Tuesday, August 25, 2015

catching up

Good Morning!  The craziness of my life has caused me to feel a bit disconnected from you all so I decided to get up an hour earlier this morning (well before 3 am) just to catch up a bit and to remind you that even when I don’t post every day, you still are in my heart and thoughts.  We have had several new members join in the past week. WELCOME!  I hope you find support and inspiration here; we have some incredibly wonderful people in this group.

I remember about 5 years ago when my life consisted of nothing but eating, sleeping, and work.  Literally those things made up the majority of my day. I was not LIVING but rather just existing and taking up space….a lot of space! It was the pits, and honestly, I never imagined that life would be any different……but it certainly is now!  I still eat….a lot….but certainly much differently now and I still sleep….but about ½ of what I used to…..and I’m busy all the time.  I definitely have a longer ‘to do list’ than hours in the day….but even busy, life is so much better now than it was 5 years ago!  Now my ‘busy’ involves living rather than simply existing.

Things at the college have been exciting, but chaotic. The college was awarded a TRIO grant from the department of education to assist low income, first-generation, and/or persons with a disability to complete a college degree. The grant will provide over $200,000 per year to the college to run this program and a couple of new positions will be hired to administer the grant funds.  It is a very good thing for students, but as a result, my job duties have increased as we scramble to get things in place before the semester starts next week.  I have been asked to take a new position at the college in the interim, but will need to go through the whole application/interview process in the coming weeks to make it permanent.  I will be transitioning out of the Retention department, and have been named the interim SUCCESS COACH for the Trio grant.  I LOVE THAT JOB TITLE….Success Coach!  My job will be to work with a cohort of 140 students from start-to-finish to encourage and support them from admissions through graduation.  I will also be teaching about 6 or more sections of a semester-long college course called Student Success Strategies.  These new job requirements have required extra hours at work and a lot of extra effort to get things rolling, but I anticipate that this change will be very rewarding for me. Hopefully the extra work involved will give me ample opportunities each day to make a positive difference in students’ lives. The job is a lateral move so there is no increase in compensation, but certainly the reward of helping, coaching, encouraging others is one that fits me well.  Hang on , my friends….it’s bound to be an exciting, but challenging semester!

On another note…. I have been contacted by a TV company out of San Francisco that wants me to do a television show for them in….get this….JAPAN!  They found my story on the internet and want to feature me in their show. The show will consist of an on-camera interview and then they will hire actors to reenact my journey.  I haven’t given them my decision yet but have a 2 ½ hour SKYPE interview scheduled for Thursday evening this week. The show will be shown in japan only and when I asked for a dvd of the show before it airs, I was told that they don’t allow that, so I’m not sure if I will pursue the offer or not. I need to make sure that this show will portray my story in a positive light and not exploit a painful past or use it a way that goes against my principles ( like the National Enquirer did a few years ago!)  Keep me in your prayers as I discern God’s will in this latest endeavor.

Around the house…… the garden is full of color and although many of the perennials are done blooming for the season, others are just beginning to display their glory. Autumn is in the air this week with temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s during the day and a lot of rain.  The weeds have taken over the patio area and I just can’t seem to keep up with them, but nonetheless, the garden still brings me great joy.  I have two grapefruit size watermelon on my vine and a lot of ripe tomatoes, but the squash isn’t doing well at all this year. Other things are beginning to produce, but not the results I had hoped for. (sort of like our journey, eh?)   My pool has turned green for the first time in 5 years and I’ve been trying all weekend to get it back under control so I can use it again when it warms up. Too much rain and high water temps I suppose. I’ve been shocking it and adjusting the chemicals but it’s only slowly clearing up. I may be seeking “pool maintenance” advice from the group if I can’t get things under control this week.

Even with all this chaos going on around me, I still have managed to do a couple of hours of garage saling on Saturday mornings. I found a lot of really neat things for the house and yard this summer and have been rearranging things, hanging pictures on the walls, and finally getting things settled a bit in the house I’ve lied in for 6 years. I’m even unpacking some boxes in the garage that I moved up from downstate! That’s been a lot of fun, but right now, almost every room in the house is in a bit of disarray and the kitchen table is covered with assorted picture frames and paintings/pictures that I’ve purchased this summer for next to nothing. I also have an assortment of vintage glassware and china to put on ebay.  So much to do….so little time……sigh…………………

As you can see….my life is certainly much different than 5 years ago when I spent the summers sitting in a wheeled walker and watched as everyone else lived, secretly wishing I would die. Busy? Yes! Stressful? Sometimes! Hectic? Almost always…..but LIFE IS VERY GOOD when lived with gratitude and joy. Even though there are many things I’d like to be different about my life right now…. I recognize that I am so blessed and that each and every day….no matter how tiring or challenging…..no matter how painful my body may feel…..no matter how many things go undone…..no matter what……is a gift from God.  Realizing that…..and embracing that philosophy…..is what keeps me motivated to keep on track and keep moving on this journey.  All that…..and of course…..all of you, and the privilege of sharing in  YOUR journey too!

What’s going on in your world?????