I were a real writer, I would write mysteries. Stories of intrigue, capturing the imagination of the reader. I would write a story they could not put down because they are compelled to keep reading until the very end. A story so good that as the reader approached those last few pages, they would be torn between finding out what really happened and having the story end.

If I could be any writer, I would be J.K. Rowling. I want her talent and her imagination. I want to sit in a coffee shop and write in the wee hours of the morning, to create a world that that is so totally real that we sometime wonder if there really are wizards among us.

I digress.

Why do I write? For all the wrong reasons: I want to be read, I want to be liked, I want to be great. I want fame and fortune and everything that goes with it.

Why do I write? No reason, I just like it. I like creating something new, to be God-like. To bring beauty to the page; to touch the life of the reader in a new and intimate ways. I like the flow of words, the magic of putting together nouns and verbs, adjective and adverbs, stringing them together in such a way that it takes the reader to places they have never traveled.

Why do I write? Because I can. Because I still have the mental faculties to put words to paper. There will come a day when that gift is taken from me, so for now, I write. And I will keep writing until the I can write no more.

Why do I write? It is who I am, who I want to be.   

This story was inspired by WordPress.Com Daily Inspiration.

Total word count 460.

The Invitation

The Invitation

preview

The invitation to the Brockman twin’s bridal show arrived in a pretty, pink envelope with tiny butterflies stamped in the bottom right corner. Silva did not find it strange that Amber and Amy decided to share a bridal shower on the same day. After all, the twins did everything together. They were like two peas in a pod, enshrined in an invisible bubble that kept everyone out. Still, Silva had known them both her entire life and this shower would surely be one that no one ever forgot. Read more

Old Enemy

Old Enemy

Standing next to the faded yellow tax, a Lucky Stripe cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth, Yanno Koykis pulls his frayed jacket closer to his chest as the bitter cold February winds press against him. The downtown crowd was much smaller than usual. Too cold to go out for lunch, he thought to himself. “Today won’t bring much change to my pocket”. Yanno sighs, and waits for his first fare of the day.

As he blankly stares down the nearly deserted street, Yanno notices a young woman briskly walking in his direction. Whether she was in a hurry or just cold, Yanno didn’t care. He hopes his luck is about to change.

“I need a taxi”, the petite woman asks. “Are you available?” Read more