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These seem to be the days when things start to change.  The leaves are finally starting to turn, the weather is changing, and it seems like so much in my life is changing too.  We just had our Family Christmas Planning session, and the big question this year was how to accommodate all the various family members we’ve added this year.  Do Sunny and Honey want to be part of the family gift exchange, or should we just include them in a big box of things we’ll send off to China?  How about 007?  Will The Duchess and 007 even be in Dayton for Christmas Day at all, or will they come later?  We’re changing the Mass we usually go to from Midnight Mass to the early evening Children’s Mass, which means changing the whole way we celebrate Christmas Eve.  We’re doing Christmas Stockings on Christmas Eve this year instead of Christmas Morning, something that would have been completely unthinkable just a year ago.  Plus, we’ve decided not to have our annual New Years Day Huge Family Party this year – it’s just too much on top of everything else we’ve done this year.  Which leaves the question of, if we’re not putting on an elaborate dinner for 40 of our nearest and dearest, what will we do on New Year’s Day?  Right now it’s looking like we’ll have our Family Presents then, but that depends on when The Duchess and 007 will be in town.  So it’s a lot of questions, a lot of changes, and not all of them easy ones.

My job situation is changing too, and quickly!  It’s a little surreal.  For so long it seemed like I just couldn’t get a break, and now suddenly within the space of a month, it seems like I can’t interview for jobs fast enough.  First there’s the process to get me hired on officially (so I can get benefits, etc.) at my original job.  All of the paperwork has finally cleared HR, and this morning Boss J informed me that she and the rest of the search committee would like to “interview” me at 11:15 tomorrow at Tank’s Bar & Grill.  She said to prepare myself for many searching questions, and possibly also an obstacle course.  I asked if it was allowable, given the setting, for me to buy my interviewers a beer.  We referred that question to the Big Boss, who said that he had the utmost confidence in my search committee’s unwavering integrity, and inability to be unduly influenced by any beer-buying (that means yes).  This may be the most awesome interview I’ve ever had.

And then, on top of things, while I was home sick with a migraine yesterday, I got a call from the people I interviewed with on Friday offering me the job.  So starting sometime after I finish training, I’ll be working 8 hours a week as the HR receptionist at a small regional hospital a little under twenty miles away.  The pay is just enough to cover the gas I’ll use, and there’s a distinct possibility that, although this is part-part time now, it may turn into full time sometime in the next 6-12 months.  The best part is that, added to the jobs I already have, this puts me up to just about full time hours.  So as soon as I start working there, I will be working full time for the first time in a little over two years.

Also, on Thursday, I had my first ever English as a Second Language (ESL) tutoring session.  I’m teaching a very, very sweet young Saudi Arabian woman who has been in the US with her husband for seven months now.  She’s taking English classes at WSU, and hopes to transition into their biology program as soon as her language skills are up to par.  It’s been fascinating working with her so far.  I don’t realize how many idioms, or slang words I use until I have to explain things to her.  For example, I said something was “cheerful,” which was a word she hadn’t heard before.  So while explaining that, I ended up explaining the concept of “cheer”, to “cheer someone up”, and cheerleaders.  We didn’t digress into “be of good cheer.”  At that point her eyes were starting to glaze over, and I thought we’d better get back to the writing assignment we were working on before I lost her entirely.  That escapade aside, so far it seems to be going quite well.

Another thing that seems to be changing is my living situation.  For a little over a year and a half now, I’ve lived happily with Rosie and Johnnycakes in our little townhouse down the street from Mariah and just around the corner from the Family Homestead.  Still, as some of you noted (coughMaicough), the incredible deal of renting an entire house for only $275 is just too good to pass up.  However, this bargain seems to be particularly irresistible, not for me, but for Rosie.  For a number of reasons, she’s been thinking about moving out for a while.  The layout of the house isn’t particularly conducive to having three roommates (e.g. I have to go through Rosie’s room to get to mine, which means she doesn’t have any space that is completely private), plus she’s been thinking that all her life she’s never not lived with members of her immediate family.  Also, she’s making some big changes in her life, and as much as Johnnycakes and I love her, I think maybe we aren’t the best people to help support her through those changes.  Personally, I don’t really have any desire to move.  I hate moving with a deep and abiding passion, and I hate the thought of losing the sunny workroom I love so much.  Plus, now that my employment status is looking better, perhaps I can afford a larger share of the rent.  So we’re thinking that sometime this Fall or early this Winter, Rosie will probably be moving.

Honestly, the thought of this makes me sad.  I’ve really enjoyed living with Rosie.  I think we work together well in a lot of ways.  And while I enjoy Johnnycakes very much, he’s just not home much.  Sometimes I don’t see him for days in a row.  Without Rosie, the house would be pretty lonely.  And it’s not like she’ll be moving far.  But still.

Sigh.

Lots of changes.

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