My Why

 

If you follow me on social media, you already know I am an Independent Consultant for Rodan+Fields.  You can’t help but see my posts about the products and business; the before and after photos of skin transformed; the milestones reached and celebrated by my colleagues that changed their reality of living paycheck to paycheck to living the abundant life of their dreams.  My posts my intrigue you, they may annoy you, they may not impact you one way or another.  You may have even put me on ignore (not the first person to do that – I’m a mother and used to being ignored).  That’s the beauty of our unique souls. We can all look at the same thing – and have a different reaction or opinion, regardless of the topic.

I have spent a lot of time telling you why Rodan+Fields is different than other skincare products.  I have spent time telling you why it’s possible to completely change your financial circumstances with this amazing company.  But I don’t think I’ve expressed enough about “my why” that led me to take that leap of faith.  And trust me, it was a leap of faith – not so much in this brand and business – more of a leap of faith in myself.

When I was first approached by my dear friend Janelle about Rodan+Fields, I didn’t say yes right away. I read her email. Read it a few times.  She told me about her friend who partnered with the doctors the year before; a single mom who was living the horror of the economic meltdown as a realtor.  Her business was non-existent, her home was foreclosed, and she had to move herself and her 3 children into her mom’s house, or else would be sleeping on the streets. Two years after joining Rodan+Fields, she was paying thousands of dollars a month in private school tuition for her once almost homeless children.  That’s how dramatically her business took off and her paycheck grew.

It sounded good.  It sounded TOO good, if you know what I mean.  I thanked her for the information, but it wasn’t for me.  I’m not a sales person.  What did I know about skincare?  Heck, I barely washed my face, and when I did, it was with the cheapest product I could find at any grocery store, because I was a tightwad.  As great as Traci’s success story sounded, I didn’t think I’d experience it – because that kind of success only happens to OTHER people. They don’t happen to people like me. I’m not that lucky, or blessed or worthy. Or so I told myself.

Deep down, I wanted to believe it was possible.  So I watched Janelle as she started her R+F business.  I knew her struggles as a newly single mom of two little boys, and I wanted to see my favorite friend succeed!  I didn’t comment or like a whole lot on her Facebook postings, but I watched and secretly cheered her on.  Circumstances in my job a few months later forced me to re-evaluate and find a new revenue stream, so before I truly was ready to jump into this business, I jumped.  Out of blind faith.  Closed my eyes, borrowed the money for the kit, and jumped.

My goals in the beginning were to make my kit cost back so I could repay my brother.  And then, maybe make $200 a month – my best case scenario.  $200…that could take some pressure of my day-to-day finances, and that’s as big as I dared to dream.  Simple, easy goals. Honestly, I didn’t think it was possible for making a ton of money, and I’d consider it a success if I made that much.

I look back on those little goals and realize I didn’t know how to dream big!  Someone was offering me a chance to make millions – literally millions of dollars are on the table – and there I was saying,”Oh no, I’ll be happy with $200 a month, thank you very much! I don’t have time to make millions! I’m too busy living this HARD life!”

I had plenty of excuses to not go for it – I didn’t know a lot of people, the people I did know were struggling to make ends meet – just like I was struggling – and wondered why anyone would buy skincare product from me.  And I didn’t have time.  What single, full-time working parent has extra time?  Not me.  And then there were the doubts. Who I am?  What did I know? I mean really, who I was to sell them anything?

I really only knew one thing – I didn’t want them to purchase products from me because I was desperate.  I didn’t want them to “do me a favor”.  I wanted someone, anyone, to try the products out of curiosity and a desire to achieve the results I was blasting all over Facebook.  I didn’t want to be that person that everyone dreaded seeing. I actually worried that this new venture would “change” me…and I was resistant to change…which is just dumb.  Why wouldn’t I WANT change?  Maybe because the hard life was all I knew.  It was uncomfortable.  It was stressful.  But it was familiar.  I thought that level of stress, hard work and struggles were normal and part of everyone’s life  – except those fortunate rich ones who led blissfully full and stressfree lives.  The hard life was my destiny. Who am I to try and change destiny?

For the first couple of years, I let that voice, those words, that disbelief, those fears and that unworthiness, dictate my success.  I worked it very part time.  Maybe 1 – 2 hours a month – if that.  It’s not that I didn’t want to work it more, it’s just that I had a full plate;  40+ hours a week at the “real” job, in the throws of single motherhood of teenagers and all that comes with it, while juggling a high conflict and demanding relationship with The Toxic Boyfriend that sapped most of my time, energy and strength.  I literally only had minutes a month to spare for Rodan+Fields.  Even though I totally fell in the love with the products – I jumped in as a consultant before even trying a single product.  Even though I saw the transformations of my skin happening right before my eyes – I barely talked about it.  Because I was busy.  I know, I know…I’m shaking my head at me too.

Still, I surprised myself at my little successes.  I built up a pretty solid base, slowly, of customers. And I met those little goals – paying back my brother, bringing home an extra $200 a month.  At the time, I thought that was enough.  That was me “working” my business.

Fast forward to 2014, and my world seemed to go off the rails.  It actually started in November 2013, when I finally broke up for good with The Toxic Boyfriend, and promptly jumped into a new relationship.  I thought my dream man had finally shown up and I wasn’t about to let him get away.  By January, my dream man was proving to be a bit unstable emotionally.  One day he’s crazy about me…the next day he doesn’t want to see me…a few weeks later he’s nuts about me and oh so sorry…and then he’s confused and doesn’t want to hurt me and needs his space.  Ugh.   It was the beginning of a steep and topsy turvy rollercoaster ride I had no idea I had strapped myself on.

January was also the month I was also dragged by my friend Jeanie to my very first mammogram, 8 years after I should have shown up.  I know, I know, I was busy living that hard life – remember?  Know what’s worse than waiting 8 years to get your first recommended mammogram?  Having a mom who is a bi-lateral breast cancer survivor, who had the unfortunate and rare experience of being diagnosed with two different types of breast cancer within 12 days of each other.  Probably not my smartest decision.

What does that say about me? It says I had my head firmly and deeply implanted in the sand.  I was told not to be surprised if I got a letter a week or two later asking me to return for a second mammogram, just so they could compare the two.  I was ready to see that letter show up.  I wasn’t ready for the phone call the next day telling me I needed to get a doctor immediately (because it had been YEARS since I had even seen one and didn’t officially even have a doctor – yup, head firmly planted).  I had left the “preventing” stage to the “diagnosing” stage in the blink of an eye, and I had to have a doctor on board during the many diagnostic tests that were being ordered to guide me and care for me during the process.

I was fortunate. That scare turned out to be far better than originally thought.  Everything was still in the “pre-cancer” stage, so after they grabbed a chunk or two of breast tissue and took a whole lot of invasive tests and did a whole lot of poking, smashing, prodding, x-raying and slicing, they finally left me alone after they inserted some titanium chips. I now get the cool claim of fame of having one titanium breast. 😉   I thought I was in the clear and successfully avoided the beast.  Until the next month, when other symptoms presented that had me running back to my new doctor. More tests revealed that beast I thought I had avoided, was actually hiding in my left ovary causing all sorts of problems and was a bit harder to tame.

