Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Looking Ahead

I have a confession.  I'm embarrassed to tell.  Before I share, let me explain.

For about the past six months I've been feeling some sort of change coming.  I'm not sure what or why.  The last time I had this feeling, it lasted for a couple of weeks and then we found out Kevin's father was diagnoses with liver cancer and that the outcome didn't look good.  Well, Kevin's father past away not long after that.  So, when I say, I was having that feeling that some sort of change was coming I don't associate it with good things at all.  Well, I received word (in the form of a letter and then I made a phone call) about a week ago that my employer was "putting me on notice" so to speak. 

 You see, I was out sick at the end of last year with this awful bronchitis stuff that just would never go away.  Well, I went to my doctor countless times and had paperwork filled out.  I faxed the paperwork to the group that reviews it and makes the decisions for my employer.  My doctor's office never sent them their notes, so it got denied.  Also, on the day I was ready to go back to work, Kevin did a dramatic 360 and landed himself in the hospital over the holidays.  I've been out with him ever since.  My employer requested that I appeal their decision stating they could never get my doctor to release documentation.  So, I appealed and sent them the paperwork last week.  73 pages of documentation.  I confirmed everyone had what they need and spoke to the appeals representative today and explained all of this to her.  I even explained that my husband is paralyzed from the waist down and was admitted to the hospital on the day I was to return to work for a severe septic UTI and E-coli.  The representative was shocked by what I told her and all she could say was, "Wow!"  Now, my employer will not even consider the time I've been out with Kevin until the other gets approved and then if they do consider it, it will be covered as a leave of absence.  This whole thing hinges on my original time off.  

I will say this.  I'm calm about this for the most part.  I'm not sitting in a corner stressing about this and biting my nails like I probably would have been a year ago.  Yes, this would mean major changes for us.  Health benefits, dental benefits, and vision benefits gone.  Not to mention no pay for the past 3 months, or any future pay for that matter.  I'm quite shocked this isn't completely stressing me out yet.  I've been doing this job for almost twelve years now.  It would be a huge change to not have it anymore.  Huge!  Since I've been doing this job for so long it's comfortable to me.  Sure, things change with the business all the time, but the day to day workings of what I do, pretty much stay the same.  There are days I love having a job that does not require me to take my work home with me.  It makes having time for my family much easier to deal with, especially now with Kevin being disabled.  (I hate that word, disabled)  Some days, I think, it would kill me to not be able to work with the people I talk to every single day on the phones anymore.  I realize just how much I will miss talking and helping them.  That is my favorite part of my job, each call brings something different, a new challenge, or a puzzle to be solved, and I got to help, truly help the people calling me.  I provided a service for them and I love that about my work.  

Anyway, I'm feeling some sort of change coming and I don't know exactly what it will be.  Maybe it's just a change in how I see things, or putting me in a time and place to notice something I didn't see before.  Maybe it's a change of pace, in the form of extra time to get a few things in order around our home.  The gift of time.  Maybe it truly will be the loss of my job.  I don't know for sure.  I will say this, I have no regrets for how I handled myself.  I counted up all of my doctor's visits for myself while I was out, I was in his office at least once or twice a week.  Each week.  I drove that man nuts!  I drove their office staff nuts!  Trust me, they were sick of seein me but, I honestly needed his help and for the most part he really did help me.  AND with Kevin, he will always come first for me.  No matter what, and I do not regret being out to be by his side while he was in the hospital and to help him here at the house after.  As Kevin said, "He needed me there with him and said he couldn't have made it without me."  He said, "He honestly thought he was not ever going to come home again."   He thought he was in the hospital to die.  So, my family comes first.  They always have and always will.

This feeling of changes coming always reminds me that life is one big test and that we aren't to get too comfortable because there's always room for change and growth.  Whatever it is, as always, I'm praying for the faith to endure and learn the lessons I'm supposed to from whatever comes our way!  Pretty much, that's all we can do, right?

So, just to back up, if you've been around my blog here for a while, you might have noticed that I work full-time in what the world calls "Corporate America".  I will say, it has not been without it's ups and downs.  But at some point over the last couple of years of working there, I made a contious decision, not just to tolerate the work life and people, but to love it and them.  Not just to casually listen to my co-worker's, but to get to know, love, and be a part of their lives.  Not to complain about the way things were going at work, and to make a positive change in myself towards work in general.  

It hasn't been easy.  I've had to learn to change my attitude a bit.  In fact, I could write volumes on the things that have happened over my twelve years there.  Yet, I have mentioned almost none of those life changing episodes here on my blog, mainly because some of it is sensitive in nature, yet these experiences have shaped who I have become over the last twelve years.  And the friendships.  Oh, the wonderful friendships I've experienced with people of all walks of life.  Words can't express how much those friendships have nurtured and taught me.

