Tag Archives: work

Focusing on the grace…not so much the race

17 Jan

This is a post I’ve wanted to share for a long time. I’ve written probably fifteen iterations of it over the last few months and every time I let fear win…I delete…I walk away…I keep it to myself.

I’ve not landed on a word for 2020 yet. I had one last year…I’ll probably decide on one this year, but it’s something I do with prayer and intention…but I can tell you that a theme I keep hearing in music, in scripture, in prayer and in life – is SHARING. So, I’m going to DO THAT. When I feel something resonate with me that I hope can help others, I have a natural inclination to want to share it. So here it is today:

Having something wrong with you that others cannot see is a struggle. When I show up at Bible Study with my hair curled, a dress on and my shoes actually match…you don’t know that I had to wash my hair the night before because there’s no way I can wash, dry and fix my hair without a break in between. You don’t know that I had to pick out my clothes the night before to make it easier for myself the next morning or that I decided against makeup because holding my arms up for extended periods of time makes me exhausted. You don’t see the tears I cried last night because I didn’t feel like cooking dinner for my family because I knew it would wear me out and that a bath would be out of the question….because even that is tiring. You don’t see the depression that cycles from missing out on life events…the anxiety that comes with planning anything – literally anything – because I am afraid that when it rolls around I will be too fatigued to show up. You don’t see the worry that comes from letting people down and fearing that they won’t give you grace – again.  You don’t see the disappointment from getting excited about getting out and doing something but then it’s “one of those days” and there is NO way you can make it out of the house….and quite frankly, the bed.  You don’t see the way I miss the race of deadlines and a work family and last minute presentations.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a THING.  It is one of MY things and I have truly tried to own it.  To just live with it…to give MYSELF the grace that I’d extend to any of my loved ones.  To pace myself. To do what I can and focus on THAT.  Focusing on the things I can’t do…the things I run out of steam for…the things that do not get crossed off of the list? That leads to frustration, shame and sadness.  Which puts me in a funk…which leads to a depressive state…which….are you seeing a pattern here?

When you see someone with a cast or a sling or hear them coughing or see visible scars – is your inclination to judge them or feel a certain pang of hurt for their illness/injury?  Just because all scars are not visible does not mean that we don’t all have them and need that sympathetic/empathatic smile you’d give someone that you knew was going through something based on their appearance.  I have to tell you, I barely made it through this afternoon.  I overcommitted myself this week and I was struggling this afternoon.  Once I had the chance, I got comfy and I slept for HOURS. I needed it. It didn’t mean I am lazy or worthless or unproductive.  It meant I was taking care of a need.  I needed rest.  But don’t think I didn’t go to my calendar, make a line for rest, draw a box AND CHECKED IT OFF.  Focus on what you CAN do, friends.  It makes a world of difference.

*******SIDE NOTE TANGENT BELOW*******

While I’m at it…a reminder…check on your friends.  The sick, the well, the strong, the weak.  The busy, the bored, the employed, the retired, the traveling, the homebodies….ALL THE PEOPLE.  Ask how they are…and listen to the answer.  And y’all…if someone asks how you are, TELL THEM.  I don’t know about you but I mean it when I ask someone how they are really doing….I want to hear the truth.  I don’t want to a hear a standard answer or a flippant reply.  I want to know HOW they ARE….how can I be praying for them….have the prayers I’ve been praying been answered?  I value my friendships…I value my prayer time…and I want to be sure that my friends know I am praying for them with intention, as specific as possible and as often as I say I am.

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 5)

14 Jan

So – I am WAY behind, what else is new?

The last time I updated Mike and I were still in NC and he has had a couple of appointments since then so I thought I’d just type out a little update for those that have asked…and for me too…because my memory…YEP!

