Buckeye in Bama

Rambling thoughts of a Yankee transplanted to the south.

Archive for the category “Life”

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!!

 

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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.

 

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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….

Does Your Personality Change As Your Get Older?

We have all taken a personality test or two or three. Some of us may have had to take them for a class or a workshop. You may have taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, one of the most famous of the tests. I know I did. My personality was always INTJ, introvert, intuitive, thinking, judgmental. I thought this personality type fit me just fine. It certainly fit my career of choice, librarian. However, in a moment of contemplation, I decided to take it again over the weekend. Would I get the same result?

That would be a big fat NO!! How can that be? Aren’t I the same person that I was twelve years ago? I even took it twice to be sure. Just like the pregnancy tests for my children! But, it came out the same and different from before. This time, my personality was ESTJ 87% and ENTJ 86%. OK, I know you are thinking that it really is not that different, but it is. ESTJ is extrovert, sensing, thinking, judgmental. Well, the last two are the same, but the first two? Really, extrovert and sensing? When did that happen?

After some deep thought. I discovered a few things about myself. I have changed. I am a parent of two daughters which requires some sensitivity, even for me. I am older and maybe a little less harder on people that I used to be. As for the extrovert part, I think I have this figured out too. I became a volleyball referee and a softball umpire five years ago. It took me out of my comfort zone and I had to learn how to deal with difficult and hard situations. I also had to learn how to confront bullies as an adult. Humor can be used in many situations, you also have to learn to let stuff go. You have to be pleasant and agreeable, but not too agreeable. You also have to let the girls know you are there for them and not their parents. I also began teaching swim lessons last year. I have to upbeat and positive. You have to talk to your swim class. I found that I enjoyed teaching the children and adults.

My friends from high school would say that I was always an extrovert. I think I crawled into my shell as an adult for protection. Now, I am crawling back. Watch people, I’m back!!!

Today I Turn 42

Today I turn 42. Not such a bad number. I kind of like it. It is an even number and divisible by 2 resulting in 21. Now, 21 is an interesting age. Most of us could not wait until we arrived at age 21. It was the magic number after you turned 16 and 18. It was the year you could finally drink legally. As if you had not been drinking all the years prior to that one, but you could now officially go to a bar and say, “Barkeep, I would like a margarita”. Or some other nonsense. Most of us probably ordered something with schnapps in the name, fizzy, or for the brave one, a shot.

However, at 42, my taste is more refined. I no longer go to bars and I cannot remember the last time that I ordered a drink, at least one that was mixed by a bartender. I know there are friends of mine out there doing the huge eye roll, but nevertheless, it is true. I have settled into adulthood. My forties have come and I look back on 21 and thank God that I am no longer there. For one, I would be getting married for the first time, and no offense to the first husband, but that was a colossal mistake. Two, I was terribly naive. I had no idea how the world worked and I was in a rebellious state. I have learned a lot in the 21 years that have passed and while it has not all been good, it has been educational.

With age, comes clarity, at least a little I hope. I am definitely more wise and not nearly as naive. I realize that I have great friends who are there for me no matter how far away. My family puts up with me no matter how crazy I get and I have a great family. Putting yourself out there does not always end in catastrophe, sometimes embarrassment, but the world is not going to end. You will make mistakes. Own up to them and go on, have some integrity about it.

And this thought, my big one for today, you have to figure out who you are and where you want to be. I have been stressed out for a while now and not handling it well. I constructed a pro/con list and analyzed a few things. While this method will not always work, sometimes it helps if you put it down on paper. I often use mind mapping software to organize my thoughts. I have come up with a plan. So Happy Birthday to me! May some happiness reign!

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