Sunday, February 28, 2016

Meaningful Work to Make a Difference

ways to make the world a better place 4 simple ways to make the world ...

When I was looking for work, one of the things that I was looking for was a job where I could make a difference.  Not that I expect to save the world, but I wanted a job that I could feel good about.  In the past, I have had some sales jobs where the whole purpose was to try to get the most money out of people.  There was always an up-sale and a kind of sleaziness to the whole process.  I was trying to avoid that if I could when finding a job this time.

I am happy to say that I succeeded.  My position at the optometrists' office is a needed position and I am part of the process to help people see better.  Not much can be better than that.  I get the benefit of helping people, working in healthcare which is a great field, and I do not have deal with extreme trauma or the demise of patients.  The fact that I am too empathetic and get attached to people is the reason I have avoided healthcare up to this point.  I don't have what it would take to become a nurse or a doctor because I have difficulty detaching from emotions.  I would be crying myself to sleep every night if I worked in fields such as oncology, trauma or hospice.  I really don't know how people work in those fields and kudos to them for doing it, because those really are a great service to people.

As far as Uber, I didn't think that I would get the feeling that driving people around would make a difference, but I do.  I think Uber is a great service to a community.  I have heard so many instances of people being more willing to leave a car at home because Uber is reliable and less expensive than a cab.  Uber is keeping drunk drivers off the road which is saving lives every day.  Also for my daytime calls, they have mostly been rides to work.  So Uber is helping people keep their jobs.  Now that is really making a difference.

So, not only did I get a job that makes a difference and serves people and community with a higher purpose, but I got 2 jobs.  I can work at both with the feeling of "how can I help people today?"  Now that puts a smile on my face.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Oh No a Motorcycle!

I am excited.  My boyfriend got a motorcycle today.  It is used, needs some work and needs to be properly registered, so we can't ride yet...but he got a motorcycle!  I have not had a boyfriend with a motorcycle since college.  I am already dreaming of the days when I was young riding on the back of a bike with my guy (s).

In fact when I think about it, most of boyfriends in college had motorcycles.  Of course that made sense because I was always attracted to those bad boys.  Weren't we all?  My ex-husband was the first guy I dated in like a 3 year span that didn't have a bike.  For some reason he didn't like them at all.  I still don't understand it.  There was a time when I tried to talk him into getting one, but that got shot down.

Then there was my most recent ex-boyfriend who didn't like motorcycles either.  So, I conceded and resigned myself to the fact that I would never have another guy with a motorcycle again.  By that time it had been about 15 years since I had been on one.  Now that time of not being on a bike is about 25 years.  Wow, that makes me feel old.

But lo and behold, my new guy just bought a motorcycle!  Woohoo!  I am in hog heaven (not literally, he got a Yamaha), but needless to say I am excited.  There is nothing quite like the wind in your hair and the feeling of sitting on that much power.  It is an amazing feeling.

It's time like these that I am glad that I live 1000 miles away from my family, because my mother dearly hates bikers.  She would condemn my boyfriend before even meeting him if she knows he has a motorcycle.  It wouldn't matter that he is a great guy, the fact he is a "biker" would foreshadow everything else.  And we won't even mention the fact that he has tattoos.  I am going to hell for sure for dating a guy like that, at least according to my mom.

That really sucks though because I really hate to hide things or to not be completely honest.  But on the other hand, I really don't want to open that can of worms.  Why do people have to be so judgmental?

I will have to contemplate how to handle this with the wind in my hair riding behind my guy who is nothing but amazing to me.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Juggling it All

It seems within the last week suddenly my life has become very hectic.  I went from being unemployed to having 2 jobs.  My full time job is taking all of my attention and have been coming home tired every night.  Just trying to get dinner and laundry done has become a major chore. 

I have never wanted to be a supermom that handles everything.  I always refused to work full time, do 100% of the housecleaning, meals and home upkeep and all the child care.  That is how I became a stay at home mom for many years because I could never get my husband or boyfriend to help me.  Now, I have it easier.  I have no child care since my daughter is 17 years old and has her own car and my boyfriend helps out some but I still feel like I am juggling.  I guess I need to get into a routine.  

