Tag Archives: observations

Field Notes on Resigning from a Job

Saying Goodbye

A year and a half ago, I left my accounting job to get married and move to a different town. Last week, I left my teaching assistant position to teach college. While my experiences do not make me an expert, I have made some observations. Here are my top five observations and advice for resigning from a job.

1. If you did a good job and got along well with people, coworkers and managers will be sad to see you go.

2. When you give two weeks notice, be prepared for an onslaught of writing procedures, communicating job duties, and sad faces. As word spread through the high school that I was leaving my last job, people’s faces would fall every time they saw me and remembered I would not be there much longer.

3. Write down the contact information for everyone you want to keep in contact with. You may think you will never, ever forget the email structure or extensions you used every day for eight years, but it only took me a year to get fuzzy on those things after I left my accounting job.

4. People who never seemed to like you or never seemed to notice you may go out of their way to wish you well or to say how much you will be missed. My favorite response is to smile and say, “Why, thank you!” Even while I am thinking, “I didn’t know you cared.”

5. Be gracious. Leaving is not all about you. Celebrations involving food were a big deal at both of my most recent jobs, so my departures were commemorated with snack days and kind words and lunches and lots of attention directed my way. As much as I would rather not be the center of attention, I tried to gratefully accept it all with gracious poise because I knew it meant my coworkers cared.


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Lows & Highs: Meaning of Life

Welcome to Lows & Highs, a Stories from the Stairs weekly-ish feature! Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs from the week in the comments or by posting a link to your own lows and highs blog post.
Low: On Monday, I woke up with a headache that lasted all day and did not respond to any of my normal natural or over-the-counter remedies.
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High: We wrapped up our summer Bible study this week. Brian and I have been studying the book of Ecclesiastes with a small group of college girls. It may seem like an odd study for college students but they said they really enjoyed it. Brian and I enjoyed the whole process of reading and discussing with them. From their wide-eyed reaction to the first two chapters to their summaries of the whole book, the process of reading and discussing has been enjoyable and enlightening.

“Life sucks but God is good.” – Lindsey’s summary of Ecclesiastes
I like Ecclesiastes because it is a philosophical book written by a wise king – Solomon – who got everything he wanted and discovered that it was not fulfilling and not the point of life. Solomon summarizes the meaning of life in the last two verses, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
What are your lows and highs this week?

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Fashion Advice for a Stranger

Figuring out how to style my wig like Progressive Flo's hair for Halloween

I am not a fashion-savvy person at all and do not dress very fashionably. My everyday style is somewhere around the intersection of classic, casual, and boring. When we were in college, my sister asked to borrow a few of my summer tops to take on a trip abroad. I agreed and bemusedly commented that it was the first time i could remember her borrowing my clothes. “Well,” she replied, “I need boring clothes that aren’t very noticeable.”

Imagine my surprise when I was recently asked for fashion advice. I was browsing through the scarves at a local store when a lady came up to me. “I have a question for you.” I’m sure I looked surprised and confused as she continued, “I know you don’t know me, but I have no girly genes at all.”

Understanding began to dawn on me, “Oh, okay.”

She held out a peacock blue, peasant-style blouse on a hanger and her phone that showed a photo of printed fabric in shades of brown and blue. “I’m wearing this skirt to a wedding this weekend. Do you think this shirt will go with it?”

“Is the skirt kind of a flowing, full style?”


“In that case, you may not like this style of shirt with it. Every time I try two flowy pieces together, I think it makes me look like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes. I would try a more fitted or tailored top with the skirt.”

“Oh, that makes sense. I wondered about that. I have a cream-colored shirt I was going to wear, but wanted a scarf or something to add color. They don’t have the right color here, though.”

I suggested a couple other nearby stores that also carry colorful scarves and she thanked me for my help.