Now that should have gotten my attention – and it did.  But it didn’t keep my attention.  Instead, my fears turned into “How do I tell The Unstable Boyfriend, who had severe abandonment issues caused by women leaving him, that I had cancer and could be checking out sooner than originally planned?”   That I needed him to finally decide that he really did care about me more than he cared about his fears and step up and hold my hand down this scary road.  I didn’t want him to feel he was OBLIGATED to stay beside me or else look like a schmuck who dumps the girl with cancer.  I mean really, who wants that?  Not me. I wanted him to realize that he cared about me and didn’t want to lose me to cancer or to anything else.  That’s what my heart wanted – that he’d realized he loved me so much, he would be beside me through the good and bad times.  Unsure how to tell him, made worse by his wishy-washy level of commitment, I decided to tell him in such a positive, upbeat way that it wouldn’t occur to him that my diagnosis and treatment would impact our relationship whatsoever, and wasn’t any bigger of a deal than getting a root canal.

I won’t rehash the details of my surgery and hospitalization and post surgery complications that followed me throughout the year.  I’m healthy today and that’s all that matters.  But I won’t claim that it was easy.  Physically, it was difficult. I transformed from a youthful, healthy looking 48 year old who walked miles a day, to realizing that people in nursing homes walked faster than I did those first few weeks post surgery.  Emotionally was way worse. The Unstable Boyfriend realized during the 5 days I was in the hospital that he was still in love with his ex-girlfriend – and cut and run.  (Perrrrfect timing.)  Plus I learned from a neighbor the first week I was home from the hospital that the The Ex-Toxic Boyfriend had married someone else 2 months after our 10 year relationship ended.  To add insult to injury (he was SUPPOSED to be miserable without me, right?), he moved her into the house that I had spent our last year together remodeling “for us” – which is conveniently located around the corner from me.  (Note to self – Don’t ever date a neighbor.) Not only did I have to digest the fact that he moved on so quickly (and not bitterly focus on the fact after our relationship ended, I got cancer and had a sucky life and he got married and had a blissful life – when I was the NICE one), I also had to accept that another woman was using the shower I tiled, sleeping in a bedroom I painted, watering the flower beds I created and cooking in a kitchen I designed.  I was reminded of this each time I saw them together driving in and out of our neighborhood and taking their nightly walks as a new family.   I threw myself a well-deserved pity party for a month or two or three, then decided it was just a big fat waste of time.  As anyone whose faced a crummy diagnosis knows, time shouldn’t be wasted for any reason.

Feeling as though life had given too many punches and knocked me down to my knees, I stepped away from Rodan + Fields. I didn’t quit, I just didn’t actively share the products or talk about it.  I still used them, I still had customers.  I just put my energies into healing my body, my heart, and spirit.

It worked.  I healed, I grew, and I fell in love again.  This time with a real man, who doesn’t play games (other than sports) and who loves me completely.  We had fun, we travelled together to far away places, made memories, lived through heartbreaking losses, loved hard, fought hard, took some time apart, and reconciled.  For the first time since I was a young girl, I began to imagine what life could look like with a partner. I began to dream of a better life, where I had the funds to permanently end financial stress, and the time to spend with those I love without fitting them in around a busy schedule.  That I had the time and money to donate to the causes I’m passionate about, helping those strangers and loved ones who still struggle.

I knew, if I wanted THAT life – that BETTER life I envisioned – I had to create it. It’s not going to be handed to me on a silver platter.  I’m not going to win the lottery.  I’m not going to marry a rich man who puts me up in a castle.  I didn’t need ANY of those things to happen, because for the first time, I realized the POWER to create the life I envisioned, was INSIDE me ALREADY.  I couldn’t create it doing what I was already doing – making ends meet, stressed and fearful of losing everything.  My only expected increase in wage being a tiny cost of living raise that someone else determined.  I had to do something different.  Think outside of the box. Change how I made money, how I spent my time, even those little minutes of free time that pop in and out each hour.  I was FINALLY dreaming big.  It was time I started WORKING towards those big dreams.

I considered various second jobs.  I considered one new job.  Time and time again I kept coming back to Rodan+Fields.  Even though I hadn’t been actively working it for the past two years, I continued to get paid.  For literally doing nothing.  Because I did the work YEARS before.  That was my first “ah ha” moment about residual income.  Get paid over and over for doing something once.  Brilliant!

The second “ah ha” moment was watching my R+F colleagues who kept working their business when I stepped back, and even some who joined AFTER I stepped back, achieve incredible success.  Many of them were able to retire themselves from full time work outside the home, even if they were only in their 30s!  And some of them were SO successful, they also retired their spouses, after they began making more in one MONTH than they used to make in one YEAR.

At first I was skeptical.  They must have been already famous.  Or already rich.  Or surrounded by a huge circle of friends with money.  But month after month, as the announcements continued to come of the next crop of success stories, free Lexus earners and millionaires, in month 18, or 27, or 35 in the business, they achieved financial freedom AND time freedom, my skepticism began to turn into “what if”.

And then I had my third “ah ha” moment.  If they could do it, so could I.  I began to repeat that to myself – If they can do it – SO CAN I!  They aren’t smarter, nicer, more talented, more connected or better than me. If THEY can do it – SO CAN I!

They too started at zero.  Zero customers.  Zero consultants under them.  A team of one.  What made them different from me?  They WORKED their business every week.  They didn’t give up.  They didn’t step back.  Their focus didn’t waver from the life they envisioned.  Even when they heard no thank you, even when others didn’t see the vision, even when they were put on ignore, and even when people they thought loved and supported them…didn’t.  They endured through it all.

My “why” is complex.  It’s to get me to a life that I see only with my inner eye and daydreams.  It’s to start LIVING life FULLY and JOYFULLY.

If I hadn’t been so fortunate with an early diagnosis that was curable, and suffered more or died, I would have been SO MAD at myself for not fighting for a better life than what had been handed to me.  For accepting mediocracy and difficulties as the norm.  Life ISN’T supposed to be hard – just to die!  I wanted to play! I wanted to travel! I wanted TIME to enjoy my children and grandchildren after raising them was over.  Isn’t that the reward every parent is deserving?  I wanted to live life fearlessly!  I wanted to FINALLY finish something I started.  It’s to show MYSELF that I AM successful, powerful, influential, loving, kind, and generous, and WORTHY of an abundant life!  It’s to drown out those unwelcomed and insecure voices inside that doubted my worthiness and abilities and ignited my fears.  It’s to see others lives change because I took a chance and believed in myself – earning their trust that they took a chance and invested themselves, their appearance, their self-confidence and self-worth.  I want to MATTER, to make a DIFFERENCE in other’s lives of those I’ve touched. It’s to be an EXAMPLE to my kids and grandkids, that BIG DREAMS can come true and not settle for anything less.

So that’s “My Why”.  Complicated.  More far-reaching than even I realized when I started this blog post.  And far more important that I realized before thoughtfully and passionately putting it into words.

I can’t help wondering….what is your why?  Where is it taking you?  How are you achieving it.  When will you start living it?  I’d be honored to hear your answers.  I’d be blessed to learn from you.

I leave you with one final thought.

If I can do it – SO CAN YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Charmed Life

My life is charming!

There!  I said it!  Don’t roll your eyes. And for heaven’s sake, don’t feel envious.  Because I know – even if you don’t know – that you too have a charming life.

What it doesn’t mean is that my life is perfect.  I look back at my life, the ups and downs, joys and heartaches, good health and sickness, prosperity and scraping by, and what I see is BALANCE.  Maybe it’s because I’m a Libra, or maybe not.  Regardless, balance in my world is necessary for my sanity.  It’s how I’m wired.

