Buckeye in Bama

Rambling thoughts of a Yankee transplanted to the south.

Midlife crisis, but I am not middle-aged, or a man, or going bald!!!

Last April, I quit the highest paying job that I have ever held. I have quit high paying jobs before, but none that had such an extreme effect on my life. It seems to be a flaw in my genetic make up to keep jobs that pay me well. It was also the job that I picked up and moved myself and my family 800 miles from our home to a place completely different from anything we know. 

The euphoria and feeling of freedom from leaving that job lasted for a few months, but reality has come crashing in. I have gone on lots of interviews and follow-up interviews, but nothing panned out. I have applied for everything, and by everything, I mean jobs that didn’t pay for the gas it would take to get there. I considered removing my degrees from my resume and dumbing it down, so potential employers would take a look and not throw my resume in the trash. However, common sense and a bit of arrogance (after all, I had earned those degrees) kept me from removing them.

My self-esteem has taken quite the hit. I usually feel pretty good about myself, but as of late, I am not so sure… about anything. I never realized that I identified myself by my job. Now, I have to get to know myself without benefit of full-time employment and a career. So, I decided to list all the things I am aside from a “worker”. Here is what I came up with:

  • Wife
  • Mom
  • Laundry lady
  • Grocery shopper
  • Organizer 
  • Pet parent
  • Book reader
  • Researcher
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Proofreader

Not much of a list. I was hoping that I could find some potential jobs in that list. When a job did not materialize, one of the options that I came up with is to go back to school. Find something meaningful to focus on. But then, I worry about being too old to start over yet again. One bright spot is that many of my friends have been really supportive. They have encouraged me to change careers. However, I still have doubt. I have not sat in on a class in 12 years. Can I still do it? Can I reinvent myself yet again? 


What to do?

For over two months now, I have not worked full-time at one job. I have a part-time job that I really like, and have been working full-time hours from home on another job. But the hours will not last.

I was a bit lost for a while after quitting my “dream” job. This summer is the first time that I have not had any plans for the future. I am living day-by-day. What a new concept! A bit frightening, but also very liberating. To top it off, my children have been with their grandparents for three weeks and this has left me with no big messes to clean up and a house that is VERY quiet.

It has given me a lot of time to think and think and think 🙂 I have not been applying for jobs and have stopped looking for now. I am going to let life unfold and see what happens. I am letting go of the control that I have held on to so tightly for years.

The best side effect of this situation is that my stress level has been greatly reduced. For that, I am grateful.

News so humbling

I have written many posts about career changes and how to know when to change. Nothing makes you doubt yourself more than being rejected by not one, but three different doctorate programs including my second alma mater. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, but rejection is hard, no matter what kind of rejection. It does make me rethink the path I thought I wanted to be on.

I think I am meant for other things. Yes, I was rejected, but I was probably not going to go anyway. I could not get excited about the programs that I was applying to for admission. I applied because I thought I should and it was as good as anything else. In fact, I was dreading the whole idea of studying something for four or more years that I was not passionate about. I think my ego took the hit more than anything.

I am also at a crossroads in my professional career. I can’t seem to get hired as a librarian. I wonder if they see something that I don’t in my attitude or behavior. I just know that whenever I go on those interviews, I end up feeling like the dumbest person in the room. It is my own personal issue, but it is there. I am tired of feeling this way.

So what now? Am I as dumb as I think I am? Or is a higher power trying to tell me something. Like, listen up, you are supposed to do something else with your life. So, how do find out what my new path will be? I guess I will have to wait and see.

What Not To Buy At The Dollar Store

The other day I made a visit to the dollar store. I like the dollar store. It is like a grab bag of goodies. You never know what you will find. I have found great cooking utensils, kitchen towels, and we must not forget, it is a great place to buy gift bags, balloons, and other party supplies. The dollar store also is a place that reminds me of my grandma. She will be 89 this June and she just LOVES the dollar store. She takes my daughters there when they visit. They have a blast looking through everything.

So.. while looking in the nonperishable food aisle, I discovered they had coffee. COFFEE!! One of my favorite things! I have written several posts about my love of all things java. I am not a coffee snob, however, I do like my coffee to be robust and flavorful. Coffee for a dollar! Make my day!! You can see my excitement over finding coffee turned off the common sense switch in my brain.

