Father’s Day

I’m relatively confident my dad never knew when Father’s Day was. He probably figured it out when he was forced to open presents, but it wasn’t something he enjoyed. He only liked the fact that it brought the family together. He enjoyed sitting back and watching the loud chaos that we all bring to any room (he was more of a watcher than a participator.)

Dad wasn’t a good father so he could receive accolades and never expected attention for it. In his mind that was just what fathers did….they looked after their kids. There are a lot of things I can think of as examples of how he was a good dad, but there is one memory in particular that I always recall. We were somewhere in the mountains and I had climbed on some rocks. I got up, but was way too terrified to climb down and certainly too scared to jump. I was paralyzed with fear. I may have been blubbering. Dad appeared and held out his arms. I jumped into them. At no time did I think I would fall….and I didn’t. That was who he was in my life. The quiet rescuer I could always trust. The strength when I was weak. Probably the reason I found it easy to trust a Father God.

As I got older, he taught me to rescue myself because in his mind it was beyond silly to think that I couldn’t. When I was not confident, he forced me to be. There were things he never made me learn….the reason my kitchen ceiling still needs to be drywalled without him being around. Daddy fixed it with perfection the one other time it was needed. He knew me and using my hands for projects will never be my gift. But for most things he encouraged me to be self sufficient. He and my mom raised capable adults. (And I am capable of finding someone to fix it….but I am a bit more of a procrastinator than either of my parents.)

I guess Father’s Day was more for us than him. It’s good to be reminded that you got a really great gift. Not everyone did. It breaks my heart that many did not get a good father. Those of us who did so often take them for granted….because we never knew anything else.

Any time I do anything hard for me, I owe it to my Dad. He gave me the gift of courage. I miss his hugs and his conversation…..even the infuriatingly logical take on things when I wanted to just wallow in my emotions. It’s no wonder I kept going to him for advice… he was so often right and it surprised me how well he knew me.

I try to celebrate my dad’s life instead of focusing on his death. He would not have been flattered by excessive grieving. It was not his way. He would like seeing me live well, enjoy the simple pleasures in the day, and exercise that courage muscle. That is how he lives.

To those dads that did the job well, or at least made a brave attempt, Happy Father’s Day. You are a gift of gold to your children, a wealth they will carry with them forever. I miss my dad’s hugs and kisses, but he engrained himself in my soul. He lives through me…..and I can’t imagine tackling life without the underpinning of the part of me that is him.

Jobless – Part 8

“Wherever I go, I’m watching. Even on vacation, when I’m in an airport or a railroad station, I look around, snap pictures, and find out how people do things.” – Richard Scarry

“The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about these circumstances.” – Andrew J. Bernstein

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

I was getting emotionally tired. I’ve been out if work since January 19 and while I’ve had more free time since…..ever…..the emotional toll of things was starting to get to me. Oh, I am fortunate. I’m not someone prone to depression and I am using this time to not only look for a job, but also enjoy the freedom it gives, but like the ship in this picture I’m feeling like I’m not living my purpose. A ship stuck on land. I have always worked, beginning with babysitting at age 12. Life seems weird without a job to go to.

I wish I could retire (I think I’ll be excellent at it), but I’m not in that season yet. These are still my working years and there is much I want to contribute. I’ve typically loved my work….and have never been resistant to change. I believe a new job is a good thing right now and all has happened for a reason. I’m not saying that in a hokey way (heaven forbid)….but in a practical, shake-up-your-life kind of way. Still, it’s different for me to be unemployed, so it’s stressful. Sometimes when you feel stress, you simply need to get away.

So, while talking to a friend I said I was feeling the need to have a break and specifically to be at the beach. She said “Let’s go.” We each had weekend plans on both sides of the next week but could make those weekdays free, so in the midst of those weekends we rather spontaneously took off to Cape San Blas, Florida.

Cape San Blas (and the surrounding areas of Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach) was one of those areas hit by Michael eight months ago. Many homes that were part of the landscape last year are simply gone. Rebuilding and cleanup is happening, but it is a slow process. I’d never been there before, and it was the perfect place to reflect and regroup.

The job hunting process is slow for a lot of us. It’s a time where in many ways the structure of your life has been torn down and you get to assess how you need to rebuild, with the resources you have on hand or can get in the future. While it can be traumatic, it can also be cathartic. Many factors enter into this process and there are always questions.

