One would think that 2016 would have been our year with the most change. I mean, we bought a house and adopted a "special needs" rescue dog! Well, 2017 was equally a huge year of change for us, but it had a much more profound affect on my view of life. Financial Security is something I didn't have until after I got Married and we got debt free a year later. Then we saved and traveled, and finally bought our 1st home on April 8th of 2016. The Blessing is that since I didn't have credit cards, my Name is on the Title, but it is not on the loan. My Income didn't count when it came to purchasing our home. We lived below our means, including the size/price of house we chose to buy. Jonathan could have been approved for a more expensive house, but we didn't want to be "house poor".
I started babysitting at the age of 12 and started buying my own clothes then. I started working at at 16. I worked in college, over breaks, and during the summers as well. I started working Full Time as soon as I graduated college. Besides for a total of 9 months throughout the years, I have always been employed Full Time. I waitressed for 6 Months before I was finally given a job offer at LM. My job at LM was there when I needed it. They have amazing benefits, etc. I met my Husband there. I will be eternally grateful that I was hired there and found Love (and Friendship) at LM! This job was there for me when I needed it and I was employed for 9.5 years. That's a long time for me. The detailed work was so me, but the putting in headphones and focusing and sitting at a desk 37.5 hours a week was not a good fit for this Extrovert. But I stayed where life was "safe and comfortable and secure". I mean after all, I was making GOOD Money.
Something wasn't right though. I constantly sat there obsessing about my Mom's cancer, my BIL's Cancer, my Step Dad's Grand Mal Seizure. All heavy stuff, right? Well my mind literally could not stop obsessing. Part of the reason being, was if my Family needed me and I left work 3 hours early, I would get a full incident against me. It would be as if I hadn't shown up for work at all that day. After like 5.75 incidents you get a verbal warning, and the consequences got stiffer the more incidents you got. FMLA is only used for your own medical condition, or if you are the primary caregiver for a relative. I couldn't get FMLA when Jonathan's Dad was sick and dying. There were other Family issues that were going on at the same time too.
It all caught up to me, and I just couldn't do it anymore. I saw my Counselor. I saw my Dr, who I ended up firing, and I fought for my mental health. I was on Short Term Disability, but after a short while, my Husband and I came to the conclusion, that what was best for me, was for me to resign from my job at LM. It took 3 months to get in to see a Psych NP. My new MD made some med changes, but my Psych NP actually put me on Aderall. Yes, at the age of 43 I was diagnosed with ADD. My Husband was very surprised how productive I was at home during the day. You know why? Because I'm a hard worker, but my ADD made it nearly impossible to focus at a desk job, not talking to people. When it came to running errands, making appointments, etc, I was uber productive. And you know what? I didn't obsess about all of the cancer and illness in my Family. I was too busy to obsess.
It was a very long Summer waiting for approval for my STD after every Dr Appt. Always being afraid it would be denied. Psych issues are treated so much differently than physical issues. I know this is 2017.....2018 in a few hours, but it's true. I was only on STD for less than 3 months when my Husband and I reached the decision, that I needed to quit my job. It wasn't for me. It didn't fit my personality. It didn't allow for me to leave and be there for my Family if they needed me. It didn't allow for me to call in sick when I could hardly function, not if I wanted to keep the job. I resigned as soon as we made the decision. I resigned on August 21st and I haven't once regretted my decision. Even my Husband says we don't really miss my income. Why? Because we live below our means. My Husband is Happier. I am Happier. If my Sister in WI needs me, I can drive to WI. If my Mom or Grandma need me, I can be there for them, without receiving an incident.
Lessons Learned in 2017...I mean REALLY Learned:
1. Peace is more important than Money.
2. Family comes first...before Money..before a Job.
3. It takes a leap of Faith and Trust in God, but He will provide. No...please don't quit your job if you live alone and say....well Jen said......! I supported myself for years. I am the saver in our relationship.
I am Happy.. I am at Peace. I was Diagnosed with ADD. I am a hard worker.
I started my small business called J-La-Sta's Thrifty Threads on September 26th of 2017. I love bargain hunting! I love meeting new people. I love serving others. I love having a more flexible schedule where Family comes first. I am not making anywhere near the amount of money I made working Full Time at Liberty, but you know what? 2017 taught me that Peace is FAR more important than money! My security rests in my Savior, not in LM, and not in the Money I received from LM. I work my butt off now. I may not get the same amount of money, but this job fits the flexible lifestyle I need and want now. Thank you Jonathan, for letting me quit LM and for realizing it was the best move for us! I Love You! :-)
I also learned that I'm stronger than I think I am. Being mentally ill, and having sick Family Members, one learns who their true Friends are. Thank you to those who were there for me during one of the darkest and most challenging times in my life. Please fight for yourself and your health, because no one else will. I had to fight hard for months to get the care I need, when I barely had the energy to get out of bed. I had a MD (after I told her I couldn't function and I was crying in front of her nonstop) say to me "So you are going back to work tomorrow right?" Even if your Dr doesn't get it, keep fighting to get the help you need.
Peace and Happiness are Far More Important than Money. I am Blessed. We are Blessed. I've only been running my small business for 3 months, but I hope to continue to grow it in the future. I'm a hard worker, just a hard worker with ADD and an Extroverted Personality. I did what I had to do when I had to do it, for 9.5 years, and now......I'm doing what I GET to do.
My Goals for 2018 are to grow my Business and to lose weight I gained as a result of giving into cravings caused by new meds. I want to be healthier again. However, I have also learned that my weight doesn't define me.
Happy New Year Everyone! I Hope that 2018 is a Year Full of Happiness and Blessings Beyond Measure for you!