Since we returned home to Texas he has been seen by his Primary Care Physician and his Pulmonologist here in College Station.  His PCP reviewed his labs, notes and all the information from the cardio team and did not find anything alarming or that he felt that was missed.  He agreed that on paper, Mike was not at risk for a heart attack…which is one of those things I keep hearing but also keep thinking of all the ways we could live better, exercise more, blah blah blah…but in the end, I truly believe that was God’s plan.  All the things are, and that was His plan for my hubby on that day and I will just have to rejoice and be glad in it.  Okay?  OKAY?  🙂  It taught me a few things and I’ll get to that eventually but for now….just trying to stick to the facts!

His Pulmonologist has suggested another sleep study (scheduled later this month) and Mike is VERY receptive to finding a CPAP mask that will work for him.  We already know he has sleep apnea.  He has been kicked out of a lab before because basically it was very clearly and quickly seen that he had it…that he needed a machine….but he has very very very particular about this process.  So…this is a huge triumph as in the past he has been….ummm….well….ya know.  I am ever so hopeful that this will be a game changer and will give him a restful sleep.  He wakes up SO tired and I can see the exhaustion by the time he comes home at night.

Speaking of him coming home at night………I am PROUD to say that he has been going into the office later and leaving every day by 5:30!  This has NEVER happened in the history of our marriage (and likely before) so I am extremely happy that he has taken this drastic measure and has the support of his team at work as well.  Finding a work/life balance is a huge issue for so many and I am very thankful that it didn’t cost my husband more than it did before he made this change.

His first Cardiac Therapy appointment is this week so he will learn more then about what is expected of him exercise and diet wise.  He is already eating better and eating less (portion wise)…drinking more water…trying to make better decisions and just getting more active, but he knows he needs to be guided by this great group of people that specialize in heart patients!  Again, this is a win – if you know my sweet but stubborn hubby.

Okay, without getting all mushy and in my feelings, I just wanted to give y’all the facts you want about “how Mike’s doing”….and I’ll keep you updated.  I cannot tell you how much it means to him and myself to get a text, email, phone call or card that asks about how he is feeling….it really does lift his spirits, and mine too.  We have for sure been blessed by some amazing family and friends.

Bye for now…more later…much much much more!  🙂

JJ

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 4)

27 Dec

I said I’d update after Mike’s appointment and I promise I meant to right away but……Christmas!  Whew!  What a busy and amazing and wonderful and blessed time of year….but….busy!  🙂

His appointment was A LOT.  I had several questions, naturally.  He had a few too….but he let me go first!  (He is SO smart, y’all!)  I had some small questions about his new meds and new diet and exercise….but my biggest, scariest, most important question was…..how likely are we to go through this again?  I know there are no guarantees and that there are so many variables that are involved but I also know that many health conditions or episodes are likely to happen again once you have had them once.  I wanted to be realistic and knew that the answer might be one I didn’t want to hear but I needed to know.  She gave me the best answer EVER.  Through a lot of technical reasons (lack of blockages in his other arteries, success of the stent, etc) and historical data….she says it is very likely that this could be an isolated incident!  Of course, that all depends on him taking his meds correctly, exercising regularly, eating balanced meals, decreasing his stress and addressing his sleep apnea.  That is a long list of things to do, yes…but I think he is more motivated than ever.  He detests the thought of a C-PAP machine but he has promised to try it.  (He’s been kicked out of the sleep lab before hahahahaaha – y’all he’s kinda hard headed and every machine he’s tried has not been a good fit for him.)  He had just started to exercise more regularly and has an amazing friend that is willing and a such a blessing to us that he will help him in that area.  The food is my area since I cook for him and he has promised to be more open-minded about trying different things (fruits and veggies are a big deal and he hates about 99% of them).  He also has committed to taking a lunch every day and actually getting out of the office.  His Dr has had several conversations about this with him and how important it is for him to take a brain break.  He is also going in later than usual so he can sleep a bit longer and THAT is a blessing to me (and also is going to take some getting used to as that was a good thing for me to get up early and get my Bible time in…so I have to figure out how my day is structured when I get back home!).  The hospital we use has a great cardiac rehab program that he will be taking advantage of and I am happy that he was open to that immediately.  He already has an appointment with a sleep specialist so we are on our way to a healthier (and hopefully less dramatic) 2020!
We are currently in NC visiting our families and enjoying this season.  It has been great to rest the last two days…since leading up to Christmas is a bit of a crazy time….and we have done just that.  Mike is still a bit tired and the Dr says that is normal and expected.  He played golf yesterday locally though and said he felt tired towards the end of the round but that he never felt “winded” as he would have normally.  THAT is such a blessing to hear!  I am telling you, God can make any situation GOOD.  I am so thankful that Mike is feeling better, is heeding the warnings and is listening to the team that is caring for him.
Again, I cannot say enough thank yous to all of you who have been praying for him (and me too) so faithfully.  We feel the love and we are so grateful.
I’ll update again in a bit once we have more information on the sleep apnea because I know that will make him feel so much better if he can get GOOD sleep!!  Hope each of you had a Merry Christmas!!!

