Tag Archives: life

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone – When Plans Change

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Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone – When Plans Change

Friends – I am sure that you are wondering where in the heck I have been… I haven’t posted any hilarious things that happened during the day and trust me… that was hard….. I have always been open on Facebook, so now I feel that I am at a point that I can solve the mystery (and dispel the rumors).

I am blessed to have the best husband ever. You know that one person who wants you to be happy no matter what it takes? Yea, that is the relationship we have – we want each other to be happy. So that is where this starts.

When I started working I just did whatever I needed to do to contribute and you know what? It gave me a pretty good foundation that I still use today. Denny did the same thing – he didn’t necessarily like working a machining job in the hot, hot days of summer and the cold, cold days of winter, but he was good at it, it provided for our family that we started so young (19 & 18) so he continued to do it. Everything happens for a reason, I fully believe that in my heart of hearts.

Three years ago, I absolutely LOVED my job. I loved the people I worked with, I loved the challenges it brought me, I loved that people listened to my ideas and valued them. My hubby? Not so much. He hated going to work, liked some of the people there, and then he was drafted to go to a facility three hours away to work the machines when their employees went on strike. Another reason he didn’t like his job, it took him away from his family. So, he began looking and looking at the bid board. He found a job an hour and a half away from our home. I was skeptical, I wasn’t sure if he would like it any more there, but it seemed to be right up his alley as far as job description and skills needed. Knowing how much he disliked his job, I wanted to give him the chance to be happy too. So, we moved. I had to leave my job for a lateral move. Lateral is not always bad, I wasn’t necessarily happy about it, but I learned some more things to add to my tool box of skills. Hubby liked his job, in the beginning. Sometimes in big companies they change your focus… that happened to him and he was given other things in addition to his project which weren’t in his realm of expertise and it left less time for the job he was hired for and it wasn’t what he accepted the job and move for. Now, by this point, I was working a huge transformation project that really utilized my education in organizational development. I loved it, but I realized that as time passes you forget more and more of what you were taught. It really, really called attention to that fact. I went back to school to complete my bachelor’s and master’s degrees so that I could use them to really make a career that helps make a difference in other people’s lives – by making their jobs more efficient, helping them to get their voices heard, etc. Most importantly it was taking time away from my family to do the education piece while I still worked full time. A lot of time. As I looked at what I accomplished with getting my education the hard fact was that I was still working a job that they don’t require a bachelor’s or a master’s degree for and all the informational sessions I had scheduled weren’t helping as I hadn’t gotten an interview for any of the 30 jobs I had posted for. And not like Vice President jobs either, some were a promotion, a few were lateral moves to get me in the HR door. But nothing, nada, nilch. Very disengaging when you are a hard working employee. I had to face the fact that this company that I had worked for so long for, wasn’t necessarily interested in my career future. Why would they be when I am doing management type projects at a supportive role pay? I started to feel that I had let those memories with my family go for nothing. I can’t let that happen, that has got to change. However, when you work for a Fortune 50 company:

You can’t just get a position at a consulting firm, because they want to work for your company. Additionally, you can’t go to contract/agency because they have non compete with the company as well. So, this meant that I needed to leave my company and you all already know that I did do that, so no shocker there.

Now, this epiphany wasn’t an all of the sudden realization. It happened in spurts. When we were on vacation in Florida, we just kept discussing how we hate snow, we hate the cold, cold weather, and we hate being from a state where the previous governors make your license plates. Let’s face it, Illinois is not on the top of the list of places where anyone wants to move to… but it is pretty high on the list of places people want to move from. We were in agreement about that, even before we moved from Decatur. I kept telling hubby every time it snowed this past (horrid) winter, you moved me the wrong direction, this is not right. We discussed on vacation and decided that it was time for a change. (Can you hear Peter Brady singing time for change in his squeaky voice?)

