Mid-Summer Life Crisis

At the beginning of this year, I chose the word flourish. I was going to FLOURISH (and rule the world!)….err….something like that.

My goals:

And do all this while working 40 + hours a week as a corporate travel agent, plus a newlywed wife to my husband, mom to one teenager, and step-mom of two younger daughters.

I. Can. Do. It. All.


One by, by one, these goals have slipped from my grasp. One by one, I have given up (yet) another thing I pledged to do, just to keep up with my normal life, much less the hyped up flourished version.

Swimming, swimming, and swimming……you know what, ya’ll?

I’m tired.

It’s not even that this – the list – the promises – the goals – are all I have tried to keep up with. I have, also, had to dog paddle through a husband diagnosed with Lupus this year (to add to his type 1 diabetes, and hypothyroidism). A pretty horrific car crash my family survived. Plus, the new dynamics of co-parenting, me being on the “other” side of custody, than I previously was (this side is MUCH harder).

Everyone said I couldn’t do it all. And???

They were right. :clap clap clap:

I have, officially, burnt out.

Late last week, I wanted to pull the plug. No more Twitter, Facebook, or the Blog. Just shut down. My iphone makes that near impossible to do. But, alas! I would do it. Lights out (except for Words With Friends. I must have my WWF!).

In the end, I decided, going dark was not the answer, but putting the photography business on hold would be. No more sessions for now. I will have “fun”. It will be my hobby (again)(when I have time). It won’t be work and it won’t feel like work. Yay!

I started photography classes in January to boost my confidence. I learned about the technical side of the camera. I, also, learned some of the business side. But it’s pretty hefty in marketing, networking – not to mention – time.

I still lack LOADS of knowledge in everything.

Ultimately, I just don’t think I have the talent, or the vision. Maybe that will change, I just don’t know.

My confidence hasn’t boosted like I hoped, and it’s draining me. I just need to study longer and wait for that elusive confidence factor.

The battle of wills and hopes has been bloody.

The drive to succeed, to learn, to know, to do – while applaudable – is not doable (for me), and it’s making me crazy.

I don’t like crazy. My thyroid makes me crazy because of my Grave’s Disease. I take a hormone pill and it gets better.

So today, I take a chill pill. I acknowledge, I can’t do it all. I won’t do it all. And I’ll do what I can when I can.

Technology is a such a curse, and a blessing.

A friend told me she heard, due to technology overload, the world was on the brink of nervous breakdown. Our brains are not equipped to handle all the information accessible today.

So true.

I think I have overachiever overload.

So this month, I am putting another thing to the side.

And I’m having fun too.

MY GIRLS are back!

The little girls are with us FULL-TIME (squeee!!) for the month of July.

There is nothing like morning hugs around my legs.

And yes, they get loud.

And yes, they fight.

And noise constantly streams from their mouths.

But I wouldn’t trade this month for anything!

Best of all…..Sydney is back from her vacay at Dad’s in Mississippi.


I have missed her sooooo much!

Mid-summer life crisis? I think I got a handle on you.

Big Girl to the Big Screen

I’m not a big planner. I’m not. I try to get plans made, but really, I like being spontaneous. Don’t get me wrong. I loooove routines and order. That stuff makes me very happy, but doing something on the fly; throwing a party, grabbing a movie in the afternoon, eating out. Just do it! Just go! It’s an amazing thrill.

I know, I drive Jason CRAZY. He is much slower to the draw. A thinker, a planner, but when I see that window of opportunity….I just can’t help myself, and luckily he plods along with me on all my adventures.

That said, this last weekend – FATHER’S DAY – was not his weekend with the kids. We grieved over it. We did, but we just assumed there was NO WAY we would have them. There was a big fiasco on Easter. We had plans Easter, real plans, and his Ex couldn’t see the kids. I mean paybacks a dog right? He doesn’t grant a favor, she doesn’t grant a favor. It seems that’s the way it goes, from my eyes anyway.

I don’t understand it. I really don’t. Sydney’s Dad and I NEVER had these issues. We never waited to see who was getting the best of who, or if someone was undermining the other. You win some. You lose some, but you do what’s best for the kids and get along. One thing is for certain, when you choose divorce, you are going to miss out on something, and probably something big.

Being around those two are like two prickly porcupines. I can’t hardly stand it. Any moment the needle-like quills are going to fly. I have talked to Jason about just letting it go, and going the extra mile, but he doesn’t want to get walked all over. I can understand that and now, there is no meeting in the middle (yes, folks even after two and half years). Everyone wants their way. Sooooo…..since he doesn’t do what she wants….and what she wants, she thinks is the best way……..therein lies the problem.

I get along with her. I really like her. I mean she is the mother of two precious little people in my life and she picked a great guy to have them with. But I can’t do anything about THEM getting past their issues, and getting along. I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work. I can only keep encouraging them to – for the sake of NOT raising alcoholics – PLEASE GET ALONG. Just do it! Be spontaneously different.

