Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Self Awareness Begins at 40

Depression is a weird thing. As I was thinking about it yesterday, it crossed my mind: depression, for me, is like a light switch that turns off and on. When the switch is turned off, there is darkness, an overwhelming depression that varies in degrees from mild to alot. On other days, when the switch is turned on, there is nothing but light and lightness to my days. I feel "normal" at those times. I feel clear headed.

As I was pondering this analogy of the light switch for depression, I also thought about how I am unable to control the switch. That is what makes depression, for me, a challenging thing. But, on the up side, I am learning to become more self aware as well as I am learning of positive ways to deal with and attempt to overcome the condition.

At this point, I don't know if it will be a life long struggle, or a temporary seasonal one. Whatever the case may be, I prefer the light days much more than the dark ones, that is for sure!! =)

A Day in the Life of a Cashier

So you want to use your credit card to pay for your meal? Allright, fine, go ahead. But, just make sure it is a card that belongs to you!

A kid,of about age 16, came into our cafe last Sunday night, wanting to use a credit card, to pay for his meal. It was his mother's credit card. But, there was no mother in view. I considerately declined accepting his card, since it wasnt' his, and the names didn't match from his I.D. and the credit card.

I was just doing my job. Don't make me look like the bad guy!!

Life's Blessings..

There is such a peace whenever I go over to my next door neighbor's house, Jenny, friend from college.

After Tuesday's earthquake, I made sure my roommates were okay. Other than a few things fallen over, we were all okay. Just alot of rattled nerves. I remembered my friend and next door neighbor, Jenny, who has 4 boys under the age of 10. I decided to go check on her and see if they were okay. We had a nice visit, talking about the earthquake, and how scared we all were! After some time at her house I left and went about my day. However, as I was leaving, one of her boys invited me over for lunch the next day, being today. Since I had the day off from work, I accepted her invitation and went over there about noon.

It was a nice, and a little bit of a longer than expected time together. She cut up vegetables, like carrots, sunflower root, broccoli, and also 2 cheeses, munster and provolone. Everything was like sooooo fresh! She also had prepared a green tossed salad, and I brought some Korean tea, citron tea, to share with them. As we prepared the meal together, setting the table, she had this lovely routine. One of the boys gets to pick a name from the basket. In the basket are a bunch of family and friends and missionaries that they pray for together. So, they picked out her brother and their family to pray for and that is who we prayed for together before our meal. It was a neat routine that I really really liked!! I thought it was a great way to teach kids about prayer, getting them involved in it, as a natural and everyday part of our lives.

As we spent time together, I thought, wow, isn't God so good? He knows exactly what we need, and gives us what we need exactly when we need it. He knew I needed friends so he gave me Jenny. Not only that, but, he knows I need godly friends, which Jenny is the epitome of! But not only do I need godly friends, I think I need friends of which we have roots together. Jenny and I have been friends since our college days, which was almost 20 years ago. There is a special warmth and comfort that comes from a friend of old, even if we didn't always keep in touch. For whatever reason, God has seen fit to bring us together now for this season of our lives. And, I am thankful. Finally, God also knows that I need and crave family time. Being with her boys definately provides that, and the joys that come from being with young ones.

So, as the saying goes, God is good, and God is good all the time, he has proven himself faithful to me again. And, I am grateful, and I am awed. Smiling...oh, one more thing, her son invited me over again for tomorrow, but I had to gracefully decline due to my work schedule. But, I've promised to go back there next week on one of my days off. Her boys love me!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Person living with Depression

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July~it's been a not so good month
1. I went off my meds b/c I had no DR to refill the Rx's.
2. Around the beginning of July I was sad~suicidal b/c alone, w/o family on the 4th, a major US holiday
3. I cried many times throughout the month for seemingly no reason, but there were usually "triggers", but they tended to be small things though not at the time...

Yesterday (Monday) my desire for sleep increased. I didn't want to go to work. I wanted to stay home and sleep all day. I overslept and missed my bus. I had to call my boss to say that I'd be late. =(

At work, however, a strange thing happened. Although I didn't feel like being there, I acted like it was great to be there anyways! In fact, many guest noticed and commented on my pleasant work attitude!! They also admired my green sparkly fingernails. My manager let me stay 2 hours longer than my scheduled shift, which gave me an 8 hour work day rather than 6.

I called my friend from S. Korea, Eugene (she's in the States now) after work. I went grocery shopping. I cooked dinner. (I learned that I enjoy cooking and doing things I like to do.) I was up until 11 or 12 not even tired. I was energized. Somehow, a transaction occcurred during the day of my poor, negative mental attitude of the morning changing by the evening into a "normal" state. I wasn't depressed. I wan't suicidal. I was no longer craving lsleep like before.