Dollar coffee is not good. Most of you would probably figure it out just from the fact it came from the dollar store, but I am ever optimistic in coffee. It is not as bad as coffee that has sat all day on a burner, but it is pretty yucky. The taste is close to a chicory taste. I like chicory coffee, specifically if it is Cafe du Monde or Community chicory coffee. But, this coffee was just awful!

Learn from my mistakes people… Don’t buy coffee at the dollar store! Spend the extra money at your local market or grocery store. Walmart doesn’t even have the best prices on coffee, so explore local markets. You never know what you will find!!



Mid-Career Changes, Do You or Don’t You?

When do you change careers, should you change careers, does the new career find you or do you find it? These are questions that I have been pondering the last few days. I made a big change over a few weeks ago. I walked away from what I thought was my career job. Alas, it was not. You can read about it in my previous post. Now, I am contemplating my next move. What do I really want to be when I grow up.

People have told me to play it safe and find something that is close to what I was doing before. Playing it safe is what I have done my whole life. I have never been a live on the edge type of person. I have always been the practical one. I have a family, so that seems like the safe thing to do. I want to do something different, a change. But, how about a BIG change? What if I really want a big change?

I would like to do something that I am passionate about. I want a career that helps people. I also want to go home every night feeling good about my day. No job is stress free or without problems. I am too old to be that naive. I think the word I need to use is fulfillment. I want a career that is fulfilling. You will notice that I said career not job. This time around, I want a career.

So, the questions is, do I make the leap? Do I make a change? What have I got to lose, right?

When your “dream” job, isn’t….

Often, I think that I must have a screw loose or something is fundamentally wrong in my brain. In the past seven years, I have walked away from three different jobs paying great salaries. The first job was because of family reasons, the second because I hated the job, and the third job was because I just could not continue on no matter what the salary was for the position. I never thought I would leave a position because of a negative atmosphere or moral reasons. I thought money could fix it, but I was wrong. Money does not motivate me. I also let stress turn me inside out and I refuse to live stressed out any longer.

What makes a “dream” job? Is there really such a thing? I do not think so. I think you find things that you like about certain jobs. I have found that I enjoy working for people who appreciate me. An easy concept, you would think, but a complex one because money can lure you into negative situations. I also like working with limited supervision. I do not need people to ride herd on me. I am self-motivated and do not need a babysitter. I am also best under pressure and with deadlines. Most of my working life has been centered around deadlines and I seem to thrive in this environment.

Morally, I have to feel comfortable. This issue was not as prominent in my younger years, but it is now. I have to set an example for my children. I do not want my children to see their mother only existing in a career, I want them to see that I thrive in a career. Girls need to know that they can be successful career women. Salary is important, but it is not everything. Piece of mind is very important. I am striving to find that balance between career and piece of mind.

Living Away From Family

Last Friday, I wrote about stress not getting the better of me. Well, after a rough weekend, it is getting the better of me. Actually, I think it is stress combined with massive barometric pressure shifts which are causing migraines that I have not had in over a year. When do you make the BIG change in your life? I thought that I had made a big change this past summer, but it is proving not to be. How many times can you move your child from one place to another? Will they eventually crack or can they withstand change? These thoughts are also causing me stress. One child is happy but the other is not so much. Do you take them back to where the one child is comfortable or do you seek something new?

Living far away from family is proving more difficult that I ever imagined. At the very basic level, you do not have family to rely on. I cannot call someone to watch my children when they get sick because I cannot miss work. My children do not have the support system they once had in place. Grandma does not come out to see the oldest one march in a football game or parade because Grandma is geographically 800 miles away. Their uncle is not here to take them shopping or to the movies. I feel guilty for depriving my family of their grandchildren/nieces.

Making friends as an adult has proved difficult. Maybe some places are just more friendlier than other places. Maybe I have forgotten how to make friends. I should check my local bookstore “for books on the process of making friends”. If you watch a certain TV show, you will know where this quote is from :0


I keep coming back to whether or not we should go home. We are not as happy here as we thought we would be. OR are we just experiencing growing pains. I think some of the homesickness is because we are not in an area that has things we are used to. We are more isolated and the culture is different. We lived in a larger city before and now we live in a smaller one. It is nice that we do not have as much traffic, but you sacrifice other cultural things in exchange for less people and cars. Plus, our family and friends are not here.

