Thursday, January 29, 2009


I'm considering a new job that would require a little more commitment of time than my current job. As a result, I started the discusion with my husband about his willingness to be a full-time homemaker while I support the family financially. We agreed to work on the job description. Here's one I found, thought it would interesting to share.

Education and Training: None

Salary: None

Employment Outlook: Excellent

People who take care of households for themselves and for the other people who live with them are called homemakers. They are responsible for managing the resources of their household. Homemakers may also perform general housekeeping chores and personal services, or they may assign them to other members of the household. Sometimes they employ people outside the household to do these tasks. Every household is unique, and the duties of each homemaker vary according to the ages, habits, needs, and incomes of the people in the household.

Homemakers are generally responsible for keeping their homes clean and running smoothly. They decide what cleaning jobs need to be done, and they arrange to have them completed. Cleaning tasks may include dusting, sweeping, making beds, washing and waxing floors, vacuuming, and a wide variety of other chores. Many homemakers also make sure that clothing and household items are laundered, dry-cleaned, or mended when needed. In many cases, they shop for food, clothing, and other household needs. Homemakers often plan, cook, and serve many of the meals for their households. Sometimes they make arrangements to have others cook meals in the home or to buy meals from outside sources.

Maintaining the household budget may be another responsibility of homemakers. They may take care of bills, banking, tax filing, and other financial matters. They often are responsible for day-to-day expenses, and they sometimes do long-range financial planning for their households. With other household members they make decisions about buying insurance, taking vacations, getting loans, and other important matters. Consumer skills are very important in making these decisions concerning the use of a household's resources.

In households with young children, homemakers have a great deal of responsibility for their care. If the children are very young, homemakers may feed, dress, and bathe them. As the children are growing, homemakers are responsible for creating a happy, healthy environment that will foster positive emotional and physical development. They may teach the children good health and personal habits, and make sure that they have proper medical and dental care. They may help them with their homework. As the children grow older, homemakers spend less time overseeing them. In some cases homemakers care for adult members of the household who are ill or infirm.

Many homemakers drive household members to and from their daily activities. They may also have cars serviced. Some do minor repairs on cars and household appliances.

Improving the appearance of their homes may be another household responsibility. Homemakers often decorate their houses or apartments. They may paint or paper walls and ceilings, apply floor coverings, or refinish furniture. Sometimes they care for lawns and gardens. Often homemakers arrange to have these jobs done by outside contractors.

Since many homemakers have full- or part-time jobs outside the home, two or more household members may share the work of running a home. Homemakers spend varying periods of time in their occupations, and the needs of every household change. Homemakers' careers are flexible and diverse.

Education and Training Requirements
There is no minimum age or educational requirements for homemakers. They learn such skills as cooking, cleaning, and child care informally at home. Individuals can prepare themselves for homemaking by taking high school and college courses in family and consumer science, psychology, sociology, mathematics, and first aid. Contact experienced homemakers for suggestions on ways to improve homemaking skills. There are also many books, magazines, and television and radio programs that teach homemaking skills.

Getting the Job
Most people become homemakers when they gain the responsibility of caring for a home and its occupants. In most cases other household members work outside the home to provide the income that the homemaker uses to care for the home. Choosing to become a homemaker is a personal issue and a career decision.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
The employment outlook for homemakers is excellent, because every home needs a homemaker. Since homemaking is not a formal job, there is no formal advancement in the field. However, homemakers usually improve their skills with experience. As they become more experienced as consumers, for example, they often learn to make better use of the resources available to them. Many homemakers believe the highest form of advancement is being satisfied with the management of their home and knowing that other members of the household are satisfied in their home. Other homemakers see a decrease in the number of chores or an increase in the household income as a form of advancement. Both the job of homemaking and its form of advancement are defined by the individual members of the household. Because needs change, the household that needs a full-time homemaker in one decade may need only a part-time homemaker in the next.

Working Conditions
Homemakers work in a great variety of physical surroundings, determined in part by family income and by their own skills as a homemaker. There are no set hours for homemakers. Discipline and motivation are two qualities homemakers need to have. Patience, understanding, and a good sense of humor can help them to deal with the many demands of running a household. Successful homemakers are successful managers who can balance the many changing needs of household members and achieve a smoothly running household.

Earnings and Benefits
Homemakers do not earn salaries. They share the household income with other members of the household. One benefit is a flexible work schedule. They are able to pursue leisure or work activities inside and outside the household. In some cases homemakers receive benefits from jobs they hold outside the home. They may share in benefits extended to other members of the household who have jobs outside the home.

