Last week I had the end of my probation meeting. I wasn’t nervous about it at all until the morning – but I had no real reason to be nervous. The meeting started off with my manager asking me if I liked it here and if I had any concerns. I can’t complain. I love the relaxed atmosphere and the workload isn’t unrealistic. It was a good realisation that she was a little nervous about the meeting too. The nicest thing that she said before we left the meeting was “I’m so glad we hired you!” To celebrate my new status (i.e. a permanent employee), I went to the shops at lunchtime and got some candies. With my new status comes benefits that I will be entitled to, but I’m still waiting on all the details from our useless HR Department. I shouldn’t be surprised at the delay – just about everywhere I’ve ever worked, the HR function was terrible. At least my office is pretty near perfect. (It would be nice to have a little more money but I’m getting by…)
Last week I also started an economy drive. My friend who works with me and has been kindly taking me home every evening (she works Mondays – Wednesdays) has again offered me a lift to work as well and this time I’ve taken her up on the offer. By my driving twice a week I will save £60 per month on train travel, but spend only a fraction of that in petrol (I hope! With petrol at roughly £6 per gallon = roughly $9 per gallon, there should still be a savings to be had – but not much!) I’ve offered my friend some money for the petrol but she won’t accept and tells me she’ll dump me out of the car and not give me a lift again if I consider it. She says that, since it’s not out of her way in the slightest, it really isn’t a problem so I shouldn’t make a big deal of it. Well, I might not make a big deal of it but I’ll get her something nice for her birthday and Christmas when they roll around.
Bearing in mind my economy drive, I also have been keen to keep up my exercise and I’ve started getting up at the same time as Helios but I roll out of bed and onto what I’ve started to call my gym walk every morning. I take roughly 40 – 45 minutes and walk down to my local train station and back up the hill again. It’s taking a little getting used to – getting out of bed at 6 but I’m keen to get into a routine. So far I’ve only missed one morning and that was due to my period being quite heavy that day. I’m really enjoying the walks as well. It’s wonderful to get up and hear the dawn chorus again – but at this time of year it’s amongst budding trees, lavish flowers, and colours that shine even in the gray dawn. I was reminded of fireworks this morning with all the different colours and buds emerging indelicately from the trees. I could almost hear the BANG!
Helios spent a good portion of last weekend scanning some photos that his mom gave to him onto his computer – mostly of him when he was little and some of Apollo and Maia when they were little. We’ve got this lovely one of them and they look about 4 and 3 and they’re giving each other a cuddle on the couch. Sweet. It makes me so proud, even though they’re not mine. I may never carry a child to term in my body but it doesn’t mean that I would ever love a kid of my own flesh and blood more than those two. Isn’t it funny how I’ve not met them both and yet here I am talking about how I love them and am so proud of them? I would say that I’m daft as a brush but I’m sure it’s a mommy thing – if you think about it, most mommies fall in love with their kids even before they’re born.
Seeing the old photographs has stirred some memories and I’ve enjoyed him remembering things he thought he’d totally forgotten. His memory is absolutely terrible for stories so when I do hear them I tend to take note so that I can tell his kids if/when they ask. Come to think of it, Helios has a funny memory altogether: he has a photographic memory but for things he cannot control. He doesn’t remember half of the things he’s taught (or so he says) but he can recall pages and pages of text that he’s read. He can tell me the colour of the sun and how the light played in the leaves but then if I ask him anything about the day we were married he goes blank. He knows he was there, obviously, but I’ll wager he doesn’t remember what our vows were or that I told him that I felt quite odd knowing I’m a step-mom now.
On the other hand, I’m gifted with a very good memory. I think I surprised my mom with some of the things I remembered as a child over the past year or two – things that only I could have remembered because they were from my perspective. So I could tell you parts of conversations that I’ve had over the years, I found that going through school I was better sitting and listening to a teacher than I was at reading all the books for the class, and I remember events like my sister smacking me in the face just after she was born. OK, it was all my fault because I got my face too close to her screaming little body but I wouldn’t admit that to her when she was young. I chalked it up to sibling rivalry and asked her if she wanted to get me upset with her when I was still so much bigger than her…
I didn’t sleep very well Monday night so Tuesday night I went to bed early (8:30!) and drifted off while half-listening to the football on the radio. I don’t know why I find listening to the radio so relaxing – perhaps because I have to concentrate on tuning it out? Next thing I know, I saw Helios’ candlelight and thought it was morning and tried to get up. (Helios was having sinus pain last night so he usually pops some eucalyptus oil into our incense burner and he breathes easier.) I managed to sleep drift off again without any effort. I was disappointed when I awoke again in the night but didn’t know the time until I got up to have my ablutions and I nearly jumped for joy when I saw that it wasn’t quite 2:00 a.m. I climbed over Helios and back to sleep before I had the chance to worry.
Helios asked me Tuesday morning what I was dreaming because I was kicking a little and he had a hard time getting me to calm down so that he could sleep. I could recall a couple of dreams but for the first time in a long while I feel like I got enough sleep overnight. I remember a little bit of a large female starling with an extra long beak but not much else. Poor guy.