YooooooHoooo - It's Me Again

Wow - here I am again, and it only took me 22 months or so to get back!  Life happened, and I got a little sidetracked....with that being a pretty big understatement. 

Last year - well, as a matter of fact one year ago this week  - I was still unemployed, while gratefully using the connections of Office Team to still feel semi-productive, wondering what I was going to do if I couldn't find a job - and, truthfully, feeling like I was never going to.  One day I received an email saying "I saw your resume, and would like to talk to you" or words to that effect.  There are SO many scam emails that you receive when you're throwing resumes and job applications at the wall, hoping one will stick, and I figured this fit into the "send me $$$$$ and I'll make sure that your resume goes right to our company president" category.  But this sender had included his cell number, his company's name and website so I could check them out, and I decided it was worth a try.

Thus began a very short but breathtaking fall into the kind of job that most of us dream of but know we're never going to find!  I work for two amazing guys, each with a great sense of humor, great respect for their employees and great love for their families and this country.  They appreciate everything I do, our work is all "on the cloud" so I can work from home if I need to, I love the work that I'm doing and get to talk to people all over the country - and they actually pay me too!!!!  Woooohooooooo!! 

This has been an amazing year for me - (giggling to myself as I type) - and it's so sweet to be able to say that.  I am also fulfilling a lifelong dream - I'm learning to play the piano!!  One of my daughter's coworkers had a piano for sale, so it now sits in my living room and lets me play with it whenever I want to.  Sooooooo much fun!

Another big thing for me this year - I'm going to go to Ireland.  If I have to go by myself, I'm going to Ireland!!  I have dreamed about it for years, and actually had started to look at tour options, prices, etc., and about the same time read something that cinched it for me:  There is no Someday on the calendar.  Pretty simple sentence, a different way of saying "don't put things off", "who knows when you'll get another chance", "the hardest thing to live with is regrets", etc., etc.  But that particular sentence slammed me right between the eyes, so - I'm actually planning the trip, and have talked it over with my bosses.  Don't have the exact date yet, but I'm going.  As I told my daughter,  "Heck, I'll just go myself, meet a handsome Irishman, and fall in love".  Sounds like a plan, right? 

Stay well, say I Love You every day, hug your friends every time you see them, and look up at the stars every chance you get.

New Year, New Me

I'm sure you've all heard the saying "begin as you intend to go" - well, I've decided on this first day of the new year that one of the things I'm going to strive for is to get back to my blog, and keep it up.
2010 was an up and down year for me - got a new job and then left it, all in the same year. It was really a lesson for me - I've alway prided myself on the fact that there wasn't anything jobwise (within my field) that I couldn't do. Yeah, you know what they say about pride - I got my butt kicked by a job!!! Man, did I hate to admit that, but finally had to. I've never been in such a high-stress, high workload job before, and finally, due to stress, had to say "uncle". So, a little humility never hurts, right?
I'm back on the job market, beating the bushes, but I've found that my priorities have changed. I want to find something that I can enjoy (what a concept, huh?), a job where it matters that I am the one working there, that I, through my life and work experiences, can really contribute something important. I'm doing a lot of soul-searching, examining the things that really are important to me, the things that I really enjoy - and then I'm hoping that I can find a way to mesh those things with earning a living. So - wish me well, and keep me in your prayers please.
I am so very, very blessed with family and friends that love and support me, and I just want to say thanks to all of them. Love and friendship are what life is about, the only things that really matter and, while I have no idea why I've been so blessed with both, just want to say thank you to those people who continue to bless my life by being part of it.


Tonight my thoughts have turned to the many U.S. troops who are so very far from home right now. I sit here in my lovely little condo, all snug - with my electricity, air conditioning, lights, a soft bed, family and friends just a phone call or short drive away and, on this Memorial Day weekend, am so very aware of the many thousands of our troops who have none of those things tonight.

Through the years of my lifetime, there have been so many, many wars (and "conflicts"), and millions of men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives to keep our country free, and I just wanted to say, from the bottom of my heart, a huge thank you. For those troops far away from their homes and families, please know that you are in our prayers - for your safety and quick return home.

