blog

Don’t Call Me Martha

I should have written here a few days ago. Just sort of left people hanging. I promise it wasn’t intentional. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and I scatter. I have trouble focusing on a wide variety of things. I will never be a multi-tasking, super woman who I feel like we are egged into being. I guess others can spread their focus and energy so thin and still be like a happy, well-organized, got it all together super woman. Those women must be better than me because I am typically a frantic mess woman who has too much on plate and in order accomplish anything, I have to focus, focus, focus!  Sometimes, I am so scattered brained that I prioritize what I focus on and let something go for a few days. Like the blog.

I had my job interview. I got the job. Tremendous relief!  The company that I work for sent me a laundry list of things to accomplish before my training starts. That is why I haven’t been here. Just could not focus on both so I did my paper work, set up my home office and secured a paying job. Priorities. I am happy to work again but feel guilty that I was not writing every day.

I suppose one day, I’ll get it all together, filed and supremely organized.
Or I won’t. Maybe I’ll just be the fluttering, creative free spirit who gets things done without a pretty little planner. That might be fun!

Be brave.
Jamie Christine

Advertisements
blog

Where Do You Get Oranges?

Fresh oranges for the win!

One of my early jobs in Arizona was as a cook/van driver at a daycare. I prepped meals and snacks for, on average, 150 people a day. Breakfast, lunch and 2 snacks a day. I was also responsible for transporting the school age children back and forth to their schools. At the time, I handled 5 elementary schools and one private preschool. My list of responsibilities also included making a monthly menu, ordering kitchen supplies, organizing deliveries and all the prep, cooking and clean up in the kitchen. Not included in my job description but, something that I handled every day was staff birthdays and shopping for the teachers supply list which often included a weekly run to an education supply store and a local grocery store. I was a busy woman! I enjoyed the job tremendously and if my health had remained prosperous, then I would have stayed at this job for a long time.

I received a produce order twice a week for all of my fresh produce, however, on occasion there would be problems with my produce order. One morning, when fresh orange slices where on the menu for snack, my produce order did not arrive on time. Rather than just grabbing some other item from the shelf, the daycare (and me) made every attempt to adhere to our posted monthly menu which meant, if  the menu included fresh oranges slice for morning snack, then I have to offer fresh oranges, not shelved crackers. This particular morning, our oranges had not arrived, so I headed to our local grocery store to buy enough oranges for 135 preschoolers.

I hustled into the grocery store, grabbed a grocery cart and went straight to the produce section. I loaded 9 or 10, 5-lb bags of navel oranges into my cart. I stopped for a moment to see what else I needed to purchase when an elderly woman approached me. Arriving at my side, she looked at my 50 pounds of oranges, looked up at me and said, “Good Lord, woman! Don’t you know anybody with an orange tree!”

I laughed and said “What?”. Very quickly all the pieces started rolling together in my mind. In Arizona, citrus fruit trees are in abundance. The ability to enjoy fresh from the tree oranges is often, as far away as your closest neighbor. I am certain that to this lovely, elderly woman, it would have been far more economical to befriend someone who owned an orange tree. Having put it all together, I chuckled and said, “No, you don’t understand. I work for a daycare…”

She shrugged her shoulders mid-sentenced and walked away leaving me laughing in the produce section.

It’s been almost 20 years since this happened. To this day, whenever I eat oranges, I think of this hilarious encounter. Today, I am thinking about it a little differently. The elderly woman was trying to help me save some money with her suggestion. I tried to explain that I was purchasing oranges for a licensed childcare provider and I was only able to purchase items from certified vendors. She refused to hear my explanation and walked away thinking something entirely different about me and the situation.

It got me thinking. Have you ever been doing something or planning something and an outsider comes along and passes judgement on you without knowing all the reasons why you are doing whatever you’re doing? Has there ever been a time in your life when others looked at you and your actions with incorrect ideas simply because they did not take the time to find out what your goals or obstacles were? Have you ever done this to someone else?

Of course we have. Both scenarios have occurred because we often judge without knowing all the details of the circumstances. In our, incomplete, judgement we often think we are right and the other person is wrong. We tell others what to do before we know all the information or feelings or goals involved in a situation. We know better than they do. We know more than they do. We simply surmise, we are right, they are wrong. We are all guilty, at one point in our lives, of telling other people where to get their oranges.

We have to learn to really listen to each other needs or desires and then offer advice or wisdom once we know all the facts. And I mean ALL the facts. Because, I’d bet you a bag of oranges, we rarely know every reason behind someone’s actions but it is much easier to judge that they don’t have a clue about orange trees than to wait and learn what they are dealing with in life.

Take time to listen, really listen to others. Take time to build trust in relationships so that others truly confided in you. Take to time to understand other people lives or goals that are often very different than your own. Take time to practice patience.

Be brave.
Jamie Christine

blog

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

blog

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

blog

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

blog

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

 

blog

Monday Meet Up

Good Monday Afternoon!

I hope all of you have are having a super happy start to your week. I’m in a good place. Feeling a little like a doofus since I missed my post early this morning. I slept right through all my alarms. I had been up close to 24 hours so it was good to sleep in a bit.

I have found temporary employment. Yippee! I don’t start work till early November so we are scrambling to keep everything a float for a little while longer. Boy, I tell ya, tough times are so stressful! It takes some strong fortitude to hang in there in day after day. I am eager for the world to stop spinning but I don’t anticipate this for a couple more months or longer. There are lots of things to get settled and more changes on the horizon. Plus, if my temp job doesn’t convert to permanent employment then my job hunt essentially never ends. Deep sigh…

One positive thing on the horizon in November is a free business class! My local library is offering a FREE class on how to start-up a business in my city. Three Wednesday nights and they will cover everything from licensing to marketing to operation. Guess who is already signed up? Ha, ha! Me! I am so excited for it. Within the last month, I have said out loud to the universe, “I’d love to start my own business but I don’t have a clue how to do this.” Bingo! Free business class. LOVE IT!!

So, this week starts out kind of mixed up. Some struggles still happening but some good positive things coming into picture as well. Out with the old. In with the new.

That’s where are right now.
Be brave.
Jamie Christine