Unemployed…

It’s June 2017, and I remain unemployed.  This wears deeply into my spirit.  However, I am understanding how I have dealt with rejection in the past and how I can deal with rejection now.  All my life with its external self-esteem has been to earn it.  I have done so by being good at what I do; a perfectionist.  And deeply self reproachful when I have or did make a mistake.  Especially those I did not see, know or catch to correct before they made impact on something or someone else.

In the fall of 2015, I did not see the impact of a severe set of mistakes (in truth, I chose to metaphorically wear rose-tinted glasses and justify the pending avalanch) and was hit head on by their impact and destruction.  Now, a year and a half later, I have gradually, piece by foundation piece, begun to restore my life with what pieces remain that are worth keeping.  The other pieces and parts of my life have been essentially manufactured.  Who am I questions?  Whom do I want to be and become?  Bringing the process of rebuilding to a thought-filled crawl.

Repeated rejection over this past year has become my bedfellow.  Job after job has passed me by for very appropriate, politically correct, reasons; denials just the same.  One such hurt and angered me so deeply that, in part, is the reason for this post.  I was one step away from a job I knew in my heart was mine.  Then, they ran my back-ground check.  I did not pass.  I was denied the job.  I had already been working in the office, making friends, completing projects, proving myself and my value to the team.  A box with a check mark in it denied me the position I was already partially trained to do.  All my merit and earned respect was blown out the water into valueless data.  Where did the value of my merit go?  The proof and value of my work-product?  ALL gone for a check-mark in a box related to policy; policies that are guidelines and subjective.

The loss of this potential job broke my heart….   I was already doing the job and had just been given more clearance and projects to complete; gradually bringing me up to speed for the permanent position.  I know it.  I know it in my heart and soul.  The job was mine.  But, a man or woman sitting in a chair in another building, city or state, looked at a report and the box that report checked off, stopped the trajectory I was on in an instant.

Where was the balance and consideration of work-product and merit weighed against policy and procedure.  Where did the human element go in this decision-making process?

What has hurt even more deeply, is the platform so many companies and entities claim to stand upon:  We believe in second chances.  We will hire without influence or judgment from these information gathering reports.  They will not influence or sway our decision….  This sounds very good, but where the tire meets the road, I have found very few companies (if any) that actually act on their platform of second chances.  My exhausted spirit can recount each rejection, the reason(s) given, and the truth behind the politically correct hand-shakes; some actual, some virtual, “…thank you, but we have decided to move forward with another candidate.  Good luck in your employment search.”

I could complain about “political correctness”… but, that would be, may be, will be, another post when I’m feeling either less snarky or even more so.  Until then, be well, breathe in a sunset or sunrise or both.  Love on your family regardless of how many legs they may possess.  My thirteen year old four legg-ed is most definitely a family member!

Blessed be, Dawn

 

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Affirming my New Year’s resolution

Now that April has arrived and Spring is apparent, I am sitting at my table thinking about what I can do mentally, spiritually and physically to stay in a positive attitude.  My New Year resolution came to mind.  Wrapped in the idea of “more”, it goes like this:

2017, the year of more, the year of YES!  Drink more water, eat more green food, move more (more run/walks with the dog), be more open to possibility, expand my faith.

Statements (now April) I am adding to my list of “more”:   More water, more fish oil, more pause before eating sugar, more patience and kindness to my body, more run/walks with my four-legged, more trust in my body’s ability to repair, more mindfulness, more peace, more doing (trusting) what I already know.

I tend to over think things; life in general.  I get caught up in the fret and worry.  I start to hear options and possibilities like a noisy crowd.  My task then is to quiet the committee in my head and listen to the wise solution that is waiting to be heard.  When I circle back to the basics and simplicity of problem solving, I can exhale and find the more (there is that word) peace-filled solution.  What are the facts separate from my fears and opinions.

I offer you today the reminder to slow down your thoughts, exhale, and listen for the wisdom you have within.  Perhaps your days are bright with optimism, and you are at a point of what’s next?  Perhaps your days have been filled with fear, what-if’s and what-about’s….. Exhale, as I am this morning, and listen for your inner wisdom.  This IS a new year, a new day, a new hour to take a few more steps of faith into a brighter, more abundant, more exciting future.   A year of more, a year of YES!

