Today's Diva Words: "When
you make your mark in the world, watch out for people carrying big
What a challenge the past
couple of days have been! As most of you know who follow my journal or
have for a while, I am a person who watches for trends, personal trends, I'd
say, and then studies them to see what messages they have or lessons they hold.
I love to learn from life, even when the lessons are painful.
As I look back over the past
several months, there is one particular trend that I see that is obviously
trying to tell me something or it would not be recurring as it is. That
means I have to dissect it and figure out what it's all about. I do that
best when I'm journaling.
Today, for me, was sort of the
icon on the desktop of life that is the shortcut to the folder that holds this
Yesterday, I found out that I
did not pass the transcriptionist test that I took on Friday. (See
Sept 7th entry) I was a little surprised because I'd felt
fairly confident about how I did on it. My training is a solid 12 years
old and has not been accessed at all during those 12 years. It was just
tucked away in my brain in its own little folder in the file cabinet of useless
information that is stored up there (there's a good bit of it). I didn't
need medical transcriptionist information any more than I needed the phone
number I had when growing up that no longer exists (502-275-4004) or my middle
school locker combination (18-34-26). It's all in that mental file
cabinet. Also, my transcriptionist training is exclusive to military
hospitals, specifically George AFB and Edwards AFB. Evidently, the
military medical practices do things a good bit differently than do the civilian
medical practices. For instance, we were strictly taught to NEVER change
what the doctor dictates. We did not correct grammar or expand acronyms
into full words or presume to add articles (a, an, the) if the doctor did not
say them. We were to transcribe precisely as the doctor dictated.
That's one of the little specialties in my training. We had certain ways
to do bullet statements, parentheses and all sorts of stuff. A book called
"Tongue and Quill" guided our every written word.
Now given that the last time I
transcribed anything more intricate than a grocery list or a bill payment
confirmation number was more than 12 years ago (March of '04 was when I last
worked as a transcriptionist, so I guess we can make that 13.5 years instead of
12 - Evidently, I can't even get that right), I expected it to be
challenging. I took a lot of pre-tests online and reviewed my medical
terminology for a day or so before I tested. I was surprised at how much
of it came back to me. My biggest concern was the pharmacology because
there are SO many new drugs on the market now and there was no way to prep for
So here I was yesterday
getting a very informal email informing me that I'd failed (not telling me what
I failed or if I failed barely or miserably or what) and inviting me to re-test
in another area. I'd chosen "acute care" and they wanted me to try out
"multi-specialty." I figured there was no harm in trying, so I decided
that after I finished exercising with Andrea, I'd turn off the ringer on the
phone and get busy.
While we were out walking, we
encountered the woman I know (also out for her walk) who works for this
transcription company and had recommended me for testing. She asked if I'd
heard anything and I told her what was happening. She said she'd be happy
to come over and go over some of the dictations with me to see how I did.
I figured anything could help. I did the four dictations in less than 2
hours, which was good pacing under the circumstances. The phone rang off
the hook and twice, it was the school, so I had to pick up (sick Delena).
Even though I had the ringer off, I could hear the upstairs phone ring and would
invariably check the caller ID to see who it was.
So when I was about done, I
called and told her and she came over with her little dog, who is just such a
sweetie. To make a very long story short(er), she was fairly mortified by
incredible ineptitude and elaborated extensively on how poorly trained I was,
what a terrible speller I was (the testing program has an imbedded spell-checker
and I'd used it!) and how she could easily see why I failed. Two
hours later, she finished reviewing my work and had taught me a good amount
about what transcriptionists do and don't do, as well as how unforgivably and
mortally ignorant I seem to be. At one point, I believe she was informing
her dog that she (the dog) could have done a better job on the transcriptions
than I did.
Tests have been submitted and
I suppose I will learn in the next few days how I did after her tutelage.
I kept telling myself that her intentions were good and feeling completely small
for being so fragile that her words were tearing me up. I want to be
a stronger person than I was today. I know I did my very best and tried
harder at this than I have at anything in a long time and I hate that it was so
hurtful to be told repeatedly how awful it was. There were about 20 times
in the 2 hours that I wanted to tell her to just go home, forget about it, I'm
not cut out for this. I didn't and with any luck, it helped me do a better
job on the test. If I fail, I will know it was not meant to be right now.
Either way, I did the best that I could do.
The bottom line is that a
woman took 2 hours of her time to sit in my house and help me. That is
where I am keeping my focus. She also taught me a number of things that
will be extremely valuable if I do get this job. Also, I know that if I do
get this job, it will be because of her help. If I don't, it will be in
spite of her help.
Since June, I have had several
incidents similar to this one, although this was the most extreme and specific.
In each situation, I was being told, either directly or indirectly, that hard
work I'd done was not good enough. In each case, the work ended up being,
for the most part, a waste of my time. I have looked back over those other
situations and tried to find what good came of that time investment and there
are a couple of tangents I could go off on in speculation, but over all, I am
not yet seeing it.
[OK, OK, OK...here we go
again. This is getting unreal. Nathan just this moment came
in and asked me to make him a paper airplane. I have been making paper
airplanes since I was about 10. So I make him a paper airplane, send it
through it living room and it sails just fine. He takes it outside and
comes back in a few minutes later, telling me it ripped. I told him I'd
make him another one and he says, "That's OK. I'll just get Dad to make
one." ??!! Do you see what I mean??? This is the entire
theme of my life right now!]
