Tag Archives: work

Smile More Everyday

I was thinking today about the many ways in which we frustrate ourselves as human beings.  I wondered if there was a common cause of the hell we put ourselves through. So, I asked the question and waited for my mind to speak up.

Hours later…..

It came to me that much of our frustration can be traced to trying to change things or people that are not ready to change or feel no need to. Without realizing it many times, I think we expect others to consider our way of doing things or our way of thinking as obvious brilliance.  If they don’t comply we call them names or distance ourselves or worse gather other people together to “hate” them too.  Sometimes that anger turns inward and becomes depression, especially when we take their behavior as a sign of our failure or inadequacy.

wpid-20131213_104651.jpgSometimes, in fact I think more often than we realize, we have to accept things as they are in the present. We cannot force our way or change someone else.  Trust me, just like you I wish I could too. That annoying, undermining co-worker, the self-centered family member, the careless friend, and so on and so forth.  Trust me. I get it.  Why do you think I spend so much time trying to noodle my way into alternative pathways of thinking?? I struggle with these issues and I want you to know you’re not alone because we all do.  Heck sometimes WE are these people for others.

What I’m beginning to learn is that while we are on the path to accepting others “as is”, we are going to have a lot of stress and frustration to manage.  Acceptance is waaaaaay harder than hate.  Acceptance asks us to let go of our own egos for the chance to be a great leader.  Acceptance isn’t being passive. It is an active process and the greatest opportunity to eventually create real lasting change.

Most people don’t change or collaborate or compromise, because they feel threatened and defend their ego or their position. If you play into this, which most of us do, you end up with a stalemate. Everybody is positive they are right and each one digs in their heels.

In order to become the change you want to see in this world, you must release the obsessive thoughts that have become your focus in order to make room for more constructive energy to enter.

Exercise is Good for Your BrainPersonally, I do this by engaging in some form of physical activity during which I push myself past my own mind and out of my thoughts.  Then, I keep going until I find myself laughing or smiling. Let me give you an example, yesterday I went for a long bike ride with a lot of changes in elevation. My lungs and my legs were really feeling it. To keep going I had to stay completely focused on believing that I could get up that next hill.  So, that meant I had to get rid of thoughts that weren’t helping me achieve that goal. That means those obsessive thoughts had to take a hike while I was on the bike 🙂 When I made it up the hill, I was feeling like my lungs and legs would explode but it also felt good to show myself I could do it.

blond girl swingAt my half way point, I saw a park with swings.  A mother and child were swinging together and they looked so happy.  Next to them was another empty swing.  I stared at it for awhile remembering the joy I felt swinging as a child.  I wondered if it would be foolish to do it again at my age and whether my hips would even fit!  I said the heck with it and got on the swing and began to push myself higher and higher just like I did when I was a kid. I found myself spontaneously screaming Weeeeeeeeee!!! and smiling and laughing with such joy that I forgot all the negativity I started out with at the beginning of my ride. I was playing with the child inside that was always there waiting for me.

The point is this: Find a way to smile more everyday. Let go of the tension everyday.  Don’t let it build up. If it takes an intense walk, run, bike ride, etc. to reset, then DO THAT. Everyday grant yourself peace of heart and mind by choosing to find your smile. Choose to play with that child inside. Reconnect. Remember who you are – you are not a reflection of other people’s behavior. You don’t need to change anyone or anything to feel good about yourself and your life right now.  Just be.

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Gratitude Challenge Day 7 of 30

wpid-screenshot_2014-08-16-19-49-03-1.pngDay 7 of 30 – Gratitude for Work

This one is a little bit tough for me because I’ve never felt like I’ve had a career that I loved. On the other hand, I am grateful that I’ve always found some kind of work to help pay the bills and support myself.  

In my current position, I am grateful that I can help children with special needs reach their potential. I enjoy giving my kids hope, finding strategies to manage behaviors and  accomplish academic goals. Everyone needs to feel useful. I don’t care what struggle you come with into this world.

I am also grateful that the school is nearby, making for a short commute.  Having summers off to explore the world allows another part of me to flourish.

