Monday, July 25, 2011

Why Am I Doing This?

Having decided I needed a new chapter in my life I moved to Utah. I loved my life, my family, and my friends in California and it was difficult leaving them. I recognized that there was a magnet pulling me back to my old life causing me to hang onto a relationship and a marriage that no longer existed. Making a move and turning the page would help me take a fresh look at life.

I allowed myself six months unemployment. Six months to move in, unpack, and to get healthy. I imagined that "getting healthy" implied physical health, but recognized after time that I was also becoming more healthy emotionally, spiritually, socially, and that I was preparing to heal myself financially as well. So, down thirty pounds, up a few more toned muscles, lots of added energy, a higher spiritual level, and more confident me, I began my job search.

The first question I asked myself was "What do I want to do now that I'm grown up?" When I was a child I made the decision very clearly that what I wanted to be a wife and a mother. That never changed. When I went to college my plan was supplement my career choice. As soon as I became a mother that was it for working outside the home. I babysat up to 14 kids at one time in my home so I could stay with my children. There was no better babysitter because I could only imagine how difficult it was for parents to leave their children.


When Scotty, my youngest, was ready to start school I was asked by a friend, if I wanted to work for him in his Insurance Agency. I gave him every excuse in the book, but he made it easy for me to be a mom and work too. For twenty-seven years I worked in various Insurance positions giving my kids opportunities they wouldn't have had otherwise. It was always a job though, never a career. Perhaps financially it would have been much better to have chosen a career path (had my own agency). After a divorce Ican't imagine how much more difficult it would be to layer the guilt if I had made that choice. At least I know that I did everything I could to honor the commitments and vows that I made at the altar. And my children....when I look at them I am so grateful that they were my highest priority. I'm not saying they wouldn't have been wonderful if I had had a career. I know so many exceptional mothers who do both amazingly well. I also know my kids might have turned out fantastic no matter what because they just are. But gratefully I was there to see them grow up. I was there to enjoy every blessed moment.

The page turned, and now it is time to face that question again; "What do I want to do now that I'm grown up?" At my age I am supposed to be readying myself for retirement, not for my next career. Well, "it is what it is". Even though chronologically I'm 63, my spirit has always been 19 and I'm not ready to retire (at least that's what I've convinced myself). If I was retired I would want to do some service; maybe work at a hospital, convalescent home, or helping children who are having a difficult time. So, my goal is to have a job where I am able to build relationships and help people. So beginning the process I asked myself, "what is out there for me to blend my vocation and avocation?"

I updated my resume, posted it on Monster, and started looking at potential positions. The common denominator in the jobs I researched and applied for was motivating, goal setting, team leading, helping, nurturing. So many insurance opportunities have been offered to me. I felt more and more positive through the interviews about the possibilities of changing other lives and changing my own as well. I felt empowered!

Entrepreneurs have always impressed me and I wished that I had the entrepreneurial spirit which is indomitable. An entrepreneur is a person who has possession of a new enterprise, venture, or idea and is accountable for the inherant risks and the outcome. Eeek....I never had enough guts to look for one of those and certainly didn't want to face any risks, so I sat in my 9-5 job bringing home a regular paycheck. I understood clearly that the "movers and shakers" in this world didn't punch a time clock, but I was much more comfortable in my little box. Well in the job hunting process, especially through the interviews my box got a little bigger....and I could see myself stretching an arm or leg a little outside the confining parameters. I had a "paradigm shift", someone "moved my cheese", I saw "what color my parachute" could be. First of all that 9-5 job doesn't pay much in Utah, so even if I don't succeed to the level promised by all the positions paid by commissions I still have a chance of making more, and certainly would have much more freedom; freedom to be a Grandma, Mother, and friend. So, I just needed to find the right enterprise, venture or idea! As Zig Zigler says: "If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want."

For me to sell an idea or product I would have to believe in it. I could never, ever talk someone into something I didn't think was a good choice for them. That was true as I sold Farmers Insurance products for 27 years. Farmers was a good and honorable company that did exactly what they said they would do. I loved the relationships built with my clients and so I wanted something that would allow me to build relationships again, this time to my own favor, instead of my employers. I considered alot of insurance options again, but hoped for a different perspective.

