Change is in the Air!

For the past few months, I have been MIA from my blog. To be honest, I’m not sure that I will get back to regularly posting anytime in the near future. I hope my readers understand, but life has changed quite a bit. It’s weird, really . . . I never used to embrace change so freely, yet since my move from Virginia to Vegas in 2016, my life has been one change after another, especially when it comes to work.

First, there was the transition of teaching in an entirely new school district with different routines and policies. It also included a shift from high school to middle school. I thought a change in grade level would be good for me, but instead it was career-ending. I was not cut out for 6th graders . . . or the fact that academic and behavioral accountability was so lax. It felt like glorified babysitting. The educational system does little these days to push students to achieve. Having grown up in a time where you got the grades you earned, with a mom who stressed excellence and teachers who cracked your knuckles with a ruler as incentive, I simply felt I was no longer suited for the field of education.

Next, I tried my hand at self-employment offering my expertise as a freelance editor. As anyone who has ever attempted to build a business knows, getting the word out and luring in customers (especially repeat customers) takes tremendous time and effort. I did eventually see progress, but it was too little too late. I was killing myself by working around the clock with very little income to show for it. The rate of growth I did achieve unfortunately did not keep pace with my rapidly depleting savings, and it became obvious in August that it was time to throw in the towel unless I wanted to incur significant levels of debt. I actually hung in there longer than I probably should have, but I kept believing in the old adage that “it’s darkest before the dawn”. I kept thinking that the next month would produce some magical breakthrough. Could I have turned the business into a success? Possibly, but when and at what personal cost? I think I made the right choice.

In mid-August, I accepted a position with a local casino working as a Guest Service Ambassador. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done. It’s fun and low-stress. One guest pointed out that the job parallels that of a bartender in that everyone confides in me, sharing health problems, loss of loved ones, family issues, gambling habits, etc. as I walk around making change and servicing slot machines. Many of the guests are regulars who seek me out and ask for me by name. Some consider me their good luck charm. The environment, the guests, and my friendly coworkers are helping this introvert to pull her head out of the sand and embrace interaction. Though the pay may not be what I earned in previous positions, it is enough to keep me out of debt, and I am no longer killing myself trying to make ends meet. This is the first job I’ve had in years where I don’t bring work home with me. My time is just that . . . my time. Now that I’ve had a few months to relish that fact, perhaps I’ll get back to working on my novel. Maybe the next change I’ll experience is that of a successful published author. Time will tell.

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Vanishing Act

I’ve been a stranger to my own blog lately, and I’ve missed it. Every day I wake with the intention of writing, but I have been so busy editing that I never seem to find the time. Looking at my site, I see people have still been visiting occasionally, probably wondering where in the world I went. That, coupled with the Daily Post Prompt (disappear) inspired this weird, slightly disconcerting post. Have no fear though. I am still alive and well, just busy. I hope to get a better balance soon. I am a work in progress—as is this freelance gig.

Vanishing Act
She felt herself slipping, drifting away. Not all at once. No, it was a gradual process. At first, she was just busy. There was always something that needed to be done, someplace she had to be, someone depending on her. And she wanted to get it all done, she wanted to be there, she wanted to provide for those who needed her.

It was too much though. She couldn’t pull it off in the long run. She was exhausted, and day by day, she lost her will, her drive, her spark. Her energy was quickly being depleted. She was shriveling up—into a ball, a deflated balloon, a shell of her once vibrant self.

She locked herself away. She tried to sleep, but she couldn’t. She was too tired. The room spun. She tried to plan a comeback, a revival, a rebirth… but she simply couldn’t think straight. Her mind was in a fog. She tried to remember what she had done before, where she had gone, those she loved…but her mind was a blank. She didn’t know any of that.

The only thing she knew now was that she knew nothing. She didn’t know who she was anymore. She had simply disappeared—from the world, from those she loved, and even from herself.

Daily Post Prompt: Disappear

Bestowed with Blessings and Curses

I admit it! I am extremely blessed. The good Lord has bestowed upon me a great family, some awesome friends, and the opportunity to pursue my dream job. My brother and his fiancé even came to visit earlier this month, and we had an awesome time together. Being self-employed, I could take the time off to spend with them. And what a pleasure it was! I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. The downside is that my mom and I live so far away that visits with family are rare these days. Still, we love where we live and consider ourselves blessed that every day in Vegas is sunny and bright. Our daily mantra is, “another day in paradise”. What’s not to love?

As for the pursuit of my dream job… well, that is a work in progress. I am definitely not what I would call a success story—yet. Work has been pretty steady the last month or two, where in the past, it could be sporadic. That proves I am on the right track. Some weeks I have had so much work that I have found myself editing around the clock for days on end, which is why it has been so long since I’ve last written a blog. I’m not complaining. Quite honestly, I tend to stay up reading half the night anyway. It’s my escape, my joy, and the reason I am pursuing this job in the first place. The only negative is that I am still not making the money I would like, and my reserves are disappearing way too fast for my liking. Should I stress? Hmm, I’m not sure yet. I like to think, with the considerable growth I’ve seen lately, that my bank account will blossom once again. It is spring, right… the time for growth? I choose to be hopeful and optimistic.

There are other blessings I’ve been bestowed with at this stage of my life. Nearing fifty, I have acquired confidence, wisdom (I think), and a sense of peace. Age also comes with other benefits… and curses. I am beginning to think that I have been pierced by a double-edged sword. Said sword is not Excalibur… it’s Menopause, or at least the beginning of it. While it comes with the plus of seeing some unmentionables taper off, it has brought along a major challenge. I wonder… how in the world am I supposed to be able to focus and accomplish great things when I am being bombarded minute by minute with temperature fluctuations? I am literally freezing and pulling on a sweater one minute and on fire the next. I mean, really. Before I can even zip up my fleece jacket, I am peeling it off again. It’s so frustrating. This blessing is turning into the ultimate curse. I used to be the type to always wear socks. I couldn’t stand to feel the slightest breeze on my feet. Now, I give great thanks for the cool tiles on the floor. They have become my saving grace. I can’t sleep even when I have the opportunity. Pulling the covers up, then kicking them off. Turning the fan on, then turning it off. This has become my nightly ritual. My mom, of course, laughs as she witnesses my outbursts and tells me that payback is hell. Yes, I do remember, as a teenager, accusing her of making me live in a morgue. The air conditioning was always running, the fan was always on, and our house was so cold that my breath would fog the air. Well, that’s how I remember it at least. I can only hope that the good Lord will bless me once more and make this battle brief. And hopefully, there are no other unexpected curses waiting around the corner.

Daily Press Prompt: Bestow