Back in the World

Whew! Didn't think I'd be "gone" this long.... No, no sabbatical, no South Sea adventure, didn't join a convent or a cult - just joined the ranks of the unemployed. Still seems so weird to see that in print - - - and even weirder to say that it took me 13 months to find another job!!

It was, at odd moments fun, terrifying, endless, sad, very personal, and a miriad of other emotions that showed up, but, thanks to family and friends, I made it through with my sanity intact (well, as intact as it was before getting laid off). Thanks to my daughter and her family for always being there to listen, cheer me up, have fun with; to my sister in California for providing me with a willing ear to listen, and an awesome place to run away to (3 times yet!) when things got too heavy; to my ex-husband and current friend for being there with occasional work and full-time support, and a special thanks to my friends Diane and Steve who, when I was about to lose my home, stepped up and bought it, and then I didn't have to pack up 3 years' accumulation of junk and move!!!

This was truly a learning experience for me (one I wouldn't care to repeat, by the way) and I'm deeply grateful that it's over! I have started a new job - in a completely different field - with an amazing boss, lots of new things to learn, a free hand to set things up the way I want, and a great bunch of coworkers who always smile and say "how are you" or "hi" when they pass you in the hall. What more could I ask??

#4, Health

Well, finally back home after hours at the in-laws for the big Thanksgiving dinner, and it was really wonderful - family, friends, food, fun, and laughter. Driving home tonight about 10:30, enjoying the crisp, cool evening, I was thinking about our day. We were all reminded today about how very blessed we have been with our health. In the middle of our celebration, my daughter Lori went to visit a friend whose husband is dealing with a very serious health issue right now, a young man in his late 30s/early 40s, with two children. It really wakes you up to the things that are important in this life.

I have friends and family who deal with health issues - high blood pressure, diabetes, heart conditions, learning disabilities, etc. - and then there's me, with no issues except arthritis in my knees (some days they're "crankier" than others), a tendency to eat too much (stress) and exercise too little (lazy), and that's basically it. I am so thankful each day to wake up (!) able to get out of bed, take care of myself, have a place to live that I love, family and friends close by, and be able to marvel at this beautiful world we live in.

#3, Friends

Friends - what a blessing they are! They sweeten the joy, lift a burden, bolster your courage, share our pride in accomplishments, commiserate on the failures, help us to laugh at ourselves, extend a hand when we fall, and enrich our lives. Of course, there are friends and then there are friends. My friend BJ (Bobbie Jo) is the best example of a true friend that I've ever known in my life. I have known her and her family for 22 years now, and I know without question that I can call her for anything and she'll be right there. Her husband Walter is a perfect match for her, and he shares her with me without restrictions and is right beside her in supporting and loving me as their friend.

My friend Diane and her husband Steve are more recently-acquired friends but it was a good fit right from the start. They're great fun to be around, ready to set off on an excursion at the drop of a hat, and I cherish their friendship.

There are friends that have faded into the past, friends that have passed on, even friends that walked away, but I am grateful for the time that our lives touched and the lessons they taught me.

#2, Teachers

Tuesday night, and we went to my grandson's grade school performance about the Nutcracker. Now, I'll have to admit that when I heard that, my first thought was, "That's a little ambitious for elementary school, for crying out loud!" The last one we went to was my granddaughter's program a couple of years ago at the same school, and the dance department did something, then the drama group did something (with badly- or not-working microphones) and it took f o r e v e r. This time, the dancers and drama kids did their thing while the choir sang music from The Nutcracker, and it was really fun! They did an amazing job, the dancers were so cute, ditto the drama kids, and it was over in about 45 minutes!! What more could you ask? Really, though, it was very cute and well done.

So, next on my list of things that I'm thankful for - I'm thankful that there are still school teachers who care, who want to broaden a child's horizon, who work long hours for not much pay, and really make a difference. And I'm thankful for the teachers that I had in school, the ones who names and faces I still remember as if it were yesterday, including my kindergarten teacher! (and that's going back some!!) Teachers like Mrs. Mitchell, Mr. Garside, Mrs. Garrett to name a few, who made learning fun, who encouraged, cajoled, threatened, and cheered us on!

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