blessings and Light,  Dawn

The transmutation of worry into peace…

I started my day with a great, that is GREAT, deal of worry, fret and fear… mostly about money and will I have enough to pay my bills over the next month or so.  I, perhaps even the collective “we”, are quick to worry even when there is enough to pay for fuel for the car and to put food on the table for another week.  My parents being products of the Great Depression in the 1930’s, had their stories of limited supply.  A story my mother told:  they would receive their monthly allotment of toilet paper for the month.  They knew how many squares were on each roll and how many squares each person could use per trip so the rolls would last for the entire month.  She counted squares until the day she died.  My point here is her habits continued well after the need to keep them.  My father was the “keeper”.  Keep that, we might need it or may be able to use it.  Funny though, when he did need “that”, he had no idea where it was in the garage, so off to the store to buy a new one.  But no, he would buy two or three just in case.  Then, months even years later, we would find the one he knew he had, plus the two extra bought just in case. The 1930’s were a time of keep it and use it >> perhaps the original recycle, use, reuse concept. What I learned from my parents quirks of counting and keeping things was that there is often enough of what we need.  My mother didn’t need to fear running out of toilet paper and my father didn’t need to spend the extra money on having two or three extra of something we may never use.  Two extremes of the spectrum of need.

While I sit here and type these memories, I have to consider my own ideas of need and the fear of lack that so quickly can haunt our thoughts.  The truth of this moment is…. I have all I need. I have fuel in the car, food in the refrigerator, a roof over my head, a place to sit, rest, sleep, and faith in the Creator to provide my future needs.  My want of a new pair of running sneakers or a those concert tickets are desires, but are not required for my basic well being.  Perhaps, in this very moment, God has fashioned me a new glass-half-full attitude.  An optimism shattered by life events being restored.  If one is seeking the positive and optimism of a situation it is then harder to be pessimistic and filled with fear.

This quote came across my path a couple of days ago:  “Many paths lead from the foot of the mountain, but at the peak we all gaze at the single bright moon.”  Ikkyu, Zen Monk, 1394-1481

This reminds me that we are all on different paths of learning and growing within ourselves. We share the same star filled galaxy and spinning planet Earth.  There is enough here for all. Trust.  Take mindful action.  Holding up my glass-half-full attitude and drinking in the truth that “things’ eventually work out for the best.

Thanks for sharing a little moonlight with me, wherever you are on this spinning sphere…

with gratitude, Dawn

Walloped by life and then some…

Much, MUCH, much, has happened in the seven, yes 7, years since I set up this blog.  Intending to post weekly, if not daily, life happened instead.    Now I am back at it with the intention to move forward as planned, but with a very different perspective on life and what will be shared.  A broader reach >> from the heart >> and hopefully helpful and encouraging.  We need encouragement these days.  We need something to help us look up, find hope and even laugh.  We need inspiration to know, deep within, today is a brand new day.  A new day filled with possibility and choice.  We can make better choices than we did yesterday.  I am >> trying to that is.  Slowing my thoughts and catching my words before I have to back-track and redirect what I said into what I meant to say; or perhaps better left unsaid.  My life, these past few years, has been much like a blender, full of food, ready to let it rip, puree the blend and drink up all that rich nutrition.   However, one important step…. put the lid on before you hit the HIGH speed button.  The lid was not on my life’s blender so I ended up with life-parts strewn everywhere except in my glass-half -full attitude.  The glass shattered too.  I have been rebuilding my life, my faith, my spirituality, where was God?, who are my friends now?, what is family now?…. the list could go on.  Instead, I waited to see what pieces of my life landed where, which ones I wanted to recover, even repair, and which ones weren’t mine to begin with.  In the middle now, I am on the road to restoration.

2017, I declared, would be a better year focused on positivity, the rediscovery and the redefinition of faith, hope, family, friends, and love.  Asking the simplistic questions:  who am I?,  whom do I want to be?, what do I keep?, what do I leave behind?……  I started at the foundation of who is the I AM that makes me, me.  One day, while sorting a box of stuff, I found a picture of myself at age four, almost five.  In that picture I saw the fire within that was the me I lost so very long ago.  That life force is still there in her eyes, her smile, her stance.  I want her back!   If life is a circle, I’ve circled around to grab her hand and embrace her.  She doesn’t know me and I don’t know her, but we know we are connected.  Our soul beats with the same heart.  I’m learning how to listen to that quiet voice inside that knows what is best for us; me the child within and me the adult within.  We both want to be seen, heard and loved for exactly who we are >> God the Creator’s precious creation, one of kind, a masterpiece.

May you remember that you too are precious within.

with gratitude, Dawn

 

WHAT PART OF THE SANDWICH ARE YOU?

