Fresh Starts

 

This week, I accepted a job offer for Clay County, MO.  I accepted and will start my new journey on the 22nd of August.

I turned my notice in yesterday afternoon.  Today has been odd.  Part of me wishes that i wouldn’t have been brought to this point of even considering changing jobs.  But the other part of me is clapping in over-joyous delight at the ultimate pursuit of happiness.

I have been employed here for five and half years.  At one point, I thought I had found the place that I would retire.  I loved getting up each morning and making the drive in.  I loved getting here and saying “Good Morning” to everyone!  I really felt like I was making a positive influence on the success and the direction of this company.  I was good at my job.  I was passionate about the company and I poured every ounce of my soul into my career responsibilities.  I think that’s where I went wrong.

I had received a promotion in a different department at the beginning of 2015 and since then, I have felt like a fish out of water.

Image result for fish out of water  I found myself in a leadership position in a very male dominated industry and have been struggling to keep my head above water ever since.  There is a complete lack of respect and no chance of earning it.  I tried different methods and angles in an attempt to prove my worth but there came a point where I began to notice that I didn’t enjoy getting up in the morning anymore to come to work.  The commute is about 45 minutes to an hour, every day, and I noticed that I didn’t enjoy that any more.  I saw how this place has morphed into a shadow cast by dark clouds that block the sunlight that my life so desperately needs.  All of the seeds that I had sown were stagnant in their growth and even though the clouds looked like they were about to burst, not a drop of rain ever fell, leaving me starved from life giving nutrients.

It was then I think I began the sorrowful stage of my grieving process.  Those things that I once loved about my current job were long gone.  They weren’t going to come back.  Magical people were gone.  The movers and the shakers, the ones who shared the same passion in regards to being the absolute BEST every day of the week…they were all gone or had changed roles within the company.  I watched good employees get laid off because they weren’t friends with the right people.  In an attempt to get rid of me, I was tested and tried by my boss, who set me up to see if I was lying. The games people play…the nasty games…

I am not so naive in thinking that these people don’t exist everywhere…I know that they do.  I know that I will encounter them at my new place of employment.  I just feel like I need that new beginning, that chance to walk in to a place with my shields in tact.  A refreshing beginning to a new chapter of my life that won’t seem so shaded.  I can already see the clouds beginning to break and the sun filtering through.  My mood is already better at home and my patience is growing.  I am laughing at home more and everything doesn’t seem so much like a chore.  I am leaving behind a few good people, who I’m resisting the urge to feel guilty about leaving, but sometimes you have to do what is right by you, and your family.

The hardest part of this process has been continuing to make this long drive to work to the place that laid my husband off, for real reasons still unknown, I can only speculate.  I am looking forward to beginning a new beginning where the rules apply to everyone, not just some.  I am looking forward to making a career away from production and manufacturing.  I am just looking forward to everything!!!  The new commute, the new faces, the new office, the new ME!

 

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Forgiveness

 

This Fourth of July holiday was bittersweet.

My husband and I received some shocking news about a married couple we have grown fairly close with.  They are going through some issues with their marriage, that I really hope they figure out how to deal with…they have sweet beautiful children in the mix and due largely in part to bad choices, many people’s lives will be affected no matter the outcome.

My husband and I talked and agreed that their struggle opens up some old wounds from our past.  We didn’t go into any details; that statement seemed to sum up what we were both feeling.  While listening to our friend describe the events that took place, I felt my heart bleeding for the situation they are in.  I have been there.  Many of us have been there.  Many of us have been in situations that ultimately leave us feeling nothing but regret.  Many of us have felt that pain of ultimate betrayal.  Looking back on my past in particular, I see myself asking that same simple question “Why?” over and over again.

After everything that I do for you, everything that I have done, WHY did you do this to me? HOW could you do this to me?  WHAT makes you think that I deserve to be treated this way?  WHO on earth would take you back after such betrayal?  What did I do to you to make you think that this was a good idea?  Did you think I wouldn’t find out?  That I am too stupid to figure it out?  That this would just go away?  Or that you could continue to live a double life and get play me for a fool?  Or did you figure that if I did find out that I am too broken to stand up for myself and put my foot down? That I am too damaged and can’t fathom an existence without you in it?

