Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I Am Thankful for Me!

Yes, my title says I am thankful for me!  This last year has been trying but has taught me so much about myself and life.  I have learned to value myself, not in a puffed up look at me way, but in a way that allows me to understand my own worth and protect myself.

As women we tend to buy into the Pnterest, DIY, and latest fitness hype of the day.  Now, I am not saying any of those things are bad or harmful, but when we begin comparing ourselves to them we fall into a trap.  Think about are surfing through Pinterest and you see all these amazing ideas and can't wait to try them for your holiday party.  You start making lists and gathering items and you are ready to go.  But then life happens and you don't have the time to get it all done or your glue won't do the things that the Pinterest glue does and BAM!  You start asking yourself why you can't get it done like the people on Pinterest.  Well ladies here's a news flash for you...all those items on Pinterest were put on there by THOUSANDS of people.  So you as an individual are trying to be all Pinterest or Martha Stewart when both of them have thousands of people working their stuff!  Slow down decide what matters and focus on that.

This year has been a professional struggle for me.  I am going to type into words what I have been saying to myself for several months...Jill you should be ashamed of yourself!  I have been married to an active duty submariner for 24 years and have dealt with deployments, separation, long working hours, and being a single parent.  BUT I have never had to deal with the frustration of moving every three years and the effect it can have on your career.  I was spoiled and lived in the same place for 22 of those years and was able to build a solid reputation and name for myself in my field.  I never struggled having to find a job; I simply applied for them and got them.  I never had to struggle to re-establish my career and my reputation.  Well, this last year I was able to experience just that and I found out it sucks!   However, even in the suckage (its my blog I can make up words:)) I have learned a valuable value myself and not to allow others to dictate my worth in both my own mind and in the work place.  I had to spend countless hours praying, encouraging myself, and getting tongue lashings from those who love me to keep a grasp on who I am and my professional value.  The truth is you really can't make people accept your value professionally...but you can hold on to your worth with both hands for yourself.  

Another lesson learned this year comes from a blog I wrote a couple of months ago..."Don't Put Poop in Your Pocket."  And I will be honest some days when I use that saying I use the word poop...other days its the naughty word for poop...because man....its bad poop!  But the gist of it is people leave crap all over....gossip, lies, anger, name it, but you don't have to latch on to it and make it yours.  You can simply chose to leave it where it is and not accept all the negativity they are trying to share with the world.  

The final lesson of the year is the common thread in all three of the above lessons...YOU control what you think, feel, and allow into your life. Value yourself enough to throw out the trash of life and hold tightly to what you value. Ladies, I promise you it is ok to love you, appreciate you, and be thankful for the person you were, are, and will be!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Veterans Day 2013

Shhhhhh!!!!! It’s early in the morning on the Saturday of Veteran’s Day weekend and I am enjoying not only the peace and quiet, but the feeling of completeness that comes from knowing your husband is home from sea.

Veterans Day weekend, sadly like Memorial Day and 4th of July are often just thought of as a day off by most Americans.  For those who serve, have served, and ever loved anyone who served these are days where reflection and honoring come before BBQ’s, parades, and fireworks.

Personally, I live a life of honor and reflection, grateful for the sacrifices daily that the service men and women have made, are making, and will continue to make.   Living, working, and spending almost every waking moment on a military base will do that to a person.  Add to that the fact that I am supporting my husband as he lives a life of sacrifice, as are my children, and it’s easy to understand when I say live a life of honor, reflection, and gratefulness that I mean it as a verb, an action.

I am given the opportunity daily to honor the service of our active duty members as I strive to provide them with excellent childcare as the CDC Director.  Our team works to make sure that they can go to work knowing not only that their children are safe, but they are loved and happy.  I am provided the opportunity twice a day to reflect on the sacrifice and gift that those who serve have given, are giving, and will give as I hear Colors twice a day and I pause, and reflect.

I am also grateful daily for those who serve, as I witness them daily working to serve their country.  I witness the gate guards serving as sentries to the base; I see the medical staff at the hospital serving active duty members and their families.  I am blessed to drive down the pier and see submarines ready and willing to go into harms way.  I am witness to the tears of sorrow as a submarine pulls out of port, tears of frustration as moms and children work to find their grove while dad is gone, and tears of joy when that submarine comes through the harbor and makes her way back to the pier.   I am in the thick of honor, courage, and commitment daily, I am fortunate enough to witness sacrifice in action. So I have an unfair advantage over most American’s, because I see daily sacrifice in action, rather than just a news clip here or there.  I am grateful for the life I have been blessed to live as part of such an amazing group of men and women.