Sunday, April 27, 2014

When you start doubting...

As you know, I gave my notice at my work. A place I have been for 8 years. Overall, it has been a great experience. They have taught me so much and given me great opportunities. However, it was not what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life. Hubby and I decided that it was a great time for me to fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher. To do that I had to give my notice and go back to school.

I have gotten mixed responses from friends and family. They all thought that it was wonderful that I am going back to school, but very few are supportive of me quitting my job to do it. All of these well meaning comments sent me into a panic, wondering if I was doing the right thing.

I believe that God will whisper in your ear about what you need to be doing. If you don't listen, he nudges you. Then if you still do not listen, he throws you against a wall to try to get you to listen. Once I made the decision to quit and move forward with school, it was like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders.

Then as the days went on, I started to wonder if it really was the right thing to do. Maybe I should stay working and find a way to do school in the off hours. This would leave me no time with my family. It would not sold the daycare expense issue. But change is hard. You wonder if what you are doing is right. Well, I believe God sent me a message this week.

Some changes are being made at work that are making it very difficult to be in that environment. I thought that maybe I was being oversensitive (huh me? no way). So I asked a few of my co-workers how they felt about the situation. I heard from all of them that they were very upset about the recent happenings. One told me she feels she would be happier working at Wally World, than working were we do. I feel that it was God's way of showing me that it is time to move on. I have gotten what I needed from my current job. Time to fly and fulfill my dream.

I want to thank my siblings for showing such support in this difficult decision. It means the world to me. I love you.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Love yourself.

One thing I have learned this past year is to trust in myself. To love myself. To know that I am smart and do not need everyone's acceptance. It is still a struggle when a family member doesn't seem to understand your choices. But, then I think about what they have struggled with in their lives. No one is perfect. No one makes every decision correctly. But, we cannot hold ourselves back because we are afraid of making a mistake.

The past year, my family has seen me struggle. They have seen me worry about what the future holds. It has been hard on them to know that there wasn't anything they could do. I understand this.

I have learned a lot of lessons this past year. I have learned that life throws you curve balls, whether you are prepared for them or not. Life will tear you down and down again, before you have a chance to get up. It is when you start to love yourself, despite all the failures, that life starts to turn around.

Back in the year 2000, I was a year away from graduating with my teaching degree. I was trying to figure out a way to do my student teaching and support myself at the same time. It was decided that I would move to Texas to live with my parents, while I did my last year of school. Little did I know when I transferred that the school would lose its accreditation. It would revamp its entire program and the result would be me having to take two and a half more years of school. A lot of personal stuff happened and I ended up switching majors just to graduate.

I had been in the automotive industry off and on since I was 18. It was easiest to make my way back into that industry, while I figured out what I was going to do. I got married, had kids, and I am now 20 years into my career in the automotive industry. Every day I regret not doing all I could to get my teaching degree all those years ago.

Teaching is a true calling. Like being a priest or a doctor or a cop. It is something that not everyone can do. It is demanding and often thankless. But it is something that is born in the heart and never leaves you. I tried to deny it, but it only left me with major regret and depression.

I have worked hard this year to learn to love myself. I suffer from depression and panic attacks. One of the reasons I have such violent panic attacks is the constant fear of doing something wrong. I have lived my life trying to be that perfect person. One that my family could be proud of. Not taking into consideration what I wanted. What I needed. By taking a deep look at myself, I was able to get off my medications and I only have the occasional panic attack.

One reason for my turn around was that I received a book from "The Money Saving Mom". It it, she discusses a lot of things to help you stop living in survival mode. One of her statements is to learn to give yourself grace. This hit home with me. I remind myself every day to give myself some slack. No one is perfect. No one can please everyone. You must love yourself enough to give yourself some grace. I highly recommend everyone read her book. It will transform how you think about life. In fact is is the premise behind this blog.

