Monday, March 25, 2013

What's Been Going On.....

Not too much of anything....
unless one would count physical therapy, doctor's appointments, pharmacy runs, pain killers, muscle relaxers, work and school.
All one can do is hope tomorrow will be a better day.

My sweet friend Ebony moved to Florida for a promotion within the company.
Work will not be the same with out her. I miss her so much already.
However, I am so excited for her and her son, D, and all the opportunities that 
await them in Tampa! 
Through Ebony, I also met and made friends with Sherniece (in black).
She's been with the company longer than me and is a great source of information and advice. 
Spring is here...and so are the horrid allergies!
I love seeing flowers in bloom along the roads and highways. 
The bluebonnets are now out too. Mom loved bluebonnets. I remember Mom saying last year, as she was laying in the hospital bed, that she felt sure she would never see another bluebonnet. 
I told her she was wrong. That surely wasn't the case. 
She would get treatment, get better and next year we would see the bluebonnets.
She knew what she was talking about.
Now every time I pass a batch of bluebonnets, I think of Mom. The blue of her eyes, the sweet sound of her voice, her solid outer-self and her delicate, sweet inner self. 
I think of her hands, her nails and how she always had her big toe decorated with some sort of nail art. 
I think of how she would be complaining of her allergies and griping 
about how quickly summer is coming. 
I am thankful she doesn't have to suffer through another hot summer, yet I wish she 
was here at my home to sit it out. 
I looked through her old make up bag and saw her hair clips.
I wish I was still standing behind her, like I did in the hospital, brushing her hair.
I remember like it was yesterday....standing there...
brushing her hair, softly...
tears running down my face, silent...because I knew, though I didn't want to admit it..
I knew that I wouldn't get that opportunity much longer. 
I knew that she knew that too. She let me brush her hair. She knew.
She wanted to give me that memory.
There are so many things that remind me of her. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One Year Later

Well, one year has past since I started my new job at USAA. It has gone by so unbelievably fast. I went from not really understanding the military, to getting it, thanks to some pretty amazing speakers we've had at work. I love every single aspect of my job. I love being there for our members, I love hearing the excitement in their voices when they are about to come home.
 I love, more than anything, being there for the military wives. They too have a hard fight on their hands. Many of them are thrown into a completely new life, with no experience, no where to turn, often in a new state and it can be overwhelming. Being there to listen to them, assist them through difficult times, it's wonderful.
~*~I really love my job!~*~

When I first started I felt I would NEVER get it. I  missed so much training being out with Mom and it seemed like there was just so much to learn, little state specifics, that I would never get down. I just received a recognition from my manager for leading the team in almost all areas. I have helped mentor new team mates, was selected as one of the two Physical Damage Specialist's on my team and just recently was chosen to move to a new department. I have had several managers tell me that my name is getting out there because of the hard, quality work I accomplish every day. It doesn't go unnoticed.

 I have never been employed with a company that actually WANTS to see their employees excel and move up. Every other company before has been content to let their employees be stagnant in their positions if the excel in it. At one local credit union that worked for previously, I applied for a position that I really, really wanted. My managers "lost" my transfer request and it wasn't until I contacted HR that it finally was "found". When the managers for the other department interviewed me, one said, "Linda called me last night. (Linda was my mgr.)" The other manager asked why and the first manager looked down at me and shook his head no. Because I was better than anyone in my department, thus making Linda look good, she called the night before my interview and told him not to hire me. And he didn't. USAA is completely different. I couldn't be more happy.

These past 365 days have brought so much change not only for me, but for the team I entered training with. One had a baby, one is pregnant, one moved into her own apartment and my closest friend Ebony was accepted for a promotion in Tampa. She leaves tomorrow. I could hardly sleep last night. She was there for me when I was mourning the loss of my mother and I consider her one of my closest, very best friends. I truly love her. And I am sure going to miss her. BUT.... we already have a vacation planned in Tampa. I have never been and I am sure we will have so much fun there!

I start my new position with the company later this month. Several people on my team applied but unfortunately were not chosen. I am so excited to work Mon-Fri and have the evenings and weekends free. I cannot wait to see what the next 365 days bring me at USAA. I love my company. I love my job. I love that I never gave up applying there. It took me five years to get in. And I couldn't be happier.

