Another Book Meme

This one via Mary.

The below listed books are the top 106 books most often marked as being “unread” by LibraryThing users.

The instructions are simple:
Bold those you’ve read.
Italicize books you have started but couldn’t finish.
Add an asterisk* to those you have read more than once.
Underline those on your TBR list.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: A Novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick

Ulysses
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice*
Jane Eyre

A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Iliad

Emma
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Middlesex
Quicksilver
Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World*
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
Middlemarch
Frankenstein*
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula

A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
1984*
Angels & Demons*

The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility*
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels

Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Dune
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-Present
Cryptonomicon
Neverwhere
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Dubliners
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Beloved
Slaughterhouse-Five*
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon*
Oryx and Crake
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Lolita
Persuasion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Another Day in the Life

I was lucky enough to have what was a darn near perfect day with The Child today!  Some humour, some exploring, some craftiness, some fun & some sillness!

We started the day leisurely in our jammies, not needing to dash off anywhere – always a nice treat in my mind!  Then it was to the grocery store where we were about 1/3 of the way through our shopping when he decided he needed to use the bathroom RIGHT NOW!  Which admitedly made me a little frustrated, but mostly, made me shake my head and chuckle! Finally the original mission was accomplished.

After a simple lunch, we headed outside to gather some fall leaves, always interesting to see what The Child thinks is beautiful!  We brought them inside and ironed some flat for tracing & experimented with crayons, wax paper & the hot iron for some neat artwork.  Then I dug out my few & simple Hallowe’en decorations .. and what seems like not much to me of course is cause for much excitement from The Child, gotta love it!  He decided he needed to put on the scary mask that was amongst the decorations and picked up my black felt cape that I’d tossed over the chair earlier (it’s great for pulling on to sit & drink my coffee outside when The Child is playing outside and there’s a chill in the air) and out the door he goes to terrorize the neighbour’s younger son! 😉

Eventually he needs a break from playing outside so it’s inside for some tv.  I’d promised him earlier in the week we could do something special on the weekend, and he chose this time to remind me.  I had no brilliant ideas of where to go on my very limited budget so asked him what *he* wanted to do.  “McDonald’s?  to play?” Gee, did I get off lightly on that one, or what?  So off we headed to the Golden Arches for an early dinner followed by me contentedly sitting and knitting while he happily clambered in the play place.

His best friend was outside when we got home, so layering up my vest and fleece I sat with the paper while they entertained each other. The Child wasn’t overly impressed when it was time to come in, but well, no day is completely “perfect”!  😉  A bedtime snack, the usual bedtime routine and a story from Winnie-the-Pooh followed by several hugs and kisses rounded the day out quite nicely.

Not a day that’ll likely stand out for either The Child or me years down the road, but still lovely!

To study or to work?

Some interesting news ….

To preface this, I should first explain that I have been attending Christian-based spiritual counseling sessions for several months now. Basically the sessions are prayer-led and seeking Divine guidance in determining the roots of issues, dealing with the past and learning how to move forward. Some of my Christian friends and readers probably have no problems understanding and accepting this. Some readers will have an extremely hard time with this concept. I’m not going to get into a discussion on my spiritual beliefs just now, but it’s enough information I think to say I fall somewhere between the two. My counselors are aware of my struggles with the process itself as well as personally, and still felt they wished to present an incredible opportunity to me. As for me, well, I’ve had more insight and more understanding and more “progress” through their work than any other counseling I’ve tried, and they have my trust, so I believe I can trust this opportunity for what it has been presented as.

SO!

Last week my counselors told me about this opportunity. The following day they were in a position to discover if I’d be eligible & I just heard back that I am.

Basically, I am being offered the opportunity to pursue my Masters in Counseling.

The school & degree is recognized here. The fees are very manageable if I either arrange to end my severance payment this month and take a lump sum, or if I can manage to work finances out over the next few months (perhaps taking some temporary jobs) and wait for my tax return (which I had an accountant already guestimate) in the Spring.

I see three options at the moment:

  • Option A is go for it & see if EI (our version of unemployment assistance for the non Canadians reading) would provide benefits while studying (I’m assuming I’d have to pay expenses of studies)
  • Option B is to go for it & work part-time (I’d need two one-week periods of free time & 3 weekends of free time and otherwise can set my own hours)
  • Option C is to pass on the opportunity (and obviously continue looking for full-time permanent employment preferably in a communications coordinator type role but at this stage in the search I am having to be much broader in what I’m willing to apply for) .

