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July is almost gone. It seems as if the Fourth was a day or two ago rather than several weeks in the past. Work is getting better. I have a tendency to isolate myself from certain people and to avoid situations where I might feel uncomfortable. In case you missed it, I wrote about how several memebers of the team switched offices. It was a new thing for me that involved working more closely with people I hadn't previously, and I didn't know how that would go. The familiar was gone and a newness was in its place. I wonder to myself if I am subconsciously avoiding the conclusion of the sales process - someone buying a car - because I am somehow still fearful of the procedures and paperwork that remain largely an unknown. It feels as if something is holding me back, and it's probably me.

Yesterday my manager (I think he is still technically in charge of me since nobody has told me otherwise, but I don't really know for sure) was really nice to me. He wants me to do well and I am super grateful to him for that. When he asked about my children, I admitted that things were not as I would wish. He didn't really say anything about that, but I know that he has some compassion for me on that front. I had lunch with him and several others. Normally I don't do that, I was very nervous, but it went well, I got to know some people I hadn't known very well previously. I work with a seasoned veteran who is probably in his sixties, yet retains a baby faced, innocent and guileless expression. His clothes make me smile, he's my idea of someone's grandpa, not mine, but it's kind of refreshing.

Since I threw my schedule off by coming in on Wednesday, Thursday seemed as if it would never end. Thankfully another member of management stopped by to talk about a deal. I was telling someone else about him and his moods. One thing I like about him is that he is pretty open about where he is at, his face is very readable; he has a nice smile, and I wonder why he doesn't use it more. He's an interesting person, I'm not sure what else is going on there, but I feel as if something hidden is beneath the surface. Perhaps he is just a very regular sort, but that is not my impression. He dresses well in the sense that he strikes the right note between professional with his own flair, and somewhat relaxed. There's a simplicity to the way he dresses even though things tend to be crisp and new looking.

My manager dresses as if he really doesn't care about clothes at all, and I wouldn't be surprised if this was actually true. One of his favorites seems to be a dark gray Jaguar pullover that goes over his dress shirts. It may seem implausible that this goes with his more formal attire beneath, somehow he makes it work, and I love him for being a bit of a rebel in that manner although I suspect he does it out of comfort rather than a real desire to be some sort of luxury car sales badass. He's expanded his diet and has lost some weight. He's added an exercise component, is avoiding refined sugar and most bread products, and I am super proud of him.

He said that he used to eat 3,000 calories a day, and I questioned that since it was so shocking to hear that admission. I didn't really doubt him, one thing I just love about him is his refusal to sugarcoat hard facts. He has an interesting mind and personality. When we were in the tiny lunch area he said that never before had he felt this motivated, and I believe it. Intensity is his calling card, somehow he manages to have a largely cerebral approach to life without anything stiff or formal in his mode of dress or body language. I have a feeling that nobody is really that close to him, but he makes me feel as if there is an adult in charge since he has such a strong sense of duty, and I admire and respect that about him. He does things and I love that too.

One of my best friends stopped by with a small devotional book for me. She has gotten into the habit of screen shotting pages and sharing them with me. Now I have my very own copy, and I really can't even begin to explain how much her thougtfulness means to me. My friends have always been with me and there for me, but now I feel as if we have reached a new level of collaboration, cooperation, and celebration. We're learning that this moment is all we have, and finding more peace and joy despite the hardships we face, both real, imagined, and perceived. I had a wonderful customer yesterday. She had several strange metallic rainbow streaks in her hair and ended up sharing quite a bit more than I had anticipated when I met her.

We are taught not to judge anyone, people dress extremely casually there, she had longer flaming red hair, wore faded light blue jeans, and carried a pale pink purse. It turns out that she has an art professor who also does some private practice work. She was reserved at first, she has the money to buy anything she wants, and it was interesting to see how my own preconceived notions of her turned out to be very wrong. She had a down and out appearance, as if she felt as if she didn't belong at any car dealership much less ours. I feel as if we are not snobbish about how people dress, but I could be mistaken about that.

My other couple was an extremely attractive blonde with her husband who seemed, I can't think of a good word for him. He did most of the talking, but let her drive first and let me sit up front to explain the infotainment system even though I had said he could sit there. Both of them drove the vehicle, she wasn't the best driver, perhaps I will write about test drives more in the future, one thing that seems almost universally true, but probably isn't, is that people are following other vehicles too closely. Several of our models are equipped with sensors that monitor this and I just love that life saving feature since people are very unaware that they do this. A set of four red lights alerts the driver and very few seem to get why it is important and are annoyed with it.

While I was out on the test drive with the art professor, I received a text from one of the managers asking me to see him please. Naturally I read the request for what it was, an order, and not an invitation to actually sit down and chit chat. I was immediately on guard and frightened, did not give my attention to my customer, and I don't like that. I tried to picture it going well which is more and more a strategy I turn to during times of perceived distress, and thankfully I learned that I hadn't done anything wrong even though my app is still not working the way that I would like it to function. I was supposed to go on a date tonight, and now I don't want to meet this man, so I need to make a decision about that. Wine after a tough stretch of work days seems ill fated already.

Lately I have experimented with setting my alarm for 5:49 regardless of what time I need to be at work, and this seems to be a helpful strategy. I am learning more about the people at work, who will help me, who I can help. Yesterday I offered to park a vehicle back in its spot after someone else had moved it, and the guy stared at me for the longest time as if he couldn't believe I was willing to do this for him. I believe that I have mentioned how tightly cars are parked, and the cones that are in place to keep cars looking neat. I'm getting better at backing into spaces and parking in general, but it's still not a natural feeling, and I find my adrenaline racing even when I know I'm not going to hit or scrape against anything else.

One funny story from yesterday before I sign off. We have off site storage and I took a customer there. The vehicle had sat so long that the rotors had a heavy coating of rust on them. Another sales person explained how you used to be able to file rotors down, now they need replacing since the metal is cheaper and thinner. My customer and I wondered if there was something wrong with the brakes or tires, we soon dismissed brake problems since the vehicle didn't have enough miles to make that scenario likely. I learned the term lot rot which is what happens when a vehicle sits and the rotors start to accumulate rust. We may end up having to replace them, and I still don't know why it isn't someone's job to drive these things on a regular basis, but whatever.

Soon I will no longer have broadband services at home. I will save some money, potentially, and I'm wondering how that will go. In a way I am proud of myself, another part of me wonders how being stubborn and foolish will actually pay off for me. My hunch is that I will miss it and want it back, and whether I can ride that out and continue to avoid paying that bill remains to be seen. I had a very strange dream that at least one of my children was involved in, I remember a niece of mine being there, and it was an unsettling morning since I can't get away from the feeling as if it really happened. A guy I went to high school with died when we were in college. He was in the dream, and I have no idea why. Very strange. Off to get ready for work in a few...

Xoxo,

J

P.S. I'm really proud of myself even though I acknowledge that there is a great deal of room in my life for improvement. My acceptance levels of myself have gone up (at least I feel this way), and liking myself more has really helped.

j

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