Tag Archives: work

Ya Gotta Have Friends!

Ya Gotta Have Friends!

SAMSUNG  When I first started this blog, it was one of the ways that I coped with the divorce and rebuilding my life. It helped me put things in perspective and explore my feelings, and figure out how to rebuild my life. I enjoyed writing and loved the feedback that was so positive. So now my life is back together, sort of, and I still want to write so I have to find a new direction.  There are a lot of mommy-bloggers, fashion-bloggers, and food-bloggers and I really don’t have enough to say to just choose one topic.  I know that successful bloggers find a niche but I think I’m going to be more of an everything-blogger and just write what I feel like at any given moment.  So you may see a post about food, fashion, or grandma stuff, but you also might see a lot of other topics as my mind wanders around.

I think today I’m going to write about friends. Throughout my marriage, I tried to bring couples into the mix, going out together in groups or 2 and 2, but it never worked out the way I hoped and as time went on, our social life revolved around basketball and baseball with our son, going to all of the games and sitting with the other parents. Occasionally there would be group picnics and we always had fun but it seemed that there never was time to get any more involved than that.  We did a good bit of traveling because of these sports so it filled up the time that we might have spent socializing in free time.  During this time, I drifted away from my close college friend and my girl time revolved around work, going out to lunch regularly, attending meetings and trainings together, and it sort of filled that friend roll.

Upon divorce, I realized that there wasn’t too much happening in my life beyond work. My son was grown, no more sports, and I realized that I needed to expand my life.  My son and I are friends, and talk about many different things, even working together on different projects, but I needed more than that.  By this time, my college friend Kathy was back in my life and we were doing our best to get together regularly, but this was limited by jobs and different days off.  We were able to pick up where we had left off, one of those friendships where you went through a lot together, knew each other’s secrets, and had a long history of friendship.  We met around 1968 and were suite mates in the dorm, becoming best friends for 50 years now.  But one person isn’t a circle so I had to decide to get out of my comfort zone and make some more friends!

My first new friend was Rocky, my little Yorkie. Rocky was one of the first things I did just for me and he filled some of that alone time that I had to adjust to.  I loved that dog like no other pet I ever owned and mourned his death for a very long time.  Truth be told, I’m tearing up now.  I always had a pet, both single and married, but this little dog got into my heart in a different way.  Perhaps because of the emotion of divorce, perhaps because of the circumstances, but in any case, he was a little friend that I loved. However, not much conversation going on with Rocky so I kept trying to find ways to make new friends, much harder as an adult than as a kid.



Next came the knitting group, something else that I never would have done married; just no time. I met Carla, Ray, Ellenbeth, Karen, among others, and this was something I looked forward to every week.  We met at Bogart’s Book Exchange and spent a few hours a week knitting, crocheting, drinking coffee, and buying books.  I managed to get there every week for about a year but then for some reason, it got harder to achieve and after a while, I gradually stopped going. However, I’m trying to get back to it and yesterday, I finally got there and while the group has changed a bit, and Bogart’s is in a new location, it was so great to be there.  I’ve missed going.  I won’t be able to go regularly but I’m hoping that yesterday broke the ice for me and I’ll continue.

I’ve also managed to hold on to some friendships from past work.  Women from Headstart are still part of my circle and we actually met for lunch a few weeks ago.  Several others are my Facebook Friends, and while we don’t see each other we keep in touch in that FB way.  At my last job, I managed to bring several of my friends to my new job so we still talk regularly.  And of course, there are the new friends at work now, and we occasionally go out to lunch after monthly meetings, but everyone has so much going on, and truthfully, most of these people are younger so are at a different place in life, and are busy doing their own thing.  I love the connections that we have, but we all live in different areas and don’t see each other outside of work.  And that’s OK.

I also have to mention Facebook Friends. I’m so happy that I’ve reconnected with high school friends and went to our 50th reunion in the fall.  And I’ve come away from that with some new friends, looking forward to seeing their posts and in some cases, getting together.  I also have made new friends on FB and while we don‘t meet, they are new in my life and enrich it.

Meetups are also something I’ve used to try to make more friends but that never seems to work out as the most interesting meet ups are too far. There are very few in my area and while I’ve thought of starting one, I finally decided against it and started Coloring and Coffee, again at Bogart’s, where we meet the last Sunday of the month and spend a few hours with adult coloring books, coffee, and socializing.  It’s a small group but Bogart’s is a small coffee house, so that’s OK.  If I made it a meetup, it would involve dues, and maybe a different location, so I don’t want it to change and like that it’s close to home.