As far back as I can remember, I wanted two basic things out of life “when I grew up”.  I wanted to help people reach their potential and to see the world.  Ideally, I could combine those two concepts together.  I still hold out hope that someday I will.

I thought a lot about how to leverage my education and experience into a career in education which seems like it could be a great fit for the life I want to live.  I went to an information seminar which talked about an accelerated teacher certification program for people with a degree and experience in science and math. I thought to myself, that could be it.  I have a B.S. in Biology and I would appreciate teaching older students (vs. elementary where I am now) because I could go more in depth and do more complex experiments with them.

Before you knew it, I was signed up to take the Middle School Science Praxis II exam. Passing this is one of the requirements to apply for the program. It basically tests you in all areas of the sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, Technology) and determines if you’re competent 🙂  I was pretty nervous during the test and walking out, was sure I failed.  While in Spain, I learned that I passed it by 25 points! 

So, I have another basic Praxis test to take which tests core competencies (Reading, Writing, Math) that I need to pass.  You’ll probably laugh after hearing how well I did on the Science test, despite my concern that I failed, but I am afraid that I will bomb the easy stuff and pass the hard stuff.  It wouldn’t be the first time something like this happened.  For example, in college, I got C’s in General Chemistry and A’s and B’s in Organic Chemistry !? So, maybe say some prayers, please 🙂

I digress.  Got a little sidetracked there. Tying it all together.

I am changing careers or at least modifying how science is paying the bills. It is kind of nerve wracking sometimes. Exciting, yes, but a little scary.  I am 37 and find that I am ready to have what I really want in my life. Within the next three years, I will work to put everything I want in place so that when 40 rolls around, there will be no life crisis. I am ready for more stability and a career that allows me to build for my future and also helps other people reach their potential.  I am also ready to have the freedom that allows for my adventurous side to flourish (summers off) so that I may always meet new people and cultures and see the world.

So, I am not quite where I want to be, but I am grateful that I have a job that is in the field that I want to advance myself. I am grateful that I have work that offers me the chance to help children discover their potential.  I am thankful that it provides me with health insurance, a pension, and that I am already building towards that future that I want. 

How about you? Why are you grateful for work?

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 😉

 

Just Do You

Many of us have experienced the feeling of hope curdling into disappointment.  How about when you show up to a job with the eagerness of a kid in a candy store, bring your qualifications and experience and suddenly this awesome opportunity turns sour because your boss or coworker begins belittling, disrespecting and generally humiliating you? 

To say the least, you’re torn in two.  One part of you wants to say F-off!  Another part is still trying to figure out how to hang on despite the turn of events because you want / need to do the job so badly.  So what can you do?

Let me give you an example of something that I recently experienced and share what I decided to do.

While I was excited about the opportunity to work with a trainer who had a lot of experience in the business, after a couple of meetings, that excitement turned into a mixture of anxiety and disgust.

I watched him interact with other clients during a group class and I was disappointed by the disrespectful tone in which I heard him address people.  Picture this, there I am cycling away like a little gerbil while watching him bully his “target” until they would give in and stop protesting.  Needless to say my motivation dropped significantly after this.  I started to question what this guy’s training philosophy was.

After the class, I asked him if he could give me an idea of what the plan was for working together as I understood he would provide the clients, take a cut and I’d train them. When I asked him during the first meeting I couldn’t really get a straight answer, so I tried again. 

ImageThis is when he decided to trash my credentials, belittle my training experience, and tell me that nobody trains his clients until they’ve learned “his” way.  As if this weren’t enough he went on to say that I need to think about whether I want to work with him since I seem like I think I know it all and want to start my own business. 

I called him on his claims and he had nothing to back it up.  I also reminded him that he already knew I had my own clients, so why is it a problem now when it wasn’t 2 days ago?  Again, nothing.

We were supposed to meet in a few days after I checked out another gym where I’d be training some clients.  As time went on, I couldn’t shake this sick feeling building up inside of me.  I tried everything I could think of to make it ok somehow, but I couldn’t work it out in my head. 