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Lows & Highs: Grandparents & Game Night

After a long absence, I am restarting Lows & Highs on Wednesdays. See the end of this post for ways you can join the fun!
Grandpa & Grandma with us in June

Grandpa & Grandma with us in June

Low: My grandpa has been in the hospital for over a week with what seems to be a COPD flare-up. On Saturday, my grandma felt ill and then passed out in the shower that night, breaking her leg right above the knee. She had a surgical repair on Sunday and the doctor discovered some irregularities with her heartbeat. On Monday, she got a pacemaker and seems to be doing better.

High: We had our first Bible study of the semester on Thursday, which was the first time I had seen some of the students in about a month! To further celebrate the first week of [college] classes, we hosted a game night at our house on Friday. We all had fun playing Mexican Train Dominoes and Golf-the-card-game. With the girls who came, orange slices and microwave kettle corn were the favorite snacks; hot chocolate (whipped topping optional but encouraged) was the favorite drink.

Game Night1

Game Night2

What were your lows and highs from the past week?

Lows & Highs is a Stories from the Stairs weekly feature. Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs in the comments or by posting a link to your lows and highs blog post.

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Plans change… so I have a word of the year

Until today, I did not think I would have a particular word of focus for 2014 even though I have for the past three or so years. It was not an entirely intentional decision, but nothing seemed to jump out at me as “undaunted” and “enjoy” did for 2012 and 2013. I was fine with that and chose not to force it or make a big deal about it. As I wrote recently, traditions change and that can be a good thing.

I have recently been noticing and paying special attention to the abundance and fullness of God – both who He is and what He provides – in every day life. I considered “enough” but it did not quite communicate what I have been seeing. Instead, my word for 2014 is “plenty,” which comes from the Latin word for “fullness.”

Plenty Button
Won’t it be exciting to focus on God’s abundance and fullness for a year?!

Do you have a word or theme that you are paying attention to or studying? I’d love to hear about it in the comments or you can post a link if you’ve written about it somewhere else.

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When Traditions Change

BowlingThanksgiving is a little different every year, but many of us have our traditions that remain the same. For years, my family has had celebrated early Thanksgiving with Dad’s side of the extended family and Colorado Thanksgiving with Mom’s side (and whichever of us siblings who could go). Last year, Brian and I were dating and he had been looking forward to celebrating with his family in Oklahoma while I was excited to celebrate with mine in Colorado (especially since all my siblings came!). We agreed since we were dating and not married, it was more important to us to celebrate with our respective families than together.

This year was different because Brian and I planned to spend the holiday with our Oklahoma family and my two married siblings planned to visit their in-laws too. Then my Colorado grandparents moved to assisted living in Wyoming and my parents came along when I took my new husband to meet them over a long summer weekend. The family decided summer visits are nicer and easier in some ways, particularly since we have to drive further now. Suddenly, Thanksgiving was different for my parents too.

My new Oklahoma family had their traditional dinner on Thanksgiving Day and some of us played games afterward. Brian and I taught them how to play Golf (the card game) because it works for odd numbers of players and does not take long to learn. Later that weekend, we went bowling with the extended family. (From what I am told, that has not been a tradition in the past.) Most of the family did not know my opinion of bowling, though, and I think some of them felt bad for me at first because I bowl badly… very badly. In one of our two games, I scored under fifty. Nevertheless, I find bowling to be relaxing, hilarious fun because I know I am not skilled at it; there is absolutely no pressure to play well.  I like the social aspect of chatting with other players while waiting for our turns and cheering when someone has a good throw. I also enjoy having no expectation of excelling, so I am never disappointed with my score.

Brian and I have only been married for six months, so we are still experiencing some of each other’s family traditions for the first time and figuring out which ones fit our family. When I was younger, I was very attached to traditions because I liked life to be consistent and familiar and comfortable. As an adult, I still enjoy some traditions but also have fun trying new ones, experiencing the way others celebrate, simply making up new traditions for our new family of two.

What are some of your holiday traditions?


