Forever Yours

I took this picture a few weeks ago for my friend’s daughter. She is getting married next year and wanted images for her save-the-date invitations. I didn’t show a photo of their faces for privacy reasons.

Isn’t this what we all envision when we find that person we want to spend ‘forever’ with? That the path of life is one we walk, hand in hand, facing the unknown, but doing it together.

I think it is ironic that I am single (for now!), but I still love romance, the beauty of relationships, and the joy of families starting out.

Why is it so hard for some people to be happy for others? I used to assume that it was a misery loves company mindset.

The truth is, some people are damaged, afraid, distrustful, and tired of rejection. It isn’t always jealousy or resentment. Some people just feel unworthy and hopeless. They can’t imagine that someone would be happy with a partner, or if they are happy, it will fade soon.

It doesn’t have to be that way. It is an intentional decision to be grateful and hopeful.

I am grateful that I was previously married. Not because I miss my ex-husband, but because I grew from that situation. I learned what I valued, my priorities, and what goals I have.

I am dating someone now, and even though it is in an early stage, I am able to be mature, ask those difficult questions, and also have fun learning about his interests.

I have made a conscious decision to leave resentment behind. I have hope, warmth, and excitement. And he does too.

It may only be for a moment, or for a season in my life, but it is great to be open to love, and understanding.

I couldn’t have learned to interact with true intention if it weren’t for my previous relationships.

Maybe one day, I will be hiring a photographer to take a photo of me with a special someone, hand in hand, on a leaf-bedded path.

Then I will have a print made-

Signed, Forever Yours

Borrowed Time

Photo by Danial Mesbahi on Unsplash

Time has a funny way of catching up to us, doesn’t it?

I recently decided to type into Google Search ways to gain maturity. I thought it would be articles about retirement savings, proper ideas on how to raise responsible children, or the like. Instead, I found quite a few articles on the markers of a true mature person.

They are not self-absorbed. They don’t live for just their own comfort, but the betterment of society and those around them. They are good listeners, patient, and open-minded. They don’t try to control others or guilt people into behaving a way of their liking.

How many of us are guilty of doing any of those things of immaturity?

I know I was, and still do sometimes, if I don’t keep watch of my behavior.

When I was much younger, perhaps mid 20’s, I wanted to influence people, change their minds, correct their behavior, warn them of what could go wrong with decisions they made.

Do you know what this created? Enemies, and people avoiding me. I was influential, yes, but I went about it the wrong way. I was so for sure that I had all the answers.

Time has a funny way of catching up to us.

Now that I am in my mid 40’s, it is so obvious to me that people have their own path, their tastes, political leanings, past experiences and decision making models. I wish I had know back then what I understand now.

It’s not that we can’t care about how decisions affect others, but we need to keep tabs on our personal responsibility. You do have the ability to speak up and advocate for yourself, and also close loved ones. But mostly, people need to live with their choices, their thoughts and opinions, and the results they give them. Eventually, if they don’t have the results they want, they will seek out guidance and make changes.

I am so glad I decided to look up this topic. When I realized that I had about half the list right, I felt a little relieved. But sooo embarrassed about how I was years ago. I am sure a lot of us have regrets about what we did in the past, and I wish I avoided the heartache for people who wanted me to leave them be. You know what? Quite a few of those people still like me now, and realize it was a phase and the mentors I had in my life then.

I guess the whole idea of this post is, it’s never too late to make a good decision. Forgive yourself for mistakes and make amends if you have to. You can be an influencer without pushing people away. The right people will end up standing by your side.

Go Read A Book…

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

When I was a kid, if I was bored, someone would say, “Go read a book.” Well, that habit of reading 4-5 books a week has finally created a monster. I began reviewing books two years ago, right when the pandemic started. Now, I’m getting requests for book reviews in such a way that I don’t even remember what day of the week it is.

Is there too much of a good thing?

I know that I started this blog as means to document my journey and observations along the way. Sometimes I have been sarcastic and depressed, other times I have been prone to self-aggrandizement. Some blog posts have been cheerful and humorous. This is what happens when you have a mood disorder and life throws triggers at you.

I have read so many novels in the past 2 months, that I don’t know if I can read any more. It would be nice to read something for fun, or just to learn something new. I might completely take a break from reading for a whole month. Of course, I say that now, and then I will be glancing over Apple News on my lunch break, or perusing some other publication.

