Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Road Less Traveled:A moment of Silence & Clarity...

This week marks the one year anniversary of my losing my life long career job at Stewart. I really can’t believe it’s been a year. Wow...I have worked since I was 14 years old and planned to work at Stewart until retirement. I honestly envisioned that I would take a three month sabbatical (I was not termed till the end of July) and go back to work in September. I would enjoy some sweet time off with our newest angel girl, baby Emily, I would enjoy some great family time and vacation, I would totally reorganize my entire house and set aside my 90 day severance check for a future trip to Italy & Greece.

That is not exactly what happened. While I did enjoy some great family time with baby Emily, and I did go on some great family vacations, and have several promising interviews, I was not working by the fall. I turned down two jobs that didn’t feel “right” to me, and lived off my severance fairly quickly. I did sell my stock and buy a time share and some concert& theatre tickets to enjoy with my family. First things first right?! I knew from the start that without a regular pay check, I would never be able to afford my travel habit and truly enjoy a wide range of entertainment from ballet to STOMP and have been able to enjoy all that from my purchases from my former Stewart stock.

However, even though I did not find my next “JOB” in the corporate world I thought I was returning to, I have LOVED every single second of my new life. Despite the financial impact of unemployment and excruciating COBRA payments, I have Loved my life every single day. On my prayer walks with Sadie each morn, I always tell Sweet Jesus, “I love my life!” I have truly become alive again in so many ways because I was given a wonderful gift...the gift of slowing down and living life simply, joyfully, and quietly. A gift of time, some free time, and moments of revelation, reflection, and renewing rebirth. A great time of clarity for me...

Here’s a few things I have learned and now embrace:

  1. I already knew, but this year has truly shown me, life is precious. Enjoy every second. Look around you and smell the roses. On my morning stroll, I have always enjoyed my surroundings, but was in a hurry to get in the shower on time to make sure I got my spot in the traffic line so I would not be late to work for my 7am start time. Now, I can be a tad more leisurely. I can stop and visit with a neighbor. I can listen to a solo performance for moi from a bird at the top of the tree overlooking me and wishing me “good day”, I can watch a cardinal skirt a dozen trees to find who knows what, I can take photos of the flowers I see. I can pray all my prayers in silence and solitude and not feel rushed….
  2. I can go to the gym. I can go to spin class and not leave early. I can stay till the end and visit with an old friend. I can try the aqua class at 10 or attend the yoga class at 3. I have time. I can take care of my body and make stronger commitments to be healthy to enjoy my grandchildren.
  3. I can eat better. I have time to prepare and to cook and to wonder my way through the store making good healthy choices. I have had to learn with limited funds to only buy what I really need and only what I will really eat in the next few days. And if I need more, I have time to go back to the store. No worries.
  4. I can pop over and play with my grandchildren anytime. I don’t have to watch my watch when I’m with them. I can pick up the house, or cook a dinner, or go to the zoo. It doesn’t matter. I have time to do it and to enjoy playing with them, unrushed, with out a care in the world. I love it.
  5. I can take my Maman to the movies & lunch on a Tuesday. We can go to the museum in the middle of the day. I can just stop by and have lunch with her and a friend in the middle of the week. I don’t have to be so anxious and watch my watch and hurry back or think I will be late. I can just sit and visit and enjoy. I can lunch in my garden instead of at my desk and it is wonderful.
  6. I can help with doctor appointments, packing up an old family home that has been sold, go to the storage unit, goodwill, and drop off items with my family members, in the middle of the week, or the middle of the day. I have time to do that.
  7. I can go to mass, or adoration, or the chapel. I can visit with the priest after wards. I can open new chapters for Modern Widows Club.  I can meet with PR Reps and Financial Advisers and Attorneys to develop a plan to watch my mission = my passion, GROW. I can return emails, and write thank you notes, and spend time encouraging others to lean into life. I have time for that now…
  8. I can learn more. I can study Resilience. I can learn about vulnerability. I can find my very own GUMPTION. I can face Fear and learn about Empowerment. I can open my own business and help others. I can go to Chamber of Commerce events, to the International Association of Business Communicators, I can attend ALTA, TLTA & ACMP functions and serve on committees now, without asking permission or taking time off. I have time for that…
  9. I can cook for others and bring them dinner and a bit of peace, an endearing smile, a hug or pat on the back. We can sit on the terrace with an open bottle of wine and steal away from all the stress and worries of the world for a few hours - we get a little bit closer to world peace.
  10. I can be me and all that God wanted me to be. I have been given the greatest gift of all: TIME. Time to ponder my life; where I have been, where I am and to dream Big Bright Bold dreams of where I want to Go. I’m asking God to use me as His vessel - to fill me with His LOVE so I can share with others. To guide me, to lead me and to LOVE me and show me the way. To hear the need, and to fill it. I don’t always have a day timer hour by hour plan, but each new day He does direct my steps to take me where I am to be to serve others with His love. It could be a prayer for someone outside a courthouse. It could be a hug to someone with cancer, it could be a ride to the doctors office, or a few hours I spend helping someone out so they can do something else. It can look like anything, any day. I never know what I will be doing or where, but I always love it. I am enjoying every second of my new life...

In so many ways, this has been the Richest year of my life. When I was terminated, I was given the gift of time. Today when I think back on it all, I began thinking of all the things I didn’t get done. The closets aren’t organized. I haven’t washed the windows. I decided not to remodel the kitchen. I still have a garage full of too much stuff. But I have held my grand babies, I have gone to the beach and the zoo and the museums. I have been able to be there for my family and my friends when they needed an extra hand, or a hug or a warm meal, or just a smile. I have enjoyed spending time with friends. I have traveled all over; from Oregon, to Iceland, to Kansas, to Santa Fe, to Matagorda and soon to France and perhaps Fiji...I’ll make it to Italy and Greece too I’m sure. I have learned to live simpler. Dropped the land line, gave up the cable, stopped buying things I didn’t really need. I read more. I learn more. I spend more time in the gym and in the garden. I cook healthier and I live larger. I have really embraced what I have said for years now: Enjoy every single Second! Life is short, and all we really have to give is our LOVE!!!

PS: As soon as I finished writing this, I received a call from my attorney that Lancaster Leadership if officially certified by the State of Texas and WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

Enjoy Every Second!

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