However easy it may be to say “If anyone ever cheated on me, there is no question, I would leave…” it’s not that easy.  I chose to stay.  I chose to forgive.  I have also apparently chosen not to forget.  The recent events of our friends has reminded me that I haven’t forgotten and probably never will.  It will always be floating around in the back of my brain, visiting me in my dreams, where I see the broken me asking “Why?” over and over again and again.  I still feel the pain.

Does that mean that forgiveness has truly happened?  For some of us, forgiveness is a journey that could take a day or ten years.  Forgiveness means letting it all go, giving it up to the universe to disperse with as it chooses.  Letting go is the hardest part.  Years later, I still find myself having dreams of the betrayal, waking feeling angry and hurt that I could be held in such disregard from someone to whom I’d given so much…

And I decided that it was time to let go.  I made the conscious choice to forgive but my subconscious didn’t get the memo.  After my last meeting with my spiritual gal, she asked me if I had been remembering any of my dreams from which I immediately barfed out my most recent haunting dream.

I was at some business event, it felt like I was at work but I didn’t recognize the building.  It felt more like I was in someone’s house (which I have come to learn that when dreaming of being in a “house” this actually represents your mind and the different rooms of the house are where certain memories are stored, compartmentalized).  There was supposed to be a meeting and we were to sit at this big long table.  My husband was with me but he kept saying that it would be best if we didn’t sit next to each other during the meeting and even better if we acted like we didn’t know each other because there was this woman there who would be really upset if she found out about me.  I couldn’t see this person’s face, but deep down, I knew who she was.  So, I’m sitting at this long table while the meeting is taking place and my husband is sitting at this other table against the wall and across from him is this woman and she just stares at me, expressionless and unblinking.  I don’t stare back because she makes me really uncomfortable and my husband doesn’t make eye contact with me.  I try to focus on the meeting but I can’t make any sense of the words being spoken and I look around the table to see who all is there and no one has a face.  They are like silhouettes.  I just sat there feeling very alone even though I was surrounded by people and feeling that familiar feeling of betrayal.  

The next thing I remember in my dream is walking into another room of the house and finding my daughter asleep on a bed.  I went to her and woke her as I would normally do with whispers and a nuzzle on her neck.  When she came to everything seemed normal but I wanted her to get up because I wanted to leave the place we were at.  She told me that she wanted to stay and keep sleeping but that she would come home later.  This is when I start with a dialogue with myself back and forth in my brain about whether or not to leave her there.  This reminded me of the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other trying to help you make a decision.  I was arguing with myself about whether or not let her stay there. 

“She can drive home, she’ll be fine”

“She can’t drive home!  She’s only 8 years old!!!”

“She can reach the pedals and see over the dash, she will be just fine.”

“What if she gets pulled over?  It’s like a two hour drive home!!!”

“She won’t get pulled over, she’ll be just fine.”

“What if she gets caught?  What if I get caught?”

This is the point where I woke myself up.  The feelings I felt upon waking were horrendous.  I felt shame, I felt the deepest sadness, hurt like my heart was pumping on the floor in front of me, disgust with myself and everyone around me, like I needed to cry a lifetime’s worth of tears in the next five minutes.  Instead, I went and made myself a pot of coffee and let that dream chip away at me for two weeks before I saw my spiritual gal again.

I think I have determined the identities of these silhouettes in my dream…Recently, there was a big to-do at my mom-in-law’s house involving people who I had heard more stories that I care to count but had never actually met before but felt like I knew them inside and out based on all of the stories I’d been told.  If I were to cross paths with them on the street tomorrow, I wouldn’t recognize them, hence the lack of faces in my dream. They were all sitting around this table going over paperwork in preparation to sell their house and split up.  Tensions were very high, blah blah blah, and there was this one woman there, who once again, I had only heard stories about before, but she stared at me, a lot.  She made me uncomfortable.  She had been (or still is…I’m not sure and don’t care to find out) best friends with my husband’s ex-girlfriend.  She had even lived with them at one point.  I was so focused on portraying this strong confident image of myself that I didn’t realize the anxiety over this encounter.  I was afraid that by her staring at me, she was memorizing every action I made, every freckle on my face, so as to report back to my husband’s ex.  I was afraid this meeting was going to open up a can of worms and that bad people from our past were going to resurface.  SO SCARED!!!!  So, I’m not sure if the woman in my dream was her or my husband’s ex viewing me through the tales of her friend.