I said that I wanted to be a full-time writer, and possibly a part-time editor. One way to improve skills for those careers, is to be an avid reader. There are other things in life to be concerned about, like exercising, watering my plants (so sorry, my green friends, are you still green?), and spending time with friends and family. Pretty much all of those other endeavors have fallen to the wayside.

It’s time to set priorities again, meditate, cut out stressors, and take more breaks. I need to remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint. I probably need to look up something about living a balanced life, setting intentions, but um, hmmm…

I probably have to go to the library, or download something, and–

Go read a book.


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

No one likes admitting they may have been wrong, or that they hurt anyone else.

I have reflected on past relationships, whether they were romantic, or otherwise, and I feel like there are times that I wish I could say, “thank you.”

I am grateful that people were in my life, for whatever time period or function they served. I felt supported, considered, and cared for.

I know that no one is perfect, and people usually do the best they can, in the situation and timeframe, and with the skills they have at that moment.

While some relationships were short-lived, or I should have broken them off sooner, I can still say “thank you.”

Thank you for believing in me, listening to me, trying to understand me, or allocating time or resources to my dreams.

Without any of you, I wouldn’t be the person I am now.

If there isn’t the ability to say, “I’m sorry,” if I didn’t show gratitude, I now say “Thank You.”

I hope that my humility, current and future success can help others do the same.

It’s Always Darkest…

Photo by Jaime Serrano on Unsplash

Have you ever had a time period in life where it seemed like nothing would work out, or at every turn something else was going wrong?

It seems like there are many online resources for “the law of attraction,” or other kinds of positive thinking mantras.

Is it that simple to think your way to success?

I think that yes, there is something to be said about positive thinking, or goal-setting behavior. But sometimes it really is the “right place, right time.”

I finally have two jobs now that will enable me to purchase my own home, and fully fund my retirement. I think the way these came about were an accident. I put a new resume online in October, and then all of a sudden, in April, two companies hired me! The timing of the part-time position enables me to work full-time in the morning/afternoon, and make it on time to the next one.

I wasn’t checking e-mail for either one, and then I saw recruiter messages and replied back. So, I don’t know if I would say that positive thinking, or “name it, and claim it,” perspective made it happen.

I do think that being open-minded, and changing priorities allows the universe and God to send exactly what you need. There is never anything wasted or forgotten by God. There are always lessons, wisdom, or growth in any life season. Don’t think that you will never get through a dark time, there is light heading your way!

Give thanks in all things, and always hope for tomorrow! It is never too late for a new beginning!


Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

Resolutions. It’s that time of year that we make them, hope to keep them, and uh…well, probably throw them to the wayside.

I was supposed to be writing in Bloganuary, for WordPress, and I can’t even say that I have felt motivated to post anything, even though it’s day number five of blog promts.

I can say that I have changed other behavior. I signed up for a food tracking app in December, and I have almost completed an entire month of logging in food and drink choices. I have lost 5 pounds. I have been drinking more 100% juice, less soda, and eating lower fat dairy products.

I have been spending more time with my family. I’ve been praying more and practicing more gratitude and meditation.

Were these “resolutions?” Maybe. But I didn’t plan to implement them by the January 1st deadline. I just wanted a healthier, more well-adjusted life. I have also been looking inward to what truly makes me happy, content, and full of peace, instead of having unrealistic expectations. I celebrate even the smallest milestone, and allow grace to myself when I slip up. It’s not about extremes and high intensity.

It could be because I’m tired of the roller-coaster of emotions, high stress relationships, and spending excess energy on fitting the status quo. I only need to impress and follow God, so other frivolous ambitions don’t fit the bill anymore.

I wish I had known these priorities in my 20’s and 30’s. I was so determined to “play the role,” and I’m sure people in my life then are collateral damage. It’s not exactly worth it to ask any of them, or reach out and apologize, (especially if they have moved on in life, and bringing up memories or wrongs would impact their mental wellness). Some of those people had demons of their own to fight, so no one likes being reminded of the past.