So yes, I've given my heart and soul to my life there, to the company and business I've been a part of.  Where too many would come and complain about the lack of this or that...fill in the blanks.  I thought long and hard about those that had valid issues and I would say within the past couple of years, I decided to try and handle myself differently and not complain.  And because I decided to deliberately learn to love the place and the people I worked with, and the people I worked for, it hurts all the harder to even think about leaving.  

But, even the hurt feels good and right to me.  If I wasn't sad to leave, then I'd wonder if I'd managed to do what I came there to do.  I'm sure Heavenly Father, knowing my heart, made sure to give me plenty of time to start to let go of my life there, and to say my goodbyes.  He knew I'd need time to accept this change.  So, I'm starting to focus on saying goodbye.  I'm focusing on not just goodbye but on taking my friends aside (so-to-speak) one by one and telling them just how much I love them, what it was that they did for me, and what I see in and respect about them.  And just giving them nice long praise that they really need to hear.  I'm sure that as I thank "my people" and express my love for them, the more aware I will become of my own blessings.  So, here I am at the possible end of twelve messy, wild, crazy years, really a decade of employment, looking back with deep, deep, deep gratitude.  Do other people feel this way about the places they have worked?  They must.  I can't possibly be the only one.  The saving grace about moving on for me is knowing that the Lord is leading us.  He is blessing us.  He has NEVER let me down before.  And I know that He is leading us (as individuals, and as a family) to the next phase of our lives, to a place where we can learn and grow and continue to become the people He wants us to become.  I don't anticipate not being able to find a new job if it comes down to it.  However, I'm open to suggestions, and my heart is open and ready for new friendships, new challenges, and new opportunities to learn and grow, .........if this is the time, for such a change as this. 

With the beginning of a New Year, I'm looking ahead and making some other changes in my life, while I have the time.  I was reminded lately, that I can't do it all.  So, I'm at the point where I'm once again choosing where to put my time and energy.  Here is a little of what I am choosing for now.

My Family:  I want to be more intentional about the time that I spend with my family.  That means that if I don't get to my blog some days, it will be fine.  I don't want to become distracted by everything else that I feel I need or want to do, that I forget to put my family first.  

My Relationship with my Heavenly Father:  I'm starting to read my scriptures again (I know, I was doing so good for a while there.) and I couldn't be more excited!  I love the time I spend devoted to sit and read, and really ponder the words.  I want to challenge myself to dig into things more than ever this year, and be consistent in making the time.  There is nothing more fulfilling!  

My Talents:  I have no plans to ever get back into floral arranging...in the whole flower shop sense at least, or dive in deep to any new craft projects.  A few years back, I would have LOVED to open a business decorating for weddings.  I loved that and the work I did in a floral shop, but I think that ship has sailed and the desire is no longer there.  Of course, I would always welcome the opportunity to help someone with their weddings.  I still like to help and I do like what I do, I just don't have the desire to be the final decision maker.   Be that as it may, I'm ready to be inspired to use my talents in other ways.  And maybe, just for the purposes of getting my home in better order and more organized.  I want to use those talents on a daily basis, and be better at keeping up on things.  I'm hoping I get back that passion I once had for doing things myself.  It should be a fun adventure.

My Blog:  I want to get on a better schedule with my blog and be a bit more consistent.  Some days I post and then I'll let a couple days go by where I won't post anything.  I want to be wiser with my time and get more posts written in advance, so I'm not rushing to get them written at the last minute, or just not having the time to post anything at all.  

My Health & Fitness:  Truth be told, I've really let myself slide in this area, and I have no excuses.  It needs to change.  Some days, I just feel old and tired.  Then I remind myself that I am only 49 and that someday, I will look back and wish I was 49.  I need to take care of the body I have, so that I'll not only look and feel better, but that I'll also be able to do the things that I want to do, without the hindrance of being out of shape.  

My House:  I've started to "spring clean", but I am ready to see every inch of my home perfectly clean and organized.  Can you say....Instant gratification.  I don't want to just clean it.  I want to get rid of everything that we don't use or need.  Whether it's in our closets, cupboards, storage room, or garage.  I am tired of the excess.  Less really is more, and I'm ready to embrace that and live a little more simply.  Let's do this!  

DISCLAIMER:  These are NOT my 2017 New Year's Resolutions!  I repeat, these are not  my resolutions!  These are merely my intentions written down and it feels good.  These intentions are subject to change at any time.  ~wink~wink~

I pray all good things for this year.  For my family, for myself, and for you too.  Take care my friends and we will talk to you soon.

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