If Wishes Were Horses…

I’d have a rodeo (or a lot of dog food, as one of my friends helpfully pointed out).

But, first things first, I officially have a job (!!) although it’s only temporary, somewhat miserable, slightly humiliating, and a little depressing. I’m a dietary aide at a local nursing home (thanks to my mother, who’s been an RN and administrator there for 20 years–nepotism really does seem to make the world go round, even for a job like this) but at least it’s a source of income, and hey, gives me something to write about, for all you l-u-c-k-y readers of mine.

NOW back to the important news of the week: The Royal Wedding!

I was obsessed with the royal wedding coverage, obsessed with the story, dismissing all critics and “who cares?” or “she’s just a social social-climber” or any of that such nonsense (I’m clearly neutral on this matter).

I loved every moment of it (except for the excessive formality, but it is a royal wedding in Britain, after all) and teared up every five seconds. I obsessively searched for tidbits of news on the internet, as well as the latest photos. I watched my favorite bits several times throughout the day (it was on all day where I work, in my partial defense) and discussed it at length with anyone willing.

Perhaps this makes me a bit of a romantic fool (okay, I admit it, there’s no “a bit” in that sentence–my boyfriend claims I’m romantic due to the fact that I was raised on Disney movies, and my sister did say the royal wedding was like a “Disney movie come to life”) but part of the reason I loved it was the sheer happiness of the occasion.

In a year of devastating catastrophes, like tsunamis and tornadoes, civil wars and violent protests, and a lifetime (for all of us) often filled with heartbreak, loss, terrible miseries and the occasional harsh realities, a giant event that inspires the world to unite, and has even the generally scandal-hungry media raving about the love and beauty, well that is an event that I am going to watch.

Even though it did mean I had to wake up at 4 a.m., but hey, I had to get up at 4:30 for work, anyway, so what’s an extra half an hour? (Yes, I now work that early occasionally, and in the past 3 days I’ve worked 30 hours. A rude awakening indeed!)

I now work at a nursing home, giving me a glimpse into the way many of our lives may actually end up. There are many sweet, fairly lucid residents, but also many who can’t feed themselves much less walk. One particular case breaks my heart: every day at lunch, a resident is joined by her husband. He can still get around by himself, but could no longer take care of her on this own. But, every day without fail, he comes in to help feed her, and interact with the other residents. It’s sad, sweet, and humbling.

So, a wedding like this is just what I, and I suspect the other 2 billion watchers (and pretty much everybody else, if you ask me) needed. A reminder that life, no matter how short, no matter where you end up, is full of wonderful, fun, beautiful, happy things as well.

Sure, maybe while I was asking (yelling–it is a nursing home) if the residents in the dining room wanted cranberry or grape, dessert or fruit, I made several wishes that I was the woman, on the flat screen behind me, about to become a duchess, glowing through her fancy veil at the world, marrying her handsome prince. However, I also take hope in the fact that at 23, my life is, hopefully, just hittin’ it’s stride. After all, this said duchess is 29! A lot can happen in six (okay, five-and-a-half…I guess the lying about my age has officially begun) years!

Not that I’m in any rush: my weekend plans are super exciting. They involve sleep, leftover Easter candy, and my Neti pot. (Yes, the week I get a job is also the week I get a nasty cold, even though I haven’t been sick for a day since my search for a job started…go figure).

For now, here’s to happy endings, beginnings, and everything in between!

Top Ten Places

Some of my favorite places I’ve been (so far) in no particular order.

1. Dingle, Ireland. A little town on the Dingle peninsula, with a real-live dolphin as a mascot. It is my plan (when I’m all grown up and my dreams are coming true) to go back there and write!

2. Adelboden, Switzerland. An adorable, quintessential Swiss village tucked in the mountains, full of little Swiss gingerbread houses and surrounded by the Alps (and even as someone who grew up in the Rockies, there ain’t nothin’ like the Alps!).

3. Macchupicchu, Peru. Well, everyone has heard of this one I think! Go a sunrise for a surreal experience as the ruins rise out of the mist, overlooking the foggy valley.

4.  Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. The famous Dragon Bay of Vietnam!

5.  Two Medicine Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana. It’s Glacier…take a boat tour on this island, it’s a sapphire-blue mountain lake surrounded by glaciers (shocking) and waterfalls. If you’re lucky (according to some) you might spot a bear.