It was at this session with her that I realized that I had told myself that I had forgiven, but I hadn’t done the hardest part yet.  I hadn’t let go…I think I had been clinging to this idea that “Everyone goes away eventually, it’s only a matter of time”.  I hadn’t let my guard down fully.  I still had a half wall built up around my body to protect against whatever was coming next.  I was spending my life waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Who wants to live like that???

I realized that because I chose to forgive, I can’t continue this life punishing myself or those in my life who made bad choices.  I realized too that my next step in this journey is to make peace with the fear of abandonment.

Dreams are amazing…

 

 

 

Day 6 Gratitude Challenge

What is different today than it was a year ago that I’m thankful for?

Exactly one year ago today, my husband and I went to see Weird Al in concert at the Midland Theater! It was so much fun!  I love that we enjoy doing slightly weird things 🙂

 Before the show, we went out to a restaurant called Yard House , which was directly across the street.  I remember that we both got a burger and pretty sure that they were tasty.  Whenever we got out to eat at a place that whose food is usually accompanied by an alcoholic beverage, servers look at us funny when we order a Coke or Sweet Tea instead!  I am super glad that our want of adult beverages is few and far between!  I’ve noticed in my old age that if it doesn’t taste good or refreshing, that I don’t force it down anyway!  

We have our standard Bud Light Lime that we will drink from time to time, but if it isn’t enjoyable, I don’t even bother.

I digress…so a year ago, my daughter had just wrapped up summer school and we were gearing up for the big 4th of July festivities!  We bought a bunch of fireworks from the tent up the street and that was the fist time I let Marley light some of the fireworks by herself!  I made it out to be such a HUGE deal.  What a big step this was!  I also explained all of the responsibility that was coming along with this privilege…She listened to every word I said and most importantly, DID exactly what I said too!  She didn’t last very long…she was tired and wanted to go to sleep so Greg and I hung out in the driveway and those awesome neighbors I mentioned in an earlier post came over and we had a BLAST!  (no pun intended).  The guys have already been designing new launchers for a more improved bottle rocket experience!

A year ago, I wasn’t married yet…I think that we were talking about getting married by then because I’m pretty sure that we bought our rings in June of last year.  What a perfect day that was!  One of the best parts was taking Marley trick-or-treating afterwards in our wedding garb!

I’m finding it difficult to stay on track with this prompt…It’s raining outside!!!

Day 5 Gratitude Challenge

Take 5 minutes to write about how grateful you are for all of the wonderful things that you currently have in your life.  Don’t long for what you don’t possess – instead, take stock of all the blessings you already enjoy.

Holy Smokes…Where do I start!!!  With so many things in my life that are noteworthy, how am I supposed to turn this into a “5 minute” free write???  Rules…were meant to be broken.

First of all, I have a wonderful family.  My parents have always been my foundation.  We’ve been through the wringer and back but one thing has always remained constant: We are the Three Amigos, the Trifecta.  They truly are the dynamic duo and I am the third wheel but better things always happen in threes.  My husband and my daughter are the two people I genuinely look forward to seeing everyday.  When I am at work and find myself daydreaming, the subject of those daydreams is always about those two…and I have two wonderful sisters and a mother-in-law who I have the honor of calling family too!  In addition, my four legged family member, Moby, my cat who had been going strong since 2003 and is, hands down, the SWEETEST cat on the planet, and Miss Daisy, my junkyard dog, who just so happens to be the subject of another post about which I describe her in great detail and all of the joy she brought into my life!