Rebuilding this part of your life is a process. I’m trying very hard to hold out for the right job, but at what time do you need to compromise and consider those jobs that you don’t think you want? How much time is enough time spent job hunting in a given day? What am I doing wrong? What am I doing right? How am I appearing in interviews? Why don’t I get jobs I know I could make a great difference in? There’s lots of introspection, especially for a chronic thinker, and not a lot of helpful feedback.

And it’s so slow. If they tell you they’ll get back to you in two weeks, know that could instead be months. Or never. In fact, never happens far more often than you would expect. That’s tough to take….especially for potential positions where you have driven for an hour or more to get to an interview that has taken hours and often required all kinds of mental gymnastics and even extra “projects”. Often the interview process itself makes you think “Is this the kind of company I want to work for?” Companies should care about how they treat people….including prospective employees. But that’s the idealist in me talking.

I did not really look at any job boards last week while I was away. I did spend time thinking about where I am on this journey and I expect to not only regroup and change a few things during the next weeks, but to keep assessing where I need to go. I’m not yet willing to compromise much, but I know by necessity that is coming….along with starting to think about whether I need to be willing to uproot my life and move. I had already known a commute was in my future, but maybe I need to cast the net further. Yes, that would disrupt my life more than I was prepared for, but I need to be willing to consider all of the possibilities. Maybe my comfort zone is too comfortable. When we limit our parameters, maybe we’re limiting God’s plan. I am not prone to rash decisions (though sometimes make quick ones), but also consider life to be an ever-changing adventure, best lived by being open to knowing sometimes we need to drive down that road we’ve never been on before.

It’s a messy process, but still a good and important one to go through. Sometimes we hear to get rid of the rubble, and rebuild. Sometimes we just need a few cosmetic changes. Sometimes we need to sell the property, and make a new start. We simply can’t let ourselves become paralyzed.

Vacation is good. Getting away, changing your environment, looking up and out and inward. Next week I get back to the hunt. We choose what rules our life. I do not choose stress, but joy. That is the direction I will pursue. I still know God has a plan….and I have a purpose. But I also need to work to find work. I also need to keep adding alternate courses of action, because stagnant starts to stink.

Jobless – Part 7

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“Building up expectations, creating unrealistic time frames, feeling like our end goal is the end all, be all can all lead to frustration or anxiety. We end up feeling as though we have to power through what we want rather than enjoy the process and just let the result come as it may.” – Gretchen Bleiler

So it’s been over four months now. I have to admit it is getting more difficult as time goes on. When you know you work hard and are pretty darn good at your job, you really don’t think finding a new one will be difficult. Then you realize some of the roadblocks….that you’re perceived as older than you view yourself, your salary isn’t really crazy high but higher than many simply as a result of being in the work force for a long time (so that makes another pool of employees more attractive), and even when you tell folks that you are OK with the idea of commuting an hour or two away for the right job (and are capable of deciding that for yourself before you seriously entertain any job), they don’t always believe you. Even though they don’t really know you.

I guess there is comfort in that, too…these people don’t really know you. They’re looking at you through eyes that see the experiences and people they have experienced in their lives, and not really you. They’re forming an impression of you and one or two sentences poorly worded can impact that impression. I’m a straight shooter. Sometimes people can get the wrong impression with that….or even doubt what I say. Logically I know I can’t control that, but should I try to fit in more and be a bit less me? The recruiters would tell me a resounding yes, but I am looking for a certain kind of workplace. While they test me during these interviews, I also test them. What better way to find if we are compatible?

Having hired people in my past, I understand the random nature of it. Did I always hire the best person? Nope. Did I always believe the answers they gave me to my questions? Nope. Sometimes I just was tired of interviewing and hired the next good person, instead of the stellar one I interviewed three weeks ago. I figured it was just easier. Does that make sense? Not necessarily. The whole process doesn’t make a lot of sense.

And I interviewed folks under the old interview system, since I didn’t hire people in my last job. These days you can simply be out of the mix because your resume has the wrong key words. Or your Linked In profile isn’t exaggerating your accomplishments. Sometimes I giggle when I read those of people I know, but truth is that it probably works for them. I’m confident in my own accomplishments, but always really careful about their authenticity. Maybe I downplay some things. I’m bad with knowing the quantitative results of my past experience. Did I save clients $1.2 million in 2018 as a result of the work I did negotiating rate increases and such? Maybe, that was something I was good at, but I never thought to keep track of that sort of thing. What was the total amount of premium for the book of business I managed? I get asked that a lot and have absolutely no clue. Someone gave me a thinly veiled suggestion that I should make up numbers because no one could dispute them. Well, I could dispute them. That’s enough. But I would advise you to keep track of this sort of thing….it would come in handy. I just never took the time, because I was focused on the job at hand.