Yes, it was also the day before my 2 days off from work. But, I was planning to sleep those 2 days. Not anymore.

So, something strange but good happened to me yesterday. I'm not sure what it was, nor why it happened. But, I'm glad it did, and I'll "flow" with it.

1. I think it may be the ebb-n-flow of depression, which doctors say symptoms come and go.
2. I seemingly woke up depressed, but later in the day it disappated all by itself.
3. I'll have to begin re-examening myself more in terms of moods. I haven't been keeping careful records in awhile. This info. is important and invalueable and helfpul to provide for my doctor!!

5.4 Magnitude Earthquake...

I'm like getting ready for the day when this HUGE earthquake topples over us. Epicenter near Chino Hills, and near me also. Felt long, and scary. Reminded me of God's sovereignty over our lives; how He truly is in control!! And, caused me to rethink, "Am I right with God?"

My Options so Far...

So I want to pay off some bills. What is the best way for me to go about it? Here are some of my options:

1. Get a second job, such as tutoring. Use that money to pay off debt.
2. Find a better paying full-time job. Be sure it is located near the railway or bus station since that is my main mode of transportation lately.
3. Teach English abroad again in South Korea. Set up my accounts now for automatic withdrawal so as to have all debts paid off within a year.
4. Declare bankruptcy. Live with difficulties the next 7 years or more with a bad credit mark.

What to do...what to do...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Shall I Return to South Korea?

So, I'm just pondering, "should I return to S. Korea?"

On the plus side, I've got some pretty good friends there, like Hanna, Soyoung, and Jackie!! Another plus is in being very familiar with Korea, the terrain, the language, the culture.

On the negative side, I'd miss another year of life in the USA with family. Nephews are growing up so fast! Another negative is my mind and mood. I'd have to be prepared for suffering from lonliness, and depression.

My motivation? I have some bills that I'd like to pay off. And, teaching ESL in Korea would enable me to pay those bills in quicker fashion than in doing what I'm doing now. Now I'm barely surviving...just maintaining, and not able to save let alone pay some debts that I have. Another option would be to change jobs here to a higher paying one. But, again, I have the transportation issue~I'm without a car right now. So, I've been wondering if I should do this or not. What do YOU think? Are there any other options you can see or think of that I've not thought of? Thanks for letting me know!!

Suffering...Does God Have a Plan?

Do you ever wonder if there's any purpose in our sufferings? IS there even a purpose to it? What are the things that bring you to suffering? For me, it can be lonliness; feeling unloved; being single at age 40. It can also be working as an "underemployed" person; meaning, I have more skills and training, but, I'm not utilizing them in my field. I'm trained as a professional teacher but I'm currnetly employed as a cashier. I have no car. I have to get around everywhere by foot or bus, or on the goodwill of others. I don't even have my own apartment for I don't earn enough money to pay more rent; consequently, I have to live within my means which means renting a room for now. I feel a sense of "stuckness" in my life, sort of. And yet, I know that I'm "passing through" this season, and that it will accomplish God's purpose in my life, though now I may not be able to see it. Suffering is a natural part of our lives, I've discovered, after reading 1 Peter 4:12,13,14,15. No one ever told me that! I used to think we were supposed to be "happy and blessed" all the time because we're Christians. But, that's only a part of life. Suffering is another part of life that we too must or, do, take part in. Only now am I realizing in greater measure, that suffering has a purpose in God's economy, and I don't have to fight it. I can accept and surrender where I am at in this point in my life, and trust God that He has a purpose for it. (Some people may feel sorry for me, but, they cannot SEE that God is doing a work in me. Just my opinion.) What do YOU think? Do you agree? Do you disagree? What are your thoughts on suffering? Do you have any stories of suffering you can share with me?

Friday, July 25, 2008

There's a Thief in Our Area!!

So, my manager counts my drawer and come to find out, another employee rang up their food on my cash register without paying for it. But, I'm the one who will get in trouble for it because I'm responsible for what happens on my drawer. From now on my manager has advised me to lock my drawer whenever I am away from my register, and to not allow anyone else to use my drawer, even during busy times. I'm angry another co-worker took advantage of my trust! Grrr....


So I've got this numbing, slight tingling feeling in my hands and fingers. Kind of a bummer! My left middle finger and thumb feel faint pretty much most of the time. As a cashier, when I'm counting back the change, I tend to use those two fingers the most; repetitive motions. Oh, I am so bummed. Even with 1000mg of tylenol I can still feel the tingling. Sadness, oh well.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mama Mia!!