Tonight I will be driving Uber since it is the weekend, so I will get little sleep.  The sleep deprivation over the weekends is probably contributing to my exhaustion during the week.  If only I could sleep in.  It seems the older I get, the earlier I wake up on weekends.  I may have to look into some sleep aids to help me out.  

I know I will succeed with this juggling of jobs and home, but it will take time and planning.  Also, I need to work on being more productive.  I cannot just plop down on the couch after dinner and watch TV, I have to make sure the laundry is started or be working on something else.  

This adventure called life is proving to be quite interesting.  How do you juggle your everything in your life?  Do you ever drop the ball?  And what are the consequences when you do?  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Day 2 of Training at My New Job Complete

Optometry: a field ready for innovation |

I just completed day 2 of training for my new job and I must say I am enjoying it.  Since I am new to the healthcare industry, there is a lot to learn.  I really cannot even believe how much I have learned in just 2 days.  I have come home both nights exhausted and drained just from dealing with the volume of information I am taking in each day.

As I was slightly overwhelmed yesterday, I asked my boss how long training would be.  I was trying to learn everything so fast and was worried that I would have to have learned everything in a week.  I was relieved when she said that training was going to be at least 3 weeks long.  That amount of time, I can handle.  Will I be an expert, no, but I totally intend to outperform all the former trainees.  Yes, I am competitive.  But, I really think I am going to rock at this job.

One thing that I really like about this job is that there are really 3 different functions to it.  There is check-in, which I am learning now, there are charts, and then there is check-out.  So, even though there is a lot of repetition in the job, you get to play different roles on different days or even within the same day which breaks up any monotony.  Also, as everybody in customer service knows, people are wild cards, so there is an unlimited amount of scenarios that can occur because we are dealing directly with people.

I am glad to be in the healthcare field.  Applying for job, I learned that health care is where there are openings and growth.  As the baby boomer generation ages, health care will just keep expanding.  Of course I am at a Optometrists' office, so we deal with every age group.  This type of office is ideal for me because I get emotionally attached to people and am too empathetic, so there are certain areas of healthcare that I know I could probably never work (oncology, hospice).

Another great thing about this job is that it allows movement.  I have worked jobs where it is frowned upon if you get up and move away from your cubicle.  It is like your own little cubicle prison.  This job requires that we walk to a different room to deliver charts and interact with the technicians and the optical personnel.  I wear an activity tracker and have walked about 6000 steps each of the last 2 days at work.  Woohoo!  Exercise at work, I am all for it.

I am excited to be at this new job.  I think it is a good fit for me.  I really think I can excel there and I plan to.  And I must say that as I receive all the emails for all the job openings that are available in the workplace, I am glad that I am past the whole application/rejection letter process and am grateful for this job.  Life is good.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Book Review: Making A Living Without A Job; Winning Ways for Creating Work That You Love by Barbara J. Winter.

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I have been out of work for awhile.  Thank goodness, I just landed a job last week and have my orientation today.  During my time not working however, I read this book, Making A Living Without A Job by Barbara Winter and it was great.

This is not another book that gives you a list of ways to work from home, though there are some suggestions in the book.  This book is all about attitude and passion.  In order for someone to start their own business, they have to have the correct mindset and enjoy what they are doing.

Making A Living Without A Job assumes that you are just thinking about taking on working for yourself.  All of Part I is about getting to know yourself.  There are prompts for exploration of your personality and desires so that you can figure out which direction would be best for you.  This book is all about helping you create your individual plan according to your interests and passions.

Part II takes you into discovering your assets and assessing where you stand and where you need to go.  It goes over obstacles and how you need to look out for yourself.  The author uses her own experiences throughout the book as examples of things that work or don't work.

Part II is all about exploring your options.  Barbara Winters tries to open your eyes to the unlimited possibilities for working on your own.  She does give some examples or suggestions but also explains how to find your own opportunities and how to act on them.

