Hello, it’s me.

Wow, I can’t believe I’ve let so much time pass. So much time and so many important milestones in my life and I haven’t talked about a single one of them. Well, okay, I have sporadically. On Facebook and Instagram and occasionally on Twitter. But I’ll be honest, I’ve taken a huge break from social media in general the last year. For personal reasons, really. There’s just too much going on in the world. Too much arguing and hate and not enough happiness and peace for me. I’m not downing one side or the other. Everyone has a right to their opinion. I’m just saying for my own piece of mind and sanity, I have to close my eyes and ears and block it out and the only way I know how to do that is to quit looking at Facebook (I completely signed out for six months and didn’t miss it a bit), quit trolling Twitter and turn off the TV. I guess I could also throw in that I quit updating my blog, but then it’s been more than a year for that.

I know there’s a lot of important things going on right now and just about everyone of them are more important than anything that’s happen to me, but just in case anyone is curious, I thought I might catch you up real quick.

Almost a year ago, I made the decision to leave my employer of 19 years for a change. I’d been burnt out for a while, a long while actually, and I hadn’t kept it a secret from my boss. Luckily, he’s a pretty cool guy and I was comfortable enough to let him know those kinds of things. Then an opportunity to advance in my field came up and after much agonizing thought and going back and forth, I made the hard decision to take the position. It was pretty emotional for both of us. I’d been with this employer for almost as long as I’ve been married to my husband (we celebrated 20 years this month) and he and his family had become like family to me and my family. In the end, he wished me well, he teared up, I cried, we hugged and well, we still talk pretty much weekly, have taken a few vacations together and, yeah, we’re still like family. It was a good move for me. I love my job. I mean, I really, really love my job. I’ve learned more than I imagined and truly feel like I’m making a difference and contributing to the program. I’m challenged daily and was blessed to be taken in and surrounding by not only a darn good staff, but others who I never would have gotten to know and befriend if I hadn’t taken the chance.

Speaking of those vacations I mentioned a moment ago, well, I’ve done a lot of travelling. Travel is my passion. I would probably starve if it meant I could sneak away somewhere and yes I’m well aware of how immature and irresponsible that viewpoint is, but I’m being honest here and if it came down to saving a dollar or taking a trip, I’m packing my bags.

Unfortunately the worlds current circumstances have stalled my travel plans and as much as I hate to admit it, it’s probably for the best. Last July after travelling to Alabama to vacation with my cousin and her family, I developed a DVT (Blood Clot) in my right leg. Luckily, my cousin is a nurse and recognized the signs. After a healthy dose of blood thinners, I thought I would be on the mend, but for whatever reason, I just didn’t seem to bounce back very quickly. Maybe it was coincidence, but it seemed every time I turned around I was sick or ill and not feeling well and then in mid February I got more bad news. I woke up one morning with extreme pain in my left side, shortness of breath and coughing up small amounts of blood. I won’t go into all the dramatic details (although, the story of how I made my rounds to three different hospitals that day is pretty good), but it turned out that I got myself a week long hospital stay for bilateral pulmonary embolisms. In plain words, that means I had blood clots in both lungs. It was pretty scary, especially when one of the doctors said that if I hadn’t gotten to the hospital when I did that my day probably would have ended a lot differently. It turned out that not only did I have the blood clots, but I also had some right ventricle heart strain and permanent damage to the right lung. But, hey, the good news? You can live with one lung! All joking aside, it’s really opened my eyes. About my health, about life and about many other things. I’m no where near back to where I was. I still can’t seem to get over what I call a “hump.” I tire easy and get frequent short of breath. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m still doing testing with my heart. So what caused the last blood clots? We have no clue. I’ve had more blood drawn and more test done in the last four months than I’ve ever had. It’s just one of those things I guess I’ll never know.

As if major health issues wasn’t enough to deal with, my oldest son turned eighteen and graduated high school during quarantine. I guess the powers that be just couldn’t see fit to have a little mercy on me. First let me say, my kid was perfectly fine with skipping prom and not having a normal graduation ceremony. His momma, though, yep, I cried. I mean, his girlfriend finally talked him into going to prom and wearing a tux and it get’s cancelled. How fair is that? I’ll probably never see that kid all dressed up, but I guess it is what it is. Which brings me to my next topic.

COVID19. I know most people have an opinion, but I don’t even know what to say anymore, so I’ll just say aside from the inconveniences and limitations that everyone is dealing with, my husband and I have been absolutely, one hundred percent, truly blessed that it hasn’t affected our family so far. I have been working from home since mid-march with no date of return in site and while my husband hasn’t been quite as lucky, neither of us have lost wages or a job. If I’m being real honest here, when I took my new job last year, I also took on a two and a half hour round trip commute each day, so working from home is ideal for me.

I made that two and a half hour commute today for the first time since mid-march. I woke up at 4:45 and was there by 7:00 am. Why? Well, I have one staff member in the office (by choice) and they needed to be out today, so I went in to cover things like retrieving mail and printing and faxing for those working remotely. Plus, I needed to pick up a few things I had left behind. I enjoyed my day. It was nice being back in my “space.” The office was quiet, but it was also nice to see the (very) few that remain in the building. I’d forgotten how fast the internet is compared to what I have at home and how much more exercise I get walking up and down the stairs and back and forth to the copier room. It was also nice to actually dress up and put makeup on, fix my hair and wear shoes that weren’t a flip flop or tennis shoe. I got to swing by The UPS store on my way home and I ordered groceries from Kroger last night to be picked up today because I don’t have those conveniences in my small town. It made me realize how much I miss my staff, though. We talk regularly and have weekly calls, but it’s not the same. Does this mean I’m ready to go back to the office? I can’t say that I am. I really like working from home. It has it’s perks and hey, that two hour commute is saving gas, wear and tear on my car and time. But do I wish I could work from home under different circumstances? More than anything.

Being home more has given me the opportunity to do more writing. I’ve kept pretty quiet about it, but I have three different storylines I’ve been working on. A series I’ve been planning and working through in my head for a long time and I finally decided to get serious about it again. I have about seventy-five thousand words between the three and I’m happy with that for now. I thought about the stories during my commute today. It’s something I do when I’m driving. Actually, I thought about writing in general and how much peace it brings me. That lead me to thinking about my blog and well, here I am now. I’m certain I may have a touch of adult ADHD. Regardless, it has prompted my first update in … I don’t even want to guess how long.

I know this has been random and not at all filled with anything promising or exciting, but that’s okay. I’m writing and I’m at peace even after a very long day. For your enjoyment, check out the surprise I found at the office today. My lone staff member has a sense of humor.

I hope you all stay safe, healthy and strong. Don’t forget to do the things that make you happy. ^ Dena

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