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Love Where You Live: Date Night #1

This week, we decided on dinner and miniature golf for our date night. 2013-08-28 18.28.09-2We tried Johnsons Smokehouse BBQ for the first time because I have heard so much about it. If you like Johnsons on Facebook, you get a coupon to get 50% off one entree when you buy two (valid at the time I am writing). The pulled pork I tried was not quite to my taste, it had a sweet barbecue sauce on it already and I like less sweetness and more smokey flavor. The potatoes were deliciously mixed with melted cheese and butter, though. My husband and I agreed that the potatoes were our favorite part of the meal. If you like barbecue with flavor on the sweeter side and lots of cheese on your potatoes, you should definitely try Johnsons.

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After dinner, we went miniature golfing at Walnut Bowl and had the whole course to ourselves so we felt free to be as silly as we wanted. We are nowhere near good enough for it to be a seriously competitive activity. On hole #12, though, we each putted a hole-in-one!

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If you like mini golf, I recommend Walnut Bowl. I have not tried the bowling there, but everyone seemed to be having a terrific time on the lanes so I hope to go back sometime soon to try it!

Love Where You Live GBI am participating in Robin’s Love Where You Live series. This week’s theme is dinner.

Disclaimer: I do not own these businesses and am not paid to recommend anything, I just like places that have food and fun. Now, if someone offers me free stuff, discounts, etc. for saying nice things about them, I will be sure to let you know.

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Quaint Claflin

Over the weekend, we took a short drive to Claflin, KS to shop for a new dining room table. Millers of Claflin was recommended to us numerous times by local friends who found out we were looking for furniture.

As soon as we parked on Main Street, I was captivated by the quaint, turn-of-the-century store fronts lining the block. I told my husband, “Wow, I had no idea this was here! I’m going to want to take pictures when we’re finished shopping.”

We bought a table and chairs and then wandered Main, taking in the sights. Some of the signs cracked me up and I was fascinated by the antique gas pumps!

Millers of Claflin

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Where have you been exploring lately?

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Lows & Highs: 8/14-8/20/13

I meant to have this post publish this morning, but completely forgot due to the craziness of Monday and Tuesday.

Mid-afternoon on Tuesday, I had a headache start and grow into a monster that lasted all evening. (Which I am sure contributed to my forgetting to schedule this post.) As best I can tell, I probably breathed some kind of weed pollen that did not agree with me. I am grateful it did not interfere with my new job though!

I began my new job as an ESL paraprofessional on Tuesday and already love it! The staff and teachers have been helpful and friendly; I enjoy getting to know the students and their personalities, too.

What were your lows and highs from the past week?

Lows & Highs is a Stories from the Stairs weekly feature. Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs in the comments or by posting a link to your lows and highs blog post.

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Love Where You Live: Restaurants

Love Where You Live GBI am participating in Robin’s Love Where You Live series. This week’s theme is restaurants.

Since I have lived in Great Bend, Kansas, less than two months, I have not discovered many local restaurants yet. I do, however, have a favorite – Perks Coffee Shoppe!

Food & Drinks
Even though Perks has a menu of cafe-style foods, I have only tried the baked goods. I enjoyed every type of cookie I have tried as well as the miniature cinnamon rolls, “Mini’s.” So far my favorite treat has been the blueberry scones. I do not have a usual drink yet because I keep trying their numerous flavors in my standard Americano. So far my favorite is a butterscotch Americano, hot or iced.

I like people-watching and observing the stories swirling through the shop. On various visits, there have been locals who work nearby stopping in for lunch, a ladies’ group playing cards, a couple planning the next leg of their road trip vacation.

This seems to be a good place to bump into people you know or to meet new ones! I have heard “catching up” conversations between people who apparently had not seen each other in months. I have also seen chatty strangers who struck up a conversation about the local water quality and water filter recommendations while waiting for their orders.

Disclaimer: I do not own this business and am not paid to recommend anything, I just like places that sell delicious coffee and pastries. Now, if someone offers me free stuff, discounts, etc. for saying nice things about them, I will be sure to let you know.


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