Part IV gets into the nuts and bolts of what you need to do to actually run your own business.  She discusses marketing techniques and problems you may encounter.

Part V is about making your dream real.  She is very honest in telling the reader that most ideas are not get rich quick schemes, but will be lean at first and will take time.  She emphasizes that this is a lifestyle change not just a career change.

Overall, I loved this book.  It is well written and is an easy read.  Barbara Winters really gets it that owning your own business is all about attitude and self confidence.  She provides real examples that are inspiring and discusses real problems like the naysayers that you will encounter.  What really resonated with me was the discussion about how our parents push us to work for corporate America when many of the people who work corporate jobs are miserable.  We have to break that mindset and find what makes us happy and content.

By the time that I finished this book, I had fleshed out several avenues that I want to go to create extra income.  Will I ever become completely job less?  Only time will tell.  I am not ready to go that path just yet.  But, I would suggest this book to anybody that is thinking of being their own boss.

* Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and will receive monies from your purchase through the link at the top of the page for this book.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Driving for Uber...I'm Loving It

I started driving for Uber on Tuesday.  I drove Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.  Tuesday and Wednesday I was available limited time during the day and Friday I became available to work around 6 PM and worked through the night.

Let me say that I am really enjoying Uber!  Most of my daytime fares have been people getting rides to work.  And of course, last night (which was a Friday) most of my fares were to drop off or pick up at bars.  Let me just tell you that Uber After Dark, as I will call weekend night pickups, are entertaining to say the least.

My last job was as the only admin in a company where all the other local employees were technicians that went to job sites.  At that job I was alone in the office for usually 6 hours a day by myself.  That may seem nice to you, but I am someone that likes to be around people.  Not that I have to be talking to them constantly, though I am a talker, but I just like being around people.  This is one of the reasons I am loving Uber, I get to meet a lot of people. Every fare is a new face.

So far the demographics for my fares has been under 35 (most college age) and Caucasian. I did have one guy that was older than me, but he was with two younger people.  I also had one African-American passenger, who was well educated I might add.  My college age son said that Uber is a hipster thing which would be on par for the demographics that I have encountered.

What I will say is that everyone that I have given a ride to has been really nice and polite.  We hear these bad stories about millennials and how awful they are, but I have only had good experiences with them so far.  Another surprise is how chatty the 20 somethings are.  I got the impression that this age group only communicates via devices and cannot hold a real conversation.  I thought my kids were an exception, but evidently I was wrong because I have had some terrific conversations since I have been driving Uber.

I survived the first few days of driving and my first Uber After Dark without too much trouble other than a lack of sleep.  My car is unscathed and actually still clean.  No one even tried to smoke or bring drinks in the car other than water bottles.  I was surprised.

Overall, I am loving driving for Uber.  Would I do it full time?  Probably not since after I had been in the car over 3 hours straight I definitely walked like a 90 year old.  My joints were stiff and my body reminded me that I am not as young as my passengers.  lol.  Also, my full time job pays more.  Will I continue driving for Uber?  Absolutely, I will have a great time with Uber as my 2nd job.

And for drunk stories, they are coming.  I think I will write a series of "Uber After Dark" posts if I get enough material.  Right now I need more stories and I want to figure out how to tell the stories so people can still remain anonymous.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Why I Write/Blog

Since I have started a blog again, I have been surprised at how many people have never heard of a blog.  Once I explain what a blog is, then I get the question "why would you want to do that?".  I have discovered that I couldn't come up with a simple reason that was sufficient for many people, so I often just reply "because I can" if I don't want to give a full explanation.  I have been thinking about this topic a lot and I have come up with many reasons for wanting to write a blog.  

First and foremost, I use writing to discover myself.  I am the type of person that often flits from one idea to the next.  When I write something down, it gives me focus.  For a blog post, I often have to do research and explore my feeling on a topic and pin myself down to how I really feel.  This is a method of self discovery.  Often people use journals or diaries to do the same thing.  My blog right now is all about self discovery and the journey that I am on. 

