Thursday, February 17, 2011

So many thoughts..

I've been hit with a bit of nostalga this morning...  It started with thinking about snowball fights and the fact that I've never been in one.  Mike was stunned.  He then asked if I've ever thrown a snowball & I told him, "Yeah.  Like at you."  I went on to explain that I didn't have many friends while growing up and that I was on the edge of the school district.  All the other kids in my neighborhood were either a couple of years older or 3 years younger than myself.  Except for one girl.  We played Barbies in her closet.  She had one of those 3 level homes with the elevator on a string.  Recently, she sent me a friend request on FaceBook but I didn't respond...  The last time I remember being together was when we were having a sleepover and she was playing loudly with a whoopie cushion and my father came downstairs and smacked me.  The next night, we spent the night at our other friend's house & we got into a fight and I bit her.  She called me a vampire and told me she wasn't going to be my friend any more.  Talk about awkward.

Now, I'm a "grown up".  I am an adult with responsibilities and many insecurities.  They say that the past shapes us into who we are today.  I know that's true.

I have dreams, ideas and goals...  Many hopes and desires...  There are so many things that I would like to do with my life that I feel I cannot focus.  When I feel like I get a handle on what I want to do with my life I am struck with a feeling of ...  I don't know what the feeling is but I'm reminded that I had another goal and I question why I don't want to or am steering away from that goal when I want it equally as much.  I find myself unable to prioritize my dreams.  Obviously, I can prioritize them in order of reason - which is the most sensible to follow, which is the most financially feasible...

For example:
  • I want to be a teacher.  Either 3rd grade-ish or high school english/literature.
  • I want to be a veteranarian.
  • I want to be a marine biologist.
  • I want to open my own restaurant/bar & grill.
  • I want to be a stay-at-home mom.  I want to home-school my children or get them in private school.
  • I want to get a degree - in communications, in education, in english, as a veteranarian.
Those are just my professional goals.  Yeah.  They're pretty different.  Obviously, becoming a teacher, veteranarian & marine biologist require a specific degree.  I need school for those and lots of it.  To open my own restaurant, I need funding.  I have screwed up some finances so much there's no way I'll get funding for that.  To be a stay-at-home mom I need two additional things:  Mike needs a well-paying career & we need a child or two.  Yeah.

So one of the things I was exploring with my education (so that I can choose one of these) was to get a degree in communications.  This would allow me to explore my teaching options as well as give me a "fall back" for other businese solutions (ie: working for corporations).  I decided to go this route and then finances fell through and the world dropped out from beneath my feet and I didn't complete my AA Degree.

Now I'm starting to dream about it again.  I want to succeed.  I want to get my associate degree.  I have to be honest...  Mike never liked school and when we left everything behind in Indiana, he focused on school and has his AAS degree.  Then he was going on to get a Bachelor's Degree and we found that the school was pretty crappy.  I'm jealous.  He hated school.  He didn't want to go.  I've sacrificed my education to work and to attempt to provide for us.  It's one of the things that makes me resentful but that's another story for another day.

I have ambition.  I know I do.  I have confidence, sometimes, and I want to do my job to the best of my ability.  I want to be successful and impress people. 

I felt proud when I started at Lane Bryant back in September 2009 as a part-time sales associate and within 3 months, I was promoted to a full-time sales leader.  When they announced that they were closing our store, I worked my butt off to get things done.  I stayed late, I came in early, I planned the floor, I packed the store...  I was even the person who would stop into a store and by chance, someone wouldn't be coming in & I would be asked to work their shift.  I was the person who drove 4 hours in a snowstorm to get home from a location that was about an hour away because they needed help.  Then, it felt like all of that didn't matter. 

