AUNTYEMM   65,852
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AUNTYEMM's Recent Blog Entries

Into the job wilderness

Thursday, February 03, 2011

I guess everyone thinks I've fallen off the health wagon. Not so. Even though I've had some tough times, I have maintained my weight loss within 4-5 pounds. I gain and I lose and I am okay with that for now. The last weight I did was 166 and I am usually feeling pretty satisfied. I'd like to get rid of another 10 or 15 pounds but it will happen when it happens. I am not really worried about it.
Unfortunately, I do have some situations that I wish were different. On two days before Christmas, I got downsized. I knew it might happen and I was not very happy with where I was, but being unemployed is very scary. I have been working harder than I ever could have in a job. I have sent literally hundreds of resumes, I have gone to job fairs and career ministries and I am working almost every day except Sunday. I have had resume coaches helped me redo my resume and I have gone through all the stuff I can think of. The only thing I don't seem to understand is networking. I don't really have friends that can make connections for me and I am not the kind of person to ask for favors. I could probably have found a part time job or some kind of entry level but that is just NOT for me. I file for Unemployment Compensation but because of a lot of confusion with the Virginia Commission, I still am waiting to get something. I am told NOW that I should get my first check in 2 more weeks. A whole $350.00 not quite half of my last take home pay.
I have gone on 3 interviews but nothing there. I am really getting concerned. My nephew has been out of work since August and I have heard many folks a lot longer. Can anyone give me some suggestions?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 5/24/2011 1:18AM

    Taking a part time job can work into a full time one, so I'd think about that. I know you wrote this back in February so I hope all is well.
I tell my children that they HAVE to have a job skill that not just anyone off the street can do. My DD is in college now and I told her to plan to go right on and get her Master's degree and not think about stopping with a BS degree. She wants to work in environment, so I told her she need to get a job with Certification.

Be a volunteer like at the hospital or school and that is one way to get a job. Talk to ministers at churches as they know a lot of people and that is networking.

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CALIDREAMER76 4/1/2011 10:07PM

You've done the hardest thing in loosing that weight. Maintain your confidence. Share what you've learned. Maybe there is a door open for you in an area you just haven't looked at. You have a lot to share and a lot of knowledge.
Best wishes for something to turn up soon.

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THOMS1 4/1/2011 9:06PM

    Mary you looking wonderful. I am so sorry to hear about your job loss. The economy certainly dosen't seem like its getting any better no matter what they say. I wish I had some suggestions for you. I will keep you in my prayers and I hope you are able to get something soon. emoticon

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    I'm so sorry that I don't have any good suggestions for you MaryLou. I would suggest talking to your local YMCA or gym about perhaps some work there while you wait. It's not much but it's something and you've worked hard to get where you are. I never thought I'd be teaching water aerobic classes and here I am doing 17 hours a week. You would still probably qualify for unemployment because the pay is so low but you'd feel like you were doing something & be getting in your exercise. Love you, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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LLTS01 2/6/2011 12:22AM

    I am so sorry about your job loss. Are there any organizations you can join that can help you with the networking aspect of your job?
I know you must be very concerned and rightfully so. It is very scary and unpredictable these days. Did your previous employer offer you any outplacement service?

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I believe I can fly!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Today, sitting at my desk with Youtube tunes playing, I heard a song I haven't heard in years. The singer was not the one who made it a hit but I love James Ingram for his romantic songs. This song was "I Believe I Can Fly". I stopped everything when I heard it. I was so excited at the lyrics, especially this part.
I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
See me running through the open door
I believe I can fly.
The part where he sings
If I can see it then I can do it
If I just believe it there's nothing to it!
Made me cry in joy. I realized how true those words are.
I know I've been going through a transformation, just like a butterfly,but sometimes I still feel like a caterpillar. But if I believe it I can do it! I loved every word of that song and it really made me know that I do believe in me and I can become that butterfly and soar wherever I ever dreamed of going.
The lyrics are going to be put on my vision collage.

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PINKNFITCARLA 7/10/2010 11:04PM

    I've always loved that song, but I haven't heard it in years and I never thought about the meaning of the lyrics.

I believe you can fly too! emoticon emoticon

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NAMASTE26 6/29/2010 11:45AM

    What a wonderful song! The lyrics are very empowering and inspiratonal...gave me goosebumps, haha. Thanks for posting!