Secondly, I use my writing as a form of self expression.  Writing is a form of art in my opinion, just like music or 2 or 3 dimensional artwork.  Most artists use their works to release and express emotions and feeling.  I use writing in the same way.  I can be really angry about something then sit down and write a blog post about it and by the time I am finished writing, my anger is gone.  I have released that anger through my writing.  I guess you could call it venting, but it works.  Writing calms and centers me much like drawing or painting a picture.  So, while you are using your adult coloring books to relieve stress, I am writing my blog.  

Another reason I write my blog is for my ego.  I don't need to get famous, but I do like having a voice.  I feel that my opinion is interesting and that my experiences could help others.  I know that if I am having issues with something I like reading about people who are going through similar problems. I also like to read about other peoples view of things because they may have a different perspective on an issue than I do.  I am not the only one that feels this way, otherwise memoirs and biographies would not be read at all.  So, I am hoping that my blog can provide this for other people.  If someone is trying to lose weight, or going through a midlife crisis, I want them to be able to read my blog and realize that they are not the only one and that these things are common and maybe even learn something from me.  Or maybe they will learn what not to do from me, it is all a learning experience though.  

Lastly, you can make money from blogs.  That is not the purpose from my blog, otherwise I would not write the way I do.  If you notice most of the blogs that are trying to hit it big are all providing lessons and tips on how to make life easier.  Don't get me wrong, I love those blogs, and I read them,  but that isn't how I operate.  I write for me, not to make a buck.  If my blog happens to make money, great, I won't turn it down, but that is not the sole purpose.  I do eventually want to get back into creating art and may use my blog as a platform to sell it at some point, but I am not there yet. Also, I would like to someday maybe get into freelance writing, so having a blog is a great tool for launching that option because you already have writing samples online.   

Are you a writer?  Or a musician or artist?  Why do you create or write?  Are your reasons different from mine?  There have been many essays by many writers written on why they write.  I have not read any of those in awhile, but I am sure many of our reasons are the same.  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

He is Paying for All My Former Relationships

Here I am in middle age and I have a boyfriend.  I wasn't sure I would ever be in a romantic relationship again, but here I am.  I must admit that this is a relationship that I would never have expected, but we both just kind of fell into it.  We got along so great that we knew we had to put a label on it, so now he is my boyfriend.  

Unfortunately, I have been in 2 long term relationships previously.  My ex husband and I were married for 9 years, together for more than 10 years.  My most recent break up was from a 12 year relationship.  Both those relationships had major issues, so now I am constantly watching for red flags in my current relationship.  As a result, my poor boyfriend cannot get away with anything.

I established early on that I have two rules, honesty and respect.  Sometimes I feel bad for my boyfriend because I give him very little leeway.  I am way more demanding from him than I have ever been in the past because I don't want to fall into the same traps I got stuck in before.  However, I am not going to give in.  I am a different person now than I was before and I demand respect and will call anyone out if I feel like I am not getting it.  My boyfriend is not disrespecting me, but if I am questioning whether there is an issue, I call him out on it every time.  Of course he does the same to me too because he also had bad relationships in the past.

Luckily, my boyfriend is great at communicating and is probably one of the most caring people you could ever meet.  In fact, if I had to describe his most prominent personality trait, it would be that he is all heart.  Everything he does is with heart and he cares deeply for people.  He is the type of guy that if he thought you needed a shirt, he would give you the one off of his back.  Because he is such a caring guy we can talk about anything, including our relationship issues.

I am not used to being with a guy that will sit down and talk about "us".  It is refreshing and we would probably not still be together if we didn't have those conversations.  I never had those conversations when I was younger because the guys wouldn't participate or I wasn't confident enough to call them out on issues.  Now that I am older and hopefully wiser, the conversations have become a part of our relationship.  It is amazing how experience changes things.

My boyfriend is indeed paying for the crimes of my past, but it has made our relationship stronger. We know where we stand with each other and we know the true meaning of commitment.  At this point I cannot imagine an issue that we couldn't tackle together and overcome.  I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

One Goal Completed!