There were two people, I think you know who you are, that were supportive and kind.  One in particular brought me over to her store after mine closed so that I could keep a job and maintain my seniority.  It was hard though.  I began having major issues at home, I was having my own emotional issues that now were going untreated (I had finally started getting them treated) because I no longer had medical benefits, and I was irritated at the person who couldn't tell me more than one week before I wasn't going to have a job whether or not I was staying with the company.  Then, when I moved to the new store and was with my supportive team, the district manager became someone cruel and unreasonable instead of supportive but firm.  This attitude trickled down to my store manager and it got to the point that I was ready to leave and needed some time away to clear my head.  We both felt the pressure from the district manager and I felt completly lost.  That's when she "came back"...  My store manager who was my mentor...  She sacrificed and gave me what I needed and greeted me with open arms when I came back 3 weeks later even though I fully expected to be unemployed when I came back.  From what I hear, the district manager, remains a cruel, unsupportive, unreasonable "b-word".  It makes me angry to see that the people who were my friends; the people who gave me my strength and support are being treated so cruelly.

It makes me want to do something. 

But what?  What can I do?  I don't work for the company anymore, although I know now that they would give me a weekend job if I asked.  Even if I did, I would be unable to do anything because I would be starting over again.  I would be a sales associate - sorry "stylist".  :)

Anyway...  I've apparently opened up a dam of my thoughts and they keep pouring out.  I should stop here otherwise I'll keep going until I'm late for work!  lol

I hope today finds you all well.

Creative Commons License
I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Day After Valentine's Day

Hello family & friends!

I apologize that it's been so long since I've written last.  Things have been busy at work and our home computer has been out of commission because the A/C Adapter thingie was, as the Best Buy Geek Squad guy said, "Broken."

So now that work is slowing down a little and our home computer is working, you'll probably see me posting a little more often.  Hopefully, you'll enjoy it!  If not, you'll just ignore my Tweets & FB posts for my blog and go on with your day.

So far, I pretty much hate 2011.  We have had our beloved Cavalier totalled, Mike was "temporarily" brought down to only 20 hours at work on January 3rd (only to be laid off four weeks later), there is a hold on my Flexible Spending Account, we're in collections for some late utilities (on top of all our other collections accounts) and on Sunday, Anna had two seizures.

I'm tired.  I feel as though every time we try to take a step forward something happens in life and brings us 3 steps back!  It's very frustrating and stressful and it's so hard.

So I've decided to take a look at our 5 year plan and re-evaluate.

Last May, we started our "5 Year Plan".  It looked something like this:
  • pull credit reports & contact all creditors (every year)
  • begin making regular payments for our debt/collections accounts (in 1st year)
  • get organized (in 1st year) & stay organized (every year)
  • get a full-time job (both of us) that we can grow with into a career
  • keep expenses to a minimum (ie:  Netflix & internet without cable; minimize eating out)
  • establish a savings account
  • regularly deposit money into said savings account
  • build savings account to cover 6 months of expenses
  • buy a new car - reliable & sensible (requirements:  not red, power door locks & windows, 4 doors)
  • stay in one location for 3-5 years
  • build stable employment history
  • grow in faith
  • grow in our marriage
  • eat healthier
  • be more active
  • spend more time with the dogs
  • move out to San Francisco (5 years)
  • take time for mini-vacations
Here's where we're at:
  • we have a new car
  • we have established a savings account
  • we have been regularly depositing money into the savings account
  • we pulled our credit reports last year & contacted all creditors
  • we have made regular payments (except last month) to the creditors
  • we both have had full-time jobs (& Mike now has a new one)
  • we've both passed 1 year marks with the companies we work(ed) for
  • I have been attempting to make it to church
  • we have worked on our marriage & are continuing to
  • I am attempting to eat healthier - it's portion sizes that are my big problem
  • we have been successful with limiting our expenses
  • we have spent more time with the dogs but I'm not quite where I'd like to be
Doing this has helped me to realize that we've actually accomplished a lot, despite our struggles.  I hope that when you're feeling down about life that you can take a step back and look at the things you have done and accomplished.

What do you think?

Creative Commons License
I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.