My Color

Saw this over at Smile, Play, Dream, and had to play. Who knew that someone could need more black??

You Need Some Black in Your Life

Black will make you feel powerful, in control, and not bound to what other people think of you.

And with a little black, you will project a aura of mystery, rebellion, and dominance.

If you want people to respect you, you've got to get a little black in your life!

For extra punch: Combine black with orange or red

The downside of black: People won't be able to "read" you - and may perceive you as more aggressive than you actually are

The consequences of more black in your life:

You'll become a figure of intrigue and speculation

You'll be better prepared for life's unknown path

You'll rest better and free yourself of expectations

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I have spent the last two days interviewing for a new position.

I have had one phone interview, one panel interview, and one full day assessment. They have all been great, but interviewing can be stressful, even though it is positive.

I am one of 2 final candidates and have been invited back to interview on Wednesday.

This process and this opportunity is absorbing my consciousness and I am spending a significant amount of thought on how to best prepare for Wednesday. How I compare to my competition, what weaknesses I need to address, what strengths I need to emphasize, etc.

I think I'm obsessing and need to distance myself a little.

Maybe this beautiful, long weekend is just the thing . . . as long as I can turn my attention to other things.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dear God

Dear God,

Thank you again for my opportunity to interview for a new position this Thursday.

Thank you also for the new opportunity that came to me today and will result in an inital interview in the next few weeks. It is not what I had imagined or expected, but I am excited by the possibility and the choices that are making themselves available to me.

I continue to learn from this situation, and I appreciate the lessons. I am working to release any anger or resentment I have as a result of allowing myself to be hurt. I understand that I can control these things and look forward to growing even stronger.

Please continue to bring me opportunities and I promise to continue to grow.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


The book I'm currently reading spent some time talking about prayer. The viewpoint I have always had is that you pray for things like strength, patience, wisdom, etc., but that it is not appropriate to pray for specific outcomes.

This book turned by belief on it's ear and so today I said this prayer:

Dear God,

Please provide me with this new job opportunity, so that I may leave my toxic work environment and start anew. Please help me to have a positive start in the position, and I promise to put to use what I have learned and to acknowledge the mistakes that I have made.

Again, please give me a job offer to consider.

Thank you.


I am grateful for:

- beautiful warm days and living in a vacation destination
- the amazing moon last night and this morning
- my morning walk with the dogs at the bay and the nice people and dogs we encountered
- a lazy day of lunch and shopping with my daughter
- my upcoming interview on Thursday - YEAH!!! PARTY WOO!!!! OH RIGHT!!!!!
- finding two suits that would work for the interview
- the local tailor and her willingness to work in my timeframe
- pizza/movie night
- my girlfriend who helped me shop for suits and gave me her honest opinion when I needed it
- hearing my children playing outside while I write this
- frozen pesto from this summer that I get to have on my salmon tonight
- fresh blueberries
- clean cars and a garage to put them into

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tough Questions

Some tough questions from

Questions to ask in
pursuit of self-awareness

What are your limitations? I think I should have none, but the ones I have are self-imposed.

What are your emotional weaknesses? Crying.

What are your emotional hot buttons? Feeling like I failed to perform.

Where are you vulnerable to bullying? Work and in relationships where I feel a difference in power - authority figures.


Do you confront your fears? I'm learning to.

Are you afraid of failing? Absolutely.

Are you afraid of making mistakes? Yes.


Do you fear anger in others? A little - I tend to assume that it will lead to action.

Do you feel too much guilt? Maybe.

Do you feel responsible for people who have made their own choices? Yes, sometimes.


Are you anxious to build good relationships? Yes.

Are you the only one contributing to a relationship? I've learned that soemtimes I am - like with my mom - but I am learning not to.

Do you allow others to be destructive towards you? Yes, but I want to change.

Do you blindly trust others? No.


Do you blindly give them the benefit of the doubt? Generally, yes.

Are you anxious for the approval of others? Yes, especially superiors or elders.

Do you fear criticism from others? Yes - it makes me think I failed.

Do you avoid confronting others? Yes.

Do you avoid discomfort in relationships? Generally. I justify it by thinking there is nothing to gain.


Do you depend on others for your happiness? I don't think I do, but maybe I am lying to myself.

Are you afraid to be emotionally independent? I've never thought about that.

Are you afraid of being emotionally isolated? I don't think so.

Do you seek self-confident personalities to compensate for your weakness? I don't think of myself as having weaknesses, generally, but I do prefer to be around confident people. I find I am impatient with those who seem to be victims, and am especially impatient/lack understanding for my victim roles.