Basically, it came down to a few of decision making questions:

1.  Q.  Even if he were respectful on the next meeting, would I be ok working with him on a        
           continuous basis?
     A.  No. Because if a person can switch that much in personality from one meeting to the next,
          it’s a set up for a world of hurt.

 2.  Q.  Are our training philosophies compatible?
      A.  No. I believe in training people utilitizing positive reinforcement and encouragement.  I’m
          tough but in a
way that I show you that you can do more than you think.  He on the other  
          hand thinks that “breaking 
someone down” to get them to submit to his every whim is the
          way to get results.

3.  Q.  Is this the only opportunity I will have to work with a well experienced trainer in my career?
     A.  Not if I don’t want it to be. 

I think that number 3 is what trips a lot of people up.  This was actually my hardest one.  It is this feeling of foreboding that if you don’t make this work, then there will be no other chance.  It’s fatalistic thinking.  As if you should take the abuse and somehow you’ll be better off in the end if you just “hang in there”. 

This is about the time, you have to reach deep down and dig up your last shred of self-respect and walk the hell away ASAP.

It took me three days of contemplating, before I let him know, that this is not going to be a good fit and I need to cancel our next appointment. 

Am I disappointed? Yes.
Do I feel better having held on to my values?  No doubt. 
Do I know what’s next? Absolutely not! 

I want to be the best trainer I can be, but I am not willing to compromise my integrity or values because then I’m really not my best after all.

I believe that when you draw a line in the sand and stand up for who you are, eventually, you are surrounded mostly by like minded people who help you get where you want to go and feel good along the way.

What’s your take?

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Enough is Enough!

Today stands out as one of those moments that I know I will never forget.  A breakthrough.  An Oprah Aha! moment. A shift inside of me. Today, I stood up and said, ENOUGH!  I reclaimed my voice.

First a little background,

Since I began my job 4 months ago, I’ve had nothing but problems with co-workers after the 1st week into the job.  Too much gossip and trash talk behind people’s back.  A bunch of petty garbage that serves no good purpose and creates a lot of hurt.  What’s made matters worse is that my Team Lead is the ring leader.  

I began documenting the issues (abusive language, screaming, belittling, bullying, etc.) because it was so consistently toxic.  I was told to keep my mouth shut and just learn the way things are done around here.

It freaked me out, but I pushed on and repeatedly attempted to resolve it directly with the people involved.  Finally, I was left with no other choice but to take it to the next level and bring my written record to the administration.  It was at best partially handled because nobody wanted to get their hands dirty.

So, all that really changed is that everything happened behind my back and I was communicated with via email and never spoken to face-to-face.  Whenever someone had an issue and involved me, no one asked for my perspective.  I was just immediately accused via email and told to correct my behavior.  

What’s more, because the Team Lead was not reprimanded, she became emboldened to press on, turning targeting me into a sport. This in turn set an example for the rest of my team to put their frustrations onto me and report them to her in an effort to ass kiss and be on the “winning team”.

So up to current day,

I returned to work today after being out sick to find one of my co-workers confronting me about whether I said to a higher up that “she didn’t know what she was doing” when we worked together on Monday.  I was floored.  I cleared the matter up with her while finding out who said what.  

Something snapped inside.  I was done. Fed up. Enough was enough.

I went on a mission.  I traced the conversation and talked to each person who was involved until I found out the Team Lead is the one who twisted what she was told about my comments.

Immediately after that I went right to the administration to set up a meeting to explain what was going on.  I said, “I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!”  This needs to be resolved once and for all.  I cannot come into work with this anxiety and have my Team Lead trash talking me and creating conflict between myself and other team members.

Even if I had said something like that about a co-worker, what possible value would there be in sharing it with her, but to create trouble and cause alienation.  I can’t help but feel that she is trying to push me out of my job.

So, now we all have a meeting on Friday and I’m going in with both barrels loaded.  

Getting Your Groove Back

We don’t always know when we will get our confidence back or feel sure on our feet again, but when it happens we will recognize it. Today was that day for me.  It all clicked into place and I was calm, clear, focused and ready for battle.

Whatever the outcome, I will not continue with or exit from this place without making clear the kind of behavior that is going on.  And I am at peace with whatever will be.  I know in my heart I can trust that there is a plan to all of this.