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VALERIEMAHA 6/29/2010 11:07AM

    I believe YOU CAN FLY as well!!!

Wonderful affirmation and image. Thanks for the inspiration!

Blessed be!

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5K Race and Kayaking on the Potomac

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This weekend has been awesome! I am among the luckiest humans on earth. I have such marvelous friends and the love of life wells up in me.
I'll start with Saturday. I have a wonderful friend named Mary who told me about a 5K race at her church. I arrived early and parked in a nice shady spot. It was pretty warm already. I went into the church hall and went to pick up my info on the race. I was given a green teeshirt with "LOSING TO LIVE" on the front. There were more people arriving and the large parking lot was filling up. I walked over and saw my friend Mary. We hugged and I met several of her church friends. We did a few minutes of stretching and then it was time to go. We started off and I began to run. I think that was a mistake, since it was a pretty big hill and I got winded fast. Most of the rest of the race I walked, as fast as I can but I did run a little bit here and there. I had a friend with me during the race and we supported and encouraged one another. My time was not bad - 56 minutes. It was a hot day and I pushed hard to get the final part. When we went through the finish line, we headed for the church's healthy brunch. I was VERY impressed with the great organization. The brunch was incredible! I ate Waldorf Salad, Chic Fil-a wrap, a deviled egg and more. It was delish and I had under 400 calories. The Pastor there is so inspirational!
He has lost 117 lbs and has written a book, called Bod For God. He is a good speaker and awarded prizes for the winners. We cheered for each winner. Maybe next year I will be one of the winners. Finally we went home happy and thoughtful over such a great time.
Saturday night I got to bed early since I had a big day ahead. My trainer that I often mention, Rachel, had made me a promise. I love this woman very much and she has been the #1 inspiration to my healthy journey. But the promise she made this time, excited and thrilled me. She wanted to give me a birthday present, even though we had to wait til our schedules meshed. This Sunday we were going to go to a place where we could rent kayaks and she and I would go kayaking! I had mentioned to her a few times that I would love to learn to kayak. She told me she loved to kayak. My morning was as usual but Rachel arrived at 2PM and after showing her around our new house, we set off to DC. She drove us to a part of the city I remembered well although it had changed a lot. We finally found the place and we parked. Jack's Boathouse was a smallish place and Rachel walked up and paid for the
rental. We went down to the dock, put on the life jackets and the attendants got 2 kayaks ready. The attendant was so gentle with a beginner like me. He showed me how to slide into the kayak and I was nice and comfy in the craft. I always thought of a kayak as one of those with a opening where you fit snugly but this boat looked a lot less like that and kind of a flat boat. My feet were stretched out in front and I could move around easily. Rachel is a pro at this, and she was in the boat in no time. The attendant gave me the paddle with an oar at each end and off we went.
I was surprised that I was not the least apprehensive. Rachel was with me only a few feet away. She guaranteed me that she would not let me get hurt and I knew she would do what she said. I at first had a little trouble working the paddle but I soon figured the right moves. We could easily talk and we decided to go up towards the Key Bridge and come back with the current. I started to paddle with the two ends and I was delighted to move out to the middle of The Potomac. We stroked and chatted and I looked around. It felt so amazing! I could hear sounds from others and the river was full of people, but I felt such a surge of peace and serenity. I looked up in the beautiful blue sky and actually laughed aloud in pure joy!
The wind on my face kept the temperature perfect. I sailed along, getting more comfortable with the paddle. The river was full at first, but we continued until we left most behind. We chatted some but mostly I was wrapped in the pleasure of seeing everything. Several ducks were close and quacked as we sailed. I saw several boats and even a few swimmers. We passed a fisherman who greeted us. I loved it when we were in an area where there were trees all around us. The wonderful green curtain was almost breathtaking. I want to do this again when it is autumn. The colors must be spectacular! I was not worried for one minute while we were there. Rachel was never too far away. We finally decided to turn around and go back. Very mixed feelings. I loved the experience but my arms felt very tired. The current carried us back and I was sorry when it was over. Rachel went in first and stepped easily out of the boat. I was a little worried I might not be able to do that, but it turned out to not be necessary. As I got to the pier, the same attendant came up and with one mighty pull, he dragged the boat right up on the deck! All I had to do is stand up and walk out. I was glad I was on land but I will never forget that time on the water.
We headed home and I tried to let Rachel know how wonderful was her gift. I will never forget that experience, no matter what!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTUPTON 11/7/2010 10:51AM

    What a wonderful story! thanks for posting and letting us share in your success. My best to you! Chris

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MLW0421 6/21/2010 11:48AM

    i didnt know there was Kayaking on the Potomac. I will have to go and find this place now so that DH and I can do it. We live 40 minutes from DC but it would be a great day experience.