If you read my post, Establishing Goals for My Journey, you may remember that my first and foremost goal was to become gainfully employed.  I am glad to say that I accepted a full time position today.  I am waiting to hear back when orientation will be and we are hoping I can start on Monday.  I will be working in a Doctors' office, and I am very excited.  I have been wanting to break into the medical field, and now I have finally done just that.

Woohoo!  I am doing my snoopy dance.  I really can't believe that I landed 2 jobs in one week, this office job and driving for Uber.  I will continue to drive for Uber whenever I get the chance.  I am sure that will be pretty often.  Since my daughter is old enough she doesn't really need me anymore and my boyfriend works really long hours, I am often left to my own devices. I will use that time to pick up rides for Uber.

Now the fun begins.  I was already juggling writing my blog, trying to set up new revenue sources, spending time on housework and my hobbies.  Since I now have 2 jobs, I will have to become a pro at being productive and prioritizing my time.  I may pull my hair out a few times, but I know I can handle it.  Heck, after raising kids, this seems like child's play.

It feels really nice to be able to check off one goal, now I just need to work on my other 8 goals.  Ha!  That sounds so daunting.  I have already started to lose weight, we will see if that continues.  I am trying out new churches, which is interesting to say the least, and I am starting to work on my creativity and letting the artist inside of me wake up again.  I am well on my way to completing all my goals.

I am loving this journey that I am on and really love this adventure I call life!  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A New Income Source -Uber Driving

I just got approved to drive for Uber yesterday.  I am going to vacuum my car and see if I can get some fares after that.  I am excited, and nervous, and feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders since I don't have an income source right now.

If you read my post a couple of days ago, Setting Up Multiple Streams of Income, you know that I have been out of work for a few months and I am trying to pick up income sources.  Ideally I thought I would have a full time job by now, so it is driving me nuts that I am not currently working.  Then a couple of nights ago, my boyfriend comes in and says, you should drive for Uber since he had just heard an ad on the radio for them.  At first I scoffed at the idea.  I thought it would be dangerous and I wouldn't make any money.  But the more I thought about it, I realized he was right.

I need money ASAP, so why not?  As far as being dangerous, it isn't any worse than when I was a Realtor, which is in fact a scary job.  An Uber driver is constantly tracked by GPS and the company has the name of who the fares are, so that is much safer than having an open house in a rural location where random people could visit like when I was in Real Estate.  And as far as pay, I googled it, and it is worth my time, at least until I get a full time job.  And even then I will probably drive Uber as a 2nd job.

And besides, driving for Uber may give me some great blog material!  Who knows, I may meet some great people, maybe even my next boss.  Sometimes things work out in strange ways, so maybe this is just a catalyst to catapult my life into something new.  Only time will tell.  In the meantime, I'm up for the adventure.  Wish me luck.

If you want to drive for Uber, please use my referral code so I get credit.  You can go to Uber and use referral code 31T9D9XJUE .

Monday, February 15, 2016

Health: Allergies and Losing Weight

I must admit that over the years, I have learned quite a bit about health and nutrition.  I am in pretty good health considering that I am middle aged.  I am not on any prescription medication and I would consider myself strong and fairly fit.  The only 2 issues I really have are being overweight and allergies.   

All my life I have had to deal with allergies.  I am pretty much allergic to anything that has ever lived.  You may laugh, but unfortunately it is close to true.  My official list (that I can remember) is as follows:  dogs (slightly), cats, horses, feathers, wool, rats, some bees and wasps, mold, many types of grasses, oak trees, ragweed, and the penicillin family of antibiotics. And this is only includes allergens that were included in the battery of tests I have had to undergo.  I have calculated that in my life, I was on allergy shots for a total of 19 years.  That is really ridiculous when you think about it.  Currently, I am on 2 different types of over the counter allergies pills so that I don't have to suffer through chronic urticaria, otherwise known as hives.  And if you have every had to deal with a skin condition, you know that it can be debilitating.  