At this point, things had changed considerably any time that we made a major change in our lives:

– Alyssa is out of the house, living on her own.
– Brian just graduated high school, no more concern on what school districts we are in. This is exactly why we bought the house we did in Peoria, because of the fantastic school district!

Bottom line is that we so close to empty nesters it is not funny. We can now be a little more riskier!

Now the facts:

-The house we had in Peoria was huge. I couldn’t keep up on cleaning it.
-We hate Illinois and the terrible winter weather, taxes and such.
– Brian needs to be near a good college for his passion – television and film production. He needs guidance and an advocate.
– I wanted to really use my organizational development education and try consulting. I really liked being a part of that project it was invigorating.
– We lived north of Peoria so it was a longer distance and more out of the way for anyone to travel to visit us, so we didn’t get a lot of visitors, it was kind of lonely.

From this we decided it was time to downsize. From previous homes we have sold (4) it generally took about 60-90 days to get a contract. We would list the house for sale and decide the rest as it unfolded during the 60 -90 days. Well… of course you know the time we are counting on the 60-90 days, it sells in 48 hours to a cash buyer. Krikey!! So, now it was go time. What is next? Well, without the house payment and associated utilities to run the big monster, my income wasn’t necessary, so I put in my notice with the company. It was really, really hard to leave so many friends I had made and thoroughly enjoyed working with. But, it wasn’t fulfilling me, it was eating at me every day that I could be doing what I love, consulting, full time. It was a hard move, I still feel weird that I don’t work there any more, and I miss so many of the people I worked with, but I have been keeping busy with manual labor – I’ll explain later. This is where my mystery starts to be unraveled, so don’t quit reading yet.

Of course, you all know about my excursion to LA when Brian took the bus there unexpectedly. Let me tell you, I was a small town raised girl. I moved from mom and dad’s house in with my hubby. I don’t know real independence and the thought was completely terrifying. But you know what? I took the plane by myself, drove around LA by myself (until I picked up Brian that is) and Brian and I toured schools and called apartments to find there wasn’t anything available in his price range. We then had a heart to heart conversation about his future steps and he came back home with me. Well, our temporary home… remember we sold it!! I felt empowered, I felt like a big girl!! Never had that kind of an adventure without my hubby!! So, I am ready to sew some wild oats and get to chasing dreams!!

My hubby knew I wasn’t happy with my job position and frankly, he wasn’t really happy that I hadn’t been moved up either. He knows that I would love to work for Disney’s organizational Development department, so we built that into the plan. However, I need the job title or any consulting firm/OD position is going to be extremely difficult to obtain. He wants me to be happy and we can do this together and then we will both be happy! Thinking outside of the box, this is what we decided and where we are now:

I introduce you to DABL Consulting. While jointly owned by hubby and I, I will start the networking and obtaining work. In order to pave the path to someday working at Disney’s Org Development team, DABL is based in Orlando, Florida.

YES… we were fortunate enough to work with the moving company to store our items for a short time period while we decided where we would land and went to looking for a house to lease in Florida. Lease: Because I don’t know that DABL will be a success. I don’t know the area down here… if it works out, we have an option to purchase the house. If not, I can elect not to renew the lease. The catch is that…. We can’t afford to not have benefits and set income that the company still provides my hubby. He is still employed there and will continue to be employed there whilst I am kicking off DABL. (We have some awesome family members who are housing him near Peoria while we are in transition.) This gives him the opportunity to continue working the project that he is so passionate about – machinist training. He really loves that project.

Not only is Orlando near Disney good for me, it is also great for Brian’s education and growth. We had already decided in LA that he would live at home and complete his general education requirements, then transfer to University of Southern California where they have housing, meal plans, etc. Why didn’t I elect to have DABL in LA? LA is scary to me, it is not homey. Yes, I survived those few days, but I don’t want to do that on a long term basis and Disney’s Org Development department is based in Orlando. Orlando offers both Brian and I to be close to Disney. Additionally he has Universal, etc to look for job shadowing/intern opportunities. Oh, and I know people in Florida. I don’t know but a couple in LA and those are through Facebook. In Florida we have a couple of family members and several people I’ve met through Facebook. Not completely getting out of my comfort zone.

