Wow! I can’t believe how quickly time has passed since my last post! I’ve been so busy and kept meaning to take some time out to post about my adventures but time has flown by and only now have I been able to sit down to fill you in on them all.
First, the bad news. I still don’t have my dear little Gracie back. Although we have had some sightings of her, she is still out on the run. I’m afraid that she may be scared off from the trap for good as it appears that she went in there one time, triggered the trap but it got hung up on the towel that is draped over it to disguise it and the door only closed about halfway, enabling her to escape. I can only hope that it didn’t scare her so much that she won’t ever go back in it. So I continue to bait it hoping and sending positive energy out into the universe. And I ask that anyone reading this do the same. I would settle, at this point, for even just a good sighting as about a week and a half ago, it topped out at around 108 degrees and I’m concerned about her lack of access to water. Shoes says she thinks she’s still out there and that if she felt differently she’d tell me. Shoes is a very skilled empath so I believe her so I do believe Gracie is still alive. I also had a dream last night that we finally caught her. I hope that those are all signs that soon she’ll be back home in my arms again.
Enough bad news. Onto something more positive and exciting. First off, I found out that my life-long dream of going on safari might be within reach much sooner than I thought. Jim went and took his son, and including a stopover in London, the entire trip was only about $10K for the 2 of them (along with another man and his son.) So I’m going to get the travel agent information from him and find out how much it would cost for a single person or a small group of people and perhaps shoot for going next year! The only thing that I really need is time off from work. I’m almost there with the cash situation and if Market keeps going like it has been, that won’t be a concern at all!
The other positive thing was my annual women’s conference in Pennsylvania. We had such a wonderful time, as usual, despite the fact that it rained on and off the entire weekend. I actually taught one of the evening creative workshops – and it went over very well! Only about 1/2 of the people who had signed up for it actually showed (it was late and people were pretty tired by the time my slot rolled around) but those who were there really seemed to get a lot out of it. It was really fantastic meeting up with old friends and being able to put faces to many of the new names that have popped up on the boards over the past year. I did, however, find myself feeling a bit…disengaged from the whole thing and I really can’t seem to put my finger on why that might be. I know I didn’t do as much reaching out this year as I have in the past and perhaps that’s part of it. Also some of the people who I really wanted to see were not able to make it this year so that significantly changed my Conference experience.
Work is going ok. I say ok as opposed to great because while I’m happy there, I’m not feeling particularly challenged or…well, no, that’s not even it. I’m not feeling like I’m able to use my creative side. I’ve hardly done any PowerPoint presentations at all while I’ve been there and if I have to write one more blog post I might puke. Which is bad because I’m definitely going to have to write a lot more blog posts. But there’s also no career path for me there. No growth opportunities. No place or way for me to grow or enhance my skill set. I’m also concerned about the company’s upper management. They don’t seem to have a corporate strategy. Or if they do have one, they aren’t sharing it with the employees. So that concerns me. I’m not sure that I’m going to actually DO anything about these concerns at this time, as many of them may be addressed in the upcoming months through some of the projects I’m going to be taking on and through some actions that upper management is taking.
However I did get a call from a recruiter from a company that’s been at the top of my A list of companies to work for, for a technical author position for which she wants me to apply. It’s a long shot but as they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained. And it never hurts to have a conversation with someone. The other thing it did was spur me to check out what other opportunities are out there right now and as it turns out, there are quite a few. So I think I’m going to sprinkle my resume around and see what happens. Again, it never hurts to have a conversation with someone and who knows what will happen.(Whether or not writing all of this in my blog is a good idea or not remains to be seen.) As I said, I’m not unhappy where I am so if someone did come with an offer, it would have to be for the right position – not just any position. I’m very much in a sweet spot right now – a place where I can be picky about what I do or don’t take, should I get another offer.
Market if going well. I’m doing fairly well each week and making sure that I set back enough to pay my sales taxes at the end of the year. I am going to go back to quarterlies though so it won’t hurt as much – I just have to go onto the State’s website and fill out a form if I can find it. But that’s been a nice source of income and is definitely helping with my dream of heading to Africa for safari. As is the rent from Shoes. I’ve also been able to save enough already to pay for my property taxes already – which is a very nice feeling and a weight off my back. In addition, I’m making headway on paying off my credit cards. Slowly but surely I’m rebuilding from the financial setbacks I suffered after getting laid off from AMD. It hasn’t been easy but with determination, a plan, and hard work, it’s happening.
Shoes and I went and saw the 4th of July fireworks at Auditorium Shores and had a great picnic dinner. We had all kinds of fruit and cheeses – what you see here is just a small sample and what was left over after gorging myself. I couldn’t hold another bite. Not even a thin mint – not even if it was wafer thin. 🙂
Last, and certainly not least, I’ve discovered a new way to express my artistic side. It’s called Zentagle®. It’s kind of like drawing but it’s drawing for people who can’t draw. It is a picture of sorts that is made up of a series of small shapes – squares, circles, triangles, lines, and so on, that are repeated over and over and over. I’m doing mine on ceramic tiles, backing them with cork and selling them as coasters. I haven’t sold any yet but hope to at the upcoming SAMI show on July 20-21 at the Parmer Event’s Center.
So it’s been a busy couple of weeks. A lot of traveling back and forth to San Antonio. But that’s over with now. From here on out, I’ll be down there on Mondays and Tuesdays, working from home on Wednesdays, at the Austin data center on Thursdays and then working from home again on Fridays. Less travel means more creative time – both with my new Zentagle® inspired coasters and with my SolCatchers.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned this month it’s this. It’s important to schedule time for yourself. No matter how busy your life gets, and I know it can get pretty busy sometimes, it’s absolutley critical that you schedule time for you and your passions. There were weeks since my last post where I didn’t do that and let me tell you, I paid for it. So don’t make the same mistake I made. Even if it’s only a short break (see www.calm.com for a great way to do short guided meditations at your desk) from a stressful work situation or a longer break after a hectic day of work, taking time out for yourself is the only way to really maintain your sanity. The busier your life is, the more hectic it may be, it’s often the only way you can really find peace, happiness and calm within the storm. You can’t wait for the world to give you that time – you have to make yourself a priority and take that time. It’s not selfish, it’s self-care.