I thought Mama Mia, the movie, was coming out NEXT weekend. Turns out, it came out LAST weekend. So, I missed seeing it the opening weekend. But, on Monday I got off work early, so I texted my mom and sisters if they wanted to go see it. I got one response from my mom that she'd like to go. So, the two of us went to the nearby Cinemopolis theaters and saw the show. My boss kept me at work until 5:45, and I was supposed to be off at 3:30. Whatever. I RAN to the theaters, and we got to see the first scene in the movie. A musical. A dance. And, a really entertaining time.

After the movie, my mom needed to go to Target. So we browsed around. I got a gift certificate for my sister Amy, since her bday is this week. Hopefully she'll like it, and pick out something she'd enjoy. I don't usually like to do that, giving gift cards as gifts, but, I was in a quandry so I did. At least I got her something, so she won't feel forgotten on her bday. I also picked out some pretty cereal bowls, and some basic silverware. Things a girl needs. And toothpaste. How boring!! LOL. I slept so good that nite cuz Iwas quite the tired one!!

Why do I Love korea???

So, I had a day off and what do I do? I go to the Korean spa in LA, where you can stay overnite. (Grand Spa). I got a manicure in the morning. I wish I had my camera, then you too could see and experience the lime green with sparkle she painted on my fingernails. But, above and beyond that, she modeled to me what it means to "be a blessing" to others. First of all, she was soooo nice!! Even though her English was not impressive, she decided she would teach me Korean. Lucky for me, a free Korean lesson!! LOL. Anyways, another customer brought her California rolls for breakfast, and, she shared hers with me! Wasn't that nice? She was so hospitable to me. I learned alot about her as well. She didn't start nails until she was around 46 years old! (Now she's 67). It made me have hope about "starting over" in your "older years". I mean mature years! Hehe. She is a minister's wife. And, she reminded me, in words, that "Jesus loves me". Though as Christians we profess to know this over and over, I am in a place of needing reassurance that it's really true, how much he loves me. And, then this lady, a total stranger to me, decides she's going to tell me about Jesus. So, I was encouraged from my manicure. And, she modeled to me how we can use our everyday lives in worship of our King!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm Gonna Study Korean Again this fall...

Starting September, I hope to enroll in a Korean language study course at KLI Yonsei LA (the Korean Language Institute at Yonsei Los Angeles Campus). Each quarter runs for 10 weeks. So, I'm hoping to start September to November. After that, we'll see. I have some important decisions to make regarding what to do next. Continue my Korean studies in Los Angeles, or ??? Only God knows our future!!

To Move or Not to Move???

I pay $550 per month in rent for a nice bedroom in a safe home in Yorba Linda, and near my work. Full privalages, not much more you could ask for. One of my co-workders offered me a room in his apartment to rent for cheaper, like for $400 a month. I was keen on taking him up on his offer. After all, the rent alone would be enticing enough: just much better for me overall! However, after pondering about it some more, I've decided NOT to take it. Why? Because, I don't wanna spend 40 minutes everyday on a bus ride to get to and from work. Currently, I ride the bus for like 5 minutes. I guess that works bettter for me right now. Even better would be a cheaper room for rent closer to work, then no bus fare, and lower rent. Now THAT would be nice!!

I'm Like a Girl in a Candy Store

So, yesterday, being my day off, I ventured into the new library located near my house. It has EVERYTHING!! Computers, books, magazines, study rooms, study tables, helpful librarians, copy machines, and even a vending machine for snacks and drinks, not to mention a highly efficinet air conditioning system, that kept me cool and relaxed all day long. Did I say I felt like a kid in a candy store? Books galore, to keep me occupied all day long. And,wonderful air conditioning so I don't have to sweat my face off. And, tables where I could read a Living Life Devotion or study my Spanish. With lots of peace and quiet. I am llike a girl in a candy store. Such pleasant delights, so nice!!

A Scooter is Cheaper

A scooter is cheaper than a car. And, it gets like 80 miles to the gallon. So, this morning I was thinking, maybe I should get a scooter? I'd only use it for traveling to and from work. It would beat walking, which, isn't so bad except for in the heat and humidity. That's when it stinks!! Well, a bike would be even cheaper to buy, and would accomplish the same goals of transportation for less money. Hmm...what to do, what to do.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thoughts on Life

My life won't always be this way. Hopefully, someday, it'll be better. In the meantime, I can hang out and relax, rather than stress out about my life or where I'm headed.