Today, I am just rambling on… More random thoughts.



STRESS: Don’t let it win!

Yesterday, as I was getting ready for work, I decided to put on some foundation and blush. I very rarely do this ritual, but I had a work event to attend and wanted to look more professional. I am not sure why I thought this make up would help, but I put it on anyway. My youngest daughter was watching me and she said, “Mommy you should put some of that stuff under your eyes because you look really tired.”

She did not say this comment to make me feel bad. This child is quite the opposite, she is a keen observer and very rarely will comment on things outside of the family. She does not like to hurt other people’s feelings. But, the comment did give me pause. I do look tired. You could cart groceries around in the bags under my eyes. I haven’t been sleeping well no matter how many nights I take Motrin or Tylenol PM and go to bed at 9:00.

I have not exercised since I moved south. I have not been swimming since I moved south. I love the water and I miss it. And soon, in the next few weeks, I can get in the outdoor pools. My body needs exercise whether it is in the water or something else. My knees are stiff and sore for lack of exercise. Stress has gotten the better of me. I did not realize what it can do to you body, but I am finding out fast. I feel like an old woman. I have let stress take control. WELL, not anymore. I have joined a gym, I am going to try yoga (because a  mom I know has found much peace in this exercise), and I am going to beat the stress! I might even enter myself in a race or two late this summer. I can swim and bike, it is the running that I worry about. You never know!

Now, it stands to reason that I should probably eliminate the source of so much stress. Well, I am working on that issue too. However, one thing at a time and exercise will help me deal. The rest will come….

Check Your Facts People!

So today I am on a rant….. After reading my morning dose of nonsense (otherwise known as Facebook), I was quite perturbed. I know that people are naive, I know that people often believe everything they read on the internet, but I thought my friends would be a little more savvy than they obviously are. And it is not all of you, so before you all start blasting me with messages, if you think you are one of them, you probably aren’t. Ignorance is bliss most likely.

I am a liberal or at the very least, liberal minded. Let me amend that statement, I am people-minded. There, I said it. It is not a secret. It does not mean that I am some crazy person. I believe in people and that we should not judge one another. I think that is left up to God. We need to take care of one another while we are on this Earth together. But, I cannot abide people who follow everyone else and believe everything just because some conservative right-wing so-called “expert” says it is true. Would you follow that person off a bridge, probably so, because your common sense seems to have taken a vacation!

I raise my children to be kind and good citizens of the Earth. They do not judge other children by color, religion, or any other criteria. They don’t miss out on making friends and enriching their lives. We can learn a lot from children prior to teenager land, of course!

My point of this rant being this… Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Check out the facts before you regurgitate the information to family and friends. Be an individual, be yourself. You will be interesting and colorful and who doesn’t want to be colorful (This information tip brought to you by your non-judgmental librarian)!!



Our Opinions on Celebrities

I just read an article, well several to be perfectly honest on the latest Jason Aldean scandal (you can read the one in People magazine here http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20797870,00.html). I also read many of the comments written by fellow readers. To say the very least, everyone is very angry with the girl he allegedly cheated with on his wife. They are angry with him, but they HATE her. He gets some comments, but most of the comments are about how she is a homewrecking wh***.

Why does he seem to get a free pass? Why do men seem to get a free pass most of the time? Why do we even care what some country singer even does? Why do we care what any celebrity does. Is this because we think we know these individuals? I think with country musicians, people identify more with them because of their music and their “Average Joe” facade, but what about television and movie celebrities. We do not know any of these people on a personal level, yet many of us take everything they do personally.

They are just people. They are just like us. They have more money than we do and live in fabulous houses, but they still put their pants on one leg at a time. They are not GODS! They will fail you because they have faults, just like us. Now, I am not saying you cannot admire people for their abilities. Go ahead, admire away. But, don’t try to be them. Be yourself. You are meant to be someone unique. Find your own path.

However, because as one person commented, “I have integrity”, I will stop listening to Jason Aldean’s music. It is a free world and my choice. I do not work to buy music of people that I do not like and right now I do not like him. His integrity with me is a bit rocky. I would not listen to music of a friend that did the same thing in their marriage and I will not listen to this guy. My choice, my world. There is plenty of other good music out there. Besides, right now, I am into Irish music, so Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphy’s it is!

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