I’m so thankful I’m on vacation until a week from today. I haven’t quite felt like myself in a while, and I needed some time to rest, relax, and adjust my attitude. The leaves have hit peak color, and it feels so nice to just enjoy looking out the window. I’m planning on baking myself a cake for my birthday tomorrow. We’re throwing a party for my youngest on Halloween, and I’m especially excited to take that theme and create a great atmosphere for his siblings and friends. We’ll go out trick-or-treating later that night and eat dirt cups afterwards while watching some Halloween specials. We get an extra hour this Halloween night, and I’m kind of excited about that. We’ll have an extra hour to rest. Tuesday is my youngest’s birthday, and we’ll have a batch of cupcakes delivered to his classroom. There’s something so classic as a mother bringing her child cupcakes to share with the class on his or her birthday. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to brace and reinforce myself for the upcoming holiday shopping season — such is the life of a retail worker!
Yesterday I touched on my upcoming projects. Today I’d like to elaborate a bit on my 30 day gratitude challenge. I’ve googled challenges to see if I could find some ideas for each day, although I have a couple of days that have their own themes set for personal reasons. I’ll be sharing links for posts that were inspired by someone else’s previous challenges, and I would like to encourage all of you to follow along with me. Each day in November, stop and note at least one thing you’re thankful for each day. Although my writing habits have been erratic as of late, I like to make a list of five things I’m thankful for each day. My gratitude practice keeps me grounded and happy. I am reminded that life isn’t all bad and that each day has something wonderful in it. If you’d like to share, use the hashtag #3odaysofgratitude on your social media sites of choice.
I’m excited for this time of year. I’ve got plenty of writing projects on my editorial calendar. Starting on Sunday, I’ll be doing a 30 day gratitude challenge for the month of November in honor of Thanksgiving. Then for the first three weeks of December I’ll be doing Kat’s Reverb15 prompts, followed by three weeks of regularly scheduled posting and likely finding my word for 2016. (And I just realized I’ll have Susannah Conway’s delicious Unraveling workbook around then, too!) Then for the last three weeks of January, I’m hosting my annual Cultivate prompt series. I’m very excited for all the projects coming up. I’m especially excited for November because I plan to post a picture and a post each day and archive all of them on Pinterest.
I’m thankful that today is my Friday. I’m thankful that I’ll be enjoying a day off to sleep later tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll write and take pictures. I’ll cook a slow meal. I’ll relax. I’m thankful that I’m less than a week away from my vacation to celebrate my birthday, Halloween, and my youngest’s birthday. There will be plenty of cake and goodies. There will be relaxation and rest. There will be laughter and smiles. I’ll push reset on my battery and recharge for the busy season at work. I’ll dig deep and think hard about my future. I’m thankful that I have this opportunity.
Well, life has been handing me more lemons than I can handle these days. I’ve contemplated where I was 10 years ago, struggling in my final semester as a pre-vet student, knowing full well I would be switching my major if my efforts didn’t succeed. Of course, I didn’t, and I changed my major to English. I’ve thought about where I was 5 years ago, desperately trying to find another job, hoping I could make a living as a tutor and English consultant. Once again, things didn’t work out there, we moved to Georgia, and I discovered that the job market had no room for overqualified candidates like myself. I also discovered that building an online business takes much more effort than I have put forth.
This leads me to question where I’m going with my life and how I can create the lifestyle I would like to live — and give to my family. I’ve considered going back to school, but I don’t know what I would pursue. I could become certified to teacher at the K-12 level, but I don’t know that I would feel able to teach (all that common-core nonsense). I could pursue a Masters or PhD in English. However, I feel like a Masters would leave me in the same boat I’m sinking in right now, and a PhD would pretty much be the only way to go. I would become a professor with a PhD and have more freedom than in a K-12 setting, but I’m still not sure that’s what I’d like to do. I’ve toyed with trying to go back to school to be a vet tech or — dare I say it — veterinarian. Of course, I feel like an idiot to even consider that field again. Beyond those ideas, I really don’t see how going back to school and likely accumulating more debt will further my cause at this point.
I’ve thought about finding a better job. I’ve become less secretive about my occupation in retail, and I’ve spent the last four years learning that retail management is definitely not for me. I’ve been told that I don’t have a “real” job, and that stings. I think what hurts the most, though, is that I work hard for just barely enough to scrape by. However, I live in an area that boasts a carpet mill and an appliance factory — laborious jobs that pay just a little more than my current job that will decrease my quality of life and further my bitterness regarding my educational status. We are a one vehicle household, which really deters me from commuting too far. I feel as though I have to move to find a better job, but I really don’t know where to move to find that better job.
This brings me to my business. It’s failed. I tried, but I didn’t try hard enough. I still put forth more effort into the traditional brick-and-mortar workplace than I do work-from-home and freelance jobs. I don’t market myself. I don’t showcase my talents and skills. I subscribe to entrepreneurs’ newsletters, but I don’t really apply the material. It’s time to stop daydreaming and pretending and start doing. But I’ve hit a point where I don’t really know what I’d like to offer anymore. Perhaps it’s the struggles I’ve been through, but my passion for proofreading and unraveling grammar for others just isn’t there anymore. Whether I can relight that flame or find another passion that can translate to a digital workplace, I’m not sure. This is where I’m at, and I’ll be trying to find my way over the coming months.
We’re starting off another week, inching ever closer to my vacation. I’m ready to put together decorations and games for my littlest child’s birthday party and bake a couple of birthday cakes. I’ve concocted an amazing cookie-bar-turned-cupcake idea that seems to be a unique creation — which will NOT be unveiled until I create it and share the recipe. What can I say? I want credit to come back to me when people fall in love with this amazing little treat! I’m ready for some fall cleaning and decluttering, too. The year is winding down quickly, bringing all the fall and winter holidays ever closer and making me contemplate plans and menus. The days are growing shorter, and the temperatures are cooling. I’m reminded that soon enough I will have a prompt series to host, so I’ll need to start writing prompts and drafting emails. It’s sneaking up on me, but I’m ready for it.