Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Your Milieu Counts! (Before and After)

How I decorate my surroundings truly affects how I feel or behave. I didn't really believe this until I got my order for my rug and sitting pillow from Urban Outfitters. I know I'm not their demographic, but I'm glad they let me buy anyway. [*Sigh* When did I become uncool?]

I definitely feel a lot happier since having some personalization and color in my milieu.

I had originally planned to decorate my cubicle little by little with trinkets and treasures from the Middle East. That was going to take a while, probably even longer than the six months or so that I'm here because we weren't allowed off post for the first six weeks because of Ramadan. Our MWR crew has set up two off-post excursions in October for eight people each time. Get this: there are 133 people who would like to get off-post. I thought the statement, "If more than 8 people sign up, we will hold a lottery," was silly. Hellooooo! And if the names of the two people organizing the trips is on the list, I'm going to be more than a little irked.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Love Sundays

When you work six days a week, you love the time you get for yourself.

I don't need an alarm clock anymore. I wake before it's scheduled to go off, anyway. That's what happens when you go to work six days a week. The best part is on the seventh day, you still wake up at the same time, but you don't have to get out of least, not right away.

This is the start of my sixth Ground Hog Week at EMFK. EMF stands for "Expeditionary Medical Facility;" the "K" stands for "Kuwait."

This morning I have already done my laundry, eaten breakfast, read the papers, and shopped for wicked shoes on Zappo's (they're not my usual sexy heels---when the ground is unstable sand and hard rock, you have to go with the environment). My wedge sandals are losing the edge of their heels and I don't have any way of getting them repaired quickly or easily. [Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.] Funny, how I chose brown. That's probably because I'm heavily influenced by my environment. And, my two pairs of pants are brown. In Arab countries, women simply don't wear dresses or skirts.

I will listen to some podcasts (Car Talk is my favorite; This American Life is second) while I iron my uniform. I'll set up a blog so my LPN candidates can do self-study and not worry about missing class sessions while on duty or R&R. I'll read my latest book from the base library, "Solar," by Ian McEwan and drink a cup or two of Chocolate Mint Oolong tea from Stash. I intend to write a letter to Anna and Drew, too, and start a pile of stuff I need to send back home because it's inappropriate, I don't need it or I can't use it. I have a 8 x 9 foot cubicle that would be roomy if it contained a workdesk and files, but it features a double bunk bed and two gun-metal gray upright wall lockers.

Lest you think I'm kidding about the office cubicle aspect, my walls are also gun-metal gray and the only reason I have some privacy is a dowel rod duct-taped across the entry with flat drapes suspended by shower curtain rings. I need to find a color printer so I can mark my address outside my cubicle: "Mary at DilbertWorld."

Then, bright and early on Monday, Ground Hog Week starts once more. Only 25 or so weeks left.