It doesn’t mean that I want the tough times.  Doesn’t mean that I wish they’d return when times are good so I feel “balanced”.  Not at all.  I’d prefer the tough times would end forever and only beautiful, abundant happiness was in my future.  Trust me – that’s the life I choose.  That’s the life I’m creating.  The life I’m finding.  But it’s the tough times that have taught me the most, maybe because I learned best the hard way (dangit).  Those tough times have given me even more appreciation for my charmed life.

I always thought I was this easy going, accepting, creative soul.  I have many friends.  It’s easy for me to make more friends, so I have this impression that I’m generally well-liked.  I’m proud of my 3 grown kids and love them very much (and my wonderful daughter-in-law!) and feel overall, I have a loving relationship with each of them. I’m completely in love with my two grandchildren. And if you could see them, you would be too. 🙂  They are my joy and my light. 🙂  My dogs are my favorite companions. I actually turn down social invitations when I feel I’ve been away from them too much, just so we can spend time together.  Yes, I’m THAT girl!  And then there is Tyler.  No man has ever made me feel more loved and more beautiful than him.  It all sounds sooo good. And trust me, it is.

But it isn’t always this good, all the time.  There are setbacks and speedbumps along the way.  But I’m learning to look at them differently – more like opportunities to learn better, to rise up, overcome and dig deep to find the strength and determination  already inside me to hurl myself past them.  As I continue to evolve in this life, I have become obsessed with elevating my spiritual connection.  There are times when my obsession ebbs and I get distracted with other things, and then there are times, like now, where much of my energy is spent studying and learning and opening my mind and heart. This started again several months ago, when in the depths of grief over losing my dog Bella and ending my relationship with Tyler in the same week, I was grasping to understand how this horrible time in my life could happen to someone as fabulous as me.  (Shhhh…I can hear you snickering.)

I wrote in detail below of my love and loss for Bella below. I still don’t understand why our time together was cut short in this life.  I still grieve for her each day.  And that will be ongoing until I leave this life.  Tyler and I have reconciled after 4 long months apart, and he is getting reacquainted with the “new Cindy” that showed up to meet him in May.  I like to remind him, when I react differently than the “old Cindy” would have reacted, that I put my pieces back together differently this time.  🙂

Truthfully, I’m still putting my pieces back together.

My impression earlier that I was likeable (and I am!) and generally healthy in a spiritual way, was fairly accurate, but by no means was I finished developing.  No resting on my laurels for me.  I will be actively trying to improve myself until I leave this life – or dementia sets in…whichever comes first.  😉

The past few months I’ve diligently spent time reading articles and books based on spirituality and self-empowerment and listening to podcasts of my all time favorite spiritual leader – Dr. Wayne Dyer – I realized that while I was pretty good before, there was MUCH room for improvement.  I had to take a good, hard, long look at my role in conflicts; recognize my emotional crutches and go-to excuses and get rid of them before I could elevate my spirituality.  I had to let go of all the things that were anchoring me down.  Conflicts.  Resentments.  Anger.  Rejection. Hurt. Inadequacy. Being the Martyr. Bitterness.  Judgement. Self-pity. Condemnation. Grudges. I had them all.  Still do on occasion.  It isn’t pretty.  But it’s accurate.

In my defense, (much like your defense, I imagine) I felt I was justified to feel, create and hold onto those negative emotions.  People I loved and trusted had hurt me, disappointed me, betrayed me.

Regardless, I had to let those feelings go.  And let me tell you, it’s something I have to do every single day because life happens every single day.  An argument happens, a backstabbing occurs, a friend blows me off, a child is rude, a boss is demanding, divisive hate-filled political posts are filling up my social media newsfeeds (ugh), and I find myself getting sucked right back into those negative emotions.  At my best, I let it go immediately and don’t react.  At my worst, I react strongly and say and think unkind things to or about the people I love and respect the most, under the guise of “venting”.  It’s unbecoming and detrimental to achieving what I truly want the most – an abundant, love-filled life.

To create the life of my dreams – I have to see it and live it right now, as IF that life already exists.  I have to change my thoughts to change my life (another Dr. Dyer quote) and envision that life as if it ALREADY exists.

I have a dear friend who is gifted medium psychic.   During various readings, spirit has reminded me that I have already created “many” lives in this life.  I bet you have too.  I was a young child living with my family.  I was a rebellious, impulsive teenager. I was a high-school dropout. I was a college student. I was a young wife and mother.  I was a stay-at-home mom.  I was a substitute school teacher.  I was a devout Mormon.  I was a victim’s advocate.  I was a witness. I was a single mother struggling to make ends meet.  I was a unofficial stepmom.  I was a cancer patient.

Through some of those lives, I was secretly hoping to die, pretending to enjoy life when the last thing I really wanted to do was continue the struggle to survive.  I didn’t want to end my life. That wasn’t an option. I never wanted to give that legacy to my children.  I just hoped the end was near and I could be free of the stress, pressure, sadness and hardness of this world.  I would hear myself repeat the saying daily, “Life is hard, and then you die.”  Life WAS hard.  I WAS waiting to die. How’s that for the honest and ugly truth?

Our lives are filled with ups and downs, good times and tough times, joy and sadness.  Some times are harder than others, and some of those harder experiences are tragic permanent markers that define our “befores” and “afters”.  Those change who we are – either in a good way or bad way.  It’s really our choice.  Will this break me?  Will this harden me?  Will this soften me?  Will this open my heart?  No matter what happens to us, how it impacts us is truly our choice.  There is always room to improve.  There is always more love to give.  There is always more forgiveness to embrace.  There is always more service we can provide. There is always more tolerance inside us.  There is always more acceptance, there is always a reminder that my path and your path might be different, but equally as vital.

I have learned a couple of things. If we are stagnant in our positions, beliefs and mindset, we are incapable of growth.  If we are convinced we’ve found all the answers, we are incapable of learning.  If we believe life is hard – life is hard. We create the world we believe in.  What you believe – determines how you behave – which determines what you become.  Think about that for a minute.  What you are right now, is what you believed you were yesterday.

As Dr. Dyer often said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  Some of the things I’ve learned are humbling.  For instance, despite my assertions to the contrary,  I lived a fear-based life.  I always thought of and prepared for the worst case scenarios when going anywhere.  I was overly prepared to handle any emergency, detour and trauma that surely was on its way.  I rarely considered the best case scenario.  Those fears stopped me – for decades – of truly living, experiencing and loving life.  I treated life like a chore.  All work, little play, a lot of stress and the only relief in sight was death – IF you worthy to get those angel wings.

My life today is simple and complicated. It’s full and yet, there’s so much more to add to it. Today, I am loved.  You may not realize how wonderful it feels to say that (or type it) out-loud.  I reject the insecurities that once plagued me, and replaced them with a positive belief in who I am.  I realize that life was hard, because I thought then that’s what I deserved – that’s all I was worthy to receive.  I realize now how destructive that mindset and insecurity was to my emotional well-being.  And if you struggle with this, believe me when I say it’s destructive to your emotional well-being.

Today, I am worthy of a blessed, abundant, charmed life.  I am proud of where I’ve been and where I’m going.  I am a daughter. I am a mother. I am a grandmother.  I am a sister, aunt and friend.  I am a lover.  I am successful business woman, and I am embracing the next adventure that comes along the way as I know my life will continue to evolve.