Are you worried about what others think about you? Yes, I think it influences/impacts my effectiveness as a leader.

Are you overly polite? Yes, well, not sure if I'm "overly" polite.

Are you polite to people who are intentionally hurting you? I don't like to stoop to their level, so yes, but I'm not sure that's wrong.

Are you afraid of sounding abrupt? I'm afraid of stooping.

Do you avoid being simple and direct? Based on the above, yes, I guess I do.


Are you thinking like a victim? Sometimes.

Do you stand up for your rights? Most of the time.

Are you straightforward with others? Yes, but I try to deliver effectively.


Are you overwhelmed by hate for a bully? A little right now.

Is hate clouding your thinking? No, I am controlling it.

Is your frustration carrying into your personal life? I'm controlling that too.


Are you aware of the emotions and attitudes of others? Yes.

Do you listen carefully to the intent behind the words? Not so much.

Do you ask questions to understand others better? Not always.

Are you naïve about the attitudes and thinking of others? Yes, at times.


How have you responded to past bullying? Leaving.

Are you currently being bullied? Yes.

Do you know how to defend yourself against bullying? I'm learning.

Are you willing to begin fighting bullies? YES!

Are you willing to persevere until the fight is completely over? YES

Are you willing to change yourself? YES, and I'm getting help

The Battlefield

Yesterday my boss berated me in front of staff and then closed the door and I was reduced to tears. I was so mad at myself for getting sucked into the useless drama and expending, no wasting my precious emotional energy.

I woke up steaming mad and here and now, I am fighting back.

I have started my campaign politically to educate others on what he's really doing, and I am becoming more agressive and successful in my interviews.

In deciding to fight, it is interesting to me that I may still have to leave and that I may learn some valuable lessons. These lessons are summed up nicely on

Understand the benefits

- A bully is useful to you because he provides a huge challenge
- If you see it through, you will win in the long run
- You are accelerating the pain, which means the pain will end sooner
- The worse things get, the easier it will be to rebuild your life
- You will be a better, stronger and wiser person when it is over
- Winning doesn't necessarily mean you will stay in your current job
- Winning is always standing up for your rights
- You will learn about true friendship (or lack thereof)
- You will become a better judge of people
- You will learn what to look for in future friends
- You will learn what to look for in future employers

Useful reminders to yourself

I appreciate the many opportunities this job provides me for personal growth.
When this is over, I will be a much better and wiser person.
When this is over, my life will be much better.
I don't care how bad things get, I'm going to finish this.
Short-term pain is the price I must pay for long-term gain.

In working through my emotions last night a painful memory came back. I remember crying in the kitchen when I was leaving my last job, saying "At least in my new job, I won't be crying in the kitchen after work." No, instead, I have been crying at work, reduced to an emotional mess by a bullying boss.

I am so mad at myself for allowing this to happen, but also proud of myself for noticing the pattern and acknowledging my role in it.

In talking with a city manager today, he said that I can be intimidating to some because of my credentials and abilities. I asked how do I control that, and he replied to work extra hard to not be threatening or work for someone who won't be threatened. The former doesn't come naturally to me and isn't necessarily a skill I want to develop.

Hence, my initial resolution to work for someone much older than me next time. Or perhaps better educated. Or perhaps with a healthy sense of self-esteerm and clear understanding of his/her role and mine.

Yes, I am preparing for battle and embarking on a life changing journey as I learn to not create this pattern for myself in the future.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year and Gratitude

This year I have started an old fashioned journal to celebrate my successes in personal growth. It's the old school kind with lined paper and a pretty embroidered cover.

I feel this odd divide among my two journals now, the one that lives on paper and the one that lives in cyberspace.

I feel like I should organize them somehow and declare that the paper is for ____ and the cyber is for ______, but I don't want to. Don't feel the need to be boxed in and attempting to organize every corner of my life.

So, I will live in free form for a while and see what is and that is what shall be.

About New Years Resolutions . . . not sure if I really have any other than to release resentment and celebrate successes more. Pretty vague, but I'm growing tired of specifics when it comes to defining my goals. I want to be lofty, airy and free flowing.

Gratitude. I am grateful for:

- allowing myself to finally buy new bras in the right size
- allowing myself to buy a new purse, one from a company that gurantees and refurbishes them
- allowing myself to not feel obligated to go to playgroup this morning
- my phone interview tomorrow
- asthma medication for my daughter
- big, fat Sunday papers