I'm always contemplating something. Sometimes I write serious things, sometimes it's just a little bit funny! I hope you enjoy!

Monday, October 31, 2016

In search of the "Big Break"

We all know people that have had problems in the past. Maybe they got into legal trouble at one time, or have been addicted to drugs. They've paid their dues and are now ready to get out there and take life by storm!

I know quite a few myself. They WANT to live a good, honest, hard-working life now. But the odds are against them. They often lose hope and go right back to the only life they know. It's so terribly sad.

Back in the day, if you were looking for a job, you would walk into an establishment and fill out a paper application. The first person you met was the receptionist or Administrative Assistant. Maybe the business owner themselves if it's just a small business.

First impressions mean everything. You can bet the receptionist ran right to the big guy and told him how you were dressed and if you had funky jewelry or rainbow colored hair. If you were kind and polite and smiled or not. The first impression can be the deciding factor whether you get that interview or not.

Fast forward to today. Everything is done via Internet. Leaving home is not required. Just sit on the laptop in your jammies, hair in a messy bun and fill out applications. You may never get that opportunity to leave a good first impression. Your application could be thrown out of the mix in the matter of minutes.

If an applicant has ever been incarcerated or addicted to drugs and tells the truth on their application, they will most likely be eliminated from the hopefuls because of certain "buzzwords" the software has picked up on.

Questions such as "Have you ever been convicted of a crime" (some say felony) are loaded questions.

If you have been convicted of a crime, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Tell the truth and your application is eliminated. Lie and you will most likely be found out at some point. If you explain the truth during your interview, chances are you will be thought of as a liar. Unless you're extremely lucky and are talking to someone with a kind and compassionate heart.

Same goes for addiction.  If you were a non-working addict, or spent significant time in rehab, how do you explain the lapse in employment? Again, the chances are that the software is going to pick up on certain buzzwords such as "addict", "rehab" if you do explain, or pick up on the blank spaces (a no-no on applications) and throw your application out.

Another loaded question: Do you have reliable transportation?

Probably not.

For one reason or another, applicants may not have a car or a license. They may have lost their license due to unpaid fines, back child support (how do you pay when in jail?), sold their car for drugs, their car was impounded, yadda, yadda.

The point is, they have to depend on others, if they even have anyone to depend on. That principal goes against the tough love theory and it borders on co-dependency. But they need the help to eventually become independent.

So where do they find this help? Granted, there are services that teach you how do write a resume, how to fill out an application, etc. They might even be able to help you smooth over those non- working months or even years.

But it's not going to help with software picking up on certain words, and it's not going to get them from point A to point B. Around here, the cost to take a bus from town to the city is quite expensive and can really eat up some time. Where does a new employee get money for a bus?

But that is putting the cart before the horse. They need the job first, which for many feels overwhelmingly impossible.

There has to be a way but how?

For those of you trying to make positive changes in your life, I challenge you to get out there and meet some new, positive people. Be proactive! The more people you know, the higher your chances for a "Big Break."

Some ideas

Of course, if you are without wheels you will have to stay within your community.

Attend church (you might have to try a couple to see where you fit in)

Take a class in something you're interested in. It could be for education purposes or pleasure.

Volunteer- it gets you out there, you can learn some new skills, and you will have something AWESOME to add to your resume.

Reach out........you can always try writing a letter to a business asking for a chance to work for them. Be honest and sincere. Let them know you are willing to start at the bottom, as long as you know there are opportunities to prove yourself and move up.

And for the rest of us

Do you own a business (I'm NOT talking Direct Sales here) and if so, would you be willing to take a chance on someone in one of the above situations? To be an employer, mentor and a friend?

Let's band together and help encourage and support those who are trying to get their life together.

Are you in?

P.S. I've never been in jail nor rehab but I know people going through this very situation. And honestly, I am a bit as well. I'm in my 50's and have some lapses in employment - playing wife and mother. Its tough to rebuild!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

How can you help mend a broken world?

There's no denying it - the world is full of challenges. These days more than ever we are seeing divorce and broken families, financial struggles, and an ever increasing number of deaths due to overdose and suicide. No one is going to escape challenges in life.

Some challenges can be overcome, but some will always be there. We need to adjust our minds, hearts and souls to accommodate changes. But that is much easier said than done.

Oftentimes we feel alone in our struggles, like no one has been there, that no one understands.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone has a story - or several - that could be used to lift someone up. Your words could save a life!

I believe the main thing God wants us to do is to love and encourage others.

What is your story?

Have you been through a divorce? Maybe you can help someone else navigate through the process?

Are you a former/recovering addict and made it through the process to sobriety? Can you help others by sharing your story and giving an encouraging word?

Did you raise a prodigal child? Maybe you can help a parent who feels hopeless.

Have you lost a spouse? Experienced a serious financial setback? Do you have a handicapped child? Are you caring for an aging parent? Have you survived physical, mental, emotional or sexual abuse?

In this world of social media, it's not hard to reach out to someone. Sometimes it even affords a "safety net"...sometimes it's hard to talk face to face, but online a person may be willing to open up and share.

