Posted in My Journal

Sunday Morning Walk

I’m walking my dog at a park through a dense fog on a Sunday morning. My husband is playing tennis with his new Slinger ball machine.

The park is quiet. The fog makes it almost eerie. Peeks of sunlight creep through between the trees. A few runners and fellow walkers say a friendly “hello, good morning”, safely from at least 6 feet away.

The COVID-19 pandemic gives me time to be with myself: learn who I am and who I want to be today. Being present in the moment is difficult in our fast paced, screen focused society.

Take 1 minute right now to close your eyes, be still and just breathe in…breathe out…in…out…

Posted in My Journal

Leaving WGU

I joined WGU’s Bachelor’s program in Accounting in spring of 2018. Now in the summer of 2020, after months of procrastination, anxiety-filled days and repetitive conversations with my husband, I decided to announce my intent to withdraw to my WGU mentor. I know that I’m 3 classes away (Cost Accounting, Auditing and Capstone) but my heart is no longer there and my mind left the program back in April 2020. My withdrawal from the program (aka dropping out) has nothing to do with WGU’s team of mentor, course instructors and supporting teams; but everything to do with me, myself and my mind.

Since summer of 2019, my health became an assortment of seemingly endless loop of mind-bending roller coasters. Looking back, it may have even started as early as summer of 2017.

After I was outgrowing my corporate position. After graduating with an A.S. in Accounting Technician at a local community college, I took a break from school. It had been a 12 year journey from high school graduation to college graduation. After enjoying my break, I asked my boss if there were any skills or certifications that would benefit the team. I was offering myself to pursue it, especially with the company’s tuition reimbursement program as a source of financial assistance. She says it’s really up to me. OK, I guess, back to square one…?

A few days later, my director started a conversation with me about my career goals. He (and many others) didn’t know I was pursuing the A.S. program locally. I kept that to myself because I didn’t want to give much status updates about my pursuit of education at work. He shared a lot of insights on different educational institutions primarily focusing on profit vs. non-profit and tuition costs for Bachelor’s in Accounting programs.

Being the most cost-effective with flexibility of being 100% online, I chose WGU. I transferred my A.S. and jumped right into the core courses in pursuit of a B.S. in Accounting. I was flying through the courses, passing on 1st attempt at the Objective Assessments (aka finals in traditional, brick & mortar universities).

Then, came Taxation II. It took me 3 attempts but I finally passed.

Then came Cost and Managerial Accounting. I failed the 1st attempt after spending at least 2 months on the material while adjust to working from home after a state mandated response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I had to take a break from failing and started the next course, Auditing. I couldn’t even bring myself to turn on my laptop, let alone read, listen, watch the course content. Procrastination and the anxiety of providing weekly check-in updates to my mentor was just charades. I was lying to myself that I wanted to graduate from this program. My mind and actions no longer prioritized this program as important to myself nor my family.

Outside of WGU, I toggled between emotionally processing a corporate layoff (severance was offered to me, not furlough), ramping up (instead of down) on my corporate workload and job hunting to avoid the unemployment process.

With Jesus’ blessings and many prayers, I was accepted as a candidate for a position. After 2 interviews over the phone and a final onsite interview, I’m now a consultant for the client. I enjoy the work itself and I hope that I can make a positive impact to the client’s businesses.

With all of that, I am already recovering rapidly, post-WGU. My time is freed up to pursue anything or nothing at all. I can learn to relax in whatever format that may be: blogging here, coloring there, buying sheet music and playing piano…endless possibilities!!

Thank you for reading my story all the way to this golden nugget area. I’ll close with this excerpt from a book recommended by my Godmother. I have both the paperback and the audio book to cover my reading mood.

True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.

-Brene Brown (Braving the Wilderness) http://www.brenebrown.com

Posted in Writing

Attitude

I came across this quote of the week on a newsletter:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.” -Mark Twain

If actions were a plant, attitude would be its seed. My attitude and thoughts have seen happier days. The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t take my physical health but it did steal my corporate job away. Was I alone in being laid off? No. Was it comforting to know that I’m not alone? Yes and no.

It’s tiring to be the mentally strong person in any given environment. It’s so much easier to move on to something else and process reality at a later date. But what if it all bubbles up to the surface at the most inappropriate moment in time and place? What then?

In sharing my own story and experiences, I’ve found it easier to cope with stress and anxiety. Luckily, I have family and friends who understands the crazy randomness that lives within my mind and loves me anyways.

Do you have a person or group that you share feelings with? If you ever need a safe place to vent your feelings, feel free to email me. I enjoy offering comfort and advice by engaging in conversation.

If you prefer no response, please use the subject line, “NO RESPONSE NEEDED” on your email. That way, I’ll know to mark the email as read and file it away.