But there is one thing I know for sure,

There comes a point in life when you simply have to stand up and say NO! Enough is Enough!!

 

– With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

 

 

 

 

Imagine a Life…

aufaag.blogspot.com
aufaag.blogspot.com

Imagine that success were a series of accomplishments that hold meaning for you instead of plodding away at a career in something you may not even enjoy?

How different would you feel if you spent your time right now on crossing off the items on your bucket list?

Imagine that you didn’t wait until later?

Imagine that you worked for something more meaningful than a paycheck, retirement fund, and health insurance?

Imagine you believed you were capable of finding a way to support your dream and took a real chance on yourself?

Imagine how would your life change?

Would you finally KNOW the meaning of happiness?

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

2 Questions to Find Out What You Love to Do

Today at work we had a half-day in preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday. This always throws off my schedule of the kids that I regularly work with.  So, I’m left with figuring out where I can be of service.

It struck me today that when I was given the time and the choice at work go where I wanted to help, I make very different choices than when I’m assigned to be somewhere.  The first thing that came to mind was, who do I enjoy working with?  Then, where could I learn something?

I picked the class I wanted to work in and offered my help.  The teachers were grateful and I got to know some other kids better while learning how to work with different developmental disabilities.  I actually enjoyed myself and the time flew by.

All the way home from work, it got me thinking about how so often we ask ourselves what we really want out of life.  Many times though, the choices we make have nothing to do with what we want at all.  We look instead at where we could make more money or status or at commute time, etc.  Today, by way of having to make a decision about what to do with my time at work, I thought instead about what I actually wanted to do for a change and it brought me real joy.

We’ve all heard the expression, do what you love and the money will follow, but how often do we actually find ourselves opening up to notice what that is?  How often do we believe we don’t even have a choice?  We do what we think others expect of us, we worry, we keep busy, but how close is any of this bringing us to finding out what it is we love to do?

There have been many half-days before.  There was nothing extraordinary about it by itself.  I truly believe that what made today different was the fact that I checked-in with my own needs and wants and I finally asked the right questions for me to find that answer.  Finally, this expression resonated with me and I understood how to manifest it in my life.

When you feel lost or think you don’t have choice or that nothing will ever change, it’s time to check-in with yourself.  

To get yourself started, ask and answer 2 questions when your inner critic flares telling you why you can’t or what you have to do.  

1) Is that really true?

2) What are the alternatives?  

Once you see that it is not true and you do have other options, then you can begin to open yourself up to ask what you really want and actually notice what makes you happy.  Then, as the shampoo bottle says, rinse and repeat 🙂 In other words, KEEP doing it as often as you can.

At some point you’ll notice that your life is filled mostly if not entirely with the work and the people you love and you are well provided for instead of feeling like you are a slave to the needs of others.  Now that’s freedom!

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Just be Willing

frustration Yesterday I was down for the count with a stomach virus and that gave me a lot of time on my hands I’m not used to having.  As I thought on the changes I’d like to make in my life, I scoured the internet for resources to teach me HOW to get there.  I settled on “You Can Heal Your Life” , by Louise Hay and immediately downloaded it onto my Kindle.  I’m so glad I did.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who feels like their life isn’t working and hasn’t a clue where to start.  I devoured the book in one day and  put it into practice when I woke up this morning.

One of the chapters of her books asks you to write down all the negative things you were told as a child by adults and  compare them to the negative things you say about yourself.  Then look at what’s happening in your life and see if the negative outcomes match the negative thoughts you have about yourself.  By golly, they did!  I was hooked!

The theory here boils down to this – you get what you think you should.  So, if you think positively you should see it show up in your life the same way you do when you think negatively.

Just to give you an idea of the negative thoughts that go through my mind, I’ll make a list of my top 10.  Perhaps, you share some of these as well.

