Discipline, Fear & a side of #MeToo

I resent that she was right.

She made a tsk, tsk sound and shook her head, “If you leave this job, you will never make that kind of money again.”

That was December 2007. I have yet to prove my mother wrong.

My career field path has been mental health, then leave for money in the corporate world, miss my first loves of mental health and writing, and then go back to mental health. Hubby was supposed to grow his career so I could work in my passion areas, but that didn’t evolve as we hoped, and his body failed. Our plan fell apart. Now we regroup.

I enjoy my current job working with families and children. It is hard work but manageable. When I saw a job posting last week back in corporate, I asked Hubby if he thought I should dive back in for the cash. He texted, “We can ponder and talk about it, but I’d hate for you to sell your soul again.”

He knows me. My skills could adapt. It is my heart that would struggle. I am curious, though, what that paycheck would be like in the #MeToo era.

I used to tell my mom some of the male shenanigans and how few women were at my old job. She would say things like, “Just take the money. You can ignore them.”

This came from a mom who once jumped out of her car in traffic to yell at a man for being a man (and for cutting her off). I begged her to get back in the car. I saw rage in her eyes that was way more about the way men treated her over the years than a driving violation. She felt trapped by men who had no more education, sometimes less, than she did.

My biggest challenges in the business job were not about overlooking some of the men’s words and behavior. What I struggled with most was knowing how capable I was of playing by their rules. That’s taken time for me to reflect and realize. The truth was I could assimilate. I scared myself. I ignored too much.

At my core, I am no Daisy from The Great Gatsby. I am not made to be Reba McEntire’s “Fancy”.

Back then, I read the books Play Like A Man, Win Like A Woman and Hardball For Women (now in its third edition) thankful that the authors could give me insight.

The long days were exhausting to navigate, but in my mind I played the Kenny Rogers song “The Gambler” to cope:

You gotta know when to hold ’em.

Know when to fold ’em.

Know when to walk away.

Know when to run…

Practical issues were tough. I had a hard time figuring out how to pay for things necessary to pull off a high level job. Childcare, for example, was expensive. Keeping a clean home with two little ones was impossible; the life size Rubik’s Cube fierce. I learned after leaving that the guy hired to take my place was paid near double what I was paid for the same job.

That part of my journey shows up in my manuscript Martha’s Daughter. The book is fiction with a dose of experience. You read about main character Amy’s childhood secrets at home and school, how she overcomes the cultural lies around her as she matures in adulthood, and how she assesses true love. Will she learn to speak her truth beyond the days of Barbies and mud pies to her days in Corporate America?

I think there is still a lot to unpack about the #MeToo movement. My book takes the reader from the 1970’s/80’s to present day. Imagine a female Forrest Gump, or better, Jenny’s story if anyone bothered to ask her. My favorite part of the book are the Developmental Assets and caring adults that save my character. That is the crossroads where my love of mental health and writing meet.

Think about what women have been through in five decades. Think about the undertones, the unspoken, the rules. Think about how much isn’t obvious. Consider the frustration.

I cheered this year when the Today Show normalized motherhood and women at work. Multiple hosts needed time off for their children and everyone appeared to pitch in and be happy for one another. Savannah, Hoda, Jenna, Dylan, Sheinelle, thank you and the team around you for your fresh example.

I’ve spent too much of my life feeling fearful for various reasons. Right now is the worst.

The Thanksgiving break has been helpful for me to notice my thoughts. I paid attention to my constant worry that something in the house or car might break, that we’ve got to get out of this home before it is impossible for Hubby to crawl up the stairs, or blah, blah, blah, fill-in-the-blank fear after fear.

This weekend I had my first pet sitter side job. Being in someone else’s home energy rebooted me to believe that I can move on to a new energy, a new day, a new place. I do not want to dwell in the fear. It’s time to reset.

Beginning today I am all about discipline over fear. My goal is to get our house back to sell-ready. I want o-u-t! I want to be in a situation that is affordable. I want us to thrive above ALS. This situation will not consume us. I will fight for a win.

I am going to clean, straighten, pack, look for a new realtor, seek financial advice, and persevere.

I have learned so much about discipline with sweat over every penny this year. It’s time to take that discipline further into a new situation. We will pray, turn over the worry daily, and triumph.

Bring on the V8 Energy drink. It’s time to climb further up the mountain.

20191201_004835_hdr2039133173495520558.jpg

…for God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7

LET IT GO, LET IT GO, LET IT GO….

Hold the phone. Today I cleaned out my clothing drawers. Goodness, that was an eye opener.

After years of sifting through my kids’ clothes to keep them in season and in the correct size, it was time to clean out my own overflowing drawers. To neat and tidy people out there and to the neat and tidy person I dream of being, I apologize that I’ve failed to do a thorough job for myself until now.

I was shocked to find…the strapless bra I wore to prom (starting to turn yellow), the bustier I wore under my wedding dress (was my waist really ever that tiny?), multiple slips two sizes too small (does anyone wear those anymore?!), girdles (ewww) that my mom used to buy me even though I didn’t want them, maternity yoga-like pants from the first pregnancy, plus painting shirts and shorts from multiple projects ago that for some reason I chose to wash and store!!??? We’re talking 24 years worth of why-on-earth-did-I-save-that-stuff!

I found myself singing “Let it go, Let it go, Let it go” to the tune of “Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow….”

The old things made it hard for me to close my drawers. Keeping items I don’t need held me back from finding the newer clothing I do need.

This experience made me think of all the things we store in our minds for no good reason too–not just clothes and aging undergarments.

Don’t we do the same thing with hurt feelings, bad memories and the occasional grudge toward someone? Are the drawers of our minds overflowing sometimes? I’m afraid so.

But in the Bible, God references letting go of the old quite often. A few examples:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Isaiah 43:18

Maybe we need to make a list of thoughts we hold onto that are not helpful. Write the list and then rip it up asking God to remove the hurt. Or maybe each morning we could ask God to refresh our minds with new thoughts and new energy so that we are not held back in any way because of the past. Amen?

I’m looking forward to a fresh 2013. My drawers are cleanned out! Now I’m heading upstairs to tackle my closet (ouch!). Cleansing and refreshing is a process, one that is possible when I put in the time and seek God’s wisdom. He makes all things new.

Happy New Year!

Glenna