I am but a container

I am but a shell, a container for my soul. We can not judge the outside for we are half of just one whole… I live amongst the containers carrying souls of their own, running here and there, together or alone… We are all on a journey that only a few have really grasped. For the world we live in now, is a world that will not last…. Our souls are what matter and the lessons they have learned… Things that are valued, but cannot be bought or earned… Being kind to others and learning how to love… is part of the lesson but still not enough. We are all searching for something to fill us to the brim… And it’s only in the simple act of giving our hearts to HIM!

It is what it is….

Sorry, I took a little powder AGAIN!! After I promised myself I would write daily! No excuses. But I got a job helping to run a bakery and I love it! I follow a routine but I get some creative freedom and I love that! For one, I am in charge of getting the donuts out before 7AM! Yep that means I am up before the sun! But you know how you might love a maple bar and a chocolate bar? But you might not want the calories of both? Well, I created a half maple, half chocolate bar! I KNOW, brilliant, huh? LOL. Possibly someone else has thought of that too but I’ve never seen it. Anyway I love my job. I’ve always had more upscale jobs, like Counselor to Adolescents and working with Aphasic kids, and owning a store, and my art business and Event Coordinating, but I love the people I work with and feel they like me and there’s no drama for once!

Though other parts of my life are chaos. It’s fun to feel as if I am contributing to our finances and hopefully feeling as if I am doing a good job. Though my back is really annoying and I would love it if God healed it, I know that nothing is perfect and it is what it is.

My Guardian Angel must be exhausted. I believe I’ve given her a run for her money. Whatever that saying means. She has had her work cut out for her lately. Between family, finances and just life. I’ve felt my energy being sucked out of me. Funny, though I am loving my job! (I haven’t been able to say that for a long time!) If I didn’t have all the aches and pains , I’d be a happy camper. At least I am alive and relatively healthy. I guess if my back hurts, “it is what it is.” Right?

When my friend was dying, I noticed that she said “It is what it is.” a lot. And she wasn’t wrong. She had money and so for a long time, she designed her own team of doctors that kept her alive with a pretty advanced stage of Cancer for almost twenty years. She also found her faith during that time and so between God and her team she survived longer than anyone guessed she would with her diagnosis. We were best friends since we were four years old. She lost her fight a few years ago.

Another good friend who was a constant in my life, had been fighting her own battle for several years. In fact when she got her diagnosis, another friend of mine and I slipped into a waiting list that my friend and her mom gave up when they received the news. Later I met her and realized it was her slot we’d taken. We were friends for several years. Her husband and mine were best friends so we did everything together and there is a gaping hole in my life where both of my friends once were. Over the years, I’ve lost several people.

I remember before I’d really lost anyone, it was just a kind of phantom-ish thought that losses were emminent. And then my dad died of a heart attack at 51 when I was still in my 20s. Its the kind of loss that takes your breath away. All of a sudden your life changes the way you know it. Even though I was married and out of the house, it’s nothing you are prepared for. As a child the two things I feared the most of losing were my parents.

Once you’ve lost someone, it’s not easier to lose someone else. But with a weary reservation, you do kind of take on the concept of, “it is what it is.” And that’s the beginning of resigning to the fact that there are always going to be highs and lows. In sickness and health, for richer or poorer, in relationships and in life and death. I guess that is why we recite those wedding vows. They already know what lies ahead for us. Whether in marriage or in life. It is what it is.

I can market everyone but me!

Isn’t it funny how we are supposed to know what we want to be by the age of 18? I wanted to be a writer since I could read and that has always been my dream. But I remember taking a class in Junior High, called Career Exploration and they made you pick from their list. So I decided that I also wanted to be a Stewardess. I researched all of the qualifications and decided what better way to have something to write about by traveling. Every summer, I flew to Seattle and loved to fly so I got pretty serious about planning to be a stewardess. About as serious as you can be in 8th grade. When I was a sophomore, a trade school Rep. came to our school and talked about the different courses they offered. When I heard that the extra credit I’d receive would enable me to graduate early, I decided that I wanted to be a Dental Assistant, the school, Southern California Regional Occupational Center (SCROC) offered their program to mainly Seniors. Though I hounded the office to go the following year and was told that only Seniors could apply and told them, that was not what I understood, and asked them to check it out and wahlah! I was right. And was one of the only Juniors in our class.

I think my friends were a little impressed because I decided that I wanted to go and I made it happen. Alone. I didn’t know anyone else going at the time and looking back, I am a little impressed with me being brave enough to push back and ask “If only Seniors could enroll, then why did they say that Juniors could graduate early with the extra credits they would be earning? I was so happy when they called me to the office and said congratulations I was right and was allowed to enroll. Looking back, I remember the process of getting registered, took some extra assertive efforts on my part. But I think it was then when I realized I could make things happen. I eventually made friends with the kids from the other nearby schools and one friend from my school who was a Senior and we are still friends all these years later.

I did graduate early as a Senior and got a job as a Dental Assistant for about 3 months. It wasn’t really my life’s passion but it was my stepping stone to my future. I learned that I could reach a goal and finish it. But I also learned that if you don’t love what you do, it’s so not what you should be doing. I mean, I remember once when I was a Teacher’s Assistant in a class of Aphasic kids and the Grad Students from Fullerton would come over and decide that they weren’t comfortable working with kids and I said, it’s weird that they don’t require you to do this first, rather than so late into your Grad program. In the same way the dental program should have had us work in real mouths! 🙂

I’ve had a handful of jobs and more education since then, they all have taught me things and helped me gain more confidence in my abilities that I have reamed from my experiences. I feel everything in my life, good and bad, has made me into the “me”
I am today. Most of my jobs have lasted several years. When I commit to something, I ride it out. Usually. There have been a few occasions where I have stuck things out longer than I should have. And looking back, know exactly when I should have left, personally and professionally and those are my only regrets.

I do know now, that I am willing to work and that I will do a good job at whatever task I am given. I also know that I want to write. I just did a write up for a friend who is starting a new business and I worked hard to find the perfect words to convey her message and I edited it a few times before I completed it and I realized that I am better at marketing anyone else besides me. I wish I’d made my passion for writing turn into a job. I know now that besides writing, I wish I’d gotten a degree in marketing. I love it. So why do I have such a hard time when it comes to marketing me?

It takes a village

I am blessed by my village of friends here! Thank YOU!

You guys will never know how much it means to me to be back! And see some of the familiar faces I left behind. You are my people! My village! I understand. My next door neighbor moved a while ago and wrote a note that said, “I found my people!” She is an artist and refinishes furniture and had a little store downtown the same time I did and moved out of state to Oregon and found a little shop that rents out space, similar to Reminisce (where I have my greeting cards and dolls) and I knew she was going to be okay. Settling into her new home away from home, she found her peeps! And that is how I have been feeling about you all!

Whether just checking in, to let me know you are still there or sending me comments of encouragement, I SEE you all and am blessed! Some of your advice is just what I needed to hear, and the stories you’ve shared have made me know you understand. I am so happy to know each one of you and just wanted to stop in and tell you how much you ALL mean to me! Every single one!

Thank you!


Frozen in Fear

I felt as if I could go out and get a job anywhere a few years ago. I had a great boss who was my mentor and teacher and now is my friend. She gained my respect pretty quickly. She was (still is) a Go-Getter and very confident in what she does and knows. She taught me the ins and outs of being an Event Coordinator. Over the almost two decades I’ve known her and the dozen or so years I worked under her, I learned a lot. I know about action plans and being detail oriented and organized and giving great customer service. I learned about permits and licensing and insurance and not only how to throw a great party, but how to coordinate vendors and direct parking. And run meetings.

I’ve also owned a store and my own art business, not to mention the decade or so before that with a handful of other jobs that taught me numerous other abilities that I feel have been the stepping stones that have led me to being a pretty qualified employee. I’ve hired and scheduled and trained. And my employees loved me and I loved them.

Fast forward… several years….

When the hotel I was working for sold, I found myself without a job for the first time in over a dozen years. I’d had a pretty successful art business and a greeting card company where I designed and wrote each card and so instead of being scared of what came next, I saw it as an opportunity to , reinvent it.

As I was just turning a corner, and feeling as if maybe I could actually make a living or at least bring in a decent contribution to our household, I was interrupted by an opportunity to be an Event Coordinator at a Winery. I was hesitant because I really did feel that I was on my way back to doing what I loved with my art business, but though I was making good money at my shows, my husband kept reminding me to figure in the expenses. I knew he was right. My shows were all in Orange County, four hours away and the traveling expenses and show costs had to be figured in. And so I took the interview and was hired right on the spot.

At first I was excited. I was hired for what I was told was full time and I showed up on time, never sat down, cleaned and prepped and did whatever needed to be done. But except for one art show in the time I was there, I realized that they weren’t looking for an Event Coordinator. In fact, the girl who recommended me ended up adding that to her job description. And I wasn’t hired for full time, I was hired for the weekends. Right during member pick up which was hardly gone over as was the point of sale system they used. When you work every weekend instead of every day it’s hard to get a rhythm going. The communication was non existent and the moodiness in the office was uncomfortable. I floundered trying to learn all the different procedures. And felt undervalued and began doubting my own abilities. Now I look back and realize I just wasn’t trained like I might have trained someone coming in.

When I had to ask for yet another paycheck that I didn’t get the week before and go through another uncomfortable conversation and the owner snippily asked me… “anything else?” I found something inside of me that I’d lost working there, and thought to myself YOU HAVE THE POWER DIANE, YOU’VE ALWAYS HAD IT.

And said…. “Yes. I’m thinking, THIS will be my last day.” It was the most empowered I’d felt in a long time. And that was that. There were no other words needed. No explanations. They knew I hadn’t been treated well. I know what I experienced and walked away with my head held high.

But now as I’m thinking I need to find another job to supplement our income, I am frozen in fear. It’s funny, because my first boss was tough. She’s really a softy as a friend, but when she was my employer, she was all black and white. She had a talent of gaining respect at “Hello” but she really earned it. She was an amazing teacher and I learned from her for twelve years. I know what I know. But for some reason I’m frozen in fear having PTSD from this last blip of a job.

Any advice would be appreciated!