Don’t Give Up. Don’t Give In.

I had a wonderful day yesterday. First day on the new (seasonal) job went fantastic!

I am working in a warehouse for the holiday season. My station is in the cards shipping department. Basically, I package cards in shipping boxes, put labels on them and send them on their way. I really enjoyed it. Every one that I worked with was friendly and always helpful. Willing to answer all my “need to know” questions. The hours are long. Standing for extended periods of time is a challenge for me physically. I wear my hiking boots and inserts for good support. Drink lots of water. Eat healthy. I may make it through physically. If I was going to stay in Arizona, I would most certainly be seeking a permanent job there. I really had a fun day. Best part of the day was not one feeling of anxiety! I am looking forward to working there for the next few months.

No surprise that I was in bed early last night. When the alarm went off this morning, I admit, I was not ready to get out of bed but I’ve waited months for employment. I can’t sleep in now. While I was resting my eyes, post alarm clock, I kept hearing in my head, “and if you don’t give up, don’t give in, you may just be okay.” It is a line from the song, The Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics. I think it is a good message. Timely for me.

Whatever your struggle. Where-ever you are. Just don’t give up and don’t give in. Time will wander on and you will be okay. The Living Years

Have to get ready for work. Have a wonderful day!
Be brave.
Jamie Christine

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Friday Frenzy

Friday is my first day of work at the seasonal job. It’s finally here. Time to make some money. 😉

I had a busy, worrisome week. Lots of anxiety. Too much stress. But, I am hoping to end the week on a thankful and positive note. That’s my plan anyway.

Thankful to a dear friend who has offered to help with the rent for this month. Just a loan due to the fact that I could not find a job that would start in enough time to get paychecks rolling in. Applied for emergency financial assistance with an organization about 12 days ago. Haven’t heard anything back from them as of Thursday night. Not a peep. One thing I have learned, people are rarely in as much of hurry as you are at any particular moment. It always ends up feeling like they are just not as concerned about the prospect of being homeless. I have some things listed on-line to sell but no one has even commented. I’ve sold nothing bringing in no money. None-the-less, a good, wonderful friend has offered to loan us the money and we can pay her back when the paychecks start coming in or the financial assistance grant is approved or not. I am thankful for her help and friendship.

Positive note. I am finally starting work. I can not express enough times how frustrating this process has been since my contract with the newspaper job ended in August 2017. It feels as if it has been drawn out forever when reality it has been just a few days over 2 months. Oh good grief! Two of the most stressful, worried filled, irritating and annoying few months. I actually feel like it has been 6 months. I’ve applied for more jobs than I ever have in my life. At least 100 jobs applications. No kidding. How a person can put out that many freaking applications and barely get 4 interviews is beyond me. So many of my applications were never even viewed. I am so frustrated by it all. Job searching has worn me so thin that I am sure I am transparent by now. Crazy thing, it is not over. I just have temp work through the end of the year then we move. I have to find a job in a new city. Oh gracious, somebody help me!!! The good news is Friday morning will find me working, earning a paycheck for at least the next 8 weeks.

Here’s to a new job and the money it brings!
Be brave.
Jamie Christine

Anxiety Rising

Wow…missed yesterday’s blog post. Anxiety is stirring in the pit of my stomach. Just to be clear, anxiety is not nerves or worry. It is an entirely different beast all together. When I am nervous about something, I can push through the nerves and do what I need or want to do. When I am experiencing anxiety or having panic attacks about something, the more I push, the worse it fights back. Currently, there are so many changes occurring right now in my life, that my anxiety is already starting to rumble, deep and low in my stomach. I am doing everything I can to ward off an anxiety filled explosion the size of a super volcano.

I am already crying off and on about leaving Arizona. There is so much that I am going to miss. There are so many things that I didn’t get the time or money to go do and see. There are people who I never got to meet in person. I am trying not to panic over all that I will miss and all that I never got to do while living here. I am making my best effort to keep my focus on all the new adventures that are waiting ahead for me. Besides, I can always come back. I know the way.

Yesterday, I was thinking about moving and leaving my home. It occurred to me, all change is hard, isn’t it? Even if we are happy about the changes or excited for new frontiers, change is difficult, challenging and often times, overwhelming. Just ask any mother.