I figure there are a few
places I can take this. The bad place is to cave into the feelings I am
getting from the tapes that keep playing unbidden in my head telling me not to
bother trying anything or putting effort anywhere because it's all for nothing
anyway. I'm not good enough. I'll never be good enough. I don't work
hard enough. I'm worthless. No one is ever going to recognize
how hard I try. If they do think I'm good enough, they just don't know me
well enough yet. Why even get out of bed in the morning? Nothing I
do will be valuable or worthwhile.
Another place I can take it is
to evaluate the Laws of Attraction and wonder if these are messages I am already
sending to myself which are drawing in experiences that reflect and re-enforce
those feelings. I didn't think I felt that way about myself.
Although I do play at a positively sublime ego with the tiara and the Southern
Diva attitude and such, if anything, I have always believed I could use more of
a dose of self-esteem than a beating with the humility stick. As of late
(the past few years), I have considered myself to be fairly well balanced in
that department, walking the line between humility and healthy self-esteem.
If I continue to believe this is the case, I must also embrace the idea that the
Universe/God/Goddess is faulted and makes mistakes, which is incomprehensible to
me. These experiences are here to tell me something and I am the
only one who can come up with the truths behind them.
Eric has brought up my seeming
inability to balance out site work (does not further my family in any way other
than to create a Happy Mama) with my housework, my inability to lose the excess
weight, my inability to enjoy cleaning house for 7-8 hours a day with a smile
and my constant whining about my lot in life (here I am doing it again, I
guess). I had never thought of myself as a whiner. I'd felt good
about my exercising and healthier food choices. I was proud of how much
better of a house keeper I am now than I was even a few years ago.
A thread through these
experiences seems to be the battle between the subjective and the objective; the
power of perceptions. I could always go the Stuart Smalley route of
constantly affirming to myself that "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and
doggone it, people like me!" all the while wearing a bad sweater with terrible
I can take the idea from these
experiences that The Universe does not want me to become comfortable and
complacent, although I can't imagine why because that's a perfectly lovely way
to be. Probably because of the notion that if I remained comfortable and
complacent for any amount of time, I'd likely stop challenging myself and stop
growing. It's a known fact that humans react much more quickly to pain
than to pleasure, so it does seem to be a fairly consistent training tool and is
a very effective way for The Universe to get a message across to us. I
just have to figure out what that message is or the lessons will continue
repeating and repeating...
Not a good thing.
I always wanted to be one of
those free-spirited people who just does her own thing and doesn't care what
anyone thinks. That's another direction I could take with this, the
patented Diva, "You know what? Fuck You!" approach, which doesn't really
get you very far in life, I don't think, no matter how fun and effective it
might be. Are any of us really unaccountable to anyone? In some
ways, that seems like a lonely place to be...where no one cares what you do
right or wrong.
At times like this, I have to
bring myself back to self-truths that I know to be indisputable. I know
that I try hard to be a good person. I know that I take a great deal of
pride in the quality of my work, no matter what I happen to be doing. I know
that I feel deeply wounded when someone tells me, objectively or subjectively,
that what I have done is not good enough. I know that I need to develop a
harder outer shell and not react so viscerally to criticism. I know I need
to develop filters that let me dismiss another person's harsh/mean words in
favor of the heart of what they are saying. I know that I need to learn to
take things less personally. "Man up and stop being such a baby!" as they
say. I know that people and experiences are brought into our lives as part
of an intricately woven process and purpose. I know that all things work
on a balance system in some way, even if that balance is not apparent to us.
It's all about give and take.
I'm going to think on this a
while longer, but I have a feeling, my answer is already here somewhere.
I'd muse further on it, but the primer on my ex-ventilation
duct/flour/sugars/baking powder cupboard and future microwave hole is dry and I
need to go Black Bean it.
Diva Words: "Stress is when you wake up screaming and realize you haven't
fallen asleep yet."
Today was Nathan's birthday
party in town. I thought I'd be smart and have it at a pizza place and not
have my house to clean up. It's in the point of renovation where we're
getting ready to launch and so there's all kinds of home improvement crap all
over the place.
I'm tired already and I
haven't even started.
I got the laundry room all
cleaned out and organized. Got the kitchen all streamlined and organized.
Got the under-the-stairs-too-narrow-and-deep-to-use-for-anything closet cleaned
out and organized, got one side of the shed cleaned out, gone through and
organized and...stopped. Guess I lost my flow.
Starting this week, Eric is
home with me on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, only working on Monday, Friday
and Saturday. I want to spend tomorrow getting the house more ready to
begin the projects. I want to take down the drywall from the ceiling first
because a lot of what I have to do is affected by that. It shouldn't take
very long, I don't think. That tells me a lot about the rest of what I
have to do.
We found good ductless range
hoods at Home Depot for about $80 and that lets me move the microwave into the
cupboard like I wanted and free up the counter space. I have my Black Bean
paint, my Bard Red paint, my primer and I am ready to go. I need to super
clean and rearrange my room and Delena's room, plus do the other shed, plus try
again to clean the godblessed carpet on the stairs, plus clean and arrange the
boys' room. I know I already told all of you this, but it's exciting to
talk about it!
I can't believe it's finally
happening, starting this week! It's going to have to go hard and fast, so
I expect I'll work my butt off on M, T, W and Th, then try to take rest days on
Fri, Sat and Sun. I don't want to get too burned out, plus I need site
For now, I'm off to clean up
the house from the weekend and get ready for a very active and productive week!