Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Last week I received a call from someone I used to work with. During the call I mentioned that I had left the mental health field and he seemed surprised. It got me thinking about how mentally and physically drained I was when I  lost my job became unemployed took a sabbatical. I reflected on that for several hours, wondering why I decided to leave the field entirely. After all, I worked hard to blaze a trail for others to work in the mental health field who lived the experience but did not have a degree. And then it hit me.

I've lost my ambition.

During my sabbatical I have gone through several experiences. Many "first-times". First knee replacement in 2011, first 5K in 2012, first time I have lost a parent in 2013, first grandson born in 2013, first loss of a child in 2013, and first time I realized I was floundering with no consistent direction - in 2015. I am in a rut.

I know what I would like the end result to be. I have a goal. I have a bucket list; I have a LOOOOOONG bucket list.

I thought it was because I just can't seem to develop a plan and STICK to it. But I think it is more than that. I think that once again I am in the position of blazing another career trail. One that will carry me from "pre-retirement" through retirement. One that does not require another degree. After all, I got a Bachelors degree and 2 years later I lost my job. As a result, I will be paying off student loans for another 10 years. A career that allows me to use my creativity, to work from home, to work around family schedules, to bring in the income I need, and provides an opportunity to help others.

Virtual Assistant - working for others based from home using technology that is already at our fingertips. It pulls everything I have been doing for the past 4 years together under one title and allows for flexibility and creativity. I can use the skills I have already developed during my 20+ career and in college, but still affords me the opportunity to develop more.

So, do I have that kind of ambition left in me? You betcha!

Friday, January 23, 2015


Wednesday we took Avery to the Midwest Museum of Natural History in Sycamore. We had never heard of it so we didn't quite know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that we happened to be there on FREE DAY. It ended up being a very nice place with live turtles, snakes, spiders, and other small repiles. There were also large jungle animals that were stuffed (statues as Avery said). We were doing pretty well, comparing the animal skulls and teeth they had on display to our own, and learning about various monkeys, mountain lions, mountain goats, and mammouths. And then we came across the lions.  

At first we weren't sure whether to allow Avery to see this or steer her away, which would have been next to impossible given the location. She questioned why the lion was trying to eat the goat. We could have told a story about how they play in the jungle, but she is too smart for that and saw the looks on the faces and knew instantly that the lion was eating the goat. So we compared it to the Lion King movie and talked about the circle of life and how lions survive in the jungle by eating some of the animals. Her response?  "Oh look! There IS a giraffe here!"

 After a good lunch of pancakes and bacon, we stopped at a friends farm so Avery could gather eggs. She loves to eat eggs and loves animals so we thought she would get a kick out of spending time with the chickens and gathering the eggs herself.

Once the eggs were gathered, it was time to feed the chickens, ducks, and turkeys. We now call her the turkey whisperer. Last year we visted a zoo and spent time in the baby goat pen and those little goats just followed her everywhere. This year, it was the turkeys.

All in all it was a great day. We came back to Gaga's house and made bread and had a tea party. I love spending time with her. At 5, she sounds like she is 25. Her reasoning is better than many adults. 

While the trip to the museum was fun, we don't want to over do it. Next time, we will bake cookies.