I call myself an Unprofessional Counselor. I have a couple of people I help out by listening, giving some advice and just encouraging them.

Here's an example:

I made a comment on a post one of my kids made on Facebook. I don't even remember now what it was about. Fathers. Abortion. Something.

A friend of my child messaged me and asked if I was _____mother. I said yes. He had seen my comment. He started telling me about what was going on with him. He went to a party, lost control of his senses and slept with a girl there. Come to find out, she got pregnant. They aren't dating, it was just something that happened.

She wanted to get an abortion. He wanted her to have the baby and he would raise it. He's got a good job and the good intentions. Something many young men don't have.

He contacted a lawyer but it appears he really has no rights, as it is her body and if she doesn't want to carry and deliver the baby, she doesn't have to.

I talked with him a little, encouraged him and told him I would pray for him. That was a month or two ago.

I thought of him the other day and messaged to see what was going on. Unfortunately, she went ahead with her plans. So another baby was murdered unnecessarily.

He is moving forth the best he can. He's being promoted at work. I encouraged him to keep on working on himself, and one day someone with the same values and beliefs will come along when he least suspects it.

When we were done talking, he thanked me for asking. He said NO ONE had inquired! Are you kidding me? Wow!

That saddens me!

That is just ONE example of how a few words can brighten someone's day and make them feel cared about.

So, I'm going to encourage everyone to help mend this broken world by opening the book of your life and sharing a story with someone in need.

Feel free to share your story in the comments!

Friday, October 28, 2016

New Beginnings

I'm really trying to get back into this writing thing. Ideas fly through my mind at random times. When I try to sit down and write, I'm having one little problem. I hate to sit still. Until I get in the groove. But I have so many other things going on, that when I can sit, I sit in bed. And read or watch TV....so how to switch that to writing.

I need to find a way to keep my mind alert, not dumbed down and quieted down for the night.

Something I've been putting a lot of time into lately is talking with God, asking for his help and guidance. For Signs and Wonders. lol

Here's what I mean. I've worked a part-time job for about a year now. I needed to fill some time after giving up a relationship that consumed me, and I needed more cash flow for everything I have planned - get bills paid off A.S.A.P., do a zillion dollars worth of improvements on my house, vacations!

This part-time job was awesome in November, December, then part of January. Then the hours started dropping. And dropping. Retail!

I temporarily got back in my previous relationship, but nothing had changed. I had to say good-bye.

I dealt with the crappy hours and sold my tea on the side. Then the hours kept getting crappier.  I needed to stay busy and forget my fragmented heart. And I needed the cash.

So I talked a lot to God and asked what to do. To show me.

And he showed me signs!

Years ago, I wanted to start a library at my church. My daughter often went to youth group with some friends at another church. I knew that church had a library. I called the church and they hooked me up with Mrs. (Nancy) Abbott, who ran the library. Nancy invited me to her church and we talked at length about her journey starting a library.

Come to find out, she was an ABBOTT as in Abbott Farms. I had been there on school field trips with my kids a few times. Cool little place.

After that talk, I sent her a Thank You card, and she send me a nice little card as well.

I've been out to the farm a few times in the years since that visit with Nancy. I buy my local honey there. Never ran into Nancy on my visits.

So fast forward to this summer. I'm asking God what I should do. Quit my current job and look for another? Work 2 jobs?

I happened to be out of honey and had told myself a couple of times that I needed to get to Abbotts farms to get honey.

Around that time, I just happened to find the card from Mrs. Abbott. I thought that was a funny coincidence. Until....I opened Facebook and saw an ad (their newsletter) for Abbott Farms. They were hiring for tour guides for field trips. Temporary position until around the end of October.

On a whim, I applied and had an interview. Through the interview, the woman found out that I worked retail. She asked if I was interested in working in their store. It was a lot more hours. You'd better believe I jumped.

It was a great job. Nice,fun family atmosphere. Great employers.

But now it's about over...boo-hoo, but I know another adventure is right around the corner.

I have a million ideas, but most need that degree and experience, all of which take time. I am 50- something. Yikes!

I know Gods got me. I see where he's using me to encourage others and lift them up. How other's look to me for advice.

I'm scared to death of what's happening in our world. So many overdoses, so many suicides!

It used to be a random thing you hear about. Now it's EVERYDAY....and it's everywhere. You may think you don't know anyone that uses pills or heroin but it's everywhere. It could be your child, your parent, a police officer, a teacher. It does not discriminate.

I happened to walk into a conversation the other day between 3 ladies I know in a kinda-sorta way. They were talking about heroin. The one lady was talking about some relative who wiped out the parents bank account to feed his habit.

The second lady said, "Oh yeah, our son did that to us."

I knew the third one had a boyfriend in rehab.

And I know one or two close people who are addicts, recovering.

Sad that 4 out of 4 of us RANDOM ladies all had a story to tell.

So I wonder how I can help in this area.

Is this a career or a spiritual calling?

Too much to think about. That's why I leave it to God.

I just watch for the signs and wonders....