Posted in Entertainment

Survival

In times of stress, which character do you connect with in the movie, Poseidon?

IMDb: Poseidon https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409182/

If you haven’t watched the movie yet, keep reading on for spoilers.

The Leaders:

Robert Ramsey, played by Kurt Russell

Dylan Johns, played by Josh Lucas

The Teamplayers:

Richard Nelson, played by Richard Dreyfuss

Jennifer Ramsey, played by Emmy Rossum

Christian, played by Mike Vogel

Maggie James, played by Jacinda Barrett

Conor James, played by Jimmy Bennett

Elena Morales, played by Mia Maestro

Marco Valentin, played by Freddy Rodriguez

Lucky Larry, played by Kevin Dillon

Spoiler Alert:

The cruise ship was hit by a massively devastating wave. It’s now laying on its side sinking at a rapid pace. The passengers above are mostly strangers, who against many odds, must choose between surviving and sacrificing themselves for the greater good of the team. Each character speaks to a part of human nature that calls for survival of the fittest. What drives someone to kick off a person who’s grabbing onto your ankle? What motivates someone to hold their breath underwater for minutes to save a child? To push a button that reverses the propellers?

This movie had me shouting at my TV screen! I was annoyed by some characters, inspired by others, and secretly relating to the rest. When stress appears unexpectedly, there’s a person we’d like to be and there’s a possibility that we’ll behave quite differently in reality.

Posted in Entertainment

Lonely vs Alone

Yes, I believe there is a difference. The plot of Palm Springs, a Hulu original movie, gives an interesting perspective on feelings of loneliness and being alone. Without giving too much away, it’s a wonderful movie that touches each viewer in a different way with potential to spark meaningful conversations. In case you need a movie to watch, I highly recommend this one. Hope you enjoy this movie and the experiences that may stem from it…

IMDB: Palm Springs

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9484998/

Posted in Entertainment

Yellowstone: Season 1

If you had to confront your painful past to allow for a brighter future, would you? Would the answer change if the future involved not only yourself but the next generation, too?

These questions emerge when watching the first episode of the series, Yellowstone. Not only is the Dutton family history complicated, now they must face Native American Indians wanting to reclaim their land and developers wanting to buy the land.

It’ll be exciting to continuing watching this well casted and well written show to the end of the season 1.

Posted in Writing

Happy Mother’s Day!

Whether you are a mother to humans or animals (like me), I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day!

Although we’re sheltering in place for health/safety reasons and showing love from a physical distance, technology has allowed us to be connected in a virtual way. Hopefully the virtual communications and/or gift deliveries can simulate the love we hope to express to each other.

Personally, this has been the best Mother’s Day. As a highly sensitive, INFJ introvert, these unfortunate circumstances has given me an opportunity to reset, recharge and realize different things about myself. As a people pleaser, practicing self care is difficult for me: I don’t like to say “no”. I appreciate the invite, but I feel guilty declining and exhausted after accepting.

I know, this is a luxurious dilemma to have during this pandemic. Nonetheless, these thoughts do exist in me regardless of external events. Although challenging, I’m sure that God will present many opportunities to take care of myself in order to take care of others.

In the meantime, hope that you enjoy this Mother’s Day in whatever way that’s comfortable for you!

Posted in Projects

K-cup pods

I’m working from home full time during this “quarantine”and drinking multiple cups of coffee a day. K-cup pods are piling up fast! At first, I was tossing them into the trash. Then, I thought, there has to be ways to repurpose these K-cup pods. With time on my hands with Google results, here’s what I’ve learned…

Used coffee grounds are beneficial to the garden soil. I don’t garden so I dried the grounds, put them in labeled packets and mailed them out to gardening friends along with some handmade glass magnets.

The coffee stained paper liners can be used for calligraphy.

The empty, plastic K-cup can hold water-thinned acrylic paints and dripped over canvas for fluid art.

Here’s some photos of the coffee grounds drying…

Drying out used coffee grounds in the sun on the balcony
K-cup pods: before and after
Paper used as the liner underneath the used coffee grounds on trays
Different sized paper liners
Posted in Entertainment

The First 10 Seconds of a Song

The current song playlist can track my mood. Within the first 10 seconds of any song, I’ll know if I’m in the mood for it. If I can listen until the chorus, I’ll like it. Does my mood influence my song preference or is it the opposite effect? Does the current song influence my mood? The power of music is such that it’s a common denominator between us all. Any barriers can be broken down with music notes +/- beats +/- lyrics. I love working while music is playing in the background. Focusing with classical to house to epic film scores to smooth jazz to acoustic pop, add another layer of lyrics versus instrumental: it all boils down to my mood at the moment.

What kind of music are you in the mood for right now? Which has more influence: your mood or your current song? What’s on your playlist right now?