If I am eligible for EI, or am working part-time, my income goes down, and I will see a reduction in daycare expenses as I am in the subsidy system. I will also be eligible for subsidized rent & I do know there is funding available where I live, so I’m not overly concerned about ongoing expenses. As mentioned above, fees aren’t an issue, though there is a down-side to waiting, as if I hope to go with Option A, I am pretty sure EI would only agree to a year, maybe a little less of EI payments & if I wait for the tax return, I’m putting off starting the course & would need to be definitely finding work before school was done.
I’ll be honest and say that I don’t think my parents would think this is a wise opportunity to pursue. I think rather than seeing the opportunity of returning to school they would see my priority as finding full-time, permanent employment.

My counselors think that after three interviews, which I felt *very* good about and was a strong candidate in each instance, that perhaps God is shutting the door on pursing the “corporate” world, a path I followed mainly because it was expected, because with a degree in English, almost zero self-esteem, and needing a source of income led to temping in offices, led to admin jobs and somewhere along the way teaching myself Web Development basics led to the last position as “Web Communications Coordinator”. The parts of the job I LOVED: the design, the creativity, the working with others, sharing of ideas. What I hated: the routine monotony of maintenance, the way creativity was soon squelched totally, the inability to really make a difference to another person, the inability to inspire or teach or help another person directly and regularly.

My passion does not lie in the business world. I have considered counseling and related fields as areas I’d like to purse since High School. I find myself seeking out opportunities to listen to others, give advice and just offer a friendly shoulder. My one friend jokes that I’ve provided more counseling for her than her therapist and often come to the same conclusions, as he does, lol!

My counselors have offered to allow me to do “apprentice” work with them and have also offered the use of their office space if/when I got to that stage. There would also be opportunities through them to teach down the road. This is something I could definitely do from home, either by itself or whole pursuing perhaps another passion (Val can guess which one! 😉 ) and while probably not lucrative, would certainly provide enough to meet my needs and The Child’s.

As I alluded in my opening statement, I am struggling with my spirituality at the moment. I do not have any sense of whether this opportunity is God’s purpose for me. I DO know it’s a wonderful opportunity that I would love to leap out into. I *also* know it does scare me to consider.

Comments, feedback (including “you’re CRAZY to consider this”) welcome!

just stuff

So things here still feel like a huyyyyyooooge roller coaster.

Let’s see …. job life: nothing panned out from the interviews I mentioned in the last post 😦 .. but was asked for an interview elsewhere yesterday 🙂  which I don’t feel went brilliantly 😦 but at least I made it that far, right?

The Child is healthy and happy & his ears & hearing checked out well at a follow-up with the ENT last month, yay!  🙂  One of the tubes has fallen out, but is still in place in the other ear, so I’ll admit to worrying a little over what that’s goign to mean with cold & flue season fast approaching, but hey it’s a mother’s job to worry, right?

Me, I dunno.  Went out with a friend to a local bar this past weekend & ended up dancing with a fellow for a couple of hours, which was definitely a 🙂 … but he’s not chosen to follow-up with a call … which is a bit of a bummer, but all things considering I’m not sure adding dating to the mix of stuff I’m dealing with at the moment is a hot idea. I’m feeling like I’m *starting* to figure out some stuff … starting to get a handle on Life … but understanding and walking that understanding out seem to have a pretty wide gap between them at the moment! lol!

What I *have* figured out is that ultimately, what matters most is love, and relationships (friendships, romantic, parental, mentors, even acquaintances .. it ALL matters) … I have come to believe that trying to find what can be loved in EACH person is a very worthy goal .. and the hardest is figuring that out in myself … I’m so used to beating myself up and tearing myself down .. and finally understanding how broken I really am and how broken so many others in my life have been or still are has started to help me let go of situations but learning to over-write the should-be-worn-out-by-now negative self-talk is a big battle.

Anyways, thank you to everyone who’s stuck by me along this crazy ride, many of you probably have no idea how much you mean to me, and how much I appreciate little comments!