I’m in a much better emotional place than one year ago, and definitely from 5 years ago. It takes time to think, meditate, and exercising to feel good about yourself and who you are. It’s ok to not be perfect, or to not be ok sometimes. I wish I had known this when I was a teenager. Maybe the push to be assertive and competitive looks good on a resume, or to win awards, but at the end of the day, or even at the end of life, people only really care that you were a nice, considerate person. No one looks at trophies on the wall.

So I guess back to resolutions-thank people more, be more patient…drink less coffee? And quit turning the snooze button on my alarm. Oh, those last two-nevermind.

Thanks A Lot

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and Christmas is barely a month away.

I am grateful this year.

I have had so many different experiences, various jobs, people as friends, and exposure to persons of influence.

I have also been friends with people who were homeless, individuals who will never step foot in a workplace, or people with chronic illness who struggle to have quality of life at all.

I’ve had mental health and chronic physical illness diagnoses, but when I wake up and can thank God, and have the ability to exercise, leave my house freely, have above-average medical care, and communicate with loved ones and friends-my life is a miracle.

I have worked for top corporations, been a part of committees, participated as management of companies, and been able to facilitate mental health treatment of others in various situations.

But what if I was a “nobody?”

A lot of people feel like a nobody these days. Lost in the shuffle. And they probably ask, “Where is God?” Where is God, when I just got divorced? Where is God, when I just buried a loved one a week before the holidays? Where is God, when I just got a diagnosis of cancer?

There is no easy answer to questions like these. It’s ok to feel sad, overwhelmed, angry. It is normal to feel disappointed, confused, and resentful. You wouldn’t be a normal person if you didn’t.

But there is a future for you. There is someone else who needs to hear your story. Somebody who will meet you and relate to your pain. People don’t live in a vacuum. We exist by comforting each other, encouraging each other. We succeed by acknowledging each other’s work, efforts, and relationships. When we become robotic, giving out platitudes, not understanding someone’s emotions, we cease to be compassionate and authentic.

Take time to be grateful today. But if you aren’t-or you meet someone who is struggling to be, experience grace. It will result in the difference from responding sarcastically, “Thanks a lot!” or humbly, “Thanks, a lot.”

Rise Up

Photo by Lars Kuczynski on Unsplash

Sometimes life throws you a curveball. Like not even imaginable or expected. This happened to me this week.

I had started a new position at a worthy corporation. A violent crime occurred in our parking lot this weekend. I decided not to come into work for 2 days because I felt unsafe, and I didn’t see enough security measures to feel comfortable returning until the police had solved the matter. I got dismissed from my position for making this decision. Granted, maybe I was overreacting, but who wants to be in the literal line of fire just trying to pay your bills.

However, I heard twice this week the scripture, Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

What a timely reminder.

I had two to three months savings for emergencies, but I didn’t think that I would lose my job this soon. This just proves that you can’t put faith in man, titles, a job position, or anything material. I am glad that I stood up for my rights, and as I believe in God, I know that I will be headed in the right direction.

I know that I don’t always post scripture in my blog, but this seemed like a good situation to illustrate with one.

Also, I almost went into work on that night, to follow up on computer training, and if I had used that parking lot, I might have been injured or killed instead of typing these sentences to you today.

Never doubt the hand of God in your life.

You might not know where you are headed, but God knows what is best for you. I can’t say enough how grateful I am. Besides that, I can focus on writing more, continuing my business classes online, and possibly working from home again. Hopefully by the summer I can take more of my original pictures and go back to the plan of being a photographer.

If plans deviate again, I’ll know that God and my guardian angels are leading the way.

Embrace change. You never know.

Coffee Break

Photo by Mike Kenneally via Unsplash

Remember when you were a kid, and you hated taking a break, like if your parents yelled at you to come inside while you were playing, or if you were in the middle of beating a video game, and they said to turn it off.

Now that I’m a middle-aged adult (gasp!), I value taking breaks. I took a break from working this summer, and instead of going back to my job, I applied at different companies. In the meantime, I rested, exercised, read and reviewed books, took care of my pets, and spent time with my family. After five interviews, I landed a position at one of my dream companies. Now I can move forward with my career, after about 10 years of stagnation.

While I was researching jobs, and adding contacts to my LinkedIn account, I learned from a recruiter that it is ok to change jobs at any time when the position you are in isn’t a fit anymore.