What are you?  I would love to hear your positive descriptions of you!

My life hasn’t been perfect.  I haven’t been perfect.  I’ve come to realize that perfection isn’t really my goal, though I spent years telling myself to attain it.  Loving life, loving myself, loving all these wonderful people and pets that are in my world fully, deeply, passionately and without fear is my goal.  Growing, learning, evolving and creating is my goal.  Racing past my fears, self-doubt and discouragement and land firmly in the world of possibilities, what-ifs, and unlimited abundance is my goal. I imagine when I get there – my face will be as wide-eyed and awed as it was the moment Kendal and arrived in Cancun in 2014.  Inspiring others to live and love fearlessly (but not carelessly), to believe in their own personal power to change their circumstances is my goal.

Lofty goals indeed.  I can do it. Because I have a charmed life.  And so do you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bella – The Prettiest Girl in the World

I see her in my mind’s eye; so many memories of her. Her head cocked looking at me, ears slightly up. Or her gaze intently staring at me, ears fully up, like during our talks.  I see her when I give Champ and Ellie a treat, waiting for hers, hearing her soft whine to not leave her out of the fun.  I see her herding Ellie as I teach her to walk on a leash, to sit, stay, come, and understand the rules of the house. Even in spirit, I’m sure she’s still bossing others around.

I want to feel her touch, her warm nose and her soft licks. I want to feel her body press up against mine as she leans in for a hug. She was the best hugger, perfectly resting her head on my shoulder. I see her trying to get to me in my mind’s eye when I’m crying; trying to let me know she’s there, but I can’t feel her physically. Try as I might, I can’t feel her.  It crushes me. I see her on our walks, running along, tail and ears up and gleefully pouncing on little critters hiding in the brush, and chasing the herd of deer standing off in the meadow. My feet still feel for her at night, and when I feel Champ instead (who now sleeps in her spot on the bed) I’m reminded that she’s gone. It’s going to be a different reality…forever.  I have to live the rest of my days without her. She’s never coming back.  That’s the hardest to accept. That’s what brings me to my knees.

I’m positive Champ sees her. I’m equally positive he misses her physical presence just as much as I do.  In a strange way, he is the only one who truly feels the same depth of grief of losing her, even though we all miss her terribly.  The three of us were a team. A pack. A tribe. A family.

I feel his grief and loss emanating from his soul as he gazes questioningly into my eyes.  When I softly ask him where Bella has gone or ask if he can see her, his eyes leave my face and began to wander around the room, as if tracking something – or someone.  I like to think it’s her. He watches me intently now, a look once reserved for only when treats were in my hand. Now he’s on alert for that first sniff as my eyes flood and my shoulders start to shake while I stifle the sound of my sobs.  His tongue darts to my face, something he isn’t normally allowed to do, targeting my tears as they fall.

I’ve loved many animals throughout my life. I still do. Each one is special and unique to me. My connection to Bella is different.  From the instant I saw her puppy face on the shelter’s website, I knew she was my dog. I can’t explain it any other way.  She was my dog and I had to go get her.  It’s not like she was the first dog I had seen.  I had been looking at dogs and puppies on various websites for months and hadn’t felt that way about any of the available dogs.  The only way I can explain it is that I recognized her; like you recognize a family member you haven’t seen in years.

I went to the adoption event with the sole purpose to adopt her – my dog. I saw her immediately and watched intently as potential adopters passed by her cage.  I fretted silently that someone else would get to her first.  There were quite a few people there and we were taken to the cages in groups of ten.  But, as fate would have it, Bella had a bit of an attitude about the whole thing.  She stayed huddled up in her cage, with her back turned to everyone, and promptly fell asleep – ignoring all the commotion – which is so unlike my nosey Bella.  She always had to be in the middle of everything.  The other adopters were enamored with the young puppies, jumping up and down excitedly to get their attention. Bella was an older puppy, larger and fearful and had no interest whatsoever in the people walking past her.  She didn’t trust people.  She was afraid of everything. She wanted to be left alone.  Last thing she wanted was someone to notice her and approach her. Not that different from many humans, perhaps even me throughout my life.  And her avoidance technique worked until Emily and I showed up.

When it was finally our turn, I inquired about her specifically, bypassing all the other happy, playful puppies. The shelter worker said she was available, but was a “special needs” dog, given her extreme shyness.  I could tell she expected me to pass on meeting her by the surprised look in her eyes when I said that was ok, I still wanted to meet her.  They instructed us to sit on the hard floor and they brought Bella to us.  She wouldn’t make eye contact.  She was panting heavily, her back hunched, head drooping to the ground, trembling uncontrollably and drooling…oh the drooling…unlike I’ve ever seen before.  More like slime than drops of drool.  She really knew how to sell herself. 😉  We petted and talked to her softly.  Occasionally she’d glance up at us and make eye contact and softly wag the tip of her tail.  Emily asked, “Who will love her if we don’t?”  She didn’t need to ask, because I already knew this drooling, shaking, fraidy-dog was ours.  The rescue group told us her story – seized from her original owner for abuse in Kansas, probably never let out of a cage, and was hours away from being euthanized before they arrived and took her.  Two days later, she came home where she belonged.

I had to teach her to overcome her fear of everything…and I mean everything. Doors, stairs, grass, noises, leashes, walks, people, children, dogs, cats, baths, parked cars, idling cars – just to name a few  – and the worst fear – car rides.  Every trip to the vet or Petsmart was an ordeal, accompanied by the slime drool she was famous for and often included the added bonus of puking before we could get out of the neighborhood.  But, within 2 weeks she was a completely different dog.  Silly, rambunctious, playful and sweet, but still liked having her own space.  She’d cuddle up on the couch next to me while I watched  TV, but if I petted her too much, she’d give me that look, slowly leave the couch and cuddle up on the floor instead, just out of my reach  letting me know she loved me, but she needed her alone time.  Again, kind of like me.  After 6 months, I knew she was bored and needed a friend, and that’s when Champ joined our family.  Champ was her everything.  Her partner in crime, her best doggie friend, her brother, her love.  She was extra protective of him, knowing his leg amputation made him special.

I planned on us growing old together. I assumed that Champ would cross over before her, and in the end, it would be her and I together.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I’ll never forget that day when I realized how wrong I was.  It was a beautiful and sunny Sunday morning in January.  She was bright eyed and perky.  Wanted to go outside immediately, running down the stairs gleefully as she always did.  Wanted to go on a walk as usual, sniff the usual places looking for the usual suspects.  Wanted to snack through her breakfast, so unlike Champ who wolfed the whole thing down immediately.

I found her a few hours later lying on my bed. I chatted with her as I puttered around the bedroom, talking to her as I folded laundry.  The tip of her tail would barely wag and she had the saddest eyes.  I stopped my puttering and sat next to her.  Asking if she was ok.  Asking if her belly hurt, rubbing her face, running my hands all over her body looking for lumps or wounds.  I tried to perk her up, saying all the things that she’d normally respond to, but she just laid there looking up at me intently.  And I felt it for the first time.  That dread.  That foreboding feeling that something was wrong.  My mind frantically began thinking what it could be.  Did she eat something?  Does she have a blockage?  Did she catch a virus? And immediately I tried to tell myself it was nothing serious.  It would pass.  She would snap out of it. She HAD to snap out of it.

