Seven Things Learned in the Seventh Month

california capitol building

July in Sacramento is hot, slow, and the pollen in the air makes it kind of hard for me to breathe.

But aside from being hot, slow-moving, and short of breath, I've made some pretty interesting realizations over the last few weeks.     

My moments of learning range from observations about office life, which I've seen as a front desk replacement for our Office Manager, who is on a well-deserved vacation, to moments of personal growth and understanding, as I've been placed in psychological and environmental contexts much different than the ones I am used to.

My realizations include, but are not limited to:

  1. Speaking to constituents on the phone is not easy; researching and closing their cases feels effortlessly rewarding. One thank you really does make the entire process worth it.
  2. You may be taken less seriously over the phone with a high-pitched and “girly” voice -- adjusting your tonality takes practice and a good deal of self-questioning. You will find a space that feels comfortable and assertive, although you will wonder at length about the ethics of vocal presentation.
  3. I am probably not cut out for a telephone-based public service career.
  4. Even if you feel totally exhausted by the end of the work day, it is always better to come home to a full house. Other people will energize and sustain you, regardless of introverted tendencies.
  5. Making three meals a day for yourself is deeply satisfying, and can even be a creative outlet to look forward to. Bonus knowledge: You can make toast without a toaster, as long as you have a working oven and a good batch of confidence!
  6. You are not invincible. Take your bare hand out of the oven.
  7. I think I have a pollen allergy.

How's that for seven things learned? As Norman Juster writes in his lovely little novel The Phantom Tollbooth, “What you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow.” Isn't that a nice quote?! It sure makes me feel better about burning my hand on the oven.

And so I'm off to learn what I can today, hopefully soaking everything in as to enrich all my tomorrows that have yet to come. Who knows what's out there?