Tag Archives: Live 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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Don’t Set Limitations For Yourself.

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Don’t Set Limitations For Yourself.

It’s funny how people can limit themselves by what they put in their mind. A comment made me think of this and it brought me back around to one of the people in my life that never let anything limit them from what they wanted to do. My Grandpa Hagood. Lisa n grampa h

Diagnosed with Diabetes, he still worked until he reached retirement. Even when his leg had to be amputated from just below the knee down, he didn’t let it stop him from living life. In fact, he made quite a few people uneasy when he climbed a ladder to fix a few shingles just a few days after being released from said amputation. He got his prosthetic leg and kept on walking. Even after he had to have first his big toe, then all his toes on the other foot amputated… he kept on walking, because he had things to do and people to see. He wanted to live life.

Then he was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure – at that time, it was a 3-5 years life expectancy. I don’t remember the exact timeline of when he was diagnosed with CHF, but I remember being pregnant with Alyssa and wondering if he would get to meet her because those 3-5 years were near. I especially wondered when he was still driving a car even after they took his license away. I guess he had things to do and the car keys were calling his name. And it did come that close. The picture of my Grandpa in the hospital bed, not a new story… he went in with a heart attack on 4th floor of the hospital and I went into labor and delivery on the 3rd floor of the same hospital. He wanted to come down, but being in ICU, that was not allowed, nor was bringing Alyssa to meet him. But, as you can see by the picture… it happened. Alyssa and I were released home and I got a call from a nice nurse – my Grandpa was going to die, expected in less than 24 hours, how soon can I bring the baby up for his last wish? Within 2 hours, my mom and I went to introduce the two. It was a sobering visit and one that I won’t forget. If you look to the picture of him in the green hat….that was a few weeks later. That yearning for life, the love and anticipation for watching that little bundle grow, turned his health around. We waited for a call of expiration that evening, but instead we got a call that he would be released in a few days. He had other plans, just like after the amputations… he did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to hold that baby some more.

Which he did for three years and he held another great grand baby, Brian in early August 1996. I would love to say that he was still here with us, scratching his head with a pocket knife, or driving through the garage because his leg got stuck under the brake pedal. (He did that twice, by the way, both times, just stood the back wall right back up.) But December 17, 1996, when Brian was just a little over 4 months old, we sat as a family at DMH, 4th floor, for a visit for the last time. Another time that I will never forget. 3 ½ year old Alyssa went to give him a hug and kiss bye, and she said, “he didn’t hug me back…” And later that night, the call of expiration came. My Grandpa was a deacon of the church and a man of God. It was at that time that He had things for my Grandpa to do…

Any medical condition that you have, don’t give in and be it’s victim. Take charge and show IT what your life will be like! Determination, motivation, belief, love, and a zest for living life to the fullest are all yours. It is up to you to choose whether you are a victim or whether you are going to be a survivor.

I am not going to succumb to any illness or medical affliction and miss out on my life. My Grandpa had an artificial leg in the picture of me with the cake – still photobombing. IMG_3676

Now, look at read my blogs, look at my social media updates… what do you think? You would be surprised at what you can’t see in a profile picture. There are days I am tired, don’t feel good, am mad, or sad or blue. Everyone has those days! You better believe that I won’t be sulking, I am here to live and live I shall!! Who’s with me??

Dealing with Diagnosis of Disease

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Dealing with Diagnosis of Disease

If you or a loved one have ever gotten news from a doctor that they have a certain disease, below are stages that this person, or yourself, will go through.  It is important to know the stages so that you can effectively deal through them and prepare for the next state.  I relate these to my own personal journey with Multiple Sclerosis, but it could be applied to any other disease.  Please note that they do not absolutely stick to a timeline and do not go in order or come only one time.  Expect them to creep back in once in a while and maybe overlap.

OH, HE DID NOT JUST SAY THAT &/or OH HOLY CRAP!

The doctor said What?  It is almost like you are having an out of body experience when the news hits.  Is he talking on his cell phone to another patient?  Is he playing a joke on you? Then you go home and hope on the good old internet for some fear factor.  So many people post on a variety of topics and they are misinformed.  It is kind of like the game of telephone when we were kids.  There is always one kid, (this would be my son Brian), who is the second in line and completely changes the sentence to suit what he really wants to talk about.

I went through this exact same thing!  Not only on the internet but in real life too!  Someone passed away from an aneurism and another co-worker said that the person had Multiple Sclerosis and they are known for having blood clots because they are stuck in a wheel chair.  At this point in time, I was not ready to make my MS public so I just thought in my head… “Uhm, no, they don’t, not even close!  Not everyone with MS is in a wheel chair.  Does it look like I am in a wheelchair?”  But those situations are exactly what you can fall victim to if you are not careful!  Know your subject from reliable sources – Web Md, Mayo Clinic or go old school and ask your doctor directly.  🙂

$@(*&#!

WHY ME?!?!?  What did I do to deserve this horrid disease?  You become incredibly moody and the swings are intense.  I remember pushing a wheel barrow full of sand after my diagnosis and I lost control of it and dumped it.  I was SO mad, I just kept thinking, I could be completely unable to move this wheel barrow in a few years, I don’t know, but I better get stronger!  People around you don’t understand what you are going through and that is another trigger.  People say things trying to help but it really just makes you want to jack slap them.  For example, “you are just associating that with your diagnosis because you read about that on the internet.”  Well, guess what?  I don’t want to be called a hypochondriac.  I want to be cared for and told it will be okay.

Just know that this is a normal feeling, you have been given information that changes your life as you know it.  Whether subtle or not, the diagnosis is still there lurking in the shadows. 

LET’S MAKE A DEAL

Dear God, I will give you anything if you take away my MS.  You are not being punished, you are not being given the run around.  The fact of the matter is, and I truly believe, these things happen for a reason.  I believe that my MS was given to me, so that I would realize how fragile life is and so that I could help others believe in themselves and see how a good attitude helps you through some of the tough situations.  Laughter, is the best medicine. 

WHOA IS ME

Then comes the real fun.  Depression.  You have to, you MUST stay strong.  Think positively, think about how you can work to over come your ailments. Just like above, I knew I had to get stronger, I has to take good care of myself to ward off any unwanted happenings.  Just remember that regardless of how low you feel, you have family and friends that love you regardless of your diagnosis. You are the same person now as you were then.  They want to help you through this time.  Don’t cure a temporary feeling with a permanent solution.  Don’t let your diagnosis win – you can’t beat it if you are dead.

IT’S OKAY

Ok, so now you realize, you have a disease, but that doesn’t mean you have to subside and let it take control of your life.  Treat it as if it is a potential threat.  You have to be honest with yourself, but you can’t fear what will happen every minute.  My thought is that it doesn’t matter if I worry about my MS every day.  The risk is there yes, but there is also risk of getting run over by a bus, or in a terrible car accident.  Plan for the worst, be surprised with the good things that happen.  It truly makes you enjoy life all the more.  I know that someday I may not be able to work any longer.  Could be my MS, could be something new I contract.  The fact of the matter is that I only have one life, I only get to live each minute once.  I must enjoy them as much as I can.  I go to work and I enjoy all the people I work with, they are a great bunch of people.  We make work fun, we laugh, we work hard, we get the job done.  It feels great to be productive and it reminds me that I have MS, but it does NOThave me.   I am too stubborn to give up.