Eventually she came off the bed, wandered downstairs and took a small drink. Then she promptly threw it up.  I was almost relieved when she did that, thinking at the time it confirmed that she had a tummy ache and nothing worse.  She was moving slowly, carefully.  I let her outside and she just stood by the door, sniffing the air before coming back inside and laying down.  Eventually I had her snuggle up on the couch with me and my boyfriend Tyler, her head in my lap, while we watched TV.  The feeling of dread was getting stronger.  She seemed to be getting weaker right before my eyes.

I thought I’d wait till Monday morning when the vet was open to take her in, but by later that night I knew she wouldn’t make it. Her breathing became louder, shorter noisy shallow breaths with each inhale of air.  I had to get her help right away.  I remember walking into the Emergency Vet with my son Kendal.  The attendant asked what was wrong, and I burst into tears and said “I don’t know what’s wrong with my dog.”  A tech came over with a stethoscope and listened to her chest.  Without saying a word to me, she scooped up my 65 pound dog and carried her into the back.  The attendant stopped me from following and handed me a pile of paperwork to fill out and sign.  One of them was for “emergency life-saving authorization” form which I immediately signed.  After what felt like a lifetime, but probably only 15 minutes, I was ushered into a small room with Kendal and told to wait.

A female vet came in and introduced herself. She told us that Bella was less than an hour away from death when we came in. They could not hear any heart tones through the stethoscope.  Because I signed that form, they had already started an IV, done an ultrasound and discovered she had a ruptured tumor near her heart that was filling the space around her heart with fluid, preventing it from beating normally.  They had stuck a needle in her chest, twice, to get the fluid out.  Bella was feeling much better, but we were told to expect it to happen again.  In a day.  Or a week.  Or a couple of weeks.  But certainly not longer than that.

I went from having a healthy, happy, playful dog that morning, to being told she was going to die – soon. There was no time to process.  Sure we could meet with a heart specialist.  Sure we could start treating her for cancer.  It might give her a week or two of life.  And it would cost $3,000 upfront just to start.  Or we could enjoy the time we had left with her, after we paid the $600 bill that had already accrued in that 15 minutes.  I was handed information on end of life decisions.  I was told they were open 24/7 and when they time came; they would assist Bella transition to the other side.

It’s hard to explain what it feels like to be shattered and numb at the same time. I was functioning on auto-pilot and not functioning at all, simultaneously.  I was suspended between disbelief at the diagnosis and determination to save her and complete hopelessness and utter despair that I would lose her.  I hand fed her rotisserie chicken and spent every second I could by her side, trying to “love” her into healing and staying with me in this life.  I called other vets for second opinions, and finally found one that could see her on Friday morning.  I kept telling her to stay with me. To hold on.  To beat this.  At first she seemed to be getting stronger, and then she started to decline. By Thursday night, the loud, short and shallow breathing had returned.  And I knew.  She just looked at me with the saddest eyes, and I knew it was time.  I texted my kids and told them.  Alex and Karen, too far away, sent their love and prayers. Kendal came home from work and picked up Emily from her apartment, and together we drove back to the Emergency Vet. They could see that the fluid had built back up, exactly as predicted and she had hours left to live without another life-saving intervention, which would give her maybe another 4 days of life –  if we were lucky.

They put us in another room, with a soft cozy blanket on the ground. We sat there with Bella, talking to her. Reminiscing about her silly antics, her most memorable moments, and breaking down to kiss her. All while handing over credit cards and cash (Kendal wanted to pitch in on the costs) right there on the floor to process the payment of ending my dog’s life, signing paperwork giving permission to cremate her, and paying additional fees to have her remains returned to me.  Strange to be doing it all with Bella listening and waiting.

The vet told us what would happen, how quickly it would happen, 10 seconds or less from start to finish. Assured us she wouldn’t feel pain.  We watched them insert an IV into her front paw.  Watched her administer the meds that would stop her heart.  I was sitting by her head, rubbing her ears.  Emily was next to me stroking her belly.  Kendal was next to Emily rubbing her back.  The vet told us to expect her to just lay there quietly and very still as she crossed.  But Bella was different from day one.  Smarter, stronger, more special, and in this last moment of life, determined to give us each one last goodbye.  As the meds flowed into her veins, she lifted her head and looked at me intently, then turned her head and looked at Emily, then turned even more and looked at Kendal, saying goodbye to each of us, before her head fell limply into my hands.

I’ve experienced death before of loved ones. I’ve had 5 miscarriages, 2 of them late term. I’ve lost 2 brothers, my father and my niece, all unexpectedly and all broke my heart.  I’ve experienced traumatic loss when my sister was brutally murdered, which literally changed the course of my life.  Each one was hard for various reasons, and in each case I had to walk the path of grief alone.  I had details to take care of, children to care for, funerals to plan and pay for, aftermaths to clean up and heal.  My kids saw me survive those losses, face them head on and get through them.  They didn’t really see me cry, since that was reserved for when I was alone; late at night while they were sleeping; in the shower or driving alone in my car.  I protected them from most of it as best I could, putting on a brave (but fake) front of strength, going about life and routine as normally as I could.

But as I walked away from Bella’s lifeless body that night, my own body stopped functioning normally. My legs couldn’t hold me.  The tears couldn’t stop.  My vocal chords couldn’t stop wailing. Emily and Kendal had to literally put their arms around me and half drag/half carry me to my car. For the first time, they had to listen to my wailing sobs as we drove away, see my swollen red face and eyes, see the tears constantly running down my cheeks.  And hear it and see it for weeks.  I still can’t talk about Bella without tearing up and breaking down, overcome by grief and loss.

This loss, the loss of my sweet Bella, was different from all my other losses. Some will say she was just a dog.  But I can tell you she was much more.  She was my best friend.  She was my confidant and secret keeper.  She was my constant companion for 8.5 years.  She was my roommate.  She was my bedmate.  She was my walking buddy, my fierce protector, my silliest, smartest friend.  She was by my side as I healed from cancer surgery, literally positioning her body fully next to mine after returning home from the hospital, her head propped up against my forehead.  She was my helper in the garden, sticking her nose into each pot I filled with dirt and each hole I dug for seeds.  She was my watering buddy, who would stand next to me as I watered the garden and lawn, while Champ was safely tucked inside the house at his request since he hated the hose.  She was my traveling buddy. Yes, the same girl who once puked and slime drooled her way to every appointment, gleefully jumped in the car to go wherever, preferably someplace she could run free and sniff to her heart’s content.  She was my naughty girl, escaping from the back yard to chase the pack of El Packas that used to be behind my house, only to be chased right back.  And she was the same naughty girl who joyously rolled all over the carcass of a rotting skunk while off leash despite my orders to stay away from it, which resulted in both of us needing a bath.  She was the family clown, who openly pulled faces at us, knowing it would make us laugh.  She was the cleaner of floors, who made sure every drop of food that landed was promptly eaten.  She was the quiet beggar who believed that every morsel of food that was going into my mouth should actually be going into hers, and made sure I knew this as she gently laid her head on my knees and stared woefully into my eyes.