So as I sit here tonight, trying to justify to my very caring family about my choice to quit my job and go back to get my certification, I realized something. I know what is best for me. I love my family and I am so grateful that they care about me enough to want to be there for me and help me. But I am nearly 40 years old. I can do this. I will not fail at this. This is what I need to do. I have never been so sure of anything in my life, and that is saying something.

So with that, I want to send my family a big huge I LOVE YOU. Thank you for being there for me. For loving me. Just know I will be OK.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It is done...

I gave notice to my job. I am giving them 6 weeks so that they may find a replacement. My last day is my daughter's last day of school. This has not been an easy decision for us. My hubby and I have worked really hard this past year to get to a place, where it is possible. We drive cash cars. We cut our food budget by at least half. We used to eat out 4-5 times a week, now it is once a week. We have not done this without thinking. It has been a lot of hard work and we are comfortable with our decision.

Here are the details:

By staying home we are eliminating $1700 a month in daycare. Currently, after I pay for daycare, I bring home about $75-100 a week. No kidding. Granted, I also pay for healthcare out of my check, but we have worked that out as well.

We currently pay $375 twice a month for health insurance. There is no copay option with my plan, only deductible. We have to pay 100% until we meet our deductible. After that is met, they only pay 80%. So, it was about $100 every time we went to the doctor. In general, the plan sucked. We have now found a plan, yes through Obamacare, We will be paying $345 a month. It has a lower deductible. There is a $35 copay with 100% covered after deductible is met. Maternity (in case we are blessed with another baby) is a flat rate of $250.

I will be enjoying the summer with the girls. I will try to go visit family, as we have not been able to do so for years. I have plans to work with them on their education as well as doing weekly Friday Field Trip Day. I am in the process of coming up with a ton of free field trips that we can do. Hubby is excited that he won't have to do as much housework. I am happy that I will be able to have time to cook and exercise. All in all it looks to be a wonderful summer.

In the fall I will be getting a part time job in the evenings. This will provide me with a source of income that will go directly to paying for school. I will be working toward my Master's in Education. I will attain certification along the way. In the fall, I hope to take one or two classes to get my feet wet and dive head on into the program in January. It has been 10 years since I have been in school, I want to make sure I do this right.

I will be a stay at home mom and going to school. I hope that we will be blessed with that Baby boy we want so much. Then, when I am done with my certification, I will seek a teaching position. Teaching will fulfill a life long dream and it will allow me to be with my family more.

So how is my work handling the news? My manager is super upset about it and won't talk to me at all. Everyone else thinks that I am doing the right thing. I have gotten several "you are meant to be a teacher", comments. My mentor at work even asked if she can continue to be my mentor after I leave. I was so touched. People keep telling me how proud they are of me. I couldn't do this without the opportunities I have been given through my current position. I gained confidence that I am good at teaching.

I will always feel blessed for my years in the Automotive industry. However, it is time to move on. It is time to give myself the opportunity to fulfill my calling. Thank you to all who have supported me along the way. I love you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Life is too short...

I have a coworker who lost her son about a month back, in a car accident. It was the day before her son and daughter-in-law had planned on telling her that they were expecting their first baby. He was 21. It brought back memories of when my brother fell ill suddenly and passed away a few weeks short of his 21st birthday. Recently, my father had a stroke. We almost lost him. I refuse to live another day with work as my focus, there are more important things. You just never know what will happen tomorrow.

During the past year, I was in such survival mode, that I wasn't paying attention to the life that was passing me by. My dreams were pushed down and I plunged myself into work. I ended up missing a lot of my children's lives. I felt that I had no other choice. Reflecting on things, I realize we always have a choice.

My husband and I worked really hard to have the family we have. It took two years of fertility treatments to get our first daughter and an additional four years to have our second daughter. The financial toll it took could have been a pretty darn good deposit on a house. While I wish things had been easier, I would do it all again if it brought me these girls.