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 3)

17 Dec

That was scary, y’all.

Though I have heard all the words that revolve around heart attacks and heart issues, learning about them through the lens of how they affect my husband has been quite an experience. I think in Part 2 I left off with us getting home on Thursday. I think we both slept SO hard that night. Post-hospital exhaustion is so real!!

Mike listened to the advice of the physicians and took it very easy over the weekend. No working, no lifting, just lots of rest and fluids. I was very proud of him for being a good patient. He can be very hard headed in case that was not obvious to y’all by now! 😉

Monday was a big day! He went back to work…but instead of getting up at 4:50 and leaving around 5:45 or so he got up around 6:30 and left around 7:20….which of course changed my schedule around but soooo worth it if it alleviates some stress for my sweet hubby!

I took him lunch around 11:45 and he sat in the car with me to eat for about 30 mins…not talking about work but just chit chatting about kids and our upcoming trip home to NC and how he was feeling. No rushing to get back in the office, just enjoying the time together.

MJ had a basketball game that was earlier than normal and he met us there a few minutes before 4 pm so his day was short. It was probably the perfect scenario for the first day back from his episode last week. The Lord really worked that out for him….not a stressful day back at all. So many of his work days are and I am so grateful that the Lord saw fit to spare him in countless ways!

He has been SO tired. Exhausted, really. I am not sure if it’s the meds, the after effects of the trauma and emotions and lost sleep or the return to work yesterday but he was asleep by 8 pm last night! I had to wake him up to take his nightly medicine with some toast! His wrist was sore last night, likely from using his laptop keyboard – and it’s his right hand – and he’s right handed…so I sort of expected that. The site of the entry looks fine – so thankful for that! He has had ZERO chest pain since before the stent. Other than a mild headache he has really been amazed at how he feels!

We have had so many conversations about how the whole thing went down last week and there are so many ways that we can see how God shaped and orchestrated the days leading up to THE DAY. There are ways that we have both been blessed by family and friends and strangers that I can’t even recount them all. There are new fears and new worries, yes. But there are also renewed promises and faith and knowledge that through it all, we were blessed.

I can’t thank everyone who was praying for us enough. I heard from people far and wide and we felt your prayers. We felt peace. We felt love. I am so incredibly grateful.

Mike’s follow up appointment is tomorrow and I sure hope they are ready for me…I mean him! LOL Let’s just say I.HAVE.QUESTIONS. This post heart attack life is going to be different….we are going to learn from it and we are going to move forward with renewed hope that we can make it through anything with faith and with one another!

I will update again once we have that appointment with any new information that we learn and I am certain I’ll have more thoughts and emotions and yes…probably more questions!!!

My Business

15 Aug

No, not starting a business…not closing a business or minding my business….just I’m BUSY!

Moving, Disney, kids, summer, work, etc etc etc have kept me from stopping and trying to remember any of it…that makes me sad.  However it makes me MADcrazyHAPPY that I have been too busy to notice.  Lately the only thing I even WRITE is my prayer list (which seems to get longer by the day – sadly) so sitting down to type is unthinkable one some days!