You Get What You Think

  1. Nobody is there for me
  2. Nobody respects me or sees my value
  3. Nobody listens to me
  4. Everybody picks on me
  5. I’m never happy in my jobs
  6. I’m bad with people
  7. I don’t know what I want
  8. I’m a failure at life
  9. I never have enough money
  10. I never meet the right guys

Ok, so guess what I have in my life right now with these thoughts?  I have difficulty with people at work, I don’t get respect, I am surrounded by constant conflict, don’t have enough income and I don’t in fact meet guys that feel right for me.  Surprise, surprise!!

expect good things

Change Your Mind

So, today I decided to start to retrain the brain.  I selected a few general affirmations and a few specific ones that spoke to me and repeated them throughout the day.  Here’s what I chose:

General Affirmations

  1. “I approve of myself”
  2. “I am willing to change”
  3. “I am willing to release all my resistance”
  4. “I am willing to release my need for…(ie. approval)
  5. “I now realize that I have created this condition.  I am willing to release the pattern in my consciousness that is responsible for this condition.”
  6. “I trust that the universe is providing for me everything that I need and I am safe and well taken care of.”

Specific Affirmations

  1. “I am willing to release the need to be unworthy.  I am worthy of the very best in life and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it.”
  2. “I am totally open and receptive to a wonderful new position, one that uses all my talents and abilities, and allows me to express creatively in ways that are fulfilling to me. I work with and for people whom I love, and who love and respect me, in a wonderful location and earning good money”
  3. “I am willing to release my need to be noticed”
  4. “I am willing to release my need for praise”
  5. “I choose to let go of my anger, so that I make better clearer decisions.”

Entering a Brand New Day…

As soon as my alarm clock went off I committed myself to saying 5 things I’m grateful for before I could sit up on my bed.  Then, I read the affirmations above before I was allowed to stand.  Finally, I walked to the mirror and read  http://aplacefortheheart.co.uk/louise-hay/louise-hay-affirmations/ while looking into my own eyes.

Throughout the day, I reminded myself of those affirmations.  I even brought my index card of affirmations with me in case I forgot.  When a negative thought came in, I said STOP! and replaced it with a gratitude and another affirmation.

One of the great pieces of advice that was offered is that you don’t have to know “HOW” it will happen you just have to be “WILLING”.  Basically, the change in mindset will send a signal to the universe that the expectations have changed.  Be patient and consistent.

It’s Working!

Already today, I noticed MAJOR differences.  First and foremost, I literally had ZERO conflict in my work day at either job. That’s 14 hrs conflict free. I haven’t had a day like that in months.  Even when I got a rude email, I took a deep breath replied kindly, let it go and went on about my day.

I received more smiles, more cooperation, warmer relations and even had an easier time in traffic leaving me with enough time to get some shopping done, order dinner, and get 15 min. in a massage chair all before my next job started.

The point is…it all went smoother.  I was calmer.  I felt like I was in the moment and I enjoyed my day!  This was enough to convince me to carry on using this new method.

I’m looking forward to discovering what I can create by simply changing my own thoughts.

How have you brought about change in your life by a simple shift in focus?

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

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Where Will You Put Your Energy?

Some environments are really toxic to be in.  It’s easy to get bogged down. To feel isolated and powerless.  You may find yourself fighting battles constantly.  

As I’ve written in another post, https://aneternaltraveler.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/do-what-you-have-to-do-its-only-temporary/ sometimes you have to do what you have to do right now and remember it’s temporary.  

Today we’re going to talk about how you can do it so that you feel like you’re paying dues for a membership you actually want

In my current work situation for whatever reason, I’ve become the target for people’s hatred.  I walk into work and I can guarantee with 100% certainty that I will be told something negative.  I am on a team where instead of them having my back, I have to watch my back. 

Now if I wanted to I could go into battle with these people everyday.  I did this for the first month. It sucked. And it sucked because I made the assumption that these people wanted things to be peaceful and harmonious.  I assumed talking to them would lead to greater understanding and better teamwork.

When I finally realized that I was the only one who wanted this and I had pushed myself to exhaustion to try to achieve it, I took a step back to reassess.  It shouldn’t be this hard.  “Why do they seem full of energy while I’m running on empty?”  Well simply put, they put their energy where it worked best for them – keeping things status quo.  I put my energy where it didn’t work best for me – trying to change their status quo.

