Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes!

This evening I’ve had an enjoyable time re-reading some of the earlier posts in my original blog , and I wonder why I haven’t been more active in writing in it. I enjoy writing and recording my thoughts about my life and my experiences (even if no one else ever reads them!) But I think this (just like everything else) requires a commitment of time and energy and I have let other things take priority. Not tonight though…..

The subject of this post is “Changes”, and there have been quite a few.

The biggest change in my life lately is that in July 2013 I finally “retired” from my position as the US Manager of Email Support at Homeaway/VRBO. This was such a bittersweet decision for me. I have loved this job & company so much over the past 11+ years that I have worked for VRBO (first) then Homeaway. I have learned so much & gained valuable experience in Customer Service Management during my tenure with this company.

But I finally came to the point of realization that I was having a more and more difficult time managing my team from my location in Denver when the majority of them lived in Austin TX & worked at the Corporate Headquarters there. Being a Manager but not located in Austin was difficult because I was isolated from so much that was happening and not able to participate in many of the projects and collaborate with other teams as others on the leadership team were able to do. There were some additional pressures and stresses that helped me come to this decision but I’ve been able to put those to rest and have peace about the outcome.

The very best part of this journey has been the friends and relationships that I have built throughout these past 11+ years as a result of my employment at VRBO/Homeaway. I know that these relationships will continue even though I am no longer with the company. I am so grateful for the whole experience and the friendships that I have gained as a result.

Image

(This is a photo of me in the “Family Truckster” located in the Homeaway Penn Field office.)

It has been one month since my last day and I wonder “What have I done with myself since then?”

I have enjoyed the freedom of suddenly having all of my time to myself!

    • I have re-dedicated myself to daily devotions in the morning when drinking my coffee (which was another practice that I so often pushed aside, giving priority to other things; most often, work.)
    • I have enjoyed much more reading time than I was able to have before.
    • I have decided that I need to create some kind of structure to my days or week in order to feel productive….it is really easy to get to the end of the day and realize that while I spent my time doing a lot of things, not a lot of it was what I consider as “productive”.
    • I have taken up a long-neglected knitting project (an afghan kit given to me by my kids some 5? 6? Christmases ago.)
    • I organized my closet! 🙂
    • I’ve been able to go to some yard sales on FRIDAY instead of on Saturday….I really enjoy going to yard sales and have already scored a couple of great finds!

I have found that I am lonely without the daily interaction with my team. I think this has taken me by surprise because I worked from home and was usually alone for most of my work day, working away in my office in the basement of the BBH. So I am used to the isolation. But I guess I didn’t realize how often we communicated with each other by phone or skype.

I’ve been considering some volunteer opportunities, and I also plan on taking a writing course this fall. But for now, I’m happy to just enjoy each day as it comes (even if I do take a little longer getting out of bed in the morning!) 🙂

Another change in our family is that after two years of attending Augustana College in Rock Island IL, Brady has decided to transfer to Colorado State University. While this means that Brady will only be 1.5 hours from home instead of 13 hours, it also means that (for this year at least) he will not be playing college football. I’m sad about that. But Brady made the decision after a lot of thought and wants to spend his last college years at a large university campus. Additionally CSU has a good College of Business and Brady wants to earn a Business Administration degree there. His first day of classes at the CSU campus in Ft. Collins is August 26, 2013 and I am praying that his experience there is all that he hopes it will be.

One thing I’ve learned through this life is that change is inevitable and nothing will ever stay the same. Another thing that I’ve learned is that it is my attitude that determines how these changes will affect me. So I choose to embrace the change and am excited to see how my new “normal” life turns out!

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