Tuesday, October 21, 2008

no use crying over spilled coffee

What is one to do when one spills coffee down the front of one's shirt in between two meetings, with no time to run home and change? I know better than to try and walk and drink coffee at the same time. Truly I do. I've tried it before, and it never works out. But for some reason yesterday I thought that I had magically become more coordinated overnight and could take the risk. Big mistake. At least it wasn't a white shirt I was wearing, but that almost made it worse. Without the brown color a white fabric would have revealed, it was as if I was leaking some mysterious fluid from my sternum. I tried to hide behind my laptop screen as best I could, but I'm sure I wasn't fooling anyone. Thankfully the second deposition was fairly short, and I hightailed it out of there. There was a request to expedite the transcript so I rushed home to get it sent out to be proofread before rushing to our small group last night. No time for supper. No time to change shirts (but at least it was dry by then).

From the unfortunate couple whose house exploded and sent them flying through the air and then deposited them on their bed with pieces of their home landing on top of them, to the emotional rollercoaster of a deponent with a past so laden with sad baggage that when recounting the events of said past it made her curl into a ball and scream "get me out of here," my job has been filled with interesting depositions lately, to say the least. It's a job that I enjoy, one that challenges me, and one that gives me a great amount of flexibility.

And yet sometimes I wonder if I'm doing anything of lasting value.

My sister is a nurse, touching lives every day. My other sister is a mom, shaping little lives every day. My brother is an activities director at a nursing home, brightening the lives of widows and the elderly every day. They are the objects of my admiration. The fact that I must remain an objective party on the job limits me to anything more than a working relationship with the plaintiffs, defendants, or the attorneys involved, reducing my ability to have an impact on their lives. This is why I feel most fulfilled on the rare occasion that my work involves CART writing for deaf people. At least then I feel like I'm making a difference. Rather than capturing a legal proceeding, I'm helping them hear the world, hear their physician's diagnosis or their teacher's lecture. At least then I can build a relationship with them, be their friend, offer some kind words when they receive bad news from the doctor.

But anyway, forgive my ramblings. I am grateful for my job. And due to its flexibility, I was able to take a couple days off and make a trip to Iowa last week to visit my sister Carrie and help her with some things. In just 2.5 days (and in between pillow fights and hide-and-go-seek with my niece and nephew) we gave her bedroom, the kitchen, and the living room a makeover. I didn't take any before pictures and very few after pictures, but I did get a photo of one of my favorite things we did. We took this old buffet out of her garage (that she got at an auction for $20), painted it red, put the broken door back on, antiqued the edges and the hardware...and voila. Love it. I wanted to bring it home with me, but she wouldn't let me.


The Rhoderick Family said...

Beautiful! You are touching lives outside of the workplace enough to make up for the objective side on the job!

Ang said...

Maybe not with your job so much Betsy but there are ways that you touch peoples lives everyday. You help people find their way around the Mayo clinic given them a place to stay, you send encouraging cards and you the other day stopped and played the piano. to name a few. You really let your light shine and I for one am proud of you. love you

krmccord said...

That buffet is so neat! You are so handy!! Can you come visit me and help me redecorate? :)

Anonymous said...

you looked totally presentable last night that I never would have guessed you hadn't eaten supper (had you not mentioned it) and had a huge coffee stain on your shirt-! sorry to hear you didn't have time to change, but nice choice of shirt to hide any unforeseen mishaps!

jen* said...

Dear Betsy,
I have been a lurker on your blog and wanted to delurk to say I enjoy reading about your home and life. I think you make an a difference in your work...I expect people can see Jesus in you and I envision you bringing a sense of calm to the workplace...even when you have coffee on the front of your shirt.
Thank you for sharing so authentically.

Esther said...

I totally agree with Kari. You are an amazing person and touch so many lives in numerous ways even if it's outside your job. You have always been an inspiration to me.

me said...

Thank you all for the kind words. I'm so blessed to have such encouraging friends!

Sarah Dill said...

I must also say, Betsy, that you are an inspiration to me. You are stunningly beautiful, inside and out. I'm glad I've gotten to know you a little bit.

As for the job, keep looking for the good things; you will find them. No matter what job we have, I believe we all question its lasting value from time to time.