She was my girl. And I miss her with every fiber of my being and soul.  She was the one that gave and taught me about unconditional love.  She didn’t care how rich or poor I was, if I wore makeup or not, if I was wearing raggy clothes or a designer dress. She loved me, and she wanted to be by my side.  I look back on the last week before I knew she was sick, and try to forgive myself for not knowing.  Not knowing she was sick.  Not knowing our time together was ending.  Not spending every minute with her instead of working, going on trips, going out with friends.  Not knowing our last walk…was our last walk, her last silly stunt was her last silly stunt, her last happy dance was her last happy dance.  There was no fanfare, no encore performance like there are at concerts, when you know a great time is about to end.  No warning that I needed to snap more pictures with my camera and with my heart, to look back on and remember forever.  We are blissfully and ignorantly unaware that life as we know it is about to change, and take all those moments for granted, assuming there would be more for years to come.

It’s been 6 months since I lost Bella. Six very long months.  Life has continued to evolve and move on.  Champ has gotten slower and I know that soon, he will join Bella in spirit – the only consolation I have is knowing they will be together again, happy, healthy and whole.  Ellie joined our family and I know in my heart, Bella chose her for us.  She knew that Ellie had lost her family, lost her babies, lost her home.  And we had lost our girl.  It was a perfect fit and brought more love into our lives and hearts.

This silly, once scared fraidy-dog, stole my heart, changed my life. Pretty incredible for those who say she’s just a dog.  Most humans are incapable of accomplishing this much.  I will miss her forever, every minute of every day, until it’s my turn to join her and Champ in spirit.

I love you Bella girl.  You are the prettiest girl in the world. Stay by me always.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Go Naked

RFGoNaked2016I thought that headline would get your attention.  😉

I’ve wondered how to start this blog today.  There has been much heartache and anger in our country the past couple of days.  I haven’t spoken about any of it on social media, instead using the time to digest it all.  It’s horrific. It’s so incredibly awful. My heart aches for all who are hurting.  There simply aren’t words for what happened to the two men whose deaths were broadcasted live on social media, and what happened to the policemen doing their job in Dallas – who had nothing to do with the deaths of those two men.  A horrible outcome that has impacted us all, stirred up the rhetoric on both sides even more, and caused even more hatred to divide us as a nation – all  because of the actions of a few.

I had been looking forward to July 8th for the past 5 or 6 weeks.  I knew it was Rodan + Fields third annual  #RFGoNaked  day, where we post make-up free selfies on social media.  For each picture, #rodanandfields would donate $5.00 to the #Buildon organization who would use those funds to provide students with positive afterschool opportunities in a safe, nurturing environment.  Students in inner cities who don’t have many safe and healthy options once class has been dismissed, and who all too often are left on their own to follow a crowd of peers them down a terrible path that steers them off course for most of their lives.

Honestly, it seemed a little weird to focus most of my social media postings on promoting this very worthy cause and effort after the massacre last night in Dallas.  That is what is on the forefront of everyone’s mind.  Those police officers. Their families.  The aftermath. But as I continued to monitor my different social media newsfeeds today, I began to see how important it was for a group to come together and promote good, especially during these divisive times.

And that’s when I knew what to write in my blog today.  Let’s come together, to do good for others we don’t know, will never meet, will never see the difference we’ve made in individual lives.  Whether it’s to join this cause or participate in another equally good cause, let’s do it.  We’ve seen how quickly power fueled by hate and anger can rile up total strangers to spew and act on more hate and anger on their fellow American.  Let’s send a strong message to our fellow American’s who have inadvertently found themselves  as soldiers fighting FOR hate.

Just imagine what the power of love will do.  That doesn’t mean we don’t want people held accountable, it just means we won’t use their actions to hurt our fellow Americans, even those we disagree with mightily.  Let’s keep the eye on the BIG prize for all of us, unity and peace in OUR United States, as citizens, as neighbors, as strangers, as friends, as Americans.  I urge you all to promote GOOD things on your social media account.  Lift UP, rise UP, one another.  Let’s come together as soldiers on the side of LOVE to overcome hate.  Our weapons will be our kind words, our positive outlook, our actions of service to our fellow American, our belief we can do better, our belief we MUST do better. I urge you all to resist posting the slanderous, angry, opinionated, slanted and political nonsense that often follow tragic times.  We are better than that…we can speak about our hurt in a way that doesn’t inflict hurt on someone else.

Pick a cause, any cause, and give your time, talents or maybe a few of your dollars.  I promise it will help you feel better on the inside, and then you can promote the good feeling on the outside towards others.  My cause today is one I’m proud to represent as a Consultant for this fine company called Rodan + Fields.  So here it is again, for all the world to see (or the half dozen who may actually click on my blog link) my naked, non-filtered 50 year old face.

May we find the peace we all need, may we all realize peace starts from within.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Let FREEDOM Ring

Another Independence Day has come and gone.  As a dog owner, the 4th of July is by far my least favorite holiday.  It isn’t because I’m not patriotic – I am.  It isn’t because I don’t like holidays – I do.  It’s because dogs are part of my family, and like most dogs, fireworks scare the bejesus out of them.  They don’t like the booms, they don’t like the bright exploding lights, and they really don’t like the smell of explosives.  So my 4th of July celebrations are often spent cuddled up on the couch with a dog or two, trying to keep the TV or music loud enough to suppress the noise.  It rarely works, and usually ends with them trembling uncontrollably while looking for a place to hide – like my lap or the nearest bathtub.

Last night was one of the worst 4th of July we’ve had to endure.  It literally sounded like I was living in downtown Beirut instead of suburbia Colorado.  My peaceful, calm neighborhood had disappeared, and the night was filled with rockets, mortars and screaming bombs going off at least every 3.5 seconds.  Thankfully, it’s temporary, and within a few days things should return to normal.  “Should” being the operative word, given the number of teenagers that live in my neighborhood and their penchant for celebrating on their own timeline.

Independence Day really got me thinking about the definition of FREEDOM that we are all celebrating.  There is no doubt that our forefathers and our past veterans and current military have brought us a freedom unsurpassed by others in different lands.  How thankful I am to each of them, and how grateful I am to be born in America and able to exercise, enjoy and sometimes even take for granted, each of these freedoms hard fought by others before me, and maintained today by our military men and women.  I am proud to be an American.  Proud to be a former military mom.  Proud to be from a military family.  I know first hand the sacrifices they and their families make on our behalf.

Given that, this Independence Day really got me thinking about a different kind of freedom, one that can’t be provided by anyone except me.  It’s called TIME FREEDOM.  Now that I am older, my time has suddenly gotten more valuable. I don’t know if this rise in value has come from turning 50 years old last October, or hearing the unwelcomed word “cancer” two years ago, or watching my kids turn into adults and have kids of their own, right before my eyes.  Or perhaps it’s because I discovered that this homebody who went 14 years before taking a vacation loves to travel, and fell madly, passionately in love with a land not too far away, known as Mexico.  Perhaps it’s a combination of everything that has made me crave, desire and envision a life of time freedom so clearly. But like most people, my wants and visions are grounded by my realities, and my reality is that I have to continue working full time, at least right now.

I have a good job, a place I enjoy going to work, working with people I truly like, admire and enjoy being around.  I’m treated well.  I’m paid fairly well – given my job title.  I have a little flexibility when I need it.  It truly is the last “job” I want to have on my resume.  But I realized something in January as I was handed my cost of living increase notification(which I appreciate!).  I realized I had a salary ceiling over my head.  I could change jobs, and work someplace I didn’t like as well just to make the equivalent or less money than I’m paid right now.  That doesn’t interest me AT ALL. But I could never make enough that would provide me a life that included time freedom. I make enough to get by.  I also realized, as much as I truly enjoy my day job and the people I work for and work with, I would be utterly, totally, completely annoyed if I died on my way to or from work, or on my lunch break.  In fact, I can’t think of a worse way to die.  Oh I know there are more painful, traumatic ways to die – you don’t have to remind me of that – I just can’t think of a worse way to spend my last day on this earth – at work – regardless of how much I enjoyed my job.

