2021 in review: How the year played out and the best books I read

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Organization

I’ve been trying to start this blog post for the past two days, but I keep getting caught up in one home organization project or another. I organized the clothing in my dresser and closet. Then, I sorted through all my jewelry and placed it into old pill boxes and various decorative storage containers to keep it straight, And this evening, I moved my sewing kit into one plastic lunch container so I could get rid of the old plastic drawer solution since the drawers never stayed closed.

Of course, that doesn’t include the regular things I did such as loading and unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry, cooking dinner (homemade pizza on Saturday night) and helping my husband with his apple pie by peeling and slicing the apples while he made crust. I don’t regret the time I spent engaging in any of these activities or the time I spent with my family.

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That for which I am thankful

Be thankful graphic with leaves
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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

If someone had told me a year ago the changes I would face in 2021, I’m not sure I would have believed them. This time last year, I was hopeful for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, thankful for my family and friends, grateful for a job I loved and was able to keep while working from home to help stop the spread of the virus, missing my best Buddy, and preparing to publish my 4th novel. In some ways, beginning the final month or so of 2021 feels like a repeat of 2020. I’ve jokingly referred to 2021 as 2020: Part II several times throughout the year because, in many ways, I feel like we’re in the same place with the pandemic. So many other things have changed, and there are still so many things for which I am thankful. Continue reading

Unexpected Employment Changes

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Note: Edited on August 20, 2021, in order to clarify some points that I did not communicate clearly in the first publication, which caused some hurt feelings with some former coworkers. That was never my intent because I care for those people very much and would never intentionally hurt anyone. People who know me well know my heart.

Growing up, I knew that my parents were careful with their money. They worked hard for what they had, and when each of them faced a job loss, they took it in stride and found something else to support our family. It’s what good parents do—they provide for their children. It’s what adults do. When one job doesn’t work out, we have to find another. So what’s the difference between a job and a career? I think it’s the love of a job that makes it a career.

I went through the typical childhood dreams of being unsure what I wanted to be when I grew up. Eventually, I settled on writing as an art form. It’s always the expression of myself from which I couldn’t stay away for too long. Sure, I took breaks over the years from the more creative aspects, but the writing was always there, waiting inside me out of loyalty, talent, and true passion for it.

Getting a real grown-up job was something I fell into while working on my master’s degree in college student personnel at Arkansas Tech University. While completing my bachelor’s in creative writing in early 2003, I learned of the new program starting its first cohort soon. Since I loved working as a senior fellow in the English department at ATU, I knew going to graduate college was the next step because I truly loved being in the college environment. Continue reading