I’ve looked at my bank accounts lately and cringed. Don’t worry….I’m doing fine financially….but what if I go six more months without a job? Those savings I had for this possibility becoming reality…..I really didn’t want to use them!

So it’s time to start looking at my budget and see what I can cut. Last week I finished getting outstanding dental work done. At the end of this month I will cancel my COBRA dental coverage. I’m looking at things like cable TV…..I may turn it on once a week. Is that a necessary expense? I don’t think so. My home phone…..do I need it? I think I have included it on a couple of job applications, so I will try not to use it on them in the future and see if I can do that in a month or two. I’ll also probably take some time to look at things like my car and homeowner’s insurance. Is it time to change? I haven’t looked at it for years. When I start thinking about these things I realize there is some fat in my budget, and some things I can manage better that I have been neglecting. Why not cut some of it now instead of later?

While at times frustrating, I still can’t help but be grateful for this time. Waiting is one of the best exercises of our faith. If I really trust God, this is one of those times where the rubber meets the road. When those worried moments hit, I tell myself “Exercise that faith.” And I breathe in and out a few times and it’s all OK. I do trust. I may not know the next road, but the godly GPS is there and working well.

I can spend only so much time job hunting and I have decided I need to make a more concentrated effort to use my time well. I’m someone who could easily read my life away, but that’s not the healthiest approach (though it will always be a large part of my life…..and there is a ton of books on my list I have yet to get to.) I have complained that my job often made me too sedentary….why the heck am I still spending so much time sitting down? It’s time to plan more and better and enjoy the opportunity to be more active. I can volunteer more and spend more time with friends. There are tons of places in the area I have said I wanted to go. Why not now? That’s my plan for the next few weeks. To plan my days better and not be idle. Life was meant to be savored, working or not. But it takes effort. When we make that effort, we reap the rewards. So why not do it?

The Jerks

I’m really tired of you……you joy stealers. Especially you who try to manipulate those I care about and make them feel less. Especially those of you who were sent by God to be their family, but also those who have pretended to be their friends. To put it simply, you’re jerks.

Yep, I understand that you are people to be pitied, though you would say that is not what you are after. You live life….sadly. Your purpose is wrong. You are making the world so much worse instead of so much better. And why? For many of you it’s a hellfire determination to manipulate and a lack of ability to live your own identity.

You look at the world with very dark glasses. You see darkness everywhere. You often don’t see that you are the one creating much of that darkness.

How do you know if this is you? Let me try to start a checklist. You may be a jerk if….

  • You were to weigh your conversation during a given day, and much of what comes out of your life is negative talk about others. Or the world in general.
  • You think everyone should think like you. Your experience, your knowledge, trumps that of others and makes you feel superior.
  • You act as though you have been given the role of the Holy Spirit in other’s people lives. You spend a lot of time trying to show them how wrong they are. (Note: God felt only one Holy Spirit was necessary. If you’re walking around a mere mortal on the outside of people, you’re not it.)
  • A lot of your time is spent worrying about the choices of other people….who they marry, how they spend their money and time, the dumb things they did in the past or do now, the friends with whom they associate. There are natural consequences to those things…..they don’t need you to fix them.
  • You feel acute embarrassment for the actions of others. Nope….it’s not yours to indulge in. Not if you birthed them, taught them, married them, introduced them, or told them. Yep….we all may cringe occasionally about the behavior of “our people”. If it lasts more than a moment, you’re probably going too far. You’re not them.
  • You bring up the same subject of contention each and every time you are around them. (They heard you the first time. Now you are Charlie Brown’s teacher.)
  • You don’t appreciate the good things about people. If you say you love them but can’t seem to come up with anything good about them? You don’t.
  • You’re passive aggressive with the people in your life. They “should” know what hurt you, bothered you, concerned you. You shouldn’t need to tell them. Or you have told them, sort of. Kind of. Well…..you shouldn’t need to tell them. Or it’s not worth the hassle. Yet you think of nothing else when you see them…and it’s obvious an elephant is in the room. But since you don’t point it out, they just feel something’s off. And that something is you.
  • You abdicate your responsibility to parent. Or care for your own parents who raised you with love.
  • You allow others to make your choices for you…and you blame them if you are confronted. They don’t like someone, so you don’t, They don’t agree with their lifestyle, so you don’t. They hate someone, so you do. They think you should make a certain choice, so you do. No grown up should ever blame others for how they treat people. It’s all on you. Even if it was their idea.
  • You judge others based on factors out of their control…or even those in their control that may be the result of a different life experience than yours. Their skin color. Their hair color. Their gender. Their family. Their sexuality. Their handicaps. Their political party. Their income. Their charitable contributions. Their religion, culture, or lack thereof.
  • You shun people for actual or imagined “sins”. This means you overtly or covertly stay away from them. It may be because they leave your church or their spouse or because their family member is arrested. Is it really the time to stay away?
  • You make negative comments about children. Or their parents. In front of them. Even if you spin it well and no one else appears to notice.
  • What you say you believe is not evident in how you live your life. You say you serve love, but spew hate.