So here’s the tough part – finding the courage to,

Let go of the way you’ve been doing things AND use your energy to put you where you want to be.

For me this boiled down to two choices – go to battle in the trenches, hand-to-hand-combat-style, every time a challenge is presented or think like the General of my own life and strategize a workaround where I could focus on what will advance me forward.

First and foremost, I will remind myself that my energy belongs to me.  I can choose where to put it.

Moving forward, when someone tries to engage me in a fight, I will not give them my energy by engaging them back. Instead, I will use my energy to think about how to best advance myself.  

A better use of my energy would be to, research positions on the company website that I’d like to hold. Forming a good relationship with my boss so I have his support to get to my destination.  Staying in contact with him as the pettiness comes up to make sure he knows my viewpoint and to ensure we stay on the same page. Finally, stay proactive – present my boss with solutions in the form of positions I’m interested in and qualified for and ask for his advice about moving me into one of them.

If I’m fighting, fighting, fighting in the trenches, I’ll be chronically exhausted.  I know because I’ve been fighting there for awhile now and I’m chronically exhausted.  Pretty simple equation. 

Trying to get people who don’t care about you, to care about you, is not only a losing battle, it is a sign that you’re investing more in others opinion of you than you are in yourself and your own well-being.

I’m not willing to do another battle and stay entrenched in the pettiness. I’m going to focus on what will help me move forward and stop treading water in a bad situation.

How have you changed your perspective in a bad situation and come out ahead?

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

 

Do What You Have to Do….It’s Only Temporary

Do What You Have to Do….It’s Only Temporary

If you’ve ever had to do something you’d rather not do just to achieve a goal, this post is for you.

What follows is a recount of some of the things I had to do to get my house back post-divorce. The point of my whole long drawn out explanation and partial life history 🙂 is to ask you to remember two things in this life when you’re losing hope.   

When my business starting bringing in less and less contracts, I knew I had to come to terms with it and move on to something else. It was tough to walk away, but the market was changing and after a good run for 8 years, I saw the writing on the wall.  My husband and I had talked about whether we could make it work on one income while I found an alternative. Everything was set.  Or so I thought….shortly after he asked for a divorce.

He walked away like it was nothing and left behind a long trail of responsibilities for me.  First and foremost was my house.  A house we’d bought only 6 months prior.  It was a huge sum for me to have to find every month and selling it would have offered me no reprieve since it was when the housing bubble burst.  I couldn’t rent something either because I didn’t have a paycheck anymore and it would have cost me almost the same as my mortgage.  Catch 22.  

To add to the stress, our divorce agreement stated that I had one year to refinance it into my name or my ex- could sell it outright.   Originally, he offered 6 months.  I negotiated for more time.  Apparently a year felt generous to him in a failing job and housing market.  Not that he was paying for a darn thing. Apparently, he just didn’t want to be bound to me in any way.  Who was this man?

No time to answer that one, it was time to put the pedal to the metal and get the heck out of dodge.  

I didn’t have a lot of time to wax longingly about my “dream job”.  I needed money and fast!  I sent out application after application and zero, zilch, nada.  Here I was with a B.S. in Biology and an MBA struggling to find work in anything I was qualified for.  I thought the whole world turned upside down, not just my personal life.

I finally turned to craigslist to see if there was an opportunity.  I interviewed and accepted a job doing face-to-face fundraising for charity.  If you’re not familiar with this, it’s basically stopping people as they walk by and trying to persuade them to make monthly donations to assist less fortunate nations of people.  It turned out I was good at this.  Poverty was something I could really talk about. I’d seen and worked with it so much in my travels. I knew how people’s lives were impacted.  Frankly, I was also pretty hungry to pay my bills too so that was a big motivator.

I tried to refinance with this job and about a month out from finalizing, the company I worked for did a “corporate restructuring” and decided to drop their program.  I explained my situation and expressed my frustration to the loan officer on the phone.  I said, “What do I have to do?  Get a job at the bank that holds my mortgage to finally get this settled?”  