Many women have decide to have a baby. You work at it until finally you get pregnant. Everything changes. Your body, your emotions, your thoughts, your plans for your future, it all changes and you are thrilled! At the first twang of birth pains, there is a moment and I think for most it is only a moment, but in one painful, reality filled moment, you say…O.M.G.! The weight of it all hits you and somewhere in between breathing exercises and pain, your mind fully grasps the imminent arrival of a tiny, helpless human being that you created and are now fully responsible for. O.M.G…change.

Change that you desired. Change that you purposely decided upon. Change that you know is the right step for you in your life. Change that brings more change.

Anyone who tells you that change, good or bad is easy-peasy, is faking it or lying to you. Period. Be real. Be honest. Change is hard.

Be brave.
Jamie Christine

Morning After Doubts

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I can not speak for everyone but whenever I make a huge life changing decision the morning after is always filled with doubt. I think it is pretty normal, pretty human thing to do so I do my best not to beat myself up when I find my mind swirling in doubt and confusion. I wake up in a panic, often mumbling out loud, “Did I do the right thing? Is this the right choice? Is this a mistake?”

Here’s the thing…
Personally, I think doubt can be useful when used in the right way. I think it is healthy to examine our choices, sometimes we have to do it multiple times. I think doubt causes us to do that provided we stop, control are racing thoughts and re-evaluate our decisions. Every time we have normal doubts then we are being presented with an opportunity to adjust our course or continue forward in our choice. It is important to recognize it as an opportunity to pause and search with in our hearts, minds and desires. Are we headed in the direction we want to travel? Is the life we wish to build?

I know that people say not to doubt, however, I think, that there is no harm in asking the important questions of our choices because we are responsible and accountable for our choices. Every decision we make defines the road we traverse on and manifests our lives. Our choices create our lives so why not take a few minutes, a day even, to re-examine our decisions because they are changing your life.

I think fear is a far worse culprit than doubt. Fear can seize our minds to the point that we never even make a decision. We just stop or even worse, we fear our choices which results in never taking a step. It is okay to use doubt to re-evaluate our life path. It is not okay to live in fear of our life path.

For myself, I asked the necessary questions this morning. I looked within again and said, yes, again. If I don’t seize this window of opportunity, I may regret it. I don’t want to look back on my life and say, “I had a chance to know you, to value you, to love you but I let fear of change stop me.”

Twenty years from now, I won’t regret the decision to move.
Be brave.
Jamie Christine

Moving Monday

Good Morning! It is still morning right?

I am in the midst of trying to get myself on a new sleep schedule for my job that starts on Friday. Things are a little topsy-turvy at the moment, however, by week’s end they should be a touch better in the sleep department.

Sunday was an eventful day of decision-making at my house. For a few months now we have known that when our current lease is up in December that we would be making a move. I even started sorting through items, using up the food pantry and managed to get one box packed. Just one. My point is we knew were moving. Where we were headed to was a great mystery. Until yesterday. After months of scouring the country and cities galore we have, unanimously, settled on moving to the east coast. The state of Maryland. City? We are currently investigating, Salisbury, MD. Its location suits many of our needs and desires.

Yes, we are leaving Chandler, Arizona. Leaving my beloved west. I am already crying at the drop of a hat when I think of leaving my home. There is a good reason though. Family.

I left the east coast in April 1993 at the young and tender age of 22. I was living in Richmond, VA. I had two boys under the age of two. I was about to be evicted from the worst part of town. On a whim, I called a high school friend in Washington state. She said I could live with her mom. Within a few weeks, I sold what I could, packed what I couldn’t and headed west in Cheverolet Celebrity. I celebrated my 23rd birthday in Kent, Washington. I was there for five years when another friend, said, “Move to Arizona. We are here and you have no one there.” So, on a whim, I did. In May of 1998, I left rainy Washington for the Arizona desert.

I’ve been here almost 20 years. I’ve raised my boys here. I’ve buried one of them here. I have learned to love, laugh and live in this magical desert. Anyone who says there is nothing in the barren desert has not the eyes to see it. There is beauty beyond measure here and community that is welcoming and uplifting. Arizona is my home. I miss it already and I haven’t even left yet. So why leave? I know you are asking that question. I’m asking this question.

One word, family. I am relocating back to the east coast to be closer to family because I wonder a lot about dying. If I were to die suddenly, what would happen to my boys? Since they were raised in Arizona, they really don’t know any of my family closely. If I died, they would be alone, just the two of them. That is the last thing I want.