I have found that I often do that – begin a conversation with a question.  Hopefully, as I age, I will do this more often.  My thoughts do meander a bit, but eventually get round to the point.  I was born in the 60’s, the year 1960 to be exact.  I didn’t know at the time what a Baby Boomer was or that later we would be coined the Sandwich Generation.  As an infant my needs were warmth, healthy bowels and more food.  My unspoken needs were love, compassion and whether I liked it or not, a few kind rules of life so that I didn’t jump off a bridge (though I did try to jump off a retaining wall – the one and only time I tried to fly), that breathing underwater should be left to fish and that burners on the stove with the pretty, blue, dancing, flames are hot and burn, then hurt A LOT!

Ah yes, you are doing the math, well done!  Yes, now 50 years later, I am a member of the Sandwich Generation and have declared myself:  The Bread.   As one of my sister’s refers to it:  Rocks-n-Sticks bread.  The kind of bread that has nuts, seeds, lumps of fiber running through and through.  The kind of bread that feels healthy as one chews it.  Must have gluten, sorry.

So, by now, you are starting to get the idea that this BLOGIN’ JOURNEY has nothing to do with food per say, but it does have LOTS to do with food for thought, food for the soul and food for the spirit.

Now, what DO I mean by saying I’m The Bread.  The very point of this, and future, articles.  I hope to bring some sense, some humor, some help, some hope to all those finding themselves in this same or extended family group.

We are ALL affected by the growing and aging number of human bodies on our planet > Boomers.  What they didn’t tell us in kindergarten is that we might one day have to parent our children AND our parents at the same time.  They didn’t tell us nor equip us to know how to have an elder mother want fried bananas while my son wants cheese pizza; no Mac-n-Cheese for him or me –  thank you very much!

How do we know what to do for our elders, our families and our selves.  Just like parenting, there are no steadfast rule books, just lots of books filled with the author’s opinions and perhaps their personal take on research they have done or had handed to them.

So, in my family, while my mother aged and eventually peacefully passed away in her gentle sleep, I was the bread.  I was the fulltime, 24-7 caregiver to her and my son (I am a single parent since conception – that being another story altogether).  For fun, I will list off my siblings and what part of the sandwich I imagine them to be:  Eldest, sister, was the cheese (or meat or eggs or protein, interchangeable with #3); #2, brother, was the mayonnaise (glue); #3, sister, was the meat (interchangeable with #1, cheese, eggs, protein.  Ok, ok, I yield, Tofu can also be included); #4, brother, was the tomato/pickle/lettuce (adding to the flavor and the CRUNCH); #5, brother, was the spice (mustard, catsup, salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, pepperochinis, onion, you get the picture); and #6, sister, “me” – I was the bread that held it all together.  Sorry, wraps made of tortillas or lettuce are not the same and therefore, in my metaphor, do not count.  My favorite bread flavors are Sour Dough or Rye, but in my metaphor you have my permission to substitute your favorite BREAD as you wish.

So, dear ones, I invite you to join me on this BLOGIN’-JOURNEY that explores what it means to be a participant in the Sandwich Generation.  I hope I discover, and therefore help you discover, tips, information and humor to cope with the oncoming, currently happening or post-parent-now-what phase that happens in this process of ALL the Boomers aging – gracefully please – and what joys can be found from every moment, yes, every moment of the journey.

We are blessed whether we can see them or not and we are challenged when we need to be.  Now 50, I am beyond ANY shadow of doubt the Creator NEVER gives us more than we can handle.  I hope you join me here again soon.

Take a moment to breathe in AND exhale then allow yourself to have fun pondering, while you go about your day, What Part of the Sandwich Are You?

Blessed be….  Dawn

Hello World!

WELCOME! to a new blog about aging.  I know, not everyone’s favorite topic, but it was said once that we truly begin aging the day we are born. 

I am now 50 years old and consider this Wednesday.  I still have half the week of my life yet and the best part.  Thursday, Friday and the Week-end!   In this metaphor my week starts on Monday.  I’m sure another metaphor will come along and I will find it necessary to modify, but today, it works with Monday as a start day. 

Why am I here anyway you ask?  Well, I’ve been on the Parent-Caregiver side of life while raising my cherished son.  I have been in the middle > I am a self-declared member of the Sandwich Generation > the Bread to be exact.  In my journey, I’m the one that held things together while my Mother aged and eventually went to heaven where she is dancing the Fox Trot wearing VERY RED shoes!

Join me on a journey of humor, sorrow, truth, questions, answers, food for thought and more; so much more.

Thank you for being a part of MY journey!

Blessed be…..   Dawn