Then there is my job.  Although trying at times, I am quite fortunate to have been with a company for 5.5 years.  I am able to provide a nice lifestyle for my family, keep a roof over our heads, buy healthy food to make good tasting meals to keep their bellies full, and still have enough left over to have a little fun on the side.  I am thankful for the opportunities that I have been granted here.  I have learned a ton, not just about our machines, but about human nature, snakes in the grass, pathological liars, lazy asses, extremely annoying coworkers, etc…It’s been a good experience for the most part and what I’ve taken away from all of this is how to react.  If a person’s actions do not directly affect me, I no longer allow myself to care.  Nine times out of ten, those actions don’t affect me, so they fall off my radar.  When I hear of things that have happened that weren’t done in the most efficient way, I don’t care.  At least they got done.  I no longer allow myself to be shocked or appalled when certain employees continue to receive special treatment or get away with corporate murder.  It’s sad, but I’ve come to expect it…it’s survival.  I am learning to not carry the garbage home anymore, which is a lot easier now that my husband and I work at different places now.  I am no longer holding this job with the same utmost importance as I had in the past.  This is not my number one priority in life.  I no longer feel guilt for having to come in late because of a dentist appointment or something comes up with my daughter.  This place is not my life.  My life is at home.  Even though I spend more waking hours in this building than I do in my own home, this place is not my core.

I have a yard that is not filled with mole trails.  My grass is green and keeps getting greener every year.  The backyard has been tamed and enjoyable for a good handful of years now.  My daughter can run barefoot through it without me worrying if she is going to step on one of those weeks with all of the sticker things that hurt really bad when you step on it.  I can stand anywhere in the yard and admire the hard work and dedication we have poured into it.  It is beautiful and it keeps getting better.

Incredible neighbors…yah, those two kool kats down the street, with the two super cute kiddos.  We just booked a Saturday Fun Day at BreakoutKC.com.

I love having something fun to look forward to!

 

 

 

Day 4 Gratitude Challenge

Oh My…this will be funner than fun.

Today’s prompt reads:

White a short message of thanks for some of the “negative” things in your life.

It’s all about the spin.  How you really look at a situation, person, or thing is what either triggers the negative or the positive reactions.  This has been one of the hardest lessons I have attempted to overcome.  In the past, I would find myself consumed with dread, despair, doom, and gloom any time I was hit with something foul.  I still feel the initial negative feelings, as I’m pretty sure that’s human nature, but those negative thoughts and feelings are fleeting and rather quick to fade.  I’ve mentioned my counselor, Kim, in a few posts already and she has really helped me with viewing these seemingly negative situations as challenges and opportunities.

Once upon a time, about six years ago to be exact, this guy I hadn’t met yet began working for this company.  Six months later, I began working for the same company.  He had been working up in the paint booth and I would see him periodically and he always had this giant smile on his face.  I remembered thinking “I would really like to get to know that guy” simply because he looked so happy…and I wanted to be around happy people.  He soon got a promotion and became the manager of the warehouse.  I was in purchasing at the time so we ended up actually getting to know each other.  We worked together like a well-oiled machine.  People would make jokes to us about the “love connection” that everyone within the building could feel.  I was in denial for a very long time.  I eventually moved up to a different department and we weren’t in the same department anymore, which was kind of nice.  We finally felt like we didn’t have to hide our relationship as much as we had to before…

Long story short, after a year and half of denial, we allowed ourselves to fall in love and we decided to get married in Eureka Springs, AR in this sweet little intimate chapel.  It was the best day ever…

A little less than two months ago, we went to work one Monday morning, like any other day.  During the morning break, rumors were spreading that a guy from the office had been fired.  After the break, I kept getting these texts from people throughout the plant about who was being let go.  My husband and I had been texting back and forth and I was playing Madame Positive, telling him that he had nothing to worry about and how all of this was going to pass and how we were going to make it through.

Then all of the sudden I noticed that I wasn’t getting any responses to my texts.  And then my boss came into my office and asked me to come down to his office.  And then he drops the bomb…my husband was getting laid off.  Words Words Words Words I know he was saying things to me but I was in shock.  Why would this company that we both were valuable employees of lay off someone with experience throughout the entire organization?  Anyway, it was a bad bad bad bad day…

I left work early that day and went home to attempt to pick up the pieces of my broken husband.  What a tough place…I had to be this strong motivational wife at home and then I had to be this strong non-affected independent employee at work.  At home, I tried to keep looking towards the positive so that I could be better prepared to counter the negative spin.  At work, I had to attempt to see the business side, how this wasn’t a personal attack…even though at times I wondered if they were just testing me, so see if I would break and give them a good excuse to get rid of me too…

Even though this inner turmoil was taking place inside my brain, I never once felt panicked.  For the first time in my life, I gave it all up to the universe to play out.  I didn’t “WHAT-IF” myself to death.  I could hear the rhythm and decided to just dance along to it.  Something inside me knew that nothing was going to change for the worse.  We were going to be just fine.  For me, this experience was freeing.  For my husband, this experience proved itself to be an opportunity to better his life, in more ways than one.