A second reason is what if other family members died and I never saw them again. I would be devastated. I suppose getting older and wrestling with death a few times can result in a person making decisions we might not have made before. If we suffer enough loss, we come to know how loss often shines a huge spot light on what is truly valuable in life, people. Not the weather. Not your job. Not your difference of opinions. People. Family. They are what matters most.

And so, with those raw and emotional thoughts rolling in my mind, heart and spirit, we are moving back to the east coast. Life is an adventure!

Wow, T-minus 59 days and counting.
Be brave.
Jamie Christine

Friday Photographs

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The blog is beginning to take on a little more shape than last week. I am starting to get a schedule of what I will write about on each day. Hopefully, things will begin to take on a little more structure, at least for me. You never know the challenges of creating daily blog post till you write a blog.

I suppose, it really is about finding all the different parts of your voice and creating harmony on paper. It is about establishing a place where everything you wish to convey to the world works together like shards of colored glass in a kaleidoscope. Each new day turns into a dazzling display of something new to behold, yet, it is composed of the exact number of multi-colored flecks as the day prior. All these little voices spinning round and round until they land in a manner which is beautiful.

My task at hand is make all the little pieces to co-operate long enough actually say something worth while. Finding your singular voice while acknowledging all the fracture pieces and spinning trapped in a tube is a daunting task. Most days, I am just happy to get an entry composed before 6 a.m.

Voices can be like roses. No one can unfold a rose forcing it open to see its beauty. It must open on its own time and in it’s own way. Otherwise, it just won’t be a rose.

Be brave.
Jamie Christine

Bridal Shop Bliss?

I’ve been thinking…

A few weeks ago, I had a job interview at a bridal salon. I was super excited about it. I was interviewing for a customer service representative position which would require me to work the front desk, answer phones, up-sale items at the cash register and generally be an assistant to everyone in the store. I have a lot of customer service experience in my 30 years of work experience. Topping off all my work experience is the fact that I have a diploma in bridal consulting and I consistently monitor the bridal industry along with keeping fresh with latest trends. Seriously.

I had two interviews with two different ladies. The first interview was with a calm and charming woman who was especially easy to converse and laugh with. The second woman was uptight, snobby who barely even spoke with me. My interview was less than 15 minutes long and she was ushering me out the door. Keep in mind that I am completely prepared to accept that there was a better qualified candidate out there. In fact it is pretty true in life that there is always someone better qualified than you and someone less qualified than you. It is just a fact. Here’s my however. I over heard the snobby lady say something as I was waiting for my interview that has been rolling around my brain and now, I am not sure about that my qualifications or lack of were the reason I did not get the job.

I was browsing through the stunning dresses when I over heard the snob say, “I liked her but I think she would be better in the back, in alterations. She was old you know.” She was speaking about whomever had interviewed before me. The lady who had previously interviewed for the job was an older woman. Apparently, the snob, felt that because although she was qualified, she should be placed in the back so no one would see her. Because she was old.

When I heard her say it, I was shocked and I thought to myself, “I hope she is not doing my interview.” Sure enough, she was the person I was meeting. The snob was so brisk in the interview and impatient. It was obvious that she was in a hurry to get it done. I did my best to work with it and keep moving forward with a smile. In hind sight, I am not sure that the snob ever gave me a chance. I am older and I am fat.

This is the first time in my life that I have ever wondered if I lost a job based solely on my appearance but after considering how the snob was willing to hire a qualified candidate and stuff her in the back because she is old, I am not so sure.

I understand, people and companies have images. I also understand that I am perfectly capable of dressing and grooming to company standards.  I understand this may have nothing to do with why I did not get the job. I also understand that it is wrong to put qualified employees “in the back” because they are old or fat.

Other than my weight, I was appropriately dressed, clean and well groomed. I was 15 minutes early, well mannered and have a bridal consulting diploma. I understand that I am a valuable, hard working and intelligent employee who happens to carry some extra weight. I understand that loosing weight would be better for me. I am working on it!

More importantly, I understand that, sadly, that bridal shop was no where I want to work especially after seeing how they treat older people. The snob can feel safe. Me and my old, fat, qualified self will just work elsewhere with people who know how to NOT discriminate based on weight or age.

Be brave.
Jamie Christine