I am lucky in the fact that I do not have food allergies.  I was having some issues a couple of years ago, so I did a whole elimination diet where you remove all foods and reintroduce them so you can track any reactions.  The diet was a 6 month endeavor but thankfully it was determined that I did not have any food allergies.  The diet however, did clear up my issues, so we suspect there may be sensitivities, but no allergies.  It was through this diet that I learned a lot about nutrition.  I had to make wise choices in the reintroduction of the foods so that my health would not be affected from lack of nutrition.  

As far as being overweight, this has been a struggle ever since I had my daughter.  I am not to the point that I am morbidly obese, but I need to lose 55 pounds to get back down to my pre-kid weight.  I am not sure I could get down that low ever again, but I wouldn't complain if it happened.  But, I do need to lose weight.  Right now, I am as big as I have ever been and I don't like it. 

A lot of people tell me that I don't need to lose weight and that I should love who I am, but they are wrong.  I do love who I am, but I am uncomfortable at this weight.  My clothes are tight and I refuse to go up a size, and I am getting to where I can feel the wear and tear on my knees and other joints.  That is not even to mention that being overweight puts me at risk for metabolic syndrome and heart disease.  So, the verdict is, I'm going to lose weight starting today.  

I don't have just some willy nilly plan to do it, but a real plan that I am implementing today.  I am using "The Skinny Rules"  by Bob Harper.  I picked up the book at the library last week.  The rules seem sound and not terribly extreme, so I am going to follow the 20 rules outlined in the book to lose weight.  Unless I don't see any results at all, I am not planning to use the rigorous diet plans in the book.  I am sure that I could lose weight faster if I do use the diet plans and recipes, but I am going to forgo that because I don't want to be on a diet.  I want this to be a lifestyle change.  I want to incorporate the 20 skinny rules into my life permanently.  I know I will fall off the bandwagon occasionally, but I think these are good rules to live by and I am just going to see if I can make this work.  I will keep you updated on my results.  Feel free to cheer me on. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day or Not

Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope you have a great one.  I know I will because I will be with my boyfriend who is pretty great.  In fact he is a little bit of a romantic, so I really don't expect today to be any different than normal because he has no problem telling me how much he loves and cares for me.  Everyday could be Valentine's Day for us if it were measured as a day of romantic gestures rather than a date on the calendar.

As far as Valentine's Day goes, I am a little bitter on the subject.  The holiday has gone the way of many of the other holidays and has become a marketing spend-fest that emphasizes bigger is better and that each year has to be better than the last.  In fact it has been documented that many breakups happen after Valentine's Day because expectations were not met (Google it, it's real)  And that does not even take into account the alienation of all the single people out there.  

Relationships are hard enough without throwing in a day of expectations and worry.  If the couple has not gotten to the point of exchanging "I love you's" then Valentine's Day is extremely awkward.  And in a real relationship where the couple do acknowledge love for each other, there should be regular expressions of love that are comfortable for that couple.  Not everybody likes over the top extravagance and often the simple things mean more anyway, especially when they are spontaneous and not inspired by the marketing machine that has taken over the day.  

My guy regularly sends me texts during the day while he is at work telling me how much he appreciates and loves me.  That is more precious to me than anything he could do on Valentine's Day.  He is also known for declaring his love to me in Facebook posts which have gotten a "gross" response from my teenage daughter.  

So, today will be like most other days for us.  Yes, I got him a card, though I contemplated not getting one since I think I often write better than any cheesy card anyway.  Besides no card could say perfectly what I would like to say to him if I wanted to sum up all my feelings for him.  I will cook dinner at home because who really wants to go through the hassle of fighting crowds and waiting hours for a table. We can eat well at home and then curl up together on the couch and have watched a movie in the time that it would have taken to have gone out.  We express our love regularly, so no grand gesture needed.  

So once again, Happy Valentine's Day, or not.  

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Setting Up Multiple Streams of Income

I have read quite a bit about setting up multiple streams of income and have wanted to do the same, but I really didn't know how and didn't have the motivation to really pursue it.  Well, that has changed since I have been out of work for a couple of months now.  I had a hefty savings when I got laid off, but that got used up pretty quickly.  I had started looking for a job before the layoff because I knew it was on the horizon and assumed that I would land another job right away.  Needless to say that didn't happen.  And of course, that was right in the middle of the holiday season when there are not too many permanent job postings.