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    Great job on your 5K and the kayaking. It sounds like you had a great weekend. Kayaking is something I have always wanted to try but never have had the opportunity. Maybe someday.

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COACH_NICOLE 6/21/2010 9:23AM

    Wow, good job on your recent race. Kayaking sounds so fun, too--what a great weekeknd.

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NURSNANA 6/20/2010 10:59PM

    Wow Mary Lou!! Sounds like a wonderful weekend! My daughter and her husband love going kayaking on the New River! I am so glad you got to go and hope you can do it again in the fall. It is amazing you can do so many fun things now with your "new" body! I'm so happy for you! :)
emoticon emoticon emoticon weekend Mary Lou!!

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THOMS1 6/20/2010 9:44PM

    Hi Auntyemm, I am so happy you had a great weekend. You sound like you are having fun and the time of your life. Keep it up! Loved your blog. emoticon

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DHSPARK 6/20/2010 9:16PM

emoticon job! Glad you had such a nice experience kayaking. I'd like to try it myself are an inspiration!

Nice going on the 5K too!

Spark On!

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IAM_HIS2 6/20/2010 8:29PM

    Wow!! You have a wonderful blog and are such an awesome inspiration!!! I am 62 also--like you I have to lose weight. Your story gave me hope, and when I saw those pants that once fit you, it blew me away.

God bless you and keep writing. Women who are my age need stories like these. emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/20/2010 8:35:50 PM

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The race for The Cure

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Last night as I was almost finished with my blog, we lost our electricity. When it came back, my blog was gone, of course. So hopefully I can get this done today.
So I woke early as usual and I dressed in my new running suit. I will post the pictures on my webpage. It fits perfectly and I felt good. I had a small breakfast. My trainer said that carb loading was a bad idea unless I wanted to visit the porta-potties.
I left the house by 6 and headed to the Metro. When I got there, it was a mass of pink! I don't think there was anyone there who was not going to the run. I saw three young ladies in a suit much like mine, but stenciled on their rear was "Save The Boobies" Each girl had one word on the backside and they stayed in the proper line.
I talked to dozens of people. We got to the Smithsonian station and when I came out onto the mall I was speechless! I later heard that there were 55,000 people in the race and probably half that many others. The Mall was wall to wall people. It reminded me of the days of the protest marches.
I walked the several blocks to the registration tent and gave them a late donation from my boss. It raised my total to $1000.00 so I was pleased.
After that I went to look for my team, the NOVA Sparkers. I must have been late because they have gone. I really didn't mind since there was SO much going on. I noticed a large stage really packed with ladies in pink shirts. These were the breast cancer survivors. Someone told us that one of The ladies there had been a survivor for 35 years. There were speeches and we were addressed by the founder of the Race for The Cure, the sister of Susan Komen.
Finally it was time! The runners were to leave first and we had a countdown. About 10 minutes later it was the walkers turn. I got as close as I could, a block or two from the actual start. Everyone started moving and I couldn't find space to run at first. But soon I was able to find some space. I started to run but it was not easy at first to get throughthe crowd. But I ran for most of the first mile slow but steady. The crowds on the sides of the streets were cheering us on. There were people dressed in costumes and there were the Redskin's cheerleaders. It was wonderful! I talked to people and I passed out at least a dozen spark cards.
I walked most of the second mile because the sun was very hot and I was sweating like a racehorse. But I ran when I could. As I turned a corner there was a water station, I had already drank both of the bottles of water so I was happy to see that. I took one cup and poured it over my head. The second I took with me. Finally I looked and there was the finish line! I was so excited that I ran though it. I wasn't even really that tired, just hot.
They had an area where you could get drinks and yogurt and all sorts of stuff. I was so excited, I went running through it before I realized it.
I was told that I could go to the prize tent and pick up my gifts. I did so and then as I was walking back with my goodies, I saw a group of people over by the team area. I was lucky because the team captain, Louisa recognized me.
There were many hugs and I got intoduced all around. I had my picture taken with them and we arranged a later meeting at a local coffee place near where I live.
We all decided we were hungry (I was starved) and so we walked over to Union Station, our train station, just a few blocks away. We went to the food court and had lunch. We chatted like the close friends I realized we were.
I was eager to get home and so I said my goodbyes and headed home.
U was just thrilled with my wonderful day. I fully intend to do a 8K in September and a 10K on Christmas Eve. I never felt any better than I did while I was there.
My time was nothing great-1 hour and 4 minutes but OMG! a year ago, 3.2 miles would have taken me a week to walk. I am so proud that I challenged myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Loved the blog. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. You're doing GREAT! Congratulations on doing the run/walk and doing it WELL! Love, Dawn

