Opal Siren

My life in dreams

A real tree for Christmas


My husband and I have made the very difficult decision (NOT!), to go to Florida for the holidays. We have spent our Christmas holiday these past few years in New Jersey, with both of our families. This year we have decided to spend the holidays with my husband’s sister and stepfather out in Florida. We are actually very excited about it, since my husband has not been back to his home state (home as in FL) for several years. Sorry if this is confusing!

As you may have noticed, my husband is from NJ and FL. I am originally from NJ and the military has brought us here to Virginia. We are happy to finally be spending time with his stepfather. Besides it would be pretty awesome to be in sunny Florida for the holidays ūüôā ¬†My husband, sister-in-law, stepfather-in-law, his wife, and my mother-in-law will be there. They are pretty laid back people and that is what I am looking forward to the most…A laid back Christmas. All of them enjoy cooking so that saves me the headache to get into a kitchen. I can just do what I do best…Cleaning duty!

Since we are not going to be in good old VA or NJ for the holidays, my husband and I decided not to decorate or get a Christmas tree. We figured no one would be coming over and we are leaving to enjoy some much-needed sunny weather. Of course that decision did not last long, when we went to Wal-Mart and the Christmas trees were lined up at the front of the store. Once we were in the store, the holiday music, the sales, and the holiday cards caught our attention. We could not help ourselves and caved. Not only did we buy holiday cards, gift card holders, and a¬†poinsettia for our dinning room, we also managed to score a gorgeous real tree and wreath. The smell in my home is amazing. This is our first real tree and real wreath, and I do not think I could go fake ever again! The warm feeling that having a real tree brings, only a real Christmas fan like we are could understand and appreciate. I also felt bad that my husband was deployed all those months and would not be able to enjoy a Christmas tree at his own home. It is his favorite holiday after all…So we just got the tree and decorated it for ourselves to enjoy ūüôā

I truly hope that this Holiday Season is everything my husband wants it to be. He served our country all those months in a never-ending deployment, and he truly deserves it. I also hope that all of you have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season as well.

Happy Reading!!!!

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The Return


I have been a bit absent these few weeks preparing and enjoying my husband’s return from deployment. After six months, of what seemed like an eternal series of unfortunate events, I got my villain prince back. We both definitely changed as people and physically. We both lost weight and are ready to continue to face the challenges ahead.¬†

It was nice to see the Enterprise or ¬†“Big E” at the pier the morning I picked my husband up. This was the carrier he was on for so many months, and will be working on for a while now that he is home. It is a historic ship and one of the oldest to be on active duty. It is also currently being inactivated. I am so proud that my husband got to serve on such a historic ship, and also gets to work on decommissioning¬†the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. ¬†

The morning of the homecoming was nerve-wracking. I was pressed for time to look my best for my husband and to also get on the road. I was glad to have missed most of the homecoming festivities and the massive crowds. I already knew he would be one of the last sailors to disembark the ship. As I pulled up, my husband had just disembarked the ship, and was waiting for me with his dress blues and his iconic white sailor hat on. Hugs and kisses later, we were on our way to a nice dinner minus the lines of traffic. 

I am so relieved that my sailor is home and most importantly that he is safe. I really hope that all of our troops get to return home sooner rather than later, and that they all return safely to their families. Most of all, a big THANK YOU to all our men and women who serve our country, and to the Big E for all its years of service. 

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A good old-fashioned diary


The past few weeks have been extremely difficult. I turned 31 without my husband. I am overwhelmed with the amount of information I have to learn at my new job. I am tired of the one hour commute to and from work every single day. I am even tired of my pet, Carrott Top, nagging me to take her out every minute of the day. I think I just about had it, and my husband cannot get home soon enough.

It’s time like these that a good old-fashioned dairy can really help. Blogs are great tool to write about diverse topics for people to relate to, and to also brag about your readership. But a diary is a great way to vent and not have to chew your best friend’s ear off. You also won’t need to worry about what people are going to think when they read what you wrote out of anger. I have written about diaries before, but in this post I want to discuss why they are so meaningful to me.