You are the hateful ones. Your superpower is to make people cry and doubt they are a masterpiece of the creator. You never will change the world for the good….because even if you have a good point, the delivery of your message makes people run in the other direction. Sometimes even when they would agree with that point if you took a softer approach and both spoke and listened and tried to understand them.

Know this….you may think no one knows, but we do. We’re watching. Some of us can even treat you kindly, knowing you are a jerk.

I hope I stepped on some toes. I hope some of you may feel a pang when reading some of these things and take steps to change.

To those who refuse to acknowledge or make an effort to get better? We’ll be there for your victims. And yes….they are victims and you are a perpetrator. We will love them. We will be kind to them. We will gently lead them to work through their problems. We will remind them you are jerks. And while sometimes it seems that you rule the world, you don’t. Love and kindness will win.

And to those who have been the victims, you are not wrong. You don’t deserve what you have been through. Don’t let the jerks keep you down. They’re not worth it. Forgive them. That means release the pain of their transgression. Live your life with joy. That will be your revenge. Even if you’re not the vengeful type.

Peter, Naked

“Jesus’ favorite disciple told Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon heard that it was the Lord, he put on the clothes that he had taken off while he was working. Then he jumped into the water.” – John 21:7 CEV

We’ve studied this passage the last two weeks at church. I admit when the scripture was read, my mind started wandering. I was thinking about Peter, naked.

Oh, I know I was probably not the only one. Things tend to distract us. Especially the word “naked”….which was in the version of the text actually read. Probably pastors should include it every Sunday and attendance may go up. But then again, maybe the congregation will get distracted.

I started thinking more about Peter, though. Naked Peter.

There he was, out with the friends fishing. I suppose he didn’t want tan lines, or maybe didn’t want to smell like fish, or maybe wanted to annoy his friends, so he took off his clothes.

Then Jesus, “the holy one”, shows up. Peter, startled, jumps in the water. All of a sudden his nakedness was not appropriate. He was a disciple, after all. One of the chosen. He hid himself. Or tried. He wasn’t comfortable being that same version of him when Jesus was around.

Yet this was the same guy who was confused as to why Jesus would doubt the quality of their relationship. He couldn’t believe Jesus would question his love. Oh Peter, it’s in the little things that you betray yourself.

I’m a people watcher. Yes, I’m the one who watches you even sometimes when you think no one is. (Creepy? Maybe.) Those times are important…..because they portray the real you. Or a part of the real you that you try to hide from me. From others. From yourself. I have always found the inconsistencies interesting and it’s simply easier to see them when you are unaware. I don’t set out to “spy”…..I just don’t turn away when I see you.

Oh don’t worry…..I gather data at other times. When you know I am watching. What you say, how you say it. When you appear nervous. When you’re overly poised. When your story isn’t quite the same this time as last time you told it. We all collect not just what is said, but what your body tells us. Well, most of us do.

Because I am a data gatherer, I just may know far more about you than you think I do. Many people in your life probably do. That which you think you hide, often is not well hidden.

Oh, many of us will not bring it up. Often there is no reason. That which you think you need to hide, would not be a concern to us. That you feel you need to hide it? Far more interesting.

