New Beginnings

I started a new job this past Monday; I left my last job after only 23 months. I knew 6 months in that the job was not a fit for me. I chose to face my mistake as a professional by focusing on my job search, but continuing to do my best at the duties I was given to do. I did go through a tough phase in which I was very angry, angry with myself for a while, but eventually got over it. (It's a natural part of the grieving process). It took many interviews and training presentations to find the right fit. At times it was overwhelming and frustrating and I often thought about giving up, but new I didn't want to continue in my current position so I continued my search. I never let on that I was looking for a job and continued to give my best. I was finally rewarded with a new position at Ecolab Equipment care as a Senior Training Specialist. I even managed to negotiate for a higher salary due to a higher health insurance premium; that negotiation also netted me 3 weeks of vacation too!

After one week , I'm cautiously optimistic about my job. I would like to say I'm grinning from ear to ear, but I want to be realistic as well; I still have a lot to learn. I've learned some important things over the past week:

1. Always trust your gut…if something (as small as it might be) doesn't feel right, don't do it. Your gut truly does sense what's best for you…you just need to learn to listen to your inner voice.
2. Hold out for something better. Even after many interviews and rejections, I kept telling myself that there was something better out there for me.
3. Believe in yourself. Over the last few years, I've lost confidence in myself and my abilities (due to a variety of reasons). Always believe that you CAN do what you set out to do.
4. Enjoy the friendships you make at your job. I have met many wonderful people that I still keep in touch with (even if it's simply liking a photo or post on Facebook) and they have helped make me who I am today. I'm grateful for all the friends I've made!
5. Reach for the stars!!! If you are applying for a job, apply for jobs that challenge you and are just outside your comfort zone…you'll be much happier if you do!
6. I forgot how exhausting it is to start a new job…there is SO much to learn! Be gentle with yourself during this time and get the rest you need.

One thing I've discovered over the past week that has been lost for a long time is my self confidence. It's amazing what a difference it makes to have your plant director truly believe that you will make a positive difference (based on your experience AND leadership skills) AND that he's willing to support you in your journey along the way. I honestly haven't had that kind of support in a very long time. It's a refreshing feeling!

I'm also discovering a whole new lifestyle at my beckoning. With this job I can start as early as I'd like, and leave after my 8 hours are complete…most people are gone between 4:00pm and 4:30pm. I now can do more after work than I have in many years. I'm very excited about what the future holds! I'm very proud to work for this company and I'm looking forward to continue learning and growth!

Here are some moments capturing my first week:

Required of all employees on the plant floor: Safety Shoes

My nameplate (these really help me learn who everyone is)

Ecolab Swag! T-shirt and lunch bag


Letting Go of What Might Be Holding You Back

My mom passed away in February 2009 and my dad passed away the following year in January  2010, the day before his 80th birthday.  As an only child, I was the one who had to go through everything in their house before the Estate took things over to prepare it for sale.  I had a lot of help from many good friends.  Over the course of about 2.5 months, we laughed, reminisced, saved, and tossed.  My parents were not pack rats, but they still had a lot of  ‘stuff’.  Some of  the things that came to my house were my mom’s Cusinart food processor (quite a workhorse), a few bowls, and bread baskets, blankets that hold fond childhood memories, a lot of memorabilia and among other things, my mom’s Estee Lauder Bronzer.  I learned a lot about make up and positive self-image from my mother.  I used to love watching her put make up on every morning.  It’s become a daily ritual for me as well.

As I’ve move through the grief process, I’ve allowed myself to miss my parents, to thank them, and to pray to them for guidance.  I mostly have been looking to them for guidance in figuring who I actually am, and what I should be doing with my life now that they are gone.  Since they have passed, I have lost my confidence in myself and feel very lost in my life.

Not too long ago, after some rather stressful life events,  I came upon the realization that it was up to me to find these answers.  It was up to me to take care of myself and my parents were no longer here to take care of me.  It was something I was holding onto, not wanting to let go of the ‘hope’ that mom and dad would come to my rescue and make things all better.  Nope…not gonna happen.  It’s totally up to me to do this now.

I’m starting to feel better about this and it seems to be a little easier to let go of certain mementos that I need to let go of.  Mind you, there are still a LOT of things that I’m keeping, for a scrapbook to be created at a later date; but there are a lot of things I can now let go of.  Whether it’s something physical, or a way of thinking, or a thought…sometimes you need to let it go to be able to move forward in your life. That’s where I am now.  Re-evaluating everything in my life…do I need to keep it, put it on hold, or toss it.

Today…it was time to let go of the Estee Lauder bronzer that my mom used for many years.  It took me 5.5 years to use it up.  And as it started to crumble over this past week, I panicked…not wanting it to empty…as I though I would lose a part of my mom if it went away.  I know it sounds silly, but this is what one’s mind does in the grieving process.  So today, I tossed the empty bronzer into the garbage.  A part of me is a little sad, but a part of me feels relieved and free.

It’s time to start moving forward in my life and find my self-confidence once again!