Diverting myself

Yesterday I passed my test for my AWS Cloud practitioner certification. It was a cause for celebration but it was not a healthy study pattern. I started the AWS course in August and delayed and delayed. It wasn’t until I realized I wasn’t going to make my goal to finish it before year end.

Around Thanksgiving when I realized I was out of time, I booked the last time available in the year for the test. That gave me 3 weeks to study. I did a bit of haphazard work until a week before the test. Then I crammed for 4 days. I was sure I was going fail and had a backup plan. I was cramming on my way to the test center. The test doesn’t give me a score, it just says I passed. And I got my logos by email.

So I can officially use these logos on resumes and websites about me.

But this wasn’t a healthy way to get the certification. And as I look around at other things in my life, I wonder what happened to my healthy habits? When did I start hanging out with my buddy procrastination? Why does my phone see my face more often than my family?

It seems that I have a lot to work on this new year. I expect a lot of comments about 2020 being a year of clarifying vision. As much as that makes me cringe, it may not be a bad thing to have FOCUS as a theme for next year.

My word for 2019 was connection and I can see places where I failed but I can also see where I have moved forward from last year.  This year also gave me a lot to think about and taught me how easily I have let others manipulate me. I’m getting help for it and there are behavior changes I need to make. What are your plans for the new year? Do you have a habit of evaluating your year and planning out the next one?

New family this year.

Earlier this year, Ancestry helped us find my husband’s father. We have new family and tonight we were invited to a Christmas party. The yard was festive.

And the chicken was at the party but not in party dress.

See my new Aunt Marianne travels with the chicken. Rather the chicken travels and takes Marianne along for the ride.

It reminded me of the woman who comes to FanX with her stuffed Totoro and pays for Totoro to have photo ops with celebrities.

I also saw my first chicken Nativity.

It was a great party with cocoa and cookies and lots of people. It’s really fun having family again on that side.

This week, I’m studying for my AWS practioner exam and trying to get an emergency release out at work. Luckily my holiday preparation is pretty much done just waiting on UPS and FedEx. Thank goodness no more of the packages are coming through OnTrac. I have a really horrible record with them saying they delivered something and it not making it to the house.

However, I feel really bad about telling Target that my movie didn’t arrive on Thursday as OnTrac reported. See the movie is now out of stock so Target gave me a refund Saturday night when I reported the missing item. Guess what arrived from OnTrac Sunday afternoon? Is there any way I can have Target stop processing my refund?

I did find the movie at Barnes and Noble and it’s on order there. I would have cancelled it but it’s already processing so I can’t cancel. I’m not too worried about having 2 copies since the kids are already claiming the spare copy.

Thought for today: Did you ever have a mess up at Christmas ever be a good thing?

Would love to hear your story in the comments

Productive Weekend

Last year, I took the month of December off from job hunting and participated in Flossmas stitching. I did quite a few ornaments but didn’t get them finished/finished. As in, I have a pile of completed stitching but no actual ornaments. This year, I kicked off the holiday weekend by stitching ornaments that I plan to give to co-workers. I have 5 co-workers that I think would appreciate stitched gifts, mainly because three of them marked the ones they wanted in my 2019 JCS ornament issue. One said she appreciated the offer but thought I was being ambitious stitching that many ornaments so if I get the time to do one for her, just pick one. The fifth was busy in meetings.

This weekend, we also brought up all the Christmas boxes and went through them. Three trees, 2 centerpieces and all the plastic ornaments and a box of green glass ornaments are headed out of the house. Some of the Christmas candles are headed to the emergency essentials storage others have never been used and will be gifts this year.

My word for 2019 was connection and usually decorating has been my jam and the rest of the family participated as directed. This year, I’m asking for more help and trying to make it more of a family event since their are only 2 of us left. I’m hoping we can do more of the house than usual but if Christmas is banished to just the front room and entry way, then that is what will be done. I didn’t get out the village of ceramic houses because I’m not sure where I would put the Christmas village. There really hasn’t been a good place to set it up in this house. I could take the dining room table but DH would like to entertain and needs that table free.

If three trees are leaving the house, what are you putting up as a tree, Stasha? I used to put up 3 trees so the 3 windows facing the street would each have a tree in them and each child would have a tree to decorate. However, last year Santa took the place of the tree on the landing and that will continue this year too. DH feels that having only one tree would be a good thing to start doing. He liked the idea of starting fresh so picked a new LED pre-lit tree for us to put up.

I’ve never had a white tree before. He had one of the silver aluminum trees with the light box to make it change colors as a child. Growing up, we always had the pinion pine trees with the long needles. I loved the smell of the pine, that meant Christmas. When we first married, I would find a free pines trees close to Christmas. Once we bought a house, DH bought an artificial tree and gave the excuse of not wanting to have a fire hazard in the house. I knew it worried him so I haven’t pushed for a fresh tree since. We have had a few years where we did get a real dead pine for the house but those years were few and far between. Mainly it’s been because $50-$100 could do more for the family than it would buying a tree to be thrown out.

As we went through the bins to decide what stayed and what went, I decorated. All that needs to be done now is decorate the tree and put up the garland on the stair rails.

I’ve decided that I can’t afford to lose time in my job search. So this year, after I’ve applied to a position every evening, then I can work on finishing ornaments. Christmas break, I’ll work on the wedding quilt which needs to be finished by May 6th.