I’d rather be with my children and grandchildren.  I’d rather spend that day loving every last second, playing with my dogs, holding hands with my one true love, preferably on a beach with a gorgeous view, surrounded by every single friend and family member who has filled my life and heart with joy and love.  My body exhausted from playing, laughing, adventuring the day away, making memories that would last their lifetimes.  It may sound morbid to think about your last day on earth, but it’s not like we can avoid it from happening.  And that’s when I had my “ah ha” moment.  There was more to life than working hard every day just to get by  –  and then dying.  I used to tell people I would have to work till the day I died.  No retirement for me, thanks to a divorce after a 20 year marriage and single parenthood that followed the next 10 years.  That plan to work till the day I died suddenly became UNACCEPTABLE to LIVING my LIFE totally, freely, loudly and fully!

I watched, the 2 years I took a break from Rodan+Fields, my friends and colleagues in this business achieve the life I was envisioning.  Retiring at the age of 30 or 40 or heck, even in their 20’s, thanks to this business.  I don’t envy others.  I don’t covet what they own or the life they live (and least the life I think they live that’s shown on Facebook). I never had a thing about acquiring a ton of money or living in the biggest house or driving the fanciest car.  That’s just not my thing.  I was never attracted to money, and sometimes I feel a little guilty talking about income potential when I talk about this business, because that wasn’t what lit my fire to succeed.  What lights my fire is TIME, having the time to spend the day in the middle of the week with my grandchildren if I pleased, or with a friend, or going for a drive, or sitting by the pool, or hopping on a plane, or spending a day puttering about in my garden, or hiking along the trails with my dogs.  I wanted TIME to do those things whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted.

But guess what…TIME isn’t free.  Not by a long shot.  And right there is my “why” to re-entering the world of direct sales this past February, because if I invest my time into my Rodan+Fields’ business a few hours a day – years before I reach “retirement” age – I WILL be retiring and living the life I envision – a life filled with TIME to LIVE my LIFE each day in the way that feeds my soul.  I see it happen to dozens, week after week, month after month in this business, and cheer them all on as they accomplish what I have just set forth to do.

Freedom.  All sorts of connotations come up inside each of us when the word is said, sung or hollered. Flags waving, fireworks exploding, soldiers proudly marching by, owning an arsenal of weapons, walking into a voting booth, voicing opinions (LOUDLY), marrying the person you love, just a few of the freedoms granted in this amazing country we are lucky to call home.

Freedom to me is truly being free to live my life on my terms. Without excuses, without demands, without permission. Anything less just doesn’t compare.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Resurrection (of a different kind)

Well, well.  I almost forgot (truthfully – I did forget) that I have a blog.  Or should I more accurately say, I have a neglected, abandoned, forgotten blog.  I originally started this blog in 2011 to track my journey with my Rodan+Fields business.  And then life got busy, threw a few curveballs and I became distracted.  Before I realized it, this great idea turned into something else I let slip away.

I was reminded today about my blog, and decided to see if I could find it.  Yep, there it was, waiting patiently for me in cyberspace to remember that these glimpses of my life still existed.

I actually quite enjoyed reading back on my blog posts today.  Sometimes I cringed, sometimes I laughed, and sometimes my heart filled with pride (especially when bragging about my kids – who have done even MORE amazing things with their lives in the past 5 years).

So here today, June 29, 2016, I’m officially resurrecting my blog.  Bringing it back to life.  Expanding it, and turning to it when life is joyous, difficult, silly, sad, adventurous and surprising.

I’m no longer 45 years old, as I was when I started this blog.  But how I liked (can’t quite say love) seeing pictures of my 45 year old bare naked face before Rodan+Fields had a chance to do their magic.  So scroll down and take a look.  If you know me or have seen me in person, you already know I’ve improved with age, like a fine wine. However, I’ll post pictures SOON of my 50 year old naked face that will show, thanks to R+F, I am aging backwards.  At least on my face.  And hair. Oh the hair 5 years ago. Seeing my at home hair dye jobs in full color was definitely on the “cringe” list.

Much has happened in the past 5 years.  I have a new full time job that I truly enjoy, work with people who have become my dear friends, rekindled friendships and made a few more new ones, had a couple of heartbreaks (who hasn’t?), faced a cancer diagnosis head on (caught early, thank goodness), became a grandma for the second time with the birth of my adorable granddaughter Anna-YAY-fell in love with a man who brings fun, love, acceptance and encouragement into my world, travelled more than I ever have in my entire life, lost my bestest friend with 4 legs AND re-launched my R+F business in February. In other words, I’ve LIVED these past 5 years, just like all of you.  ALL of these things have lit my fire, passion and drive to change the course of my life, free up my time and bless my family in ways my dedicated hard work for others have not.

So stay tuned Facebook friends and bloggers, for continued glimpses of my wild, joyful, challenging and entertaining life. Friends and family beware and be warned – the odds are high, if you are in my life, you’ll be in my blog. Ha!  It won’t be boring, that’s for sure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wow! Just Wow!

There have been so many changes that have happened recently, I just want to take a few minutes to share what’s going on.  This will be a lot more personal than my previous postings…but I just can’t seem to quelch this desire to share what’s been happening, so it looks like you’re stuck!  🙂

First good news to share – I got a new laptop computer!  How did I go this long without one?? ?  I have finally joined the ranks of being on par technologically as the rest of you. 🙂 I was fairly spoiled when I worked at Proteus and had access to a computer for personal use during the workday on my breaks or when work was caught up, and had put the purchase of a new home computer on the back burner.  But changing jobs and having a whole lot to learn doesn’t allow for slacking time and surfing the web.  Not having a working computer at home left me feeling so out of touch.  My pathetic cell phone offered glimpses of the virtual world, but wasn’t really a great tool to do more than post a quick, short status update on Facebook.  My next “upgrade” is going to be a new phone and if you could see it, you’d see why I’m hoping that upgrade came sooner rather than later!

Now – on to more updates!  Have I mentioned I have 3 fabulous kids, the world’s most adorable grandson, and many, many wonderful nieces and nephews and extended family? Have I told about being lucky enough to have siblings who are not just stuck with me because we’re blood related, but because we’re friends, and a mom who is willing to support wholeheartedly her daughter’s latest adventures with enthusiasm?  Did you know I have some really good friends who just make my world a better place and can’t imagine life without them in it?  Well, I do!   I just keep thinking…wow!  Things are GREAT!  It’s not often I feel lucky in life, but the past month I have sure FELT like I’m on a lucky streak.  Here’s the low-down on what is going on that making me say “wow” so much.  🙂

There have been so many things happening the past couple of weeks!  I am exhausted and excited at the same time…which I’ve discovered is possible to be.  🙂   As I mentioned in my first post, I was notified mid February that I would probably be losing my job at the end of March.  NOT good news, but wasn’t a huge surprise given the current economy.  I had been working for two gentlemen who opened their own boutique investment firm in 2006.  I joined their team in 2007…and the economy began to crash in 2008….boy was my timing off!  But they hung in there and kept things up and running, even when there wasn’t a whole lot to do and a whole lot of income coming in – sometimes covering my salary and benefits out of their own personal pocket.  I am forever grateful to them and the sacrifices they made on my behalf! 🙂

So I begun sending out my resume like mad, and took the leap of faith in myself by joining Rodan+Fields.   Now you may wonder why I say “a leap of faith in myself” instead of a “leap of faith in Rodan+Fields”.  Well let me tell you why…because my success with this company is COMPLETELY under my control.  They’ve provided me the tools, the amazing, effective products and a huge support system that is always a phone call or email away.  But it’s up to me to create my own success, so before signing up as a consultant, I really had to be sure that I knew deep down I had the time, the vision, the energy and the determination to launch a new business and make it profitable in a short amount of time.