Now, where do we go from here? Will my hubby quit his job? Well, not right now… but, eventually, I certainly hope so… Our plan is to get DABL running so that we need BOTH of us to run it. You dig?

So, in the interim, I have driven down here, been unpacking, learning my way around, and learning how to keep my pool clean. I wanted a pool because it is so nice to get exercise in a pool when the weight of your body isn’t a factor and it is imperative I get into good physical shape to keep my MS MonSter at bay. Ain’t nobody got time for the MonSter!!

So, we are taking a risk that could be a very difficult time, yet it could be the most rewarding challenge we have ever encountered. And maybe a bit more riskier than we should’ve been… considering that we didn’t really know where we were moving when we sold our house… we were working on trying to get the DABL dream into the horizon, determining if it was a real possibility. We were able to make all of this come to a real possibility just days before we needed to be out of the house. So, the picture is about how I feel right now… I feel like I have on a brand new set of shoes and I am ready to take on the world!!

Oh, you wonder what DABL stands for? Denny, Alyssa, Brian, Lisa. Our greatest asset who’s worth cannot be measured – our family.

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Have You Witnessed a Miracle?

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Have You Witnessed a Miracle?

It was August 1993, that I myself witnessed a miracle.  Something so truly amazing that it could only be from the hands of God.  Before I tell you the details, let me give you a little history.  My grandfather was a diabetic on insulin, had his leg amputated from the knee down on one side and his toes removed on the other foot due to circulation issues.  He had a heart attack and was later diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure.  Keep in mind that today, patients with CHF can live for a long time as many more treatment options are available.  Eighteen years ago, however, it was limited and the longest anyone expected these patients to live was at most 5 years.  However, most succumbed to the disease between 2-3 years.  It was mid-high school that my grandpa was diagnosed with CHF.   He lived less than 10 minutes from my house for my entire upbringing and my paternal grandfather passed away when I was 6, so I have many, many memories of him.  Since they lived so close, and were retired, they took care of me when I was sick or the baby sitter was not available so that my mom could go to work.  Great memories of pancakes for breakfast, playing in the playhouse and going to Dairy Queen for a full meal deal.  They always had one of the free dessert coins to give to me.  I loved those things!  Oh, and they always had a few pennies for my piggy bank.  Pennies don’t mean a whole lot now, but to a kid, they are a treasure!

About 6 months after I graduated high school, I was engaged and found out I was pregnant.  My grandpa was kind of excited to be a great grandpa!  During my pregnancy, his health declined and he was in and out of the hospital.  On a Saturday in August, the 7th to be exact, my mom called me and told me  he had a heart attack and was in the intensive care unit at the hospital.  I remember rushing to see him that evening and he didn’t look well at all, his kidneys were failing, his diabetes was difficult to control.  I remember seeing him suffer, losing his strength and praying to God to not let him suffer long.  I had planned to come and see him the next day, but my daughter had other plans.  I was due August 16th and she didn’t want to wait.  Late morning August 8th, I went into labor.  While my grandpa was on the 4th floor in ICU, I was admitted on the 3rd floor labor and delivery.  Alyssa was born at 11:26 p.m. on August 8, 1993.  One of the happiest days of my life and yet a bittersweet one as well because I knew how much my grandpa wanted to be there to see Alyssa.  But in the ICU, babies couldn’t visit and he couldn’t leave ICU.  We went home a few days later and I remember getting a call from the ICU nurse just shortly after arriving at home.  She told me that my grandpa was not expected to live much longer and as a last wish, he told the cardiologist, Dr. Kola,  he would like to see his first great grand baby.   Dr. Kola ordered the ICU nurses to quarantine the ICU and sanitize it so that I could bring Alyssa in and they were ready.  (This directive showing compassion and sympathy from a doctor could be considered a miracle all in itself, but that was just the beginning.)  I was a brand new mom and upset, so I called my mom – after all, it was her father and I knew she would want to be there as well.  She came and picked Alyssa and I up and drove us to the hospital.  We arrived and I was amazed at how many tubes and wires he had on and in him.    But his face really lit up when he saw Alyssa.  We put her in his arms and took pictures, Grandpa n Alyssa, day of miracle he kissed her and when we left, we said our goodbyes.  I went home and cuddled with my bundle of joy, as she really helped me through that tough time while I waited for the call to advise that he had passed away.  It was after 10:00 p.m. when the phone call came from my mom.  Dr. Kola had personally called my grandma to tell her that he witnessed the most amazing thing he had ever seen.  Since my grandpa held Alyssa, they had been pulling the wires and tubes away from him, he no longer needed them.  His kidneys started working again. His diabetes was controlled.  He was going to come home, and he did. IMG_3593 We were blessed that he was able to hold her many times after that day. 