He recently accepted a contract position with a company that is much closer to home.  Yesterday was his first day on the job and it was a GREAT day for him.  He made an incredible first impression on his new co-workers and the spring that was once in his step five or so years ago is back, but this time, it seems as though his springs have turned to leaps of JOY.

He has been given the opportunity to work using the skills he has been going to college for.  While this may only be a contractual gig for a couple of months, it could turn into something much more.  If it doesn’t, well…he has actual experience to record on his resume.  The staffing company that he is working with is fantastic!

This experience, while I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, really has turned out to be a blessing. While we were working at the same company, he started going back to school to get his CAD certificate under the company’s reimbursement program.  Since he was laid off, he doesn’t have to repay a dime.  Had he not been laid off, after getting his certificate he would have had to stay employed there for another three years.  By the time he could have been able to go looking for a job related to field of study, everything that he would have learned would have been outdated.

Things really do happen for a reason.  And the best part of that is all in the timing.  Thank goodness…

Day 3 Gratitude Challenge

I took the weekend off…I didn’t post anything.  Doesn’t mean I failed my challenge though!  Just means I was busy being a mom and a wife!

So today, my prompt reads:

Write about something you feel grateful for in your life today.

OK!!!  As I mentioned up above, I am grateful for weekends and spending time with my family.  It was a busy weekend, but everyone had fun at some point during the weekend and we got to be together.

It all started Friday night after work.  Greg and I stepped out on the front porch while Marley played in the sprinkler.  Our awesome neighbor came over and we hung out for a while until his wife and kids came home and before we knew it, all of the kids were playing in the front yard and we were all hanging out!  I was fighting a headache so I wasn’t really very sociable, but it was nice all the same.  The kids played until 9:30pm!  They all slept well, I am most positive!

This is a throw back picture from 2010 of my sweet little something…

Saturday morning, I woke up and had my morning me time, complete with sipping on coffee out on the back patio.  Marley and I went to taekwon do that morning and I, once again, amazed myself with not only how far I have come since joining, but amazed myself with what my body can do!  We were to do three sets of ten push-ups at an incline…or maybe it’s called “decline”…not sure.

I completed the first two sets and then  made it to seven and found myself not  able to push myself all the way up. The ENTIRE class was cheering my on but my arms had reached their limit and could not straighten out.  I was still proud of myself!  When I got home, I did 10 more inclined push-ups from my couch just to say I finished it!  Later, I went back for Black Belt Club and worked on my sword training.  It is SO cool…Every time I think about how much I am really enjoying becoming a martial artist, I kick myself for not having tried this sooner…but everything happens in life when it is supposed to happen…

Greg and I along with those awesome neighbors I mentioned earlier got together and took our kids to see Finding Dory.  Such a nice story.  Just Keep Swimming.

After all of that business, we came home and I took a nap.  SO thankful for weekends naps.  Those are the GREATEST!  It was Ninja Night at Millennium Academy, so Greg and I took Marley.  While she was having a blast, Greg and I went shopping to get him some new clothes because today he starts his new job!!!  Grateful for his determination and ability to never give up.  That trait of his is also contagious!

Yesterday, I wanted to get my running done as soon as possible!  My little buddy came to the grocery store with me and we picked up all the food we would need for the week and then she wanted to get Greg a Father’s Day present since she hadn’t gotten anything for him yet.  We stopped by another grocery store and she picked out some flowers and the lady behind the counter even pulled out the remaining Father’s Day flower cards for her to write him a note on.  It was the sweetest thing in the world.  While she was carrying those flowers, she had this little spring in her step, she was incredibly proud and it was obvious to anyone in her path that she was doing something nice for someone and it made her feel so GOOD!  Not sure what exactly I did, but she’s gonna be a good one!