There are people who are different around me than they are around other people they know. Some would say that is natural. They don’t want to upset people by being something that would displease them, so they put on different versions of themselves. It’s the “polite” thing to do. It’s the people version of using their inside voice. They want to leave a certain impression, depending on your role in their life.

I made a decision years ago to try to live authentically. I’m nowhere close to perfect, but I try to live consistently…..whether I be around saint or sinner, rich man or poor man, liberal or conservative, president or peon. Because really, why not?

One thing I have found is that life is easier. If someone wants to disagree with me, or tell me how they think I should do or be, then they can have at it. I may choose to listen, I may not. But it happens far less than you would think. I’ve learned to pick my battles, so even if I listen, I may choose not to engage. I get to choose how to live my life and am confident enough in my choices that I own them.

This is not to say I have no right to keep things private. I get to decide this, too. But keeping things private and hiding things…..there is a subtle but important distinction.

Peter is known for denying Christ, even after saying over and over he would never do it. Did he really believe it, or was he just jumping into the water, trying to hide? I suspect a very human Peter was just a very imperfect man. Vulnerable…like us.

This other verse was part of our scripture today “ “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”Luke 22:31-32

Jesus knew Simon was going to fail. But still, he had faith that Peter would still have a purpose, a ministry. He would realize the error of his ways and he would still (or especially) be able to help others.

Live naked. OK, maybe not without clothes. I personally plan to protect the eyes of the world and would ask you to join me. But when you feel the need to cover yourself, to appear as something you’re not, examine why.

One thing I know about Jesus……he could have handled Peter’s nakedness. I suspect he would have been amused by it. In fact, I think he would have preferred that version of Peter instead of the one prettied up and well dressed. Jesus, the son of God, sees you as you are. And accepts you, just as you are. But wants to use you anyway. Do not feel the need to jump in the water and hide.

As for the rest of us, we can probably handle the naked you. And if we can’t, maybe it is our problem?

Jobless – Part 6

“I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish when they are praised.” – Richard Branson

So I had another interview last Wednesday. It lasted about an hour and to date it seemed the most comfortable interview I’ve had. Not that I have had any terrible ones yet….but some seem unnecessarily formal. These folks simply asked me to tell them about myself and then asked a few questions and told me about them as an organization. In my estimation this is the sanest kind of interview. How rattled do you need to be by those people you may be working with in the future?

This company stresses they want their work environment to be a family atmosphere, however large they grow (they are currently in acquisition mode and plan to be for some time). It’s a cornerstone of their culture. A lot of family members do happen to work there, but the company is also the result of the combination of more than one agency….so the family they talk about is the collective group of employees who make up the company.

This type of environment is very important to me. I’ve been on the other side…..where people talk differently behind your back than they do to your face. Where adults refuse to confront a co-worker about a problem, but undermine them when they are not around. Where you are discouraged and no one notices. Or particularly cares.

I’ve also had the other. Where “we” win and “we” fail. Where we may drive each other nuts on occasion, or get really loud during “discussions”, but bottom line we stand together. Where we tell truths and work for the success of each other.

So yes…..a true functional family atmosphere…..I need that.

I was headed to meet some friends for an early dinner, when I got a phone call from the head of HR at the company saying “Would it be possible for you to come back on Friday to meet again? They want you to make a presentation, then introduce you to some more people, then take you to lunch.” If I couldn’t do it then, they understood, but because of their travel schedules it would be 2-3 weeks before they could do it again.

My mind went into full out panic mode because of all the reasons this was not a good idea. One being I had volunteered to help at an over-the-counter drug giveaway a group called NC MedAssist (medassist.org) was doing in Statesville that day. I learned about this group from seeing an event invite on Facebook, and always wanting to know about options for the uninsured or others struggling with medical costs, I looked up their website. It seemed like an organization I wanted to know more about, so I decided to volunteer. (One great thing about being a severed employee is that you have salary coming in for a while. I am not someone who has the attention span to “make it my job” to job hunt eight hours a day, as I have seen some experts advise, so I am loving the chance to consciously do some good things with my time.)

I told the HR Director I would talk to the event coordinator for MedAssist the next morning and then let her know if I could do it. The NC MedAssist coordinator was incredibly nice about letting me out of my commitment…. even wished me well. So I decide to go for it. Sooner rather than later usually matters in job hunting.