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.  I wasn’t really supposed to get pregnant when I did, I wasn’t married yet, but if I didn’t have that bundle to bring my grandfather such joy I would have lost him that day.  And I also truly believe that a positive attitude is the best medicine.  He lived to see my Alyssa grow up and was feeling pretty good until Alyssa was about 2 years old.  His health then started to decline again.  A few months after her 2nd birthday, I found out I was pregnant again due August 2nd, 1996.  His health continued to decline but bounced back a little bit after I found out at 4 months along that we were going to have a boy.  My grandpa was even more excited to have a great grandson he would have one of each!  There were several hospital stays as my grandpa got worse with his CHF.    He went into the ICU again on July 30th, my Grandma’s birthday.  About 9:30 p.m. on July 30th my water broke, more so, it gushed everywhere.  Brian tried to be born on my Grandma’s birthday, but missed it by a few hours, July 31st at 3:55 a.m. Again, Grandpa was on 4th floor in ICU and I was admitted on the 3rd floor – I had a feeling of de ja vu.  This time, when he heard about Brian’s birth, he started to turn around and he was moved out of ICU, which meant we could go visit.   He got to see Brian and hold him, but his health did not make the remarkable recovery and sustain it as he did with Alyssa.  He got to come home, but this time, his health failed much more so than it had in the past.  When Brian was 4 months old, I remember seeing my grandpa suffer, losing his strength, losing his ability to get around.  Knowing how independent he had always been, I knew that this was a hard time for him.  This man climbed on the roof to fix a shingle as soon as he was released from the hospital from having his leg amputated.    I prayed that God would relieve his suffering.  This time God didn’t relieve his suffering by removing it, this time, it was to bring him Home.  I will never forget, the whole family surrounded his bed in the hospital room, he had severe edema and was not alert.  Dr. Kola even came and sat with the family for a little bit.  When we went to leave, as we always did, we went to tell Great Grandpa bye and Alyssa, as she always did, gave him a hug.  She looked at my mom and I and in a sad little 3-year-old voice and said, “Oh, he didn’t say goodbye.”  I know in my heart that my grandpa heard that and knew he couldn’t ward off death forever.  It was later that night that God took away his pain and brought him to heaven.  My mom called to give me the news as my husband was preparing to leave for his 3rd shift job at 10:30 p.m. It was a flood of emotions from tears to sadness that he passed to extreme relief that he no longer suffered.  He was a blessing in my life, teaching me the importance of family relationships, to always keep going, to work hard, to always look for the good and basically to enjoy life regardless.

A year later on the same date that he went Home, at 8:30 p.m. I put Brian down for bed in his crib.  At 9:00 p.m. he was sleeping soundly.  I know my grandpa felt the pain in my heart as 10:30 p.m. rolled around and I started to remember the previous year.  I know this because at 10:30 p.m. Brian started laughing hysterically, as if someone was tickling him.  I ran in his room and he was standing at the crib rails with his hands reached out in front of him and having a good time.  I know that my Grandpa was tickling him to tell me not to be sad for him. I picked Brian up and felt the love he just shared with his Great Grandpa.  I put Brian back down to sleep and went to bed myself knowing my Grandpa was still part of my children’s lives.

