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This Blog or That Blog?

Life has been a tad bit crazy since deciding to move to Virginia and it hasn’t settled down since we arrived. There has been no settling for us. To our credit, we wake up every day and tackle life. Good, bad or indifferent, we are still in the game. Yay us! Sort of.

My health has taken quite a hit since moving here. I was concerned about it before moving but did my best to keep my worries private. Sad to report, that my concerns were well founded. My health is worse in Virginia. I am dealing with all the old problems and a bunch of new health challenges. I am researching and working to get myself together again. It’s just taking some time. But the life that I have envisioned for years is still just far enough of reach that I can’t get there. It sucks. Back to the drawing board.

There are days where I have a lot of down time and up till now, I have mostly been sleeping, recovering and willing my body to get it together. I’m not sure how well that is working but where the mind leads, the body will follow. So I’ve been told.

During the times of quiet, my mind keeps thinking about blogging and writing. It’s been a struggle to get it going. For the first few months, we had no internet. It’s only been within the past 30 days that we have internet in our home. Then there is time. I’m the only driver in our home so currently, I drive 2 people to 3 jobs. It was 2 people to 4 jobs for first few months. I didn’t have much time to sit still while juggling 2 people with 4 schedules. But we’ve made it work.

One of my biggest excuses has been this insane idea of starting a brand spanking new blog. I’ve been searching and trying out new names. I’ve been resisting coming to this blog to build on what I have already started. A mini identity crisis? Maybe. Maybe not. Sometimes I don’t want to tie some of my thoughts with my photography but it is so much easier to manage if it is all in one place. Does this blog allow me to do that? I don’t know but why start over? Plus, I can’t think of a new blog name that I like.

So, for now I am just going to get back to the keyboard. Hopefully.

I’m terrible at this…

Jamie

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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

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Interview Day

Focusing on getting the blog done early today.  To be honest, I am attempting to focus on anything I can to keep myself from having an all out spasm of some kind.

I did not wake up feeling good or confident in today.  I woke up feeling a ton of swirling negative energy. Right out of bed, even before my first cup of coffee, I felt a massive push to just let loose in a negative rant against anything and everyone. I am not sure if I can articulate what I was experiencing. It was as if I woke up and stepped out of bed into an atmosphere that was ripe with complaining, irritation, annoyance and negativity. The first words out of my mouth were criticisms about petty things. I thought, “Whoa, don’t do this.”

I was making my coffee and I felt out-of-place as the awareness of the bad spiritual energy intensified. I do not know any other way to explain this but I noticed a separation between me and the negative energy in the room. Sounds weird, I know, but things like this happen to me all the time. The idea came to me that if  I complain, then I will increase this negative mass of energy. If I indulge this dangerous beast then I will slip into this negative space sending myself into a disastrous day. I became acutely aware that if I allowed myself to complain or criticize then I would be sent careening down a path that would create nothing but negative nullifying anything good that may happen today.

While having my first cup of coffee, I thought I have to do something to change the direction of my day. The first thing I did was focus on the awareness that I was sensing. I am aware of the negative energy swirling about me. I am not making it up. Ignoring it will only force it to intensify and press in on me further. Speaking or thinking negativity fuels it’s growth so keep your mouth shut for now. Second step, do something positive or at the very least neutral to counter balance the negative and shift the direction I am walking. I can walk negative or I can walk positive. So, I told my son, Flash, about what was happening to me. He replied, “I know, I feel it too.” There you go, the beast is now out in the open.

Turning to the blog and my second cup of coffee, I scrambled to take steps that will alter my direction. The strangest part is that my efforts are working. The unwanted beast has backed off. I still feel a thin, slippery, slimy residue in the air but I am calmer. I am no longer picking up on the urge to have negative words come out of my mouth. I am not feeling the resistance that once so keenly held my focus. It is such an odd state to be aware of things like this and even though I have always been like this, I am still not accustomed to it.

I can breathe now. Today is going to be day of push and pull. I am going to have to keep one eye on the seen and one eye on the unseen. I am going to have to be hyper-sensitive about what I say and do. Every thought and choice will have to be weighed and measured. I will have to function in this world and battle the other world.  No wonder I am always tired and feel like I am stretched to thin. For now, I can not worry about it. I must stay in a calm, focused place and get ready for my interview today.

Say a prayer and wish me luck!
Be brave.
Jamie Christine