But miracle of all miracles, and a big thank-you to her, we get them on Father’s Day. Unplanned. We had TONS of stuff to get done. House work, yard work, organizing, and we had been out of town all last weekend, etc……but, we were so happy to throw it all out the window and PLAY. Yeah!!

I’ve wanted to go to the big movie with the girls for a looooong time. I mean Sydney went at two years old. Mama Michie took her 18 month old little boy. Did you see his smile? Sooo cute.

Bridget is turning FOUR and has never been to a movie for goodness sake. Apparently the wait was so ALL the family could go, including the Mom. I missed Molly’s first movie because I wasn’t invited, but no hard feelings, right? Sniff. Hmph. But, I digress…….

So, here it is – Father’s Day! We get the kids unexpectedly, the Mom had planned to have them, so she wouldn’t have plans other than the kids. Why not go to the MOVIE!!?! Toy Story 3 just came out. It was too good of an opportunity to miss. Perfect timing. Perfect age. The girls had just watched Toy Story 1 and 2 the day before.

Except when we asked, she said she had to work. Huh!? I mean, okay, her distaste for Jason and being around him is quite known. He wasn’t comfortable about it either, I insisted he ask her before he asked the girls, and she declined. But she had the CHOICE (in fact if we are keeping track, I asked her to the Circus, to Mother’s Day service with the girls, to Bethlehem live, and so on and so on – all DECLINED). You’d think I’d get the hint. Huh.

We were not even invited to Molly’s 6th birthday party with her kindergarten class friends. Nor did we even know about Bridget’s birthday party on Saturday. Not a single family member on Jason’s side invited. Not even the Grandma that picks them up for Church every week. So please, I’m sorry, if I don’t feel bad about our decision. I truly believe we tried to do the right thing. It was not at all intentional to hurt her feelings or make her miss out.

We went and had a blast. Bridget’s smile – so friggin’ excited – I love it. She did very, very well. Although, I don’t recommend a 3D movie for a four-year old. She kept smudging her shades, yo.

When asked to smile like she was going to a big girl movie. We got this kind of cheese.

MY FIRST movie with Molly. I told her it was very special. I told EVERY movie with her would be very special to me, because really, unless you see a movie again, it’s your FIRST time, right?

This movie was too cute. I just love Pixar and their imagination with toys. I even got a little teary, darn you Disney!

Oh no! Competition for my popcorn. Maybe this movie thing is not such a good idea. Ha.

Bridget and her Dad on Father’s Day. Another first, and hopefully not the last.

It was the best Father’s Day present he could have gotten, second to the adorable coffee mug the girls made for him.

Unplans. The very best kind. Just do it! Just go!

I quit

Not life. Not spirit. Not soul. My job. I quit my job and I have no regrets.

No job is perfect, there are always little things here or there that could change. Sometimes workers might not see the “big” picture that a company does. One particular way is not always the best way and we have to rely on management, trusting they know what is best, for the smoothness of the company operation. It takes a lot of confidence knowing it’s not just you, but your moral character that is employed.

There was a time that a past job I had WAS near perfect. You can ask any former co-worker (not then of course) but NOW, now they will tell you. It was a great place. We had it perfect. Don’t know what you got til it’s gone kinda of thing (or sold in our case).

Regardless of what is or isn’t, what you know or don’t. There is something to be said for being with a company for over eleven years. A loyalty that is bred deep into the bones. It would take a lot to shake that. Maybe it would take promises of a BETTER place. A place more perfect, like the one you had before it was sold. Maybe it would take more money. More promises of freedom vs. conformity like you had at – said perfect job.

What if you were tempted and torn? A single parent. Extra income would sweeten the deal. Possibly even make you give up 26 days of vacation a year (which negates the income but I digress..). Maybe the premise of better job performance, more flexibility, friendlier staff, more rewards, and more recognitions might sway. Trips to Vegas. Diamonds. Cash. Maybe that would be enough to give something up you are completely happy with. And not just a promise for the better, but elite. Best of the best. Top of the line. How impressive and humbling to be recruited by a company like that.

Whatever the case, whatever sales pitch you receive, in the end, it’s YOUR decision to change after eleven years. Maybe you chose WRONG. Maybe the siren promises were just a mirage. Maybe you knew immediately your idea of customer service, the one ingrained from day one of your career, twenty years ago, is not the same as theirs. Maybe you don’t fit in with the elite, and never will. Maybe you start to question your own ability that you had been so confident of your whole working life. You lose your health. You lose your concentration. Your desire. Your will. Your drive. You feel like a worse worker because of your surroundings, and endless inefficiencies pointed out over and over.

Misconceptions. Misleads. The question remains, how could it go so wrong? How could you be so convinced (by others) you were perfect, and then be consistently torn down (by the same people)? It steals your livelihood, and starves the life force. It withers. It doubts. It dies. A desperate, flailing need to make sense of the insensible attacks. A perplex yearning to understand the call of profit over customer satisfaction in a no-matter-what frenzy. What if it questioned your personal integrity? Your life long need to fulfill the duty of responsible business.