After we got home, Greg helped me get lunch/dinner going.  It was a bit more complicated than I thought it was going to be, so I am incredibly thankful for the assistance that Greg gave.  The prep was rough!  If I had done it all by myself, we probably wouldn’t have eaten until way late in the afternoon.  So we had Potato Soup with Granny Smith Apples and Brie, YUMMY!!!  The recipe is here! http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/potato-soup-with-apples-and-brie-cheese/rcp-20049813

I took a nice shower and then watched the NASCAR race, took a nap and woke up with like 10 laps left.

All in all, this weekend was PERFECT and I am grateful for that today.

Day 2 Gratitude Challenge

I am using this format for daily writing suggestions for this gratitude challenge.  Today my instructions are:

Use the alphabet as a fun and quick format for making

a list of things for which you are grateful.

This should be fun!  So, let’s get started!

A. pples and peanut butter.  It is my FAVORITE lunch snack when I’m at work.  I bought one of those cool apple slicers that also removes the core.  SO DELISH! 

B. URTON.  my maiden name! My roots, my mom and my dad, without them the G.U. only knows where I would be and what I’d be doing…

C. ats.  More specifically, my sweet Moby.  He has been with me since 2003.

D. aisy, my poopydawg.  She is the sweetest thing…refer to previous post all about her and how she came into our life!

E. very new morning!  My all time favorite thing to do is wake up before everyone else, except Daisy and sometimes Moby when he’s feeling brave, and sit out on my back patio drinking coffee.

F. reckles, especially the real faint ones across the bridge of my daughter’s nose…so sweet!

G. reg DeGroot…my knight in shining armor!  My best friend, my partner in petty crime, my snuggle buddy 

H. omeopathic remedies.  WOW!!!  I wish I would have researched this stuff YEARS ago!  I have officially kicked prescriptions to the curb!  There will be a post later about how and why.  

I. deas.  They keep my creative juices a flowin’!

J. unior.  Just the word…when I hear it, it make me think of my awesome parents as that was one of my many difference nick names

K. ANSAS CITY!!!   What a great place to finally be able to call home!  From the Chiefs and the Royals to BBQ and small town feel in a big city, this place makes me smile.  No matter where I travel in the U.S. it is never quite like here.  The only place I have traveled to and actually want to go back to is New Orleans, because I was only there for less than 24 hours and there is some gravitational effect it has on me.  I have to go back and explore it more…

L. ulu.  The nickname my husband gave me when we first met…

M. arley Claire Bennett…my amazing daughter who grows more sweet and beautiful with each passing day.

N. etflix!  This is what my sweetie and I watch when we snuggle before bed time.  Being able to watch Bob Ross again, or try to stay up and watch the Food Truck Road Race, or random documentaries is one of the best things ever!

O. wls 🙂  These guys are a HOOT!

P. erversion

Q. uinoa…I still have yet to actually make anything with it, because the whole “make sure you wash it really good” thing makes me nervous because those little kernels are so small and I haven’t been able to figure out HOW to wash it.  But I do really enjoy those cookies I got once from Sprouts which were made with quinoa and had pomegranates.

R. est.  Every chance I get to to rest is taken these days!  Life moves so fast.  I’ve noticed that if I don’t give myself a chance to rest, close my eyes, have some quiet time, I get sick…I can’t go-go-go anymore.  It makes my brain space too chaotic!

S. ISTERS!!!  I’ve always wanted sisters and when I married the man of my dreams, I got two wonderful ones!

T. aekwon Do…This is one of those activities I never thought in a million years that I would enjoy.  I’m not really sure why, but I was never really into martial arts or anything at all…I thought it would be a good thing for my daughter to get into so when I went to sign her up, the Master mentioned that children who have parents who practice with them are much more likely to succeed AND earn their black belt.  I am so thankful for the coaches and their patience!

U. lta.  Because I have found the greatest mascara there!  See the letter “P” for the name of it!

V. elcro.  Who doesn’t appreciate velcro?

W. ater.  A while ago, I didn’t drink enough of it and got pretty sick…now, I can’t get enough!

X. rays.  Which enabled us to truly see the level my little’s scoliosis…

Y. OU!  I am grateful for YOU!!!!  or anyone who took the time to read this.

Z. ebras.  C’est Fin