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COACH_NICOLE 6/9/2010 9:09AM

    Great story--what an accomplishment for you! I'm happy to hear about your future race goals, too. Once you do one race, you never go back--only forward. emoticon

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PINKNFITCARLA 6/8/2010 10:35PM

    I so enjoyed meeting you although I was late meeting back up with everyone since I stopped to shop after the race, LOL.

I had started this Race for the Cure team back in February when a few of us talked about it and decided we would do it. I never dreamed we would have gotten 17 team members and raised so much money! And our total online doesn't even include the donation you (or anyone else) dropped off at the race, meaning we WELL surpassed $3000! I will definitely start our team for the 2011 race in the next week or so. A lot of people won't be ready to join yet, but at least the team will be there and people can join when they are able or ready. With a whole year ahead of us, we can get a huge team and really have a long time for donations. I'm thinking maybe yard sales, etc for donations.

emoticon for all your hard work and emoticon on a job well done with the race!

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NURSNANA 6/8/2010 9:09PM

    Congratulations Mary Lou!!! I am so proud of you!! Sounds like you really had a fun day! Thanks for writing it all up for all of us to read! Hugs, Nancy


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getting ready for something new

Monday, June 07, 2010

Many of you know me and my story. I started a journey 2 years ago to get healthy. Gosh! I never anticipated the many facets to this new life. But last Saturday morning was one of the brightest facets on this jewel.
I had been thinking for several months about ways to challenge myself and I began exercising more and I finally decided that I was going to get serious about walking and maybe even running. My wonderful trainer told me about a spot very near where I live where I could go walking. I was delighted with it at once. In fact, on my first visit, I got a look at a mama deer and her fawn, standing only a few feet away. The forest is beautiful with lots of springs crossing the path. Lots of people walked, some ran and a few bicycled.
I started slow and it took most of an hour to walk 1 mile. I knew I was in fair shape and so each time, I pushed myself to go faster and further. After a couple of weeks I was going 2 miles in about 40 minutes. The first time I went a full 5 kilometers, it took me almost an hour and a half. But I was not over tired. I actually went over the 3.2 miles (5K) a couple of times.
Soon I was running short sprints. I still can't run a long time, but my endurance got better as I continued.
Well, one morning I got on my computer and of course, I logged into Spark people. I went to the huddle and for some reason, I checked out the Northern Virginia team. I saw a thread that said 5K run/walk. I was hooked! I followed the links and I saw that it was happening on June 5th in DC. I was born in DC and so I knew the area very well indeed. The race was on the Mall which is the area between The US Capitol and the Washington Monument and continuing to the Lincoln Memorial.
I was very pleased that the race was for an extremely worthy cause, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Race for the Cure. After a moment to read about it, I signed up! My first thought was what have I done???!!! But I had done it and I am stubborn enough to not back down.
I got a lot of support from everyone who knows me and a whole bunch of people on our team. Louisa was the captain of the team and she and the rest of the team were very supportive.
I really began to train in earnest now. I hate treadmills, but I made myself use them if I couldn't get to the paths. I worked hard and I kept going. Time flew past and before I knew it, the day dawned.
I will finish this but I will set up the day itself on a second blog.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THOMS1 6/8/2010 11:27AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Congratulations to you my friend. I am so proud of you. I know that you must be very proud of yourself. Good job! Love ya, Dawn

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IDAMAE1966 6/7/2010 5:43PM


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