So, I have had prayers answered in ways that I did not expect.  God gives us the answers we ask for sometimes, sometimes He does not answer them at all and sometimes He answers them in ways we least expect so that we know He listens to our hearts. The first time God answered, he relieved his suffering by making him better.  Which was a true blessing to have him part of my daughter’s life and the first few months of my son’s life.  Not many people can say that they knew their great grandparents, but mine can.  They knew 3 out of the 4 great grandparents and still have their Great Grandma H.  God blessed my life in many ways, but truly by witnessing a miracle.  A miracle that I am truly thankful for, because of it, my children met their great grandpa.

My grandparents were each such a blessing in my life and I am so thankful that they were able to be a blessing in my children’s lives.  My Grandma B lived until just this past December, so she was part of their lives through their teen years.

Grandma B and Baby alyssa

Bub sitting on Grandma's lap

My Grandma H is still part of their lives and continued to host holiday dinners and lunches when family is in town until 2012. In 2012 she began falling and the day after Christmas that year she fell several times in one day. Her Alzheimer’s Disease started taking over and stopped her from doing regular daily tasks, like taking her medicines. From that day forward, she was in a nursing home. As of today, May 25, 2015, she is still in the nursing home and continues to decline in cognitive ability. But both my kids had many good years before that happened.  

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The ongoing instilling of the value of the roles that your family plays in your life.  I hope that you get prayers answered in ways that completely change your life, as they have mine.

Why?

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Have you ever thought to yourself “Why is this happening to me?” I have plenty of times, but as I sort out in my mind, I realize that everything happens for a reason- good and bad. If bad things are happening to me and as I dissect why, sometimes I realize that I am putting myself in those situations with the people that I surround myself with. From there I have choices and changes to make. And if you find yourself constantly in a state of drama, you are the one in control of that, you can fix it by not allowing yourself to continue with the root cause. Sometimes they are tough choices, but if you want to move forward in a positive direction, you HAVE to make the decision and be committed to following through. And sometimes we have to make changes within ourselves, first and foremost, to BELIEVE we deserve better. Instead of wondering why me you need to suck it up and move towards a more positive environment.

Ever wondered why people act the way they do? I have plenty of times! I’ve also wondered, “how in the world am I going to progress forward through this, maybe I could give up.” But guess what? I am way too stubborn and I have grown up with a variety of family members showing me that you just can’t give up, you have to keep going. My Grandpa had diabetes and had his leg amputated below the knee. What was he doing the day after he was released? Up on the garage roof making repairs. Maybe wasn’t the safest thing to do, but he knew it needed done and he wasn’t going to let his missing leg stop him. He fought several more toes on his good foot being amputated, but he kept going, kept walking and doing household activities. Sometimes I think that we get too involved in things we can’t control and let it change our perception of what we can accomplish. The truth is that we are our own obstacles sometimes. No, it wasn’t exactly the best thing for him to be on the roof, but he wasn’t going to let that obstacle he couldn’t control dictate how he lived his life. He greeted life with a positive, can do attitude and he survived many obstacles that another person may have let take over their life.

If you are a parent like I am, you have kids watching how you react. Whether I like it or not, I tell myself I HAVE to suck it up and deal with it and move on! My ‘why’ or my motivation is just that, to put forth a never say quit attitude to my kids. I am determined to do all within my power to instill those same values and strong work ethic that I have. Basically, you never know what life has in store next and if you haven’t dealt with previous issues and are sulking, you may just miss the beauty of nature changing around you. You are here for great things, believe it, see it, move towards it. Life is far too short to relinquish control and waste time sulking. Get out there and move towards the life you want. 🙂