Thursday, August 31, 2017

I'm Always Being Guided...

A few months ago, I wrote something about the topic of being guided.  I don't know if it ever made it to the blog, or beyond a note on a pad of paper, but I do know I wrote something about being guided.  It was shortly after I finished reading The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein because it was, while reading that book, that I realized I am, in fact, always being guided....even when it doesn't feel like it.

Let's take a look at this year from my perspective.

January... cut hours, it's okay, it'll bounce back, everyone is slow in January
February...even more cut hours and unexpectedly dumped, ouch
March... working one day a week, start struggling with depression
April... out of a job but working one hour a day on a farm but at least the baby lambs are cute and keep me company
May... the farm is still my only source of income, living off a credit card, things aren't looking good for me in any area of my life...
June... temp agency places me in a factory...the one where my ex and all his friends work, hello anxiety
July to mid August... work an average of 60 hours, commuting a lot, absolutely HATE the factory life, feeling less and less like myself every day

And then I got an email that went something like this, "Jennifer, I found your resume on indeed and I would like to talk to you about job..."

I rolled my eyes and assumed it was a robot or a MLM gig, and responded with a quick response.   He wanted to have a phone interview, after all, he was located in Indiana.  I agreed.  During the interview, he asked me what my salary expectations were.  Having no clue what size of company this was, or even fully understanding what the job would be, I threw out a number.   He chuckled and told me that would be okay.  A few more emails were sent and when I was asked to meet for an interview, I stopped being so skeptical, and met an older man named Ken.  It was in the middle of the interview with Ken said, "you know, I think we were just meant to be."

"I might have to agree with you!  I always knew I had that odd list of jobs for a reason..."

So, let's zoom out and take a look back on my job history...

2001-2005.... sewing cushions for rocking chairs, mostly indoor, sometimes outdoor
2006-2008....sewing sails and covers
2009-2014... food service and engraver... irrelevant to this story
2014-2017... restaurant booth upholstery, (farming, and factory work)

Ken wanted to offer me a job to run a satellite location for his company which makes covered window treatments.  Based on my resume, he knew if I could cover a restaurant booth, I could cover a window valance.   What is interesting is he has several locations of shops in the States and well... just listen...

Indiana - covered window treatments
Indiana #2 - branching to outdoor cushions
Indiana #3 - embroiders and sews bedspreads
Florida - branching to sail covers

I'm sure you can see why my resume stood out to him.  It's also why he picked a shop location based around my answer of whether or not I would accept his offer.  So much so that he wouldn't sign the building lease until I gave him my answer.

Wanna guess my answer?

Yup!  I'm out in Indiana training so I can get my satellite shop up in running in a few weeks.  So much of this seems surreal but looking back, it seems pretty obvious that I've been on this path for a reason.  

I've spent a lot of this year wondering if I was on the right path or if I'd miss my turn years ago, but "it just so happened" that Ken offered me a job right after I quit the factory.  (I started in another upholstery shop and hated it on my first day, I held out for 3 days... then quit.  They were sad to see me go and even more then a week later, they've messaged me to see if I have any interest in coming back.  Um, no.  I'm off to bigger and better things!)

Oh, and remember the pay I suggested?  He's starting me off $1 more per hour than I asked, on top of benefits, incentives, and bonuses.  He has no doubt that I am the right person for the job, and after a few days of training, I know I will ROCK this JOB!

After all, I'm always being guided.

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Lesson in Resistance

A lesson in Resistance

Miss Prim, my faithful and ever so loving cat, rarely misses an opportunity to snuggle.   It’s the first thing she wants to do in the morning, the last thing she wants to do at night, and whenever I am home, she is by my side, anxiously waiting for me to sit down so she can curl up on my lap.  She is my steady lovebug, and because of her, I have learned many life lessons on unconditional love, faithfulness,and patience.   

Yesterday, she taught me about resistance, and surrender.

Even though Miss Prim is constant in wanting love and attention, there are days she likes to play.   We wrestle, and she will attack my arm as I go in for a belly rub.   After a few minutes, I will tell her she is getting too rough and I will tell her to give me kisses the next time instead of attacking my arm.  She calms down and licks the wounds she has given me, then snuggles and purrs like the happy and lovable cat she is.   Yesterday, she wanted some play time, and it was long overdue.  My schedule was allowing me little time at home and I had been neglecting our play time.   So, I got down on the floor and wrestled with her.   But, this wrestling was different.   She was much more aggressive, attacked harder, and didn’t seem to be playing.

I told her it was time to calm down and play, but again she attacked.  I asked again, but she attacked.   I quit playing with her before we got to the snuggle time.   When I headed to bed, she did as she usually does, and followed me into the room, and hopped up on the bed, waiting for snuggle time.   I went to scratch her ears and again she attacked me.  I tried to rub her back but she attacked.  The closer my hand got to her body, the darker and more distance her eyes got.  This was not the Miss Prim I’ve come to love.   This was a closed off cat who neglected what she wanted most simply because she could.   She was the definition of resistance.