Yes, I'm 40 and single. I could dwell on self-pitiful thoughts such as what is wrong with me, why doesn't anybody love me? Or, I can embrace my singleness at 40 and know that I may be getting closer to meeting Mr. Right, and, in the meantime, enjoy the freedoms that come with singleness. I can make a choice to celebrate life; I don't have to despair in lonliness.

Also, I am 40 and not a homeowner yet. It is highly unlikely that I ever will be. I can despair, or choose to appreciate that I still have a roof over my head, and am not out on the streets. I have a job which I genuinely enjoy. It may not earn me googles and oogles of money, but, it's food on the table and a movie to enjoy once in awhile.

I feel like life is good. Society may look at me and say I'm a loser, barely surviving, or deserve better, which may be true. But, still, this is where I am at today, and I can embrace it. This is the experience life has to offer me today.

I feel this season of my life is a preparation time for whatever God has next for me. In the meantime, I choose to believe that life is good; "LG". Finally,this too shall pass (this season of hardship). My life is not always going to be this way. It'll change. Our trials in life either make us bitter, or they make us better. I hope and pray they make me better!

Monday, July 14, 2008

God's Heart for Me...

This past Sunday morning I had plans to meet up with a friend, but, as it turned out, God had other plans for me. My friend was a no-show at Starbucks, where I was doing my quiet time from Living Life Devotions. So, I decided to walk to my home church, getting there about 20-30 minutes late. Even in the parking Lot, I ran into an old friend, Rosemary. She's from Kenya, Africa. Three years ago her son was in my Sunday school class! Wow, how he'd grown, twice his former height!! Anyways, it was soooo good to run into Rosemary, and catch up a little bit.

Then, as I was walking to the ladies room I ran into another old friend, Frances and her husband. It was such a blessing to see her also. We ended up chit chatting for a bit, and I sat with her and her husband for the service. After the pastor gave the sermon we had communion time. We broke up into small groups, and, guess who I saw? Another old old friend, Chris!!!!! I have always loved him and his wife, Anka, so, what a blessing it was to see them!!!

I felt blessed that morning, so glad to have attended the morning worship service. Later during the day, God reminded me again that his heart is for me. He's not into ignoring me! He loves me; He forgives me. Our pastor taught on Matthew 11, the pearl of great price. Do we "get it" yet? I can't wait to attend worship service again next week!!!!! Thanks for your prayers, saints!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Teacher Reunion

Yesterday we met for a mini reunion with a group of four friends. We used to work together as teachers almost 10 years ago. It was sooo great to see them. Lots has happened in our lives since we met as teachers long time ago. Joanne has 2 boys. Jan lost almost 100 pounds. Suzy has retired, and leads a busy life in crafting. Me, I seem to them down and out, surviving, but deserving of better. Made them feel grateful for what they do have by seeing what I don't have. I went home more depressed after meeting them. Was not what I expected it to be. But, having down moods is my problem, no one elses.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Wrong Relationship...

Have you ever dated someone, and you knew you were in a wrong relationship? You knew that even though the guy might be nice, and a cool dude, he wasn't right for you, and that you should let him go. That is the place I find myself in these days. I have been "seeing someone" and talking, but, I know that he's not the one. And, yet, my heart suffers from intense lonliness, so I have justified seeing him in my mind. I have deceived myself into believing that being with the wrong one is better than being alone, again. My heart is in a tug-of-war. Does that make sense? I want to do the right thing. And, when I'm "strong" I am able to stand alone. But, I don't always feel strong, willing to be alone, and when that happens, we are talking and seeing each other. Leaving a loved one behind can be so hard. It doesn't matter that my mind knows that leaving him will create a space for the right one. Getting from here to there, but having to suffer (of lonliness) in the process, is what I've been resisting so far. And that's my story of the day.

A Dream of 3 Men...

I have the strangest dreams, from time to time! So, not surprisingly, last night I dreamt of my 3 male managers. They took me to another restraunt, and we were all working our butts off there! By working our butts off, I mean that we were running around, and working hard.

And, speaking of dreams, sometimes they are happy dreams too! Often I have dreams of former friends, and we are together, having good times! Those have been the best kind!!

Amos Ending

So, after work today, I decided to visit the Starbucks next door. I was looking for a way to stay cool before walking home in this hot weather. I got a flavored refreshing ice tea drink, and began to read. Since my QT from Living Life devotionals is in the book of Amos, I decided to start there. I continued reading from like chapter 5 until the end. (Well, I had the time today to read that much.) I felt discouraged as I read it because God is like, not too happy with his people in that book. Then, I get to the ending, and God is like way cool. He PROMISES that He is going to root his people, and do new and great things for them. As I read the END of the book of Amos, I was filled with ENCOURAGEMENT once again. Woo-hoo.