So you might wonder what’s missing. I feel blessed to have so many people in my life but the one thing I don‘t have is a travel friend.  I think there’s some gypsy in my soul as I love to see new places.  I could take a road trip every weekend, given the opportunity and the time, and am a great navigator and car packer.  I learned from the best, mom, who made the lists of supplies every time we traveled and kept track of the maps and costs for every trip we took.  I actually have one of her notebooks from our trips and she tracked every dime spent when we traveled to Niagara Falls and Watkins Glenn, among others.  And Dad was the packer, loading up that station wagon, the old Plymouth, packing every suitcase, cooler, and supplies like it was a puzzle to fit together.  We never arrived with something we forgot at home, because those lists were detailed!

Life seems so much busier than it was growing up. Perhaps this is why it seems harder to make friends  I remember my mother having groups that she met with, the Cousins Club (female family that met once a month), her Sorority, and when she and Dad retired, a group that they traveled with, mostly couples, but they were never home.  I feel like I’m going to have to work part time instead of retiring because most of my friendships come from work, but at the same time I yearn for the freedom from work, so this is something I have to figure out.  I don’t want retirement to be isolated and lonely.  I want to be busy doing things with others, having fun, being productive, enjoying the freedom I’ll finally have to do what I like, but I also want to have other people be part of that.  So I’ll close by saying, if you live in south Jersey, give me a call!  Maybe we can become travel buddies or start a club, or just get together for coffee.  The possibilities are endless!!





I’m Back!!


I came home tonight determined to write something.  It’s been ages since I posted in this blog and it took me a long time to figure out what’s been going on with me.  Quite simply, I’ve been depressed.  Sure, I’ve been going to work, playing with my grandson, reading some books, but underlying this has been depression.  The reason….the election.  For the first few months, I didn’t know that it showed, didn’t even really know I was feeling it.  But when I got my review at work, I was asked if everything was OK and while I was saying yes, it dawned on me…no.  I was not OK.  I was scared.  Scared about the future that I have left.  If I were still married, perhaps it wouldn’t have hit so hard, but since I’m not, it’s all up to me and while I certainly have made progress and am doing OK, there aren’t enough years left to plan for a single retirement.  So, yes, I’m scared.  And the root of my fear is who won the election.  Not that he’s a Republican but because I have zero respect or trust for the guy. (gag) So every day I’m wondering if I’ll ever really be able to retire, have decent health insurance, enough money to be comfortable, to eat healthy,  and to finally get to do something for me.  I don’t know if you know but Cumberland County is either the first or second poorest county in the state so my earnings have been good for these standards, but not great by others.  And I of course stayed here because my husband wanted to.  And once my grandson arrived… well, you know. So the result of this depression and worry  is that creativity got wiped out.  I couldn’t think what to write, couldn’t sit down to write, didn’t feel like writing, but at the same time was yearning to write.  No crafts, no knitting or sewing, not much reading, just work and playing with my grandson when he was here.  He could lift my spirits but at the same time I was so tired and just wanted to sleep. (By the way, I didn’t want to turn this into a political discourse so I kept my comments to a minimum but rest assured, I could go deep on the topic. But maybe another time.) Also, physically I can’t do the things I used to do so that just added to the depression.  But today….today…I said enough.  I need to get off my ass and do something that I feel good about.  So I may be rusty but I’m typing.

And eating.  I’m balancing a bowl of homemade soup while I type, just some orzo, fresh broccoli, spinach, and broth, but I haven’t had pasta for ages and tonight’s the night!

So what do I write about?  Originally, I started this blog as a way to help me to get over the divorce, which it did, and that was its purpose.  Fulfilled.  But I can’t spend forever writing about starting over because I did, and I am.  Other than the aforementioned issue, I’m OK.  It would be like beating a dead horse to keep writing about starting over so I need a new topic.  While I’m giving this some thought, I do want to mention the class reunion.  (50th)