Moving has definitely been the time suck of the year!  Hmm, I guess technically “moving” itself wasn’t the time consuming activity….that was over in a day.  Filling a house has been the thing….buying new things, repurposing old ones, shopping for bargains, creating new memories in a new space.  It’s been EXHAUSTING…but most of all…it’s been FUN!!!  It’s one of those things that makes it so apparent to me that crazy times bring out the MOST of what you have the most of.  If you have love and fun and happiness, you will get more of THAT.  My sweet husband has been so awesome throughout this transitional phase of having a new space to live in…..he’s dealt with my shopping habits, my chevron obsessions and my need to decorate every nook and cranny with some form of turquoise, aqua or gray!  My kids have totally enjoyed finding their own new things and old things alike and have been such troopers about keeping things clean and organized.  My Mom has been….an angel!  She has loved shopping for me and crafting and lending a hand or elbow or whatever was needed.  My niece helped unpack like a madwoman and it was a great time to have my entire family…inlaws, parents, niece and her boyfriend, sissy and her hubby and my baby niece….my kids…our friend Zoe…it was just awesome.  I have had more visitors in a month than I believe I had at my former house in the seven years we lived there!  It’s just fun getting opinions on decor and organization sometimes, right?  ((OH AND THERE IS THAT POOL PROJECT THAT I HAVE NIGHTMARES ABOUT!!!  SO MANY DECISIONS…….EEEEEK.)

Getting the kids ready for back to school…fun times.  My kids will all be at the same school and I’m thrilled about that.  MJ is starting K5 and I can’t even believe it.  The speed at which time has flown is amazing.  I’d like to say I’m dealing with my baby going to school very well but I’m not a liar.  She’s so ready and I want to show her how excited I am for her and I do…and then I fall apart alone!!  WHEW!  It will be all fine and well next Friday after it’s been a day and we’ve had “that” day and she did fine and was happy and didn’t hold onto my leg for dear life.  (Dear God, please don’t let that happen. Amen.)  The boys are kinda “meh” about school starting back….but that’s to be expected at 12 and 15.  Happy for them to get in there and get it going though!

Mike’s promotion + school = CRAZY!  Many nights when we first moved in (he had finals then), I didn’t see him after dinner because I couldn’t stay up until he got in bed!   Work has been busy for him as well….he hasn’t even played much golf lately!

TO BE CONTINUED…………I can’t even stay awake!!!

Wow, the June is BIZZZY!!

29 May

I love those times when I think I don’t have a life…things to do…much going on.  HA!  Enter June.  We have a few things going on, like:  selling current home/buying new home/moving into new home/packing up the rest of current home/vacation (shhh)/Mike has like 5 Dr appts/I have two weeks of vendor/customer meetings.  Add to that an already full platter of things to do…my oldest son is turning 15….what??…..Father’s Day……ACCCKKKKKK!!!!

So, that’s not the excuse that I haven’t posted.  I have just been living life instead of writing about it.  It’s a catch 22 though.  I love reading back over what I was thinking/feeling at a certain time.  Maybe with all this change in my life I will be sure to capture it somehow in word.  It is absolutely crazy all that we have going on….but I am so incredibly excited and happy.  And…BLESSED.

Water, Water, Everywhere

21 Jan

My prompt for today:  What is your biggest concern about the future of the environment?

Obviously, I’m concerned about the future for a few reasons….  Of course I just CARE.  I’d like to see this world we live in thrive and be green and pretty and all that jazz…  However, if the Lord doesn’t return soon and I leave this world before my children are left to hang around and endure it – I’d like for them to have pretty things to see, air to breath (that doesn’t harm them), animals to observe and clean water to drink.  I think water is a big deal for me for a few reasons….I LOVE IT first of all.  I love to drink it, swim in it, see it, you name it!  My job is obviously greatly affected by water.  We want people to ENJOY it…we want people to benefit from the cleanliness of it…we want to MOVE it…  It’s a big deal, y’all!!  I could give you lots of stats but you all know the deal.  There’s a lot of water.  There’s a lot of pollution.  There’s a lot of work to do…we just need to be sure we’re all doing it, that our government is funding someone doing it and that we are all supporting it!!!

