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    LKORNEGAY   7,214
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I'm at a crossroads in my life...where do I go from here?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I'm not sure where to start, so I'm just going to start typing and hopefully this will all make some sense in the end.

For the past few months I have felt my life was changing, but I also felt in many ways I was ready for a change, the next chapter of my life so to speak.

For many years I identified myself as "the wife and mother" and most of those years I also worked outside the home. I sang in my church choir for 8 years. My life was busy and full and I knew what my role was. The years ticked on....my son went into the Marines, moved out and began his adult life's journey. He got married and started a family. My daughter was a pre-teen when I got my divorce, so she lived with me until she too grew up...went to college...moved out....got married and started her family.

I became an empty nester...and it took some getting used to believe me. But I found my job kept me busy, working a lot of over time, working even some nights and weekends. I found my value in what I did in the community, teaching and making a difference in people's quality of life. For 16 years I worked hard, felt proud of what I did and earned respect from the citizens in the community I served. I was very good at what I did and was very proud of the job I did. I have been in my job for a total of 25 years, but those 16 years I spoke about were the most rewarding. But things have changed in my job the last 3 years. There have been changes with Command Staff, and they have brought in younger people and pushed out most of the "old timers". I am one of the very few left. I take it one day at a time, not sure what the future has in store for me. They have taken my job and all my duties and given them to the 4 people they have added to my unit over the last 3 years. I have lost my identity and my value in my job. I come in every day and feel lost and unappreciated, I'm merely existing. Not sure what my role is anymore. I have asked for more, but they act like they just want me to get enough and just leave.

Then there's my home life....when I divorced almost 15 years ago, I bought a new home. My then young daughter and I settled in nicely, with our 2 cats and with a pre-teen and eventually a teenager in the home, believe me there was never a dull moment! Friends were always coming by, she was in school, I was working two jobs (my full time job and a part time retail job), I also tried dating for awhile, so life was busy and full still. Then my daughter grew up, moved out and started her adult life. Mom rocked along....adjusted, but kept on going. Then three years ago I lost one of my kitties, Miss Lucky. Then it was just Socks and I. Then as many of you know Socks (18 yrs. old kitty) died a week and a half ago.

I have never felt the hole and emptiness in my life and my heart that I have felt over the last few weeks. I have lost interest in my home, which I've always loved. I don't have my job to keep me busy and to help me feel like I'm contributing anything. My grown children are busy with their lives and families (as I was at their age). I am struggling day in and day out. I keep praying for God to show me where I go from here. That I am ready for the next chapter of my life. I'm not even sure why I'm writing all this down, or what I'm asking for. Maybe some advice from others that have been where I am right now. I go home every night and I pull into the drive way and I have this overwhelming sadness overcome me knowing I have to face that empty house again....to fill another night alone, once again.

I have done well over the last 4 months to take off weight (38 lbs, since January) but now I'm so afraid I'm going to fall back into bad habits, only because it's comfortable, it's what I know best. Those of us that struggle with our weight know that food is always there, and we want to fill that hole we have in our hearts and life with something to make it go away. I don't want to do that, I know as many of you do too, that will only add to my problems.

If you have been where I am now, or have any advice that might help me find my way, I would appreciate it. In all the devastation in OK, I feel bad to even ask for help, but if you have the time to send me some advice I would really appreciate it or say a little prayer for me that God will reveal to me what my new "role" is.

Thanking you in advance for reading this~

Lawanda

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BLAZINGSWORD 6/5/2013 12:27PM

    I like you are, basically am re-discovering myself. My hubby of 30 years just recently past about 2 months ago after battling cancer for 6 years. Right before he was diagnosed, I resigned my job after I prayed about it. So I haven't worked in 6 years.

One daughter, 28, is married and expecting her first child later this year but she lives out of state. Another daughter, (24), lives about 70 miles away and holds down 3 jobs and has not lived at home in the past 10 years.

Loose ends to tie up pertaining to hubby's passing and hopefully that will soon be a thing of the past.

But I totally agree with OneThePath2. Those are excellent suggestions.

I am trusting that I will be able to volunteer at my church, and at the hospital in rocking babies. Maybe even a part-time job at a local bookstore.

Here's to a brighter future!

Who knows? Maybe you will take up the idea of pet sitting. I have a friend in Katy Texas who does just that as she has 6 Boston Terriers of her own. (Two of which are service dogs.) And she makes some very nice money pet sitting. And I do mean nice.



Comment edited on: 6/5/2013 12:28:52 PM

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GODS_TEMPLE 5/23/2013 1:55AM

    I noticed you said you sang in the Church choir for 8 years...which sounds like you don't do that any more. That is one of the things I like to do the most. Get back into the choir and praise God!

When we lost our 2 little dogs within 2 months of each other, I just couldn't handle getting another one right away. So instead, we spread the word that we would dog/cat sit for our friends. You would be surprised how busy you can stay doing that for others to go on vacations...or sometimes when company comes to their house who are not fond of pets.

I also take some older friends to the grocery and doctor appointments.

There are any number of things you can do on a volunteer basis to fill your time and heart. Most animal shelters need volunteers who love animals to help out in a number of ways.

But, as others have said. Talk to God about what you really want to do, and He will probably open many doors.