6.  Ko Tao, Thailand. Turtle Island in the Gulf of Thailand, also the first place I went scuba diving!

7.  Vancouver Island, Canada. A perfect corner of the Northwest!

8.  Henry’s Lake, Idaho. Right on the border of Montana, a perfectly picturesque lake that feels like it hasn’t changed in 100 years.

9.  Point Loma, San Diego, California. My cousin went to school here: it’s breathtaking!

10. Isla de la Plata, Ecuador. The poor man’s Galapagos! Includes blue-footed boobies and giant turtles.

Can you tell the travel bug is hitting me again? Feel free to share some of your favorite places; if there’s anything I love to talk about, it’s PLACES!

Your Career Assessment Said What?

Yesterday, in a fit of desperation (so many choices) I decided to hit up the internet in search of a career assessment or two.

I found a plethora of sites promising to point one in the right direction of SUCCESS!, but unfortunately, several of them refused to give the results of the 100-question test without a credit card number (not that they would find anything on mine, nonetheless) but a few did give me a solid response. I have no idea how scientific these were, but while my favorite results included “singer, dancer, artist, journalist, writer” I had two different careers that were highlighted in all four of the sites I visited.

Because I bet you can never guess, here they are:

A clergy member.

AAAAAND…

A genetic counselor. (I had to look that one up).

Sadly, neither of these careers are anything I had ever imagined doing. Um, a member of the clergy? Although I’m sure this encompasses much more, the only image I’m getting is me, fully enrobed, hanging out in the confessional listening to my flock.

Upon reflection, I am often entreated for advice from many of my friends, but this generally does not include asking for forgiveness from He (nor is it about dealing with any genetic diseases they might be carrying, which is primarily what a genetic counselor does, fyi) but more along the lines of  “oh-my-God-what-did-I-do-what-now?”

As mentioned, the scientificity of said assessments is questionable. But just in case, I’m going to go read the Bible and research genetic diseases.

Hey, you never know.

Eureka!

I have an exciting announcement, loyal blog readers! I realized upon “cleaning” out my hard drive that I have quite the accumulation of lists. As the world clearly is dying to be privy to the lists of one Amy McMahon from Montana, I decided to do a weekly post featuring my TOP TEN: they’ll be both themed and random. Look for them every weekend! Also, if you have any ideas, feel free to send ’em my way!

Now, without further ado, I present to you this week’s TOP TEN:

The List Of EUREKAS! I’ve Found During The Lifestyle Change, The Long Days, My Obsession With Recipes and Travel Sites, Walking My Dogs, and Other Daily Activities, At Least In Recent Memory:

1. Greek yogurt: 14 grams of protein. Mmmm, especially with fruit-on-the-bottom!

2. Netflix Instant Queue: I’m a little behind on this, but I am addicted and have been watching ridiculous made-for-TV movies from my childhood I never thought I’d see again (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, anyone?). Hey, makes the cleaning seem less bothersome at least!

3. Whole grain pasta. I loooooooooove pasta but unfortunately, I always feel slightly guilty for eating so many carbs that aren’t packed with nutrients (thanks for that one, Mom) but HALLELUJAH for these babies.

4. Peanut Butter Fingers. Another health and fitness blog…great energy and ideas!

5. Mod Cloth. Not that I can afford any of these adorable dresses, but there’s usually no harm in looking…except for the times when I find one that’s almost out of stock and perfectly flattering for my curvaceous form. You can’t say no to that kind of perfection, my friend.

6. Idealist. Check it out if you’re looking for a job in the nonprofit sector!

7. Raclette.  This awesome, traditional Swiss dish that my friend recently introduced me to. The original recipe involved melting the cheese on rocks, but we used a modern Raclette grill, with little slots to melt the cheese, and a grill on top for the sausage!

8. Moleskin. Just like Hemingway. Except I finally found a not-too-expensive one that’s the perfect size with calendar space AND list space. Aha! (The bright spot to the demise of the local Borders: sales!).

9. Spring skiing. Mostly because there are $25 dollar days where you don’t freeze your butt off, you get some fresh tracks (albeit in, well, April snow) and there’s nobody on the mountain!

10. Dark chocolate Cadbury eggs: One of my favorite things about Easter–now in a slightly-healthier flavor! (Had to throw this one in honor of said upcoming holiday).

(If you hadn’t guessed, I still remain unemployed, except as a drudge for my dear mother).