Karina Leaving :(

Our manager,Karina, had her last day of work at our store before she gets transferred to another store. So bizarre! We are going to miss her alot!!!!! Why they do that, who knows? Don't they know we need bilingual managers at our restaurant? What were they thinking? Anyways, we all signed a petition to get her to stay at our store. We also want to quit our jobs in protest; oh, I think you call it a strike!! We love her so much.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

July, A Month for Reunions...

I am super excited right now. Why? Because this month seems to be a time for reunions with old friends from the past. One day this month will be a luncheon with some old teacher friends from my former elementary school. How exciting is that? I can't wait to see them! Another evening will be a time of "fun, food and fellowship" with old college friends. To see what everyone is up to now, the joys and sorrows we've all gone through, and sharing our stories together will be a truly remarkable and special time. It will breathe life back into us once again. And, we will see how God has not forgotten us, how He is still with us, and how He really cares for us. These will be tims of refreshment and encouragement; and, I can't wait!!!

Happy Feet...

Tuesday after work I took the bus to the train station, and took the train into LA to go to the Grand Spa again. Since I had Wednesday off, I could spend the nite there and relax as I pleased. I was originally planning to get a manicure since my nails NEED it, but, once I arrived there, a foot massage sounded great too. So, I asked for the foot massage, and it was soooo relaxing. I was in heavenly bliss for about 40 minutes; next time I'll definately try the 60 minute foot massage. I was worried because I have ticklish feet, but, no need to worry. The massuese (spelling?) was very professional and knowledgeable about feet! She gave me happy feet!! Then a nice traditional Korean dinner of beef fried rice, and sleeping on the floor mat in the Jade room with warm heated floors; soooo relaxing and sooo comforting!! I got to SLEEP IN until around 10, then took a shower put on my makeup and got ready for the day. I was slightly disappointed I didn't use the other facilities of the sauna this time around, like the pools and wet saunas, but, then I told myself, I'm there to relax, and if this time relaxing meant a foot massage, dinner, the dry sauna room, and the jade room, as long as I enjoyed myself, then it doesn't matter if I used ALL the amenities available there or not! I still had a VERY ENJOYABLE experience at the Grand Spa.

His Mercies are New Every Morning...

I found a new pastime: chatting online with facebook!! Up until about a week ago, I had NO IDEA facebook chatting even existed! Since alot of my friends are on facebook, needless to say, I am thrilled. Last night I had a wonderful chat with one of my good friends, Vic. She had WORDS OF WISDOM for me, for which I am soooo appreciative (thanks Vic!!!).^^

So, I wandered into the Korean Bible Bookstore this morning, in search of a mini compact size Bible. And, I found one! It has a cute flap strip from which you can open it and close it; and, it has a bright orange and pink cover, which I also like. It doesn't look like a Bible, it looks classy and fashionable, which I like! More importantly than buying the Bible, however, I actually OPENED it and even READ it. Since it is July 2nd, here, I began with Proverbs 2. I was very encouraged by these verses. I also bought a LIVING LIFE QT devotional book, and began to delve into that. Today's reading came from the book of Amos, so I began to read there in my NEW PRETTY Bible! I also browsed through Isaiah 51, and, I feel like I can very much relate to David in the psalms. My heart yearns for God to renew a right spirit in me; therefore, I am hopeful that his mercies are new every morning really is true. That's what I'm counting on these days: for his new mercies.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I Love My Job But...

On most days I love my job! It's interesting, and fun, and the time goes by fast. I get to talk with people. I do routine tasks, which I enjoy. And, my coworkers are to me my second family. So, I enjoy myself for the most part. Today, however, was "one of those days" when work was less than pleasant, at least, for a moment, until I was able to recompose myself. I am the cashier at a local bakery and cafe. One lady ordered her sandwich, which she ordered as a "special", meaning, she wanted it her way, not the way we usually prepare it. I told her that she could get the mayonaise at the condiment section over there and pointed, and she said how hard was it for us to add mayo? So, I told her we'd do it for her, no problem. However, that was not enough for her. THEN she said I was acting like it was a big problem for us to add mayo and I told her we'd do it. There really wasn't anything else I could say to her as she was upset I had told her that. THEN she was like, why can't you put mayo on it? YOU NEED AN ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT she told me. Even though I told her 3 times that we'd add the mayo. Maybe she had a hearing problem. I don't know. But, then I told her she needed an attitude adjustment too!!! So, she asked, I mean, demanded, to speak with my manager. I didn't get in trouble, but, needless to say, I won't be telling guests that their mayo is over there!!