Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Dealing with compliments.
I have a hard time accepting compliments. For some reason I get defensive, which is silly since a compliment is a good thing.

I was paid a huge compliment last night in class. Every question the professor asked I had the answer to and I spoke up. And I actually felt accomplished last night because it just suddenly all felt like it came together and I understood everything. If you're familiar with the movie "Legally Blonde" there's a moment in the beginning of her law schooling when Elle answers a question, but you can tell by the hesitation in her voice she's not so sure of herself. The look on her face when she realizes she's answered correctly is how I felt last night when it all came together. Hokey, sure, but that's okay, I can relate to the moment and I love the movie for it's hokeyness.

This is my advanced civil litigation class and I call it my "Learn how to sue people" class since 'civilians' don't always know what litigation means. I love it and I guess it shows in my class participation and in the work I turn in. I'm forever getting nice notes on my pleadings and the one time I didn't give it 100% effort (without telling anyone this) I got a great grade on the paper accompanied by a note asking me where was my usual work. I was shocked. I honestly felt like she just read through whatever and marked me for doing something 'right' instead of really paying attention to what I wrote.

So I approached her after class last night to talk to her about that note and the first thing she asked me was if I was copying sample pleadings from work (which is okay) or was I doing this at home on my own. I do my work at home on my own (except for the legal research) and told her so. Her comment...."why aren't you going to law school?" My answer should have been "Thank you" but instead I said "I'm too old." And she laughed.

Not too old to accomplish it, just really too tired to put the effort in. I've been following the Marine of mine around for almost 25 years working whatever job I could, but mostly working for the Marine Corps. I was fortunate in that one time I was able to work for an attorney who was leaving the public defenders office and going to work for a firm. He brought with him his 'criminals' and also worked on personal injury and products liability. I became a workaholic and knew I'd found my calling. That was 16 years ago. After that Husband was stationed in the desert in the middle of nowhere and certainly very far away from any college I could attend.

What I'm going to school for now is a career that will keep me in the legal field that I can work at for 20 years or so until it's time for me to retire (remember I'm 45!). It doesn't have to pay tons but it does have to be enjoyable. Being a paralegal is important to me for that reason. Being a lawyer would have been just as important, but 15 or more years ago. I'm just too tired to put in the work being a law student would require. Consider this. I'm just now going to finish a 2-year degree as and to become a lawyer I'd still have a minimum of 5 years of school to go. There is no way in hell!

Okay, enough about why I'm not going to law school.

Now, on to my non-school life. My life support. Cross-stitching.

I do it because it brings me peace. It keeps me stress-free. I know that my life would have a huge hole in it if I didn't stitch. It's something that has always been with me. It's mine. I cannot imagine having this joy taken from me for whatever reason. In fact, when I was contemplating LASIK I almost backed out for fear that it would go wrong and I wouldn't be able to see to stitch. Forget everything else that I might not be able to do because I was blind...but not to be able to stitch. To me that is like not being able to breathe.

I took my Spring Queen into work before I had her framed to show her to a co-worker who has attempted cross-stitch, but complains she doesn't have time (another story, but we won't go there). Before she even looked at the front she flipped it over to look at the back. It took everything I had to not snatch it out of her hands! I hate that! I don't stitch to make the backs look good, I stitch to make the fronts look good. However, even if I'm saying so myself, my backs look good. I guess after stitching for 25+ years, they're just going to be that way.

Anyway, said co-worker went on and on about how great the back looked, it looked better than her front ever looks, etc., ad nauseum. Today, I made the mistake of taking in my finished The Magnolia. The only reason I took it in was because the kit was delivered to me just as I was leaving for work, so I took the package in and opened it at work. Co-worker saw it and and I told her I'd bring it in once I'd finished. So, what does she do first thing, but flip that sucker over! Then she proceeds to lecture me on how I should not be worried that someone wants to look at the back.

Okay, I know she's paying me a compliment, but why don't I see it that way? Am I the only one who feels like this? Who knows, it's just the way I am, I guess.

So, I'm going to practice a two word, but powerful, phrase. "Thank you."
posted by Terri at 7:02 PM |