The customer service representative took what I said seriously and asked me about my background.  I explained it to him.  He said, would you be interested in becoming a personal banker because you’d be qualified for it?  I said, honestly if it helps me get my house back, I’ll do it.  He told me to put an application online at the bank website and assured me he’d talk to someone in HR on my behalf. We became friends on FB.  I didn’t expect much to come out of it.

Back to the drawing board.

More applications sent out, only the sound of crickets in return.  Hello again, craigslist.  This time, I scored a job that was freelance. They called it a “unique hair opportunity”.  I thought ok. My mom owned a hair salon.  She taught me a lot.  How bad could this mystery job be???  

Well long story short, I became a trained “Lice Remediation Specialist”.  The company supplied me with everything I needed and I’d get called or texted to go out to a job at someone’s house.  It wasn’t too bad actually.  It helped pay the bills so I was willing to do what I had to do.  I knew that I couldn’t refinance my house with that kind of job though.  So, I cranked up the engine again to find the next step. 

I resolved to get that bank job. In no way did working at a bank appeal to me.  But I was running out of time and money.  I reached out to the loan officer and asked him if he’d heard anything about my application.  He got into contact with HR and I went in for an interview.  I got the job.  

I worked a very difficult 6 day/ week schedule.  I didn’t like the work one bit.  I just kept telling myself it’s for your house. Eye on the prize.  I was running out of time.  My ex- was dialing up the pressure with his not so helpful reminders about the 1 year time limit that was coming to a close.  

I put in my refi application.  Then, the communication seemed to drop dead and no one would return my calls.  When I finally reached someone, it was after I received a letter stating that they couldn’t refinance my house because I’d been in the job for less than 1 year. Everything else was fine. Credit score excellent, no major unsecured debt.  None of this was a problem.  I couldn’t believe my ears. 

I was furious that my employer didn’t mind having me sell mortgages and investments to other clients, but wouldn’t even back me with one that THEY held!!!  

I had heard that this bank was planning to acquire another bank that I was affiliated with.  I figured while I’m on the inside I’ll do some research. I learned that their criteria were less conservative.  So, I thought, let me see if I can get a loan through them before the acquisition.  Within one month, I got the loan and I was at closing.  The house was FINALLY in my  name and for a payment I could afford!

I quit the bank the month after that. I wanted nothing to do with them.  It was hurtful to me to be put in the position to be used to sell mortgages to others while realizing my employer wouldn’t support refinancing my own home.  

I had had so much stress with jobs and this house refi that I wanted something easier and consistent for a while.  I needed to chill and get my bearings.  So, I heard about this gym that was going to open from a friend in the fitness community I was involved in.  I applied for that and got that job.  I’ve worked there for over a year now.  I knew it couldn’t last forever, but I needed a breather before I moved on.  It’s been good to me and served its purpose.

And now I have yet another new job that has some better benefits than the last one….and on and on it goes….where I stop?  I’ll know it when I feel it.

Remember two things as you go through this life and face challenges:

  1. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

  2. It’s only temporary.

When you feel like you’re going to lose it.  Even when you’re ready to tear your hair out.  When you feel like a failure.  Even when no one else has got your back and you feel as lonely as a child in the wilderness. 

Say to yourself over and over again, Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do,__________(insert name). It’s only temporary, _____________(insert name).  

I still have not arrived at a place that I feel completely comfortable in my own life.  And I have to remind myself of this mantra from time to time.  But when I look back I see that despite the fear and confusion and uncertainty, I did carry on.  It took a lot of perseverance and even more patience, but I did reach one of my goals after all. 

Consider making this your daily mantra for all the challenges you face.  And remember, there’s another step ahead of the one you’ve taken.  There will be solid ground beneath your feet.  Just do what you have to do to get through, then take the next step.

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Make no mistake, YOU are a success no matter how big or how small the result.  Let’s help each other out by leaving comments and sharing so we all feel a little less alone in this world.

What kinds of challenges have you had to face where you found yourself doing what YOU had to do to get through?  Share your success stories with us. 

