Saturday, June 18, 2011

Food, Work, and other stuff...

Here's a post that I wrote last week. I didn't post it because I had to hurry off without being able to proofread it. My best guess is that I wrote it on Saturday, June 18. :o) Hope you enjoy!
I've been running myself ragged these past few weeks by scheduling tons of activities with friends and transitioning to new work and living environments, but not giving myself enough time to process through all these things. I love to be with people, and I get energy from being around people. But I also know that there's a strong strain of introvert in me. I need time on my own. I need time to do my own thing, whether organizing my room, writing letters, journaling, reading, or cooking, etc. However, it's a need that's easy to ignore in order not to miss out on activities with friends or at church or with my co-workers. Does anyone else feel like this?
Work makes me tired, too. Megan and I have been doing much more concentrated Harvest of Hope training this week. There is so much to learn! Fortunately, Megan has been sensitive to how I learn best as she trains me. I just keep praying that God would allow my brain to act like a sponge in soaking up all Megan teaches. I want to do my job well, and Megan is a great resource. I would appreciate your prayers that I might take advantage of my time with Megan by asking good questions, taking good notes, and being unafraid to try things, make mistakes, and learn.
At Whitworth, there tends to be an atmosphere of near-immediate intimacy with friendships. This became a point of tension for me when I realized that true intimacy between friends takes time. With my co-workers at Partners, I have realized how little I know about my coworkers' lives. I was hard on myself at first--I'm not asking good enough questions, I'm not listening well enough, etc.--until I realized that my relationships with my co-workers will take time. As I look forward to the coming months at Partners, I want to be intentional about getting to know my co-workers, asking good questions, and listening well.
Once a month at Partners, whoever wants to can attend the FIRED lunch group, which stands for "Food is Really Ethnically Delicious." Essentially, FIRED is a group of people who go to an ethnic restaurant for lunch on the last Wednesday of the month. There's also FIRED Home Edition, which is when we go to a co-worker's house for an ethnic meal. This month, Amir, an IT guy at Partners, invited some folks over to his apartment for Egyptian food. Amir is Egyptian and his visiting mother, Violet, cooked a wonderful meal for ten of us. It was quite informal. We didn't sit at a table, but sat in chairs or on the floor of the spacious kitchen, played with Amir's two delightful children, Benjamin and Joy, and chatted about subjects from the recent upheaval in Egypt to one person's particular fear of the dentist. It was a good time to be together and learn more about each person. I am thankful for my co-workers; they show real support for one another. I submitted a prayer request for our weekly Prayers/Praises sheet and several people have asked me more about the situation and/or have prayed aloud for it when we meet together each morning.
I'm also learning that the Partners employees are rather like eager goats that are willing to eat anything and everything. One employee told me that I could clean out my fridge, bring it to work, and people would still eat it! That's good because I often have leftover food. I brought a loaf of banana bread on Wednesday from a stellar recipe (thanks Lorry!) and it was gone by lunch time. Also on Wednesday, we had a grilled lunch using the Partners' grill. I said I would join in the fun, but then panicked because I didn't think I had anything. However, I was able to put together a pita pizza with olive oil, Monterey Jack cheese, peppers, spinach, broccoli, and chicken. Yum! This has been a good eating week.

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