This is my post from my first day. I remember that day. I was nervous, scared, still a child. I still had Mom to fall back on. Who knew two months later that would all change?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Five Question Friday...This is a GOOD one!

It's that time again...Five Question Friday.
I haven't had the pleasure of joining in on the fun in quite some time,
but the muscle relaxers and pain killers have given me a temporary moment of less than 10 on the pain scale...thus allowing me to write this post!
(Turns out my vacation left me injured... the plane hit the runway too hard and too fast and I get to enjoy a torn trapezius muscle along with a possible concussion and whiplash! LUCKY ME!)

So, this weeks questions are really fun and good...
and brought back some great memories!

1. What was the most productive thing you have done this week?Making a doctor's appointment with my primary doctor, scheduling my physical therapy and allowing my shoulder to get the rest it needs to begin to heal.
Hopefully, no surgery will be needed!

2. Enjoying the winter or ready for spring?So ready for spring!!
Though I hate the horrible and usually unbearable summers here that follow,
I am ready for the newness of spring....
pastel colors, hearing the birds outside my window in the morning, seeing my rose garden take life, enjoying the wildflowers that decorate Texas highways.
This will be my first Spring with out Mom, so it signifies a new beginning for me as well.
I am still transitioning into my new normal, becoming who I am, a woman, a mother and wife.
And I am doing this all without her.
For so long, my whole life up to that point, I was her baby and I knew I never had to do things on my own. I knew she was always there to hold me hand, encourage me, love me, take over if things got too overwhelming.
Learning to live without her has been unbearable at times.
So this Spring is a fresh start for me...for us as a family.

3. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Is your spouse the same as you?I am definitely more of an introvert. I have never sought out to be the center of attention.
I would much rather stay behind, quietly observing my surroundings and venture out when it feels safe.
My husband...oh my husband...he IS the life of the party.
He is not prone to dancing on tables, breaking glasses, telling the most offensive jokes...having everyone in stitches from laughing so hard.
Put it this way....
if he's going out alone, I've been known to shave pictures and words on his back to ensure his clothes stay one.
It's crazy but true!

4. Would you rather go without music or television for 1 year?A year without television absolutely.
I hardly ever watch it. I watched it more this past week, being home injured. than I probably have in a few months. Some days I don' t even turn it on.
Between 10 hr work days, homeschooling, my university courses and trying to run my home, television is often the last thing on my mind. It's usually always depressing, sad news anyway.
I'd much rather grab a magazine or book, turn Esperanza Spalding on soft and low and drift away.5. Have you ever been truly scared of someone?Oh my goodness yes...
Two people..
Chicken George and Leonard
Chicken George (who knows how he got that name) was a man that would walk up and down the streets in my little town where I used to live.
He never spoke to anyone. No one spoke to him.
He had a crazy look in his eyes.
When Chicken George came a'walking...
the kids went a'running.
And I did just that.
I remember playing school on my front porch. I saw Chicken George walking down the street...I dropped my chalk, dropped my books, ran inside the house and locked the door.
He was THAT scary!

But even scarier was Leonard...
When  I was little  my mother was married to a man named Leonard. They separated over time but he still "loved" me, I guess.
Anyway, when my Mom left he threatened her that one day he would find me. He would take me away and she would never see me again.
He told her, I'll be there when you least expect it. I'll get her and she'll be gone.
This resonated the deepest fear in me during my entire childhood.
I didn't know this man, only the horrible stories told about him from my Mom and siblings.
I couldn't imagine life without my mom. It just didn't seem like a possibility.


one day when I was about 13, we were in Wal-Mart. I rarely ventured far from my mother's side, even at that age, that fear set still in me.
I went off on my own, to look at what? I don't know.
But I know that man with curly hair, those menacing, crazy eyes and that awkward ill fitting hat was following me, aisle by aisle.
As I walked faster, so did he.
I started a did he...grinning the whole time.
I ran through the store to the front desk, crying, telling them he was chasing me and had threatened to kidnap me before.
He looked me in the eyes, gave me the nastiest laugh and ran out.
I never saw him again.
I never forgot that moment.
He passed away a few years ago, and only then did I feel some sort of relief.
However, that fear has never completely left.
I still make my girls, ages 17 & 12, be no more than an arm length away from me even now.
How many other times had he seen me but never had the opportunity to take action?
What would have happened if we were closer to the exit and not farther back in the store?
These thoughts still enter my mind at times.