Lately though, I have felt like a horrible mother. I haven't been able to do all the things I want to do for the girls. I have wanted to take them on their school field trips. I have wanted to be there to help them with homework. I had to rely on my husband for so much. While he was great at it, I resented that it wasn't me at home. I would say to myself every day, "that should be me taking care of Bekah". "That should be me giving the girls a bath". So many "that should be's".

I am taking my life back. I am taking steps to accomplish the goals I have wanted to do for so long. I will be off summers to be with the girls. This will allow me to travel to see family. I will be able to enjoy the holidays. No longer will work be my world. I have a world that is so much more important to me, the world of my girls.

I guess I want you to take away from this is that life is too short. If you want to do something, do it NOW. You do not know what tomorrow will bring. Take a step today. Don't wait.

Monday, April 14, 2014

30 day challenge...

I am starting a 30 day challenge. During this challenge I will go to the gym or workout every day for the next 30 days. It has been way too long since I have worked out and my body and soul is suffering. I have been talking about this for a long time. I start and stop and time gets away from me. By setting a 30 day goal, I hope to establish a rhythm so that I can keep going. Join me for my 30 day challenge. I hope to lose 5-8 pounds this month by working out every day and eating right.

I went grocery shopping and am working on prepping my food for the week. I have eggs and turkey bacon for breakfast. Spinach salad and chicken for lunch. For dinner it will vary, but will have a protein and veggie of some sort. I am eliminating all sugar, except for fruit. I have to have my fruit. No more Coke. No more candy (what am I thinking when it is Easter).

I will be posting beginning pictures on my Facebook page. I will also post weekly update pictures on Sunday. I am using you all as a way to stay accountable. If you would like to join me on this journey, please feel free to share your stories. I would love to hear them.

So here goes....

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Time for reflection...

I have taken some time off from blogging the past few weeks to reflect on my life. Where do I want to be, where do I want to go, and how can I get there.

I believe that God whispers in your ear to guide you where you want to go. Then if you don't listen, he bangs you over the head. I have always wanted to be a teacher. When I started college all those years ago, I was going for my B.A. in education. I was a year away from finishing when I decided to move from Illinois to Texas. I knew it might take me a semester longer at University of Texas at Arlington, than if I had stayed at Roosevelt University. However, since I was moving to be with family I felt it was worth the extra time.

Unfortunately it did not work out that way. UTA switched its program after I transferred and it was going to take me three years to finish. In order to finish up school, I decided to leave school with a B.A. in History. I graduated and continued to work in the automotive industry. I always thought that I would go back and get my masters in education. I decided I would take a few years off to start a family with my new husband.

Many many years later I am still working in the automotive industry. A plus is that I have moved into the training sector. Six months later I still feel that huge draw to teaching school. I cannot deny that what I am doing isn't fulfilling that need. Teaching adults is so different from teaching children.

Last year I was hoping to start my master's, but when Hubby lost his job, I wasn't able to. Now that Hubby is working, I am not going to wait any longer. In order for me to fulfill my dream, I am going to start school THIS YEAR. It is a main focus for me. I am so excited, but also terrified. I will be sharing this journey with you. My goal is to be teaching in a school, not this fall, but next fall.

Until then, I will be trying to balance my life as a mom, working full time and trying to lose this weight I have gained. Should be quite the ride.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Very Proud of my Hubby

My hubby is a couch potato. But this past week he has decided to work toward a goal of 10,000 steps a day. He is using an app on his phone to track his steps. He is going out throughout the day and getting some walking in.

Walking is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. I wish that I didn't have these swollen legs, I would be out there with him. My only option at the moment is to go swimming or walking in the pool. Is there an option for a water proof pedometer? I think I will check it out.

I have not been very good about working out. I need to do this. I guess I feel that I am still trying to find balance in my life. I guess I will have to write tomorrow's post with an emphasis on finding work life, home life, exercise life balance.

Today's post is short and sweet due to the busy week. Please post below any ideas that you have for me to get this exercise thing in gear.