It took me a couple of weeks to realize that I wasn't landing a job right away, so I delayed filing for unemployment.  Unfortunately, the company I had worked for had gone to using a payroll company and all the employees were considered co-employed.  It took that payroll company several weeks to determine that I was eligible for unemployment which delayed my approval for payment.  The state of Florida Unemployment office was not helpful and there evidently was a computer glitch that they couldn't work out for several weeks which resulted in non-payment and in my claim getting closed out.  So, I had to reopen the claim and wait for approval again, for which I am still waiting.  I have been out of work for 11 weeks and have only received 1 week of unemployment compensation.  Needless to say, money is a little tight.

The good news is that I do receive child support for my daughter so I do have a little bit of income coming in.  The child support is not enough to cover all my bills, but it certainly helps.  Of course, my daughter is a junior in high school, so I will only receive child support for a little over one more year until she graduates.  In the meantime, I am very thankful for this source of money.

I am currently looking for a full time job.  There were not too many postings until about the 2nd week of January, after the holiday season.  I have been applying like crazy for jobs.  I have had a few interviews, but no job as of yet.  I keep hearing that I have a good resume, but for many jobs, I am told that I am overqualified since I have a college degree.  Yet, for jobs that require a college degree, I do not have enough relevant experience since I spent quite a few years as a stay-at-home mom.  Evidently being a stay-at-home mom is career suicide.  Though I wouldn't trade those years I was home with my kids for the world, it makes getting a job difficult.

So this lack of income has made me realize that I never want to be in this position again.  I need to set up multiple streams of income so that if I lose one stream, I still have others to carry me through rough times.  I started thinking about my skills and resources and what I can do to make money other than a full time job.  I have determined that I should be looking into freelance writing, getting back into creating artwork that I can sell, selling items on ebay and being crafty and setting up an etsy site.  I have a few other ideas as well that I am want to research further, but they are insignificant at this time. If you have any other ideas, feel free to let me know.  I am open to just about anything.

One site I have been looking into a little bit is CafePress.  If anybody has any experience working with them, let me know because the review sites are all over the board as far as it being good or bad.  The concept is great, but I don't want to be associated with something that is low quality.  Also if there are alternative sites that operate about the same, let me know that too.

Do you have multiple streams of income?  What are they?  Maybe we can help each other out.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Sacrifices Stink

When I broke up with my long time boyfriend (over 12 years) the summer of 2014.  I made many sacrifices when I decided to move away.  I tried not to fight over stuff, and I knew that I was moving to an apartment so I didn't have much room in my new place.  As it was, I was moving to a 2 bedroom apartment with the stuff for 3 people.  I moved only 3 weeks before my son went off to college, but I still had to store all his things because not everything he owned could fit in his dorm room.  And because money was tight, I wasn't going to get a 3 bedroom apartment just for storage.

Since then, my son has moved to an apartment, so he has been able to take more of his stuff, but I still have a lot of his belongings at my apartment.  The poor kid has to sleep on the futon in the living room when he comes home for breaks, and I feel bad for that.  Of course I don't feel bad enough to have stayed in a bad relationship, so I keep telling myself that his sleeping on the futon builds character.  Unfortunately, my kids' Dad moved to South Carolina last spring, so my son doesn't even have the option to crash at his Dad's house anymore.

Though, I miss some of the stuff I left at my ex boyfriend's house and feel guilty that my son has to sleep on the futon, my biggest sacrifice in the move was that I left my dog, Hunter, with my ex boyfriend.  I got my dog in February 2002, only a month before my ex husband and I broke up.  My ex boyfriend, who was also my neighbor, and I had our first date a few months after, so he was around pretty much the whole time I had my dog.  When I broke up with my boyfriend, Hunter was 13 years old and already not aging well.  My dog was already getting up slow, couldn't handle stairs and did not deal with change at all.  Taking Hunter's health and quality of life in consideration, I decided that I would make the sacrifice and leave him with my ex boyfriend.