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

10 Great Places to Invest (in yourself)

Overwhelmed 

I feel overwhelmed by the life I am living.  I keep taking on a little more thinking that my shoulders can hack it, but lately I’ve started to notice how tired I’ve become.  I’ve noticed that I’ve given up things that make me happy just to make more money to pay for the things I’ve added to my shoulders. Say what???

For over a year I worked at a low paying job just to have some income to make ends meet.  Then, I got a new job and found myself keeping the other one as a second income.  Little by little, I let other things go just to stay focused on making money. 

Where Am I??

Last Tuesday night, I was driving home at the end of a 13 hr workday and I thought about why I was doing this and how exhausted I felt.  I used to work out 6 days/week and I hadn’t done a thing there in almost 3 months and I ordered take out more.  So, I was gaining weight.  I was letting things go in the house.  I found myself becoming increasingly irritable around people.  I was passing out on the couch and couldn’t even make it to my bed.  I’d signed up for a course to become a personal trainer and every time I opened the manual to study, I fell asleep.  I didn’t even feel like I had time to do what I needed to do to create opportunities for advancement in my primary job.  This was getting ridiculous!! 

Letting Go

By Wednesday, I resolved to take action.  I couldn’t keep living like this.  I reasoned that my second job was bringing me income, but absolutely no opportunity for advancement.  My first job, however held more potential if I put the effort into it.  It came down to deciding if I could struggle in the short term financially with the belief that getting my life in order would open me up to greater opportunity.  I remembered that the Law of Attraction states, that “like attracts like” and if I kept going on the path I was on, I’d likely attract health problems and great dissatisfaction with my life.

So, I resolved to quit my second job and gave my 2 weeks notice Friday.  I left the door open so that I could come back if need be in the future, but I am going to commit to pursuing the things that lead to happiness instead of more money this time around.  I have some money in savings that I will use as a stop gap while I get my life in order again (or maybe for the first time).

Fear, Freakouts…

I guess I’ve operated from a point of scarcity for so long that my fear of loss or fear of not having enough has been holding me back from the joy of focusing on doing what makes me happy.  For me, this is an earth-shattering concept and by no means comfortable. I’m used to working hard and focusing on earning money. Now, I’ve made the choice sacrifice money for the benefit of my personal well-being. 

…and Focus

I’m also excited about what I will learn from refocusing my attention onto my well-being instead.  Will the old adage prove true? – “do what you love and the money will follow”.  I’m about to find out. 

Below I’ve created a list that I will call my “10 Great Places to Invest.”  These are the areas that I believe are important to creating sustained happiness in my life.  To hold myself accountable and to track my daily progress, at the end of each day, I’ll give myself a check mark if I do it and an X if I do not.  This way I know where I’m succeeding and where I need work to maximize my happy factor 🙂

10 Great Places to Invest

  1. Kindness to Another (do something nice that makes another person smile)
  2. Kindness to Oneself (do something nice for yourself that makes you smile)
  3. Moderation (Do I really need that piece of cake, extra helping or that pair of shoes, etc.?)
  4. Health (exercise)
  5. Improved Environment (organize/eliminate for greater efficiency, only add what benefits)
  6. Ego Check (defensiveness, harsh words)
  7. Gratitude (what IS great in my life)
  8. Growth (always learning)
  9. Respect Your Money (do I really need that?)
  10. Do more/think less (believe you already know what you want, now go do it)

For example,

  1. Kindness to Another – Give a sincere compliment to a co-worker who you don’t like much
  2. Kindness to Oneself – Tell myself something nice about myself as soon as I wake up
  3. Moderation – Don’t eat the desert for lunch
  4. Health – Exercise 5x/week
  5. Improved Environment – Clear out my closets of unnecessary items
  6. Ego Check – Don’t retaliate insult, just say something like “wow that’s interesting, tell me more”
  7. Gratitude – List 5 things that I’m happy for each day
  8. Growth – Spend 1 hr./day studying personal training manual
  9. Respect Your Money – Don’t buy junk food with my hard earned cash
  10. Do More / Think Less – Sort through 1 box at a time in the basement
And so the journey continues…Thanks for stopping by 🙂 What are you waiting for?  Join me!!  What are your Top Great Places to Invest?