Where Do I Belong?

The best way to start this section is to just start typing…I have so many thoughts running through my mind and so much fear trying to put road blocks up at every turn that it’s driving me crazy.  I just don’t know where I belong in this world.  If you read my blog from the beginning, you know that I left my husband, my home, my job and everything I had known for the last 15 years because he wanted someone else.  My life has changed drastically over the last 5 years and nothing is as it seemed.  Now I am trying to piece my life together using new puzzle pieces and the part of the puzzle that contains my work life is eluding me.

work life puzzle

My most valuable resources for information are my two sons and their wives.  My oldest son Terrance is a trainer for Samsung.  He literally worked his way up the ladder and he did it by absorbing every bit of knowledge he could about cellular phones back when they first came out.  He would print everything he could find on the subject until he had more notebooks on this information than he did on all of his school materials combined!  He didn’t know the particular turns he would make on this path but he took them as they came along and he is now in a good place with more opportunities still in front of him.

My son Tyler also worked his way up by starting at the bottom.  He started working for a lighting company when he was 18 as a warehouse employee.  This company stuck with him during his learning years because they saw his potential.  He was promoted to warehouse manager and even when the company hit hard times and had to cut his pay, he stuck with them.  They bounced back and he was right there with them.  Today he is a store manager for this company and is their go-to guy for bringing stores to an A-rating.  Next step is the regional managers position, I am sure!

So here is my dilemma and please send me your thoughts, advice and experiences on this matter.  I would love to see the input from my readers.

Is my personality holding me back?  I am a very passive person. People very quickly see me as malleable and not one to stand my ground right away.  When I was a young mother, this was not the case in my personal life but in the workforce I have always been the subordinate.  It isn’t that I don’t have leadership skills or potential, I just don’t have the confidence and it shows.

Fear.  That is what I have.  Second guessing everything from my age and how much time I have left to find my niche , to my ability to perform when things get tough or confrontatin occurs.   How does a person with my personality move into the workforce as a leader? What can I do to conquer the fear of confrontation? Of failure?  Dealing with employees on their personality level does not come natural to me as it does with some other leaders.  I always see myself as an equal or less than others and I get ran over every time.  When I think about the bosses  I’ve had in the past and what made them seem like successful manages to me, I see the respect and compassion they had for their employees while still coming across as the one in charge.  This is why I think I could do it. Reading people and picking up on their needs comes natural to me.   I just have to learn how to manage the personalities of employees in a way that helps them be their best while protecting myself from being ran over.  A manager doesn’t have to be a hardass 24/7 to get people to do their jobs but they can’t be a pushover either.  It’s a fine line that I want to learn about.

So, I am researching what books to read on managing and supervising, reading blogs and articles on it,  I’ve even signed up for classes on Lynda.com to help me learn some of the basics.  If I need to take a class at the local college, I can do that too.  I have nothing but time on my hands right now so this is the perfect time for me to learn as much as I can.

My son Terrance has let me bounce my interests off of him and he is always there with reminders of what I have accomplished over the years.  My son Tyler gives me examples of how he handles confrontation with his employees and is teaching me different strategies to do the same.  Both of them and their wives encourage me to pinpoint what it is that I want to do and go from there.  But that’s just it;  I always come back to what do I want to do that is realistic?  I love to write but that won’t pay for health insurance.  Sometimes I think that the things I really love to do are just a fantasy in my head.  I would love to buy a truck and a camper and go do the “Workamper” thing and make money writing and working odd jobs at the campsites.  Again, that might not carry me through the next 10 years to retirement and should probably be a side gig for later.

The cleaning industry is what I have been in since I was 18.  Starting out cleaning in a hospital Surgical Unit, patient rooms and offices, moving into the hotel industry for 6 years (my favorite!) and finally, having my own cleaning business in two states for over 20 years now. Million dollar homes in Georgia and Colorado.  My ideal job, I think, would be to land a position as a Housekeeping Director in a good hotel.  I wish there was a position where I could literally go from one hotel to another and bring them up to a high standard by training the housekeepers how to be thorough and efficient.  If you have followed the news, you would know that there is a real problem with sheets not being changed in hotels.  That bugs me to no end!

Other interests are in the health industry.  I am a certified personal trainer but it’s not where my heart is anymore.  I have worked as a Private Care Giver part-time for 15 years as well as working in the nursing homes in the Activities Department.  These things are close to my heart but not where I want to be at this point of my life.