It was my first reunion and I can honestly say I didn’t want to leave.  I’m not real great on my feet in crowds so I wish I could have gotten around more but I enjoyed every minute of it. Carole and Jerry took me under their wing and made sure I was OK, and it was so great to be able to talk to everyone and see how we’ve changed, and how some haven’t changed.  I had some special conversations, good food, and loved the location.  I haven’t been “home” since the 70’s and as I got into Summit, I barely recognized it, except for one little area.  (I remember the first time I drove Dad’s 67 Plymouth Belvedere to Summit and had to park that boat in the lot behind the stores.  I spent ages trying to ease into a space, sweating, scared I’d hit someone, and got so stressed that finally I left.)  I didn’t do much driving around NP once I left for college and rarely got back home, and then my parents moved to the shore.  So this trip, every time I saw a landmark that I recognized, it was so exciting.  Driving down Springfield Ave., I at first didn’t see much I recognized, but then I came to Livingston Ave.(I think) and  Gale Drive and knew where I was.  I’m going to admit that I cried.  And am now.  We were so blessed to grow up there.  I of course missed the turn into the apartments and had to go downtown to turn around, and everything was so different from my last visit over 30 years ago..  I found my way to my home and the yard looked so small and the trees so huge! It felt so good to be there. Ricky A. lived down one end and Dale S. lived up the other, with my house halfway.  Safe, innocent, a good life back then. After looking like a stalker taking pictures, I moved on and ended up out by OLP and managed to find my way to Blue Star (used to go parking at Seeley’s Pond) and out onto Rt. 22.  My journey ended in Union at my sister’s house and I was quite pleased with myself for finding my way without the GPS.   I want to thank Fran and Linda for putting that all together.  It gave me something I didn’t know I was missing and I’d love to take my son there and show him where I grew up.Where I live now is nothing like that though it does have pockets that are somewhat similar.  I’m hopeful that we do get to do it again in Florida and that we all are healthy enough to go. And that if you couldn’t attend the NP event maybe you can make it to Florida.

I guess the reunion ended up being my topic for this post.   It’s been so long since I posted I hope that I can remember how to get into the blog. I guess if you’re reading this I figured it out!  I’m thinking about future topics so if you have any ideas, please send them to me.  It might just be “life goes on” unless some inspiration hits.  

Until next time….it feels good to be back.


Taking Steps


20170128_163723_hdr-2On January 2nd, I posted that I am determined to break the rut that I’m in and get started accomplishing something other than punching a time clock every day.  I’m happy to say that it has begun.  Not a huge amount but a start.  So I want to share my plans so that my followers will see progress and understand what it’s about.

I’m going to be opening an Etsy store soon.  Right now I’m getting supplies and making patterns, getting ready to make my “projects” that I’ll be selling.  I’ve given this a lot of thought and the idea that I came up with is making “props” for therapists, Behavior Assistants, teachers, and even parents.  Since I’m a Behavior Assistant, I have spent a lot of time creating these props for my own visits while working on coping skills, emotions, and anger management.  I’ve had to create brief “lesson plans” for these 2 hour visits, incorporating play, crafts, videos, and games, and usually have made most of the props myself in order to save money.  I also have a good resource for purchasing children’s books that deal with these issues so will occasionally sell the book along with the project.  The projects can be used as patterns but for those who don’t feel “crafty”, the price will be low enough that they can be repurchased for each new client, and of course, these would be a tax write-off for the purchaser.

Idea number 2 is as a clothing reseller.  I have huge amounts of clothing that has been given to me by friends who don’t want to be bothered holding a yard sale, and clothing that has been sitting in bins and boxes as it has become too big or too small to be worn.  I also have fun searching thrift stores and have one particular store that sells by the pound, where there are many items that are new with tags, barely worn but used, from jeans to coats to gowns, men and women, children, and many of the purchasers who frequent this store, are purchasing for resale also. The thrift store search is something I enjoy with my friend Kathy and we spend the day being silly, eating, and hunting for bargains. We went yesterday and had a great day, stopping to take pictures along the Delaware River on the way home. I’ll be posting these items in local Facebook pages and will meet locally for sales but perhaps will ship items as time goes on.  I see this as a way of recycling as well as a profit center, mindful of what happens to unwanted clothing as it ends up in our landfills, and also as a way to work on being more environmentally conscious.  20170128_164814_hdr-2

I’ve decided to forgo the Masters program due to the uncertainty surrounding Social Security and Medicare as I’m not interested in accumulating debt that I’m not able to pay off but I can continue to work as a Behavior Assistant and am also looking into Life Coaching classes on Udemy.

You might be thinking that I’m crazy and doomed to fail at these plans but I’m looking forward to being able to quit the full time grind but still have money coming in, and working at things I enjoy for many years to come.  I want to travel, take classes that interest me, have time to paint and do crafts, perhaps make jewelry again, and so many other things that I don’t have time for now.  It’s not that I mind working; it’s that I mind the schedule that is so rigid that I can’t miss a day.  And as you might remember, I never did much retirement planning so work is also a necessity; I would like it to be as much fun as possible.  I’ll be posting links and you’ll see some of it on Facebook but I’ll also be marketing in other ways. As an extra note, I have to stay busy so as not to be thinking about the condition of our country now and my fear for the future.  It’s very scary to be in this position at this age and health condition so I’m being as proactive as I can.  I just ask that you wish me success!

The change has begun!