Since the break up, I have have had visitations rights to Hunter and I have been watching him deteriorate.  I usually cry every visit because I notice every change for the worse and he seems to be shrinking and definitely has doggy Alzheimers.  My visitation was cut off almost a month ago when I told my ex that I am seeing someone.  I guess he had some strange idea that we would get back together someday.

Tonight I got a text from my ex boyfriend that Hunter is not doing well and is having trouble walking.  Of course I rushed right over to see Hunter.  He doesn't seem to be in pain, but to see him on wobbly legs and thin is really hard.  I fear that I may have just seen him for the last time.  I pray that he does not have pain and that he goes quickly when the time comes.  In the meantime, my heart is breaking.    

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Establishing Goals for My Journey

If you know me, you realize that I love spontaneity and have no problem with just winging it.  I view life as an adventure that is to be unfolded as you go.  I do set some goals, but they are rarely firm as I think the dynamics of life should dictate where you go next.

This viewpoint has been both a blessing and a curse.  It has been a blessing in the fact that I don't feel like I have failed in life, just changed my trajectory.  Just because I haven't met goals that I had in mind when I was in my teens, or twenties, does not make me less of a person or less successful in the things that really matter.  So what if my bank account is not bulging, I have enjoyed life in my own way and have very few regrets.

A clear example of this is that until the time I was around 25, I never even contemplated having kids.  I didn't have the desire or the need.  I got married when I was 24 and my husband (now ex-husband), talked me into having kids.  I loved him and was dedicated to him, so to make him happy, I thought I would bear through it.  Well, it turned out that having kids was the best thing that I ever did.  As soon as I became pregnant, my maternal instinct kicked in and I was a happy pregnant lady which only became better when I became a Mom.  And I must say, I rock as a Mom.  It doesn't pay all that well, but I must admit that I am good at it.  But, left to my own devices and opinions, I would never would have had kids.

My life has progressed like this over the years.  As things came up or my views changed, I tried different things and often changed my path.  This has been rewarding and fun and brought a lot of joy to my life, but (yes, of course there is a "but") it has also left me a middle aged woman trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up.  And that, my friends, is the curse.  I don't have a clear path to follow.

I have decided that this journey to perfect solace should have some goals so that I have some direction for what I need to accomplish.  I am well on my way and have already learned many things about myself, but I still have a lot to achieve and discover.  My goals are as follows:

*  Become gainfully employed  (this is first and foremost)

*  Find a religious community that is comfortable and supportive

*  Focus on health, which includes losing weight

*  Increase my circle of friends

*  Love unconditionally  (my kids, boyfriend and friends)

*  Enjoy nature and everything it provides

*  Revisit old hobbies that have been long forgotten and explore new ones

*  Make myself my priority

*  Become creative again

I am sure I will think of more goals as time goes on.  I tried to write these so they are fluid and will work well with the flow of living and change. This journey is a process and there is no particular end, it is the journey itself that is to be enjoyed.

If anyone has any suggestions feel free to comment.  I appreciate comments.  In fact, if you are willing to join me in the journey or have been through a similar one, please share your experiences, I would love to hear them.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Return to Blogging

Several years ago I had a blog that I enjoyed.  I had a decent following but shut it down when my life became a little too chaotic.  That was about 3 years ago, but it feels like another lifetime.  So much has changed since then.  I feel like I am living a completely different life now, and for good reason.

In the last few years my life has changed dramatically.  My father passed away from lung cancer.  I left a relationship that I had been in for 12 years and relocated to an apartment with my teenage daughter.  My son went away to college, and I have worked a couple of different jobs, though now I am currently looking for work.

But through all that turmoil, I have enjoyed the process of finding myself again.  I forgot who I was and what I wanted out of life.  I am still trying to figure it out, but I am finding a peace and calm that I have never felt before.  I still have a lot more work and discovery to do, but I look forward to it.  I hope you join me in this journey to Perfect Solace.