So what do you think? I need thoughts that are outside of my own head.  I need help.        I need knowledge.  An arrow showing  “Look here”!  Anything that you think would help would be appreciated.  Thank you faithful readers!

 

 

Go Fast Or Go Home

Every week I go to Tennessee to help take care of my mom and her roommate Mary.  My Mountain bike goes with me so I can ride the trails in Athens or Cleveland with my big sister Sherrie.  This particular visit, my niece and her fiancé said they would replace my brake pads for me since it would have cost me an arm and a leg to get them replaced at a shop.  So after our 8.4 mile ride on a beautiful trail (no crashes this time) I got back to my sister’s house to find my car all set and they wouldn’t take a penny for the work.  Family can be a Godsend if you have a good one!

IMG_3058

You would have to know my niece Shawna to fully comprehend and appreciate the vigor she brings to my life and just how powerful her actions and words are to my emotional state of mind.  She is vibrant and daring.  Scares the living beJesus out of me sometimes but that in turn, makes my adrenaline and endorphins flood my system and I suddenly remember I am alive and well and not terrified of living on the edge (well, kind of).  This woman has no fear, or doesn’t show it if she does, and will look you right in the eye and say what needs to be said.  She can be gentle with a layer of directness or her words can meet your ears with a fierceness that lets you know she is no ones doormat. Yes, I want to be her when I grow up!

IMG_3090

After the work was all done it was time to catch up on life.  We stood around and chit chatted for a bit, ended up sitting on the tailgate of Todd’s truck drinking a fine “Peach Drink!”   Oh Tennessee, how I have missed you and your “Southernness”!  I wish I had snapped pictures of this but I was too engaged in the moment.  My sister even brought out two bottles of her homemade Blueberry Wine for me to take home and some big fat homegrown tomatoes!

I should have realized there was an underlying reason for the “peach drink” because before I knew it, I was in a Razor 900 going very, very fast through a field, over logs and tree branches, even up an embankment.  I kept my eyes closed for that one.

 

463852_10151153562676872_842323095_o

 

That day ended with me picking hay seeds out of my hair and smiling all the way back to my moms house.  The takeaway here is,  when you are going through a hard time and depression wants to creep in or your mind is distracted by negative thoughts or fear, go do something daring!  Jump outside of that box you find so comforting and have an adventure.  Go screaming 45 miles an hour through a field in a Razor, go zip lining or anything that shakes up your adrenaline and makes you feel alive!  Retrain your mind to think great things, positive things and happy things as often as you can.  Your reality will be there for as long as it is your reality but try not to let it control  and consume you while you are trying to change it for the better.  Life is too short so go live it while you have it.

Starting Over

An adventure a day keeps depression away!

So, Twice Bitten180 was the first thing that came to mind when I had to decide on a new email and blog name.  It probably isn’t hard to figure out but I’ll explain anyway.  I am 55 years old and am having to pick up the pieces of my life and start over…Again.   First time was when I was 28 and my husband decided that the 18 year old girl was more appealing than the wife and kids.  After 4 years (and a third child) I had had enough.  I packed up my three little boys and moved into a government funded apartment, worked two jobs and was determined to focus on them and making their lives happy and successful.  Twelve years later I took a chance on love again and eventually (15 years later to be exact) same thing happens.   This one, however, was the kill shot to my soul.  I lost my youngest son five years ago  ( February 25,2012 ) and the man who should have had my back bailed on me 5 years to the day of that loss.

This blog will have some gut wrenching stories as well as some funny ones.  My main goal is to share through my writings, encouragement as well as ideas that you, the reader, can take and implement into your own lives.

For some of us, starting over means relearning how to live.  I mean, really LIVE and not just survive.  Have you ever been in a really dark place emotionally?  Sometimes, things happen in our lives that make us just not want to live another second.  I never understood how a person could get to that place but unfortunately, now I know.  It took a lot of prayer and looking at pictures of my family to snap me out of it.  I don’t think I could have actually harmed myself but the thoughts of it were bad enough.  We all have baggage in our lives and mine is no different so if  I have the means to help just one person pick up those pieces and create a new heart and soul, or to simply laugh out loud then I will do my best. This blog might not meet the specs of how it’s supposed to be created but I have no clue what I’m doing.  Like, this should probably be my About page but hey, I’m doing my own thing now right?  I am just going to write about things that I am experiencing now that I am on the “other side” of that dark place because for the first time in a long time, I feel like I am really living!

First blog post

My girl Molly and I are almost loaded up and ready to leave this life behind and go start over.  I can’t wait to see her reaction to grandkids and cats!