Now…..the other reasons that it was not the greatest timing for me. First of all, there was the presentation. I didn’t see the email when it first came in (do you know how many emails you get when you are out of work?), so didn’t even get the instructions until the middle of the afternoon. So…..I get it Thursday afternoon and I have to be in Charlotte at their office on Friday morning at 9 to present. OK…..I’ve pulled together a lot of presentations at the last minute and though I had to make up data (they didn’t ask for anything specific except a 6 month plan review), I figured I could do it. But while I am used to doing presentations on PowerPoint, I don’t currently own it. A problem.

Google saved me. They have free apps you use for documents that I had heard about, so I dug up the presentation one. Using a new app isn’t what you want in these circumstances, but I had no other choice. Can I say I love Google even more? It was easy to use and was exactly what I needed. A tiny learning curve, but nowhere close to what I expected.

Then I had guys putting my new kitchen counters in. They talked a lot, and drilled and banged and were just generally noisy. Not their fault….that’s the norm. But it was not the best environment for preparing a presentation. I finally decided I had to wait until they left.

I had other things planned for Thursday. I cancelled everything.

And my printer. It wasn’t working….which I have known since I did my taxes last minute on tax day. I didn’t have time to mess with it. So I ended up having to go to Staples and get my presentations printed. Which meant I needed to work fast. I asked how many would be in the meeting and the HR Director said it would just be the same four who had interviewed me previously. I normally always make an extra copy or two when I make a presentation. This time I didn’t. Copies were $45 making just five. I had no clue it would cost that much. Plus the cost of folders. But not having that extra copy was a mistake. That morning when I arrived the CEO had decided to join us. The HR Director noticed my stress and said he could have hers. (They shared.)

It was fine. Instead of running it like a regular employer meeting, which probably was their intent, I decided to just work my way through the presentation and tell them why I chose the data I did and how I would use it in the meeting. I am one of the world’s worst when it comes to role play…..it was better for all of us that I not do it. I got through it. They continued to ask a lot of questions, even when the presentation was done. But was all fair and pertinent. I asked a few questions of my own. (There is currently no flexibility to work remotely on occasion. Tough where they are located now, though not bad for Charlotte, but a planned company move will make the commute longer.)

About 11:30 they said “Thank you for coming.” I guess the plan to introduce me to others or take me to lunch changed. They told me it would be about three weeks before I heard anything. That executive travel issue again. So I left feeling a bit flat. I called my recruiter and she got me to look at things a bit differently. I knew their schedules were going to be rough, so nothing to do but wait.

But late that afternoon I got a call from another recruiter about another job that sounded interesting to me. The recruiter said at the end of the call “I’ve talked to a lot of people about this job, but you are the first one that I believe is exactly what they want.” (Which sounds great…..but we all know it may or may not be true in that employer’s eyes.) So maybe the waiting time isn’t a bad thing. The search can continue. Options are good.

While I never really felt like I would be out of a job (because caring about what you do and being pretty good at it means you are immune, right?), I did listen to some good teachers in the past regarding personal finance, so I was somewhat prepared. This week I had new kitchen counters installed and also found out my house has termites. Big financial things that most would not want to tackle at this time. The termites are beyond my control…..that needed quick action. The inspector came today and I have the money to pay for treatment. He was a fantastic person, too, and the encouragement he gave was another gift of this season of life. He gets the God thing and laughed with me at some of the stories that have already come from this experience. (That treatment is getting done tomorrow. Goodbye termites.)

I’ve been putting off a kitchen mini-remodel for four years, because I was intimidated by the whole process. Having always lived in apartments or rental houses before moving here, I never had to do anything like it. Since a new job will probably mean a commute and little spare time as I get up to speed on a new job, I decided I wanted to tackle it. You know I like to challenge myself to face hard things. It hasn’t been bad at all….mostly because my family has supported me through the process and my brother and my nephew saved me a lot of money doing some of the work. When the full project gets done (I still need a backsplash) it gives me options….it will make the house more marketable if I have to sell. And I can enjoy it in the time I have left here.

I’m eager to get back to work, but I also see this as an adventure that not everyone gets to experience. I am taking it very seriously, but also my faith allows me to not give in to stress often. You know I love stories….one reason I am blogging about it all…and there are so many that come with something like this. I don’t want to forget the journey.

Plus it’s going to happen to a lot of you, too…..and I’d rather you heed my story and prepare not only financially, but emotionally and spiritually. It really doesn’t have to break your heart or spirit. I promise.