First, I¬†know it is very old-fashioned and “stone age” like to have a diary. However, it has helped me immensely to get all of my frustrations and not-so proud moments out of my conscience. The simple act of grabbing a pen and just writing out my feelings, has served as a form of therapy for me. It is almost like going to the gym and working out all the stress and pent-up anger you have, but your mind does all the exercising.

Another reason to have a diary are the many choices in stationery that are available. You can buy an old-fashioned diary, buy some fancy paper and make your own, or just write yourself a letter that you can go back to and read. It is important to go back and read past entries to see where you were as a person, how you changed, and what you can do to be a better person.

After all, that is what life is about: How can we be better at listening, understanding, or work at having more patience?? Not one of us is the same as we were yesterday. There is always something in us that is changing, learning, and evolving whether we are aware of it or not. If you don’t believe me, write yourself a note right now. Read the note a year later. You will see that your hand writing, your way of thinking, or even the meaning of the note has changed for you.

Diaries are also a good way to give your hands and your eyes a break from monitors and keyboards. Take a break from technology and the everyday routine. Look at a beautiful piece of stationary, grab a fancy pen, and just let your mind have fun.

Happy Reading!!!

 

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It Is A Job To Get A Job


I am the first to admit these past few months have not been the easiest for me. My mood has had more downs than ups. My self-imposed loneliness has skyrocketed, and so has my frustrations at times. I have thought of the possibility that by the time my husband comes back from his deployment, he will be a different person and so will I. Six months is such a long time. I am almost cringing the “get-to-know-you-again” awkward phase. Each time I speak to him on the phone or through Skype, I know that he is the husband I saw depart several months ago. But when I think of him actually being here with me, the thought feels strange. Not that I am not happy and excited for his return home soon, but it will be like going on our first date again. I am a shy person and I hate uncomfortable situations. I hope the awkward¬†stage does not last long. I hope we can get back to where we left off.

On the other ¬†hand, I have managed to lose some weight, tended to my health needs, applied to jobs, and got to go on interviews….And I landed a job ūüôā

The job process has been frustrating at best. There are not many entry-level openings in my field or ANY field it seems. Even the internships I had my eye on require 2-3 years of experience, and the few openings in my field, Bioinformatics, require a PhD. Well, I am exhausted from school and there is no way I am going back to get a PhD to gain an entry-level job.

To that end, I completely understand that if a job candidate requires no training or has experience, then most companies will go with that candidate instead of the recent graduate with less experience, if any. However, the job postings should mention these preferences clearly and not waste an applicants time. It takes a lot of time, and research, and resume update, after resume update, for an applicant to apply for a post. It is like having a job to apply for jobs these days ( I have heard this many times by many people).  Although to me if someone has experience, then they should be applying for an experienced position and not  an entry-level post. I also understand that do to the massive lay offs that our country has endured, many experienced professionals are taking the entry-level jobs for  lesser pay. So that leaves the new graduates, like myself, fighting for jobs in other fields or hoping that eventually something will open up. I have also found that there are jobs available but the applicants are simply not skilled enough to obtain the positions, and companies are no longer willing to invest in good training programs for their employees. Colleges and Universities do the best that they can to educate their students, but at the end of the day it is the hands-on experiences that will get you the desired job or promotion. So that leaves many good paying jobs with many required skills to do the job and no one to fill these positions. Those that have some of the required skills do not have enough to land the job and go for the entry-level positions.

I really hope that our economy improves and jobs do come back to the mid-skilled worker, the experienced worker, and the new graduates that are going out in the workforce. It is a shame that I see so many young professionals that have to work in fields that are not even what they went to school for, ¬†just because the internships and entry-level positions are being taken by the more experienced professionals. How are these young professionals suppose to repay back student loans, buy a home, or a car, when they cannot get the experience that they need to make it in their intended careers. This is the reason I find that I am extremely lucky to have found a job in Information Technology, working at a company that manages Medicare and Medicaid programs. I will be part of their database administrative team. Granted it is not a position in the Bioinformatics field, but I will be working with databases and analytical tools. Instead of genomic or proteomic data, I will be working with customer data. I am also lucky that it is an entry-level position and I will be learning on the job and getting the technical skills that I need to advance. I was also lucky that this was the second company I interviewed for since I graduated in May. Per my university’s career counselor, the job search these days for a recent graduate is 6-12 months or more.