 

Super Jamie!!!

14 Jan

So, as you all know, I’m doing this blog challenge so some of the posts are a little “out there” and ask silly questions.  I feel like I want to finish this though…soo…today’s was:  “If you were a superhero, what would be your hidden superpower?”

I have never thought about this (except on Saturday when I learned that SOME PEOPLE see words in their head instead of pictures when they are searching for content – WHAT?????) at all.  I read this on Friday though and have been thinking about it ever since.  As of now, I GOT NOTHIN.  I have no desire to see through walls or hear what people are thinking.  I don’t think I’d want to see the future or breathe fire out of my nose.  I don’t want to be able to have spidey senses that would tingle or leap tall buildings.  Currently, I am happy with reading into people’s actions, listening to their words and I wear contacts that help my deteriorating vision.  I have faith in the future since my Lord has told me to not worry about it.  Fire?  Me?  I’m way too hot-natured.  Spidey senses would probably be worse than those few times I’ve forgotten to take my thyroid medicine.  Tall buildings are pretty cool to look UP at so I’m good there.  I can wash clothes, watch Lifetime and raise children all at one time.  I can cook supper, clean dishes and have a conversation with my hubby without burning anything.  I can conference call, create spreadsheets, and handle personnel all at once.

Basically – I am a mom, wife, daughter and a manager – so CLEARLY – being SUPER?  It’s in the job description!  🙂

Oh, just charge it. Then, recharge it.

3 Jan

When I feel drained of *energy*, there are a few ways I can recharge.  I thought I’d make a list…

  1. nap (assuming all the kid folk and husband folk are in agreement.  LEAST LIKELY ONE, FYI)
  2. massage (La Therapie in Cary is my FAVE)
  3. be still (and know)
  4. talk it out (talk about what drained me, prolly to my mama)
  5. make a list (ha, but no really)

I find that sometimes the most effective way to recharge is something mindless.  Like, scouring FB or Twitter for updates.  To just get lost in something that is not taxing or stressful does me much good.  Maybe that’s why I know so much about Sanford’s goings-ons, Cory Booker,  Food Network and YOU!  🙂

 

Working on Empty

2 Jan

Interesting that my blog prompt today was, “Which daily tasks take up the most of your energy?”  Interesting since today was my first day back to work in a few weeks.  Interesting in a really not funny way.  So, obviously, most days I spend MOST of my day/time/energy working.  I get to work from 7:30 to 7:45 and enjoy a few quiet moments before everyone arrives.  I usually start coffee for everyone while my laptop starts up and then I get started!  I am a Marketing Manager for a company that manufactures pool equipment.  What I actually DO has nothing and everything to do with that. I manage our incentive programs and that means a lot of approving, a lot of spreadsheets, tons of numbers and an annual event that takes the best part of a year to plan.  I have a team that is awesome and I work for an executive that is amazingly present even when traveling the greater majority of the year.  I have conference calls and meetings and process improvements and employee reviews and emails and voicemails and travel and budget review.  It take a lot of energy to keep up with the pace that our department runs.  We have no down time to speak of…we have a seasonal industry but we are global so we are constantly shifting from one market to another.  It’s the best of things and the worst of things.  No time to be bored but so fast that you can’t even decide which is your favorite part!  I love it though.  I don’t know how I would function in a place that wasn’t moving so quickly.  It’s certainly the way I operate and the way my colleagues seem to as well.  I think we have all adapted and am pretty glad that it’s the case.  I recharge each night with my family.  They keep me going, as I wrote about yesterday.  Each day is a new challenge, full of opportunities.  I only hope I take advantage of the right ones on a consistent basis!

 

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