The new job platform that supported and showcased your job talents is shaky. Building blocks are constantly moved, shifting around creating rifts, and unsteady ground. Earthquakes, and Tsunamis – implementation and change – invoke natural disasters from poor planning, and poor execution, that most can’t or won’t deal with, regardless if it’s part of service.

A flat-out refusal to adhere to the respect and vision of management. How long would it take to adjust to such major changes and eruptions? How can the pieces ever go together again quite right? How in the world do you stay steady and strong in such a volatile environment? It could take years of balancing, or years of building a new platform to withstand such battering. If someone is willing to take the time and dedication, that is, but most employees won’t. They refuse. They find it easier to sift through the rubble than learn a new craft.

Tell me something? How long did it take you to get skilled, REALLY skilled at a completely new job. One year? Two? I don’t mean you know what to do. I mean you master it and you are taught it and schooled in it. If you are completely saturated in that ONE skill. Maybe a year?

But what if it’s random? What if your training is hit or miss from day-to-day or week to week? Self-taught in stolen snatches. How long then? Two years? What if the main trainer doesn’t WANT you to know it well (or doesn’t know it well themselves). Maybe they do, and they’d rather be the knowledge holder, lest you learn it better, and show them up.

What if you are told that you will NEVER be forgotten for stepping up to the plate, completely out of your comfort zone, for the sake of the company, only for the same incredibly grateful person to forget it a year later? Would the time spent have been worth it? The tremendous effort it took when no one else would. You didn’t have the proper training, proper support, nor the tools, yet you still pursued to perform, driven by customer courtesy. Yet, despite all that, you were told to just walk away and go back to the rubble. Walk away from a service that truly serves the customer.

You can’t imagine the relief in a clients voice when they call and don’t have to be transferred around to the “right” person. ONE person can help them. How much value is that? To satisfy a customer? Is there a NUMBER you could put on that? For me personally, I HATE being transferred several times. When I want help….I want help! What irks me more? Having to be called back. It’s rarely timely, and rarely a time that is timely for me.

The little things make a difference. The right support makes a difference. The right environment, work ethics, and management make a difference. Respect makes a difference. Visions make a company. Worth, and appreciation build. Learning from mistakes grows. Polishing of skills smooths. Astounding support, and encouragement go a long way. I never doubted my skills. I never doubted the fire to satisfy and go above and beyond for an account, even if it took learning a whole new system. I never considered it wrong. And I wouldn’t couldn’t consider it any other way.

Now more than ever I know. I know exactly how NOT to be. I had excellent examples in each case. I am more firm and confident than ever in the merit that I uphold to serve my company and clients in the highest regard possible. Any less is not an option.

So I choose a new place, one more suited to my needs, desires, and character. One that blesses and benefits – justly and fairly. One that believes in team work for a client’s cause. But as I go, I bid you to look at the big picture. To look beyond a number. To find true benefit in actions. To give honorable service that exceeds and succeeds.

And to my old “new” job. It is SO good to be home. Two years is too long. I’m honored and thrilled you would welcome me back with open arms. Just give me a few weeks to recoup, and I’ll return refreshed and renewed with all my heart in servitude.

Names have not been used to protect the sanctity of company identity. This is a personal opinion based on personal experience and observations. It does not reflect, nor refer to any source other than personal thoughts. My perception, not fact, and not to be used as indicators of any factual knowledge.

Sunday Healthy Reflection

Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made.

– Wayne Dyer

    Own all of your choices

The choices you make today will determine the path that your life will take. When you sit back and look at the decisions you’ve made in your life, are you happy with the route you’ve paved? If you’re not, make a change today. The next time you make a choice, ask yourself if this decision will lead you to the path you want to travel along. Set some new goals that will lead you to your dreams and then plan your course.

Brought to you by Sparkpeople’s Healthy Reflections. SPARKPEOPLE

There have been many times, when I painfully recounted my choices, and what they had done in my life. Normally, in anguish over them, I wanted say “It’s not my fault, everything is against me!”

The struggles I faced, the losses, from all my choices. When I stopped trying to blame other people, the universe, my parents, is when I realized – I AM the sum total. What I CHOOSE to do with it, is up to me.

It was a relief to finally look at myself and own up. I chose this path. Me and no one else. I can point, scream, cry and CHARGE someone else or some thing else. The truth is? It’s not their fault. It’s all mine.

So, I choose to live happy. I choose to use ill circumstances to learn and to grow. I won’t blame anyone else for what I did or did not accomplish. I’ve actually become friends with it and made it a part of who I am. My choices.

My life changed, when I took responsibilty for myself. My life became better.

Does that mean bad things won’t happen to me? No. But what I CHOOSE to do with them has.

Live proud. Live true. Live you.