I'll be praying for you. Ramona emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ONTHEPATH2 5/22/2013 4:54PM

    Oh my, I think your shoes and mine are very much alike, although mine are a bit older than yours! My kids left the nest after I divorced, I had two dogs and a cat, one by one they grew old and also left until when I came home from work there was no wagging tail at the door to greet me, just the empty house. No one to cook for, just me. It was an empty feeling!

During that time my 9 year relationship ended, the company I worked for for 20 years merged with another and things were changing in my life - I had NO control! Most of my friends are married, have their family things going on and I felt like I was intruding on their lives.

What saved me was joining the Y. I started going there everyday right from work, taking a yoga class, or just working out. I hung out in the whirlpool after, or the sauna and met other women on healthy journeys, sometimes just listening to the college girls tell their stories of what was going on in their lives that day. Eventually I met some new friends there.

I also started doing some other things, found out that I love biking and met people doing that. I met someone who shared my love for music so I have a concert buddy now. I met another group of people who shared my love of sports, so I have people to share that with. My life is full and good today (although healthy eating is still a struggle).

There are many opportunities to volunteer. Share the joy of reading by helping out in a literacy program, or mentor a young adult, or be a big sister to a girl who needs a positive female role model, or foster a pet that is waiting to be adopted, help out in a pantry or food kitchen... the list of those needing a helping hand is endless. Sometimes the person extending the hand to help is helped much more in the process!

I think the key is to get out of yourself, out of yoru house and put yourself out there. Be patient, give it time, find the things you love - and just do it!!! It's ok to start up conversations with complete strangers, sometimes they lead to lasting friendships!

Be kind to yourself, the heart takes time to heal!

Love ya -
Barb

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WINDSONG~ 5/22/2013 5:07AM

    Losing your dear Socks brought home to you the feelings of truly being alone.
I know the routine of saying is this all that there is?
Having a good friend that you can trust in can be such joy.
Your faith is your salvation and you do trust in Him.
When mom died my husband said that he needed a soul to love again and God gave us Charley.
Is there something in your dreams that you really would like to do? If so, make it happen.
Try something new that you have wanted to try.
Your job is not your go to place that fulfilled you with accomplishment and pride. Keep a look out in the paper for another one. Maybe tutoring or mentoring.
You are such a warm, loving, respectful and caring person you need to continue to believe in you as others do.
Seek professional help if need be.
Give time and God a chance to have the light shine around you again.
Go through the 5 stages of grief and allow your feelings to come out.
In the end always remember that you are never alone when God is in your life.
I care and I look forward to hearing what your decisions are for the future.
Marcie

Comment edited on: 5/23/2013 5:23:10 AM

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NHES220 5/21/2013 5:47PM

    Lawanda,
You definitely sound like you are at a crossroads. Losing your pet who was a member of your family. Kids are grown and moved on starting their own lives and families and your job is not fulfilling or challenging. It is tough to go from a person who is taking care of people and being challenged to feeling the emptiness you are feeling. I am not sure if there are friends you can reach out to or groups you can join. I work from home when I am not on the road and even though I am married, my husband is at work and it gets a little isolating. I volunteer at a food pantry on Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings I joined a beginner running group. Have you looked into any activities? Also, I know it is soon, but have you thought of adopting another cat or two? We have 2 shelter cats, they are 9 now, and they are great company.

Hang in there and keep us posted on how you are doing!
Noreen
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100LBLIGHTER 5/21/2013 5:14PM

    Lawanda .....
Prayers are on the way....empty nest left me crying for at least a year. I had no job...I was a homemaker...and my Daughter was my everything. My Hubby was and still is an over-the-road truck driver. So my days were empty. I found a part time job where I could meet people...I was a demo girl at the grocery stores. I loved that. I also became a care giver for a Health Care Co in my community. I helped neighbors take care of their basic needs...and home care. Right up my alley. I joined a group that worked out at the pool ...we called ourselves "the Pool Pals" . We became good friends and celebrated birthdays...and holidays...besides exercising in the pool everyday. Life changed...and I am comfortable without change. But everything was good. I took 2 kids into my home for nine (9) months while their parents went on the road truck driving. I did child care in my home for friends I knew...

I found when I was giving...of myself I was happy...people are very important to me and life changes can be good.

My advice is this....What do you want to do? What gives you pleasure? What are your dreams? Do that.... All I ever wanted to be was a homemaker....that is where my talents were...and it is interesting that those are the windows that opened to let me and my talents shine through.

Direction will come as you trust in the Lord ...he will direct your path. Pray and wait on His Doors to open. Maybe it is time for you to think about a relationship....and dating. Only you know....but His word says if you acknowledge Him he will give you the desires of your heart. That means He can make known the desires of your heart....and He can give you what you desire. Trust means also stepping out when you see a path you have not traveled. Just remember He will not take you where there is any bad....only good gifts come from God. I pray this helps ....please keep me informed. Blessings on you. Grace.



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SUNSETSMILE 5/21/2013 5:05PM

    It sounds like you may have a touch of depression. Have you thought about talking to a counselor? An unbiased opinion to get you through your rough patch. You may also still be grieving your loss. Does you church have a counselor? Best of luck to you and hang in there. I think just blogging about it here and getting support could help. emoticon

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