I look at it like a gardener does when seeds are planted…those seeds need to sprout, be nurtured and attended to, especially when they are fragile.  Soon it becomes stronger and heartier, and soon it begans producing, and finally, it’s matured so much you can harvest from it without doing much daily maintenance.  But if that gardner just bought a packet of seeds and sprinkled them on the ground and expected it to grow without any tending, would it be the seed’s fault for not blooming into it’s full potential?  I think not.  Everything is inside that seed to sprout into the plant its meant to be, but needs fertile ground and the gardener’s careful tending and attention to reach its full potential.  And that’s how I look at my business with Rodan+Fields…it’s up to me to bring out my own success potential, which is why it’s a leap of faith in myself!

I was profoundly appreciative when my boss and our underwriters we shared office space with offered to keep me employed, although reduced to part-time pay and part-time salary.  I was just so happy not to be standing in the unemployment line or taking a job I really didn’t want that was a longer commute and lower pay, so I grabbed the chance to stay and reconfigured my personal budget so I could absorb the cut in pay.  And also got even more amped up to make Rodan+Fields profitable so I ideally, I wouldn’t feel that cut in pay.

After getting my employment status worked out, imagine my suprise the first week in Apirl when a business associate of one of my Proteus bosses sent an email to his wife’s employer when he heard there was an administrative position open in their company.  I read his email that he sent, and was both highly appreciatative by his raving compliments of my administrative skills while wondering who in the world he was talking about…lol.  The next thing I knew I had a job interview set up that afternoon and to my shock and delight, was offered the job the next day!  Thank you Ed!  I owe you big time and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and working with your fabulous wife.  I can see why you snagged her so quickly!  🙂

The month of April has flown by.  In a  few short weeks, I ended one job, started another, caught a cold that is STILL lingering 3 weeks later – and still without full use of my voice, enjoyed a 10-day visit with Emily and Jayden and emotionally supported and respected Alex’s decision to join the Navy (while supressing the mother bear protective instinct as much as possible!).  April has been a month of changes, growth, reconnecting and chartering new paths.  During this time I haven’t had as much time to focus on Rodan+Fields as I wanted, yet still managed to build up my business and look forward to receiving my R+F paycheck on May 15th.  Oh, did I mention that little perk?  Each month on the 15th I get a paycheck from Rodan+Fields, which happens to also coincide with my full-time paycheck, so that makes the 15th of the month my FAVORITE day of the month!

I wouldn’t be a good mom/grandma if I didn’t show some pictures of my kiddos, now would I?  Here is Emily and Jayden at the airport getting ready to return to Puerto Rico.  This means my”grandma-itis” has returned and will stay with me until I see Jayden again.  He’s almost a year and a half and is one cute little dude – my little bilingual bambino!  He was quite a good helper when he was at my house – rearranging all my bottom cabinets, DVD’s and old CD cases, telling the dogs “no” whenever they got too close, and much to their delight – shared all his food with them.  Much to the cat’s horror – Jayden like to chase after him calling  “kitty, kitty” in a darling little higher pitched, singsong voice, hoping to give his fur a good squeeze.   Jayden has very discerning tastes in toys – preferring my picture frames, knick-knacks and pots and pans over anything made out of plastic and created for his age.  But like I told his mom, as long as he was having fun and couldn’t get hurt, he could play with anything he wanted…even if it got broke it was all replaceable.   One of the many downsides of having Jayden gone is not being able to find things….I may have to clean out every drawer, cabinet and closet – which needed to be done anyway!  But if he were here, he’d proudly show me where he put something and explain to me in his very own language I like to call “Jaydenese” why it was a much better location than the place I had chosen. 🙂

Emily realized that our interpertations of “warm spring weather” were miles apart after living in Puerto Rico for 4 months.  I kept assuring her it was no longer cold in Colorado and we had warm, mild temps, so she packed accordingly.  Apparently, her interperation of warm, mild temps are somewhere in the 80 degree range, while my version is anything over freezing.    I don’t think she actually warmed up until she landed back in San Juan!  Funny how a few months in a new climate had already changed her body temperature preferences.  She also had forgotten how dry it is in Colorado, and was constantly looking for lotion for her dry hands and extra hair products for her hair.  I guess my plan to convince her how much she missed living in Colorado fell a little short.  Hard to compete with tropical air, palm trees and a short walk to a coastline that is so beautiful it’s a destination spot for many vacationers.

When I look at this picture, I can’t believe how much my kids have grown.  In my mind, they should still be youngsters, and here they are looking more like grown-ups.  I have no idea how this transformation happened so quickly.  Emily couldn’t believe how short she looks compared to Alex and Kendal, and Emily is no shorty!  I look at my tall, handsome boys and beautiful daughter and feel so proud to be their mother. This may be the last kid picture for awhile, since Alex will be leaving in July for Navy boot camp and its unsure if Emily will be able to come back for visit before then.  Needless to say, this picture is priceless!

As I end this little post on my blog,  I am humbled and filled with gratitude for my good fortune, my wonderful family and excitement for what is next to happen.  My personal results with the REVERSE regimen continue to blow me away, and soon I’ll share more photos of my naked face – which may or may not excite you – regardless, consider yourself warned either way!  😉

I’m only 2 weeks away from using REVERSE for a full 60 days, and boy can I see a difference.  Just last night Kendal told me, after washing my face and sitting in my bed make-up free, “that stuff you’re using on your face is working”.  In his words – “those dark spots aren’t as dark” and “can hardly see those lines around your eyes”.  Now you may wonder why my 15 year old son discusses skincare with me, but any parent of a teenager who has entered puberty and begun the battle of acne knows that appearance and skincare suddenly becomes a topic of interest to them!  Regardless of the reason, I take it as a huge compliment (and ignore the wonderings of what he must have thought of my appearance before REVERSE) that he would take the time to mention this to me.

And one little suggestion when life throws you a curve ball and change is looming – embrace it!  Don’t fight it!  Be excited!  You’ll never know what is behind that door until you walk through it.  There is nothing to fear, only new adventures to discover and new growth to achieve.  I must say that after a few anxious days after hearing I may become unemployed, I developed the mantra of “Embrace the Change” and during what should have been an unsettled time, I felt nothing but peace that all would be well and excitement of what was yet to come.  When my perspective changed, the fear and anxiety disappeared.  I can’t help but wonder if I had stayed focused on the negative aspects of change how things would have turned out.  I’m convinced putting all my energy into embracing the change created a postive change that I’m thrilled came along.

I leave you tonight with one of my favorite saying. “Yesterday is the past.  Tomorrow is the future.  Today is a gift…that’s why it’s called ‘The Present'”.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments