Starting Over… Kind Of

I’ve talked about our relocation from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Terre Haute. It’s been quite an adventure the last several months. One of the biggest things that’s been on my mind is the sense of starting over. With the excitement of the move, selling and buying a new home and all of that other hoopla, now that we’re settled more of the changes are really coming to light.

Blank Slate Blog Post

There’s a lot of things where it feels like it’s starting from scratch. It’s really just different, but there a few things I’ve learned along the way. 

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Feeling Guilty, Sad & Sorry

This isn’t meant to start any arguments. I simply felt compelled to express my feelings and remorse, guilt and sadness for everyone impacted by the shooting at Pulse Night Club in Orlando. I’m simply one person looking for answers and with feelings to express – and this is where I can.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 10.49.57 PMIf you’re like much of the country and world, you too have seen the ongoing news coverage about the shooting in the Orlando nightclub. There are more and more news articles and videos coming out with names and stories of those who were murdered this past weekend and those who were injured.

As a human being, I can’t imagine the terror everyone in that club endured that night. My heart is sick for them. And, I fear for the survivors and hope they are able to find some comfort in the long days, weeks and months ahead.

As a Mom, I cannot even imagine the grief and loss of all of these young people. Seeing parents in the news talking about losing their kids and even getting texts from them during the shooting. Chills and tears grip at my core. As a sister, daughter, aunt and cousin the loss is haunting too.

As a friend to many LBGTQ people, all I can say is I AM SORRY.  I’ve listened to this interview on WGVU radio with Shelley Irwin and Tommy Allen. It opened my eyes a bit and made me proud of our community here in West Michigan. And this post on Facebook from Alex Darke who clearly tells what it is like to live in constant fear. If you haven’t read this – you must, I don’t care who you are.

Feeling Guilty.

Having a fairly diverse set of friends and acquaintances, and being involved in different organizations with very intentional diversity and inclusion programming, there seems to be guilt mixed in with all these emotions over the last few days. I think I even called myself a “lucky white girl” in my head the other day. Why?

I have no idea what it is like to live constantly in fear of what others will do or say about my life choices. And, anything that would come up in my world is pretty minuscule considering events like this mass shooting and hate crimes.

I have no idea what it is like to be judged due to my race. I could play the woman card, but again that seems petty in all of this.

I have no idea what is like to have so much prejudice and hate directed at me. No idea what it is like to not be allowed to marry who I love and want to spend my life with. To not have legal rights that other citizens have, or having to fight so hard to get them.

While there are arguments, petitions and even fights about gun control, terrorism, Muslims and religion – right now that all seems so frustrating. Yes, there has to be a way to improve guns laws. Yes, when someone is evil and filled with hate, there doesn’t seem to be a lot you can to do prevent these acts. We can arm chair quarterback and talk about “What If’s” and, Heaven forbid, the next time something like this happens.

These are all other important issues and conversations, but since Sunday and throughout this week, and many days ahead we should FEEL for everyone who has been touched and impacted by this tragedy. Worlds are changed forever, whether you knew anyone who was killed, injured or connected to them. So anything that you and I can do to be more accepting, compassionate, supportive and just generally nicer to everyone we run into – DO IT. Be Nice. Be compassionate. Be Accepting. Be a Good Human Being to your fellow man or woman – regardless of their race, religion, background, lifestyle. We are all people, and we are ultimately all in this together.

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Do What You Say You’re Going To Do.

It is amazing the lack of follow through on things that are said.

As part of my relocation from Grand Rapids, MI to Terre Haute, IN, I have had to use many different service providers and stores. This includes things like cable, internet, furniture, movers, fence installation companies, you name it. We still get to look forward to doctors, dentists, eye care, veterinarian and more. The joys.

To Do List blog image

We all know the experience with “The Cable Company” – they show up whenever, not necessarily when they promised and communication is nonexistent. That happened, missed appointments that were confirmed via email and no one shows.

Purchased furniture from one national company, Made in the USA though. And, waited all day for a delivery that never came. Called to find out where it was, it was backordered and should be here next week. Awesome. Why didn’t they call me ahead of time to let me know?

There are many positives too. A chair from a local company, delivered right on time – no issues. Movers, great communication and called when on their way.

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Parenting, Perseverance, and Being a Part of a Team

We’re in week 3 of our family being together here in Indiana. Sometimes it feels like it’s been months, sometimes like it was just yesterday. We’re still in our temporary apartment, moving in to the new (to us) home next week.

Moving is one thing. Moving as a family with a young child is another. Our guy is 11, totally independent, smart, sarcastic, and emotional too. We moved earlier so we could get him enrolled in school, so he can make some friends before summer – and the start of middle school next year. (Seriously, where does the time go?!). We also signed him up for baseball, which this particular league takes very seriously.

Walking out on field for first baseball game

Watching him walk out on the field, all on his own. Hits this Mom right in the feels.

With the move, we missed a few weeks of practices. Missing out on bonding with his team, getting to know the other players. Did I mention that at his first practice we had to drag him out of the car about 1/2 hour after it started to make him to over to the team. Yep… great parenting moment there. I was reduced to obnoxious threats and anger. When he started school, a few of the guys from his team were in his class. Great (we thought).

Fast forward a few weeks, a couple of games (some cancellations due to rain), and he isn’t feeling like part of the team. Coach and the other players have only seen him at one or two practices, resulting in very little playing time in the games. We came from a great, fun little league, and were in a different age group last year – slower pace, and a lot more fun.

As a Mom, I sit here with a child who doesn’t want to play. Clearly is not having any fun. Doesn’t feel like part of the team. Missed out on some pretty important parts of being on the team early on. I told him he had to give it 2 more games, and then could quit if he wasn’t feeling like more of the team. Sometimes it just takes time to gel with people, especially 11 & 12 year old boys, right?

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Relocation… Road to Indiana

Yes, you read that right. This might be a surprise to some, to others they know much of the story. So here’s the scoop for my friends and colleagues.

Map - GR to Terre Haute - Road to Indiana

After 28+ years with one company, my amazing husband had a great opportunity to start with a new company in Terre Haute, Indiana. That’s about 4.5 hours (or 300+ miles from Grand Rapids). GR has been our hometown, home base and center of our world for our entire lives. He’s a country boy from Caledonia. I was a “city girl” from Jenison, turned country-ish girl when we married and moved out near Gun Lake.

This is a HUGE career opportunity for him.

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Don’t Be Afraid to Ask.

I’ve been attending some pretty enlightening workshops recently. They’re led by Ken Fortier, the author of NetPLUS Connections. Being in business development and working with so many different people, I will admit I do kind of “get” networking and connecting people I know with each other. And, I like to think I have my “elevator speech” kind of down too.

quote-Stevie-Wonder-if-you-dont-ask-you-dont-get-146656_1Yet, here in the first few minutes of talking with the group, Ken tells us about “making an ask.” Simply asking others we know in the group if they might be able to help us with a specific need. It can be personal, professional, or for a friend. At first, many people were shy. It’s funny because the conversation and light bulb moment was that we look at kids who don’t have the answers, and they ask everything. They ask tons of questions, and usually get their answers they need.

Kids say the darndest things, right? They do!

They’re not afraid to ask. When did we lose that as adults?

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Finding Balance in The New Year

IMG_8675819038937Seems we’re all searching for balance in our work and real lives these days. I know that I have always tried to find it. It’s never a perfect balance, certainly one that ebbs and flows with where you’re needed most and what’s due when. Nothing like a deadline at work, child’s project or school event to get you focused, right?!

Did you get to enjoy time off over the holidays? Did you find that even with holiday get togethers and parties, you still had a little more down time?

I did, and it was fantastic. More importantly, I was very aware of having more time for what I wanted to do, and how I wanted to do things. I still had work to do and things to complete, luckily I could do a lot of that from home or from the local coffee shop. Flexibility!

And, with days off, I was able to spend more time at the gym and at home. I went through closets, cleaned them out and have boxes of goodies for Goodwill.

In having more time to decide what I wanted to do, and where I wanted to be, I felt more empowered and … Happy. I think that is part of what “balance” is – that you’re happy. Now, if you know me, you know that I love what I do and that is fun for me too. I did get a lot of work done – it was really just this new perspective or awareness of doing more of what I wanted to do, and being present in it.

Balance isn’t about 50/50 or a teeter totter going up and down, back and forth. It’s about finding what works for you, where you find happiness, fun, hard work, satisfaction and then some. As I prepare to head back to the “real world” tomorrow with 5 days of work in a row, I am also excited about this new consciousness about being where I want to be. That means focused on work, hitting the gym consistently (because that keeps me healthy and I have a blast working out), and making sure I head home at a decent time to hang with my guys.
That’s balance for me. What does balance look like for you?

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