This is something that people usually don’t think is ok. Unless you have to pay bills for yourself and your children, or other dependents (like for instance, you take care of aging parents), it is worth it to change jobs, or even careers if you have the opportunity to do so.

I lost a lot of time changing jobs in between my main careers of the past, (social work and teaching). I now have the education, experience, training, and marketability, in a time where many people are staying unemployed, working from home only, or going back to school. I’m ready to contribute fully to a company that values diversity, great benefits, and promotion from within. I don’t have to worry about my future, how I will take care of my retirement, or how I will ensure I have opportunities to use my education.

I know that every job has it’s caveats. There’s not enough flexibility in days off, or maybe you have to work holidays, or possibly the position is just boring and routine. But at least, with my new position, I won’t have to deal with drug deals happening at work (yes, I’m not kidding), or having to sell my soul for respect and the possibility of being promoted.

After so many years of climbing the ladder of success, and then, jumping off the roof once I got there, (ok, not exactly kidding), I learned that money, image, that “gold name plate” on the door, none of that matters if your health and well-being are being taxed all day, all week, all year.

I know that I’m preaching to the choir, maybe. But I learned from someone a few years ago, that at my age, I can’t afford to not start up another retirement fund, have health coverage, paid time off, and a decent savings account for emergencies.

I spent a long time running from myself. Fears of success, fear of failure, not believing in myself-none of that fits in my trajectory now. I have taken business classes, and continue to do so, I invest emotionally in my real friendships, I’m an authentic, realistic, encouraging person, and I’m responsible. In my 20’s and 30’s I did a lot of experimenting with my career and my financial resources. Now I’m ready to hit the pavement and get things in order so I can be a blessing to others and myself.

So yes, take a break. Take a break and talk to your significant other or spouse. Spend time with children. Listen to someone when they have a bad day. Let yourself ignore that to-do list, and maybe just go for a walk or read a book. Call up an old friend. Hug your grandparents. Thank God for what you have, and what you’ve avoided. Maybe living “on the edge” is only for the young.

As for me, I’ll be sipping my coffee, confident and calm.

Who Are We Kidding?

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

Do any of us have the ability to tell the future?

No, of course not. We all have the ability to assume things, use previous experiences, stories from other people, statistics of how things happened in the past, or just plain ol’ stupidity and stubborness.

We need to accept that things are always evolving. Nothing is guaranteed. If you worry about something, it gives you the illusion of changing an outcome, but in reality, no worrying prevents anything, or prepares you for a change in plans.

Even when I thought I had enough education and training to never attend college again, here I am taking classes in finance, marketing and business. The pandemic altered consumer spending and supply chain organization, so it can’t stay “business as usual.”

All I can say is, never live as if life is complete and finalized, unless you are actually in hospice care and preparing to come to the end of life. You can have all the education or experience, and it won’t matter. I just watched the news tonight, and companies are now hiring people who are “coachable” without formal education, because they realize that 50-70% of candidates are eliminated if they expect a completed college degree in order for people to apply to their positions.

Even though I am a big, big supporter of education, there actually can be alternate routes to careers. You can be self-employed and offer a service or product, and if you have an appropriate way of filing taxes and marketing yourself, keeping track of expenses, and handling the ebb and flow of sales, you don’t need anything more than a high school diploma, start-up funding, and liability insurance.

You can attend college for a semester or so, drop out and still have enough skills to start at above entry-level at a job. You can work somewhere for 2-4 years, have good references with proof of leadership and become a manager somewhere. It doesn’t have to be the “way we’ve always done it.”

I welcome the change. I’ve been discriminated against for not having enough education, education in the “wrong” field for the job posting, and also being over-educated and then discriminated against that I’d quit and leave for a better paying job. (Ok, maybe that was kind of true, but I didn’t want to be told to apply elsewhere when I wanted to be eventually be promoted). I’m focusing on skills that are marketable, like being team-oriented, learning software quickly, being a self-starter, having organization ability, and attention to detail. I’m mostly working from home these days, but even being in charge of your own workload doesn’t mean I can ignore current trends or procedures.

I know it seems daunting, possibly even overwhelming, but it is important to invest in yourself, believe in your abilities, and be mindful of the future. You may not wake up tomorrow, but if you do-make sure you’re ready to face whatever comes your way!