I am keeping my fingers crossed so that things turn around for new graduates and workers in general, and that things work out at my new job. Wish me luck!

Happy Reading!!!

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Old Life Lessons That We Still Forget


Well hello there, it is nice to see you write again!

This past week my husband and I were so busy tending to family members who are very ill and his upcoming deployment.

We are very exhausted to say the least. Not to mention that I still have three weeks left of school and housework that needs to be completed.

I am so thankful that my husband at least was able to stay for a few more days so we can get through this together. I am also thankful that no tragedies have occurred as of yet. All I can say is that something or someone must be looking after us.

I can take a few things from all of  this, like how fast time goes by and how fragile life is. It is really important that we  do not take everything so seriously and look at everything with a sense of humor. You really never know what could happen and when it could happen.

I often say that we usually miss the point of ¬†why we are all here. We use our time and energy on acquiring material things, prestige, money, etc…

We tend to let ourselves get in the way, and at times all we do is think about ourselves and our needs. Every once in a while it is good to stop, breathe, and think about those around you. Selfishness leads to loneliness. You become a people repellent.

It is also important to mend relationships, appreciate others, be thankful, patient, and try to stay away from drama.

I know it is hard at times to steer clear of the mess that drama brings and I am also constantly working on this. But we have to remember that the old rules still apply today: if you want to be respected, show respect. If you want to be treated kindly, be kind. If you want people to apologize, then learn to apologize and recognize when you are wrong.

You cannot go through life expecting everything to be handed to you and for people to bow down at your presence. Especially when you are not willing to do the work and give of yourself. Also, do not take out on others your misfortunes. We all have them, and some people out there are worse off than you.

Try not to judge others or pretend you know what happens in other people’s lives. Again, the old rule applies: There is always two sides and sometimes three sides to a story. Therefore, placing blame on others or assuming you know how things are ¬†in other people’s lives will only bring more hostility into your life. The only people who know what really is going on are those that are living in the situation themselves.

When life gives you a second chance, take it and use this opportunity to the fullest. At the same time do not let pride get in the way. It is ok to ask and be willing to accept help. Sometimes too much pride can actually hurt you.

Lastly, jealousy is normal and it happens to the better of us. But you cannot let it control who you are and you certainly should not bring down the person you are jealous towards. Acting this way will get you to a place you really will enjoy: nowhere. Stop worrying about what others are doing and focus on what you are doing. Trust me, you will get further this way.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post, and please feel free to comment.

Happy Reading!!!!

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Good Riddance Holiday Season!


The holidays are almost over and we almost survived.

I wish I could start this blog with great news, but a series of unfortunate events occurred, and I must say I am so happy this year is almost gone!!!

The only good news I have is that I passed that incredibly difficult class I was taking(C++ programming). I do not recommend anyone taking this class, by the way.

Other than that, our holiday was spent on the road driving from house to house. This is the norm for most military families not stationed near relatives. I am sure many other military wives, like me, are complaining about the same thing. In addition to that, we were supposed to have stayed with my parents for a week before the new year, but a dear relative of mine decided to argue with myself and my husband, so we left the day after christmas. Of course the argument was stupid and had nothing to do with us. But, this led to more driving. We were now obligated to commute from PA to NJ almost daily to visit family. Had we stayed with my parents, who live in NJ, maybe all the driving we did would had not been so bad.

So now, we are not only exhausted from driving back and forth from state to state, we also feeling emotionally drained and uncomfortable seeing my folks. Oh, and I also forgot to mention that we also have been packing in between all of this, because we are moving in seven days to another state. I am also trying to do all of this with a bad cold!

But besides all of this, I feel terrible that I could not give my husband the holiday he deserves before his deployment. All I can do is ¬†push along and wait for the new year. ¬†I will try my best to make these few weeks special for him and get a list of items he may want while he is gone. Maybe get some comfort items he misses when he is deployed, or even some movies he may want to take with him. If you are a military spouse then you know what care packages are and what they mean to your significant other ūüôā

 

Hopefully by the time he returns from his deployment, we will have better plans for the next holiday season so they are not so stressful and uncomfortable.

In the meantime, let us toast for a better new year ¬†folks…HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!!

 

Happy Reading!!! 

 

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