I crawled into bed and closed my eyes.  A few seconds later, I felt Miss Prim’s nose on my nose.  I opened up my eyes, nearly going crosseyed trying to see her face.  “What do you want now?”  I ask, half expecting to get clawed in the face.  But she just looks at me with love in her eyes.  “Aww, there is the Miss Prim I know!”   And with that, she collapses, right in front of my face.  She lets out a loud sigh and starts purring deeply.   I hesitate to pet her since my hand is covered in scratches, but as I put my hand on her furry little body, I felt her surrender to my petting.  She purrs even louder, and when I stop petting her, she pulls my and in close, just to hold it next to her body.  She as fully surrendered.

It’s at this moment that I realize how resistant I’ve been in my life.  It’s more than just a daily occurrence of resistance.  I long for love, connection, and snuggles, yet I am always hesitant because I don’t want to get hurt.  In my resistance and self-defense, I am hurting everyone else who constantly wants to reach out and shower me with love.  I think about my relationship with God and how I resist His love, guidance, and grace on a daily basis because I think I know what is best for me, instead of surrendering and trusting that He will continue to take care of me.  I try to remember the last time I let out that loud sigh and completely surrendered.

As I type this, Miss Prim is curled up in my arms, digging her paws into my skin, because she is holding on tight to this moment.  She is in complete bliss because she constantly surrenders to her need to be loved, and without hesitation, goes for it...even to the point of annoying me.  This is what makes her life be fulfilled.  She needs to be loved and adored, just like many of us need to be loved and adored, yet we resist, fearing we will come off as clingy, needy, and annoying.  And all we really need to do is release and surrender.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

When Life Doesn't Give You Time to Live

I fell of the face of the blogoverse again.   It wasn't planned, it just happened.

In fact, there have been nights that I tell myself to sit down and write that epic story that I want the world to know about, but pick sleeping, or eating dinner, or doing a headstand, instead.

On May 30, 2017... I got a job through a temp agency.  It wasn't anything I wanted to do, the pay was okay, but working an hour on the farm wasn't cutting it for my bills, so I started working in a factory as a quality inspector.   The following week, I was put on mandatory 12 hour shifts.   The week after that I was working weekends.  The week after that I was sent to a different location, an hour drive each way.  And then, I got a 40 hour work week and my location was in Wooster!  It was the best week ever.  I could actually clean my apartment, go grocery shopping, and not wake up at 4 am so I could squeeze my workout in before a long day.

On July 26, 2017... my supervisor sent me a text asking if I could go to Zanesville the next day.   I had heard of Zanesville but I wasn't exactly sure where it was or how far away it was from Wooster.  Before I googled the distance and the drive time, I agreed.  It was only for a day anyway.

It is 100 miles to Zanesville.  That's 1 hour and 45 minutes each way.

I got up extra early to squeeze in my workout because I had to leave my house at 5:15am to get to work on time.   The drive was easy.  It takes me through sections of Amish country, and down towards some epic hiking areas that I've always wanted to adventure through.  

At the end of the day, my supervisor asked me if I could finish up the week in Zanesville.  I agreed, after all, that was only 2 more times of driving and I would be getting paid for mileage once I got the paperwork to be filled out.

I am still driving to Zanesville every day.  I managed to squeeze in an interview and get a different job between my 12 hour shifts....and being no where near Wooster.  The supervisor isn't thrilled that I am quitting mostly because the job in Zanesville is going to need someone there to do the job for at least one more month, and not because I'm a good worker!  I still haven't been paid for my mileage and there's a part of me that thinks they won't pay me for it.  After all, when they realized how far I was driving every day, they made remarks about finding someone closer, and I happily told them I would be okay if someone else took this job in Zanesville.

Anyway, it's been very difficult for me to have any time for myself beyond eating my dinner, working out, and taking a shower, for the last month.  Until last week, I was also still working on the farm every day for at least an hour, so every day was a 13-14 hour day.   

My apartment was a disaster, my cat was lonely and in need of attention, and I have been in need of sleep.  

Yesterday, I spent all day on the couch watching Netflix.  I didn't even wear pants all day long!  It was by far one of the best days I've had in a while.  Part of me felt guilty because it was a beautiful day outside.... perfect for hiking... but deep down I knew that I had to have a day of complete relaxation.

I start my new job next Monday, so I have another week of driving to Zanesville.  Though I don't have a super good feeling about this new job, and it is a 40 minute commute each way, I know that it has to be better than this chaotic job and schedule I've been living for the last two months.  I'm just excited to start having my own schedule and life back... so that I will have time to blog again, or work on some of my other writing projects I've been pondering on starting for months.

I know work is important because it pays bills, but living my life is way more important than being a slave to a job, especially when I don't even like the job!