A friend that attends Toastmasters with me offered another option; to be a partner with her in Melaleuca. I heard good things about Melaleuca before but was concerned about it being a Multi-level Marketing plan. Some people do well with them, but I personally don't feel comfortable supporting. Callie reassured me Melaluca was not multi-level. The things I am most excited about are the products themselves. They are organic, safe, and the company was green way before it became popular to be green. I will not feel like I am selling when I talk to people about these products because they are the same things they are already buying, they simply change WHERE they buy it, and buy it safer. Melaleuca has over 300 products including household cleaning concentrates, vitamins and supplements, bath and body, skin and makeup, and even pharmaceutical products. I'm excited just thinking about offering something positive to my friends, family and my future friends.

So, I CAN be an entrepreneur. Boy, is that ever turning a page in my new chapter, that's really a change for me. Hopefully an old dog CAN learn new tricks, and you can't beat that.

My personal mission statement is: "To empower lives with products that provide financial wellness, physical stability and are environmentally appealing." The wonderful thing about it is I believe it!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What is This?

A few weeks ago I felt extremely overwhelmed. Money was tight because my income which was already tight was decreased by over $700 a month, so I needed to think about getting a job, but what kind of job? Should I find one that is part time, full time, salary based, commission. What did I want to do with the rest of my life. I didn't like the idea of having to start a new career at the age I should be retiring, but I gave myself 6 months and then had planned on getting busy anyway....now I was pushed into it. That was just a bit of the problem, to go along with that I was told by my Dr. that I needed to have a gastric bypass and yet, as stated in an earlier post, I had just lost 30 lbs. So it would seem to be an easy answer, but there are other things involved. If I start working then it would be awhile before I would be comfortable taking the time off. I will be 64 in October (OMG that is a yucky thought) and I can only have the surgery until I am 65, then there will be no more options. The Dr. seems to think that I need this to jump over all my health issues.


Oh well, what this blog is about is how I pulled myself out of the tornado of decisions, thoughts, doldrums and into a really awesome place. How? I don't know really what made that little difference but I do know I was actively involved in creating my own happiness. The greatest advise I could ever give anyone who is frustrated, depressed, despondent in any way is to do absolutely the opposite of what you feel like doing. I truly WANTED to stay in bed, if out of bed I wanted to escape into the computer doing mindless things. I didn't do those things. I set my alarm, which I never usually do, I got out of bed early in the morning and dragged myself through each simple task and ticked it off as an accomplishment. It was hard! There was nothing I wanted more than to stay in that bed, cover my head and go back to sleep until all my decisions were made and magically all was right with the world. Never had success with that plan at all. Forward motion is required to move out of despondency and indecision. I wanted to watch soap operas but would have settled for infomercials. Instead I turned on happy, bright music. Rather than playing "spider solitaire" I looked up quotes on attitude shifts, decision making, and joy. I was too overwhelmed to make a decision of Job or Surgery so I moved forward in both continuing to pray. Sidenote: Prayer is harder for me when I am depressed or overwhelmed because my prayers are based on gratitude...if I am in bed then I can't be grateful for what I am not seeing. So I force myself out into the world to see the skies, trees, smiles on people's faces, my grandaughters twinkling humor then it is easier to pray. In my prayers I learn to ASK, which I am not good at doing. "Lord, bless me with a good day. Help me to see the answers I seek. Give me angels here on earth who will guide me in my decisions."


I updated my resume. You HAVE to be positive in a resume. Every positive characteristic, valuable skill, and passion is listed. That helped me see myself in that light as well and lifted my spirits. After posting the resume on Monster I received lots of offers...that was a real lifter as well. On the surgery side I posted an e-mail to my Dr. for more information on why he felt so strongly that I should have the surgery, and I researched the pros and cons of gastric bypass surgery. I not only continued to exercise, I increased my exercise time. My impulse was not to do it at all because if I was going to have the surgery why bother, but that would have been defeating to me. Remember, do the opposite of what you FEEL like doing.


I started having interviews which was really empowering to me. I get an amazing "high" from seeing people size me up visually when they first meet me, then I proceed to "wow" them. I love how they are stiff, impersonal, going through the motions at the beginning of an interview, and at the end they are relaxed, leaning forward into our conversation, even asking MY advise at times on certain aspects of their own situations. That is the Lord blessing me for my efforts I believe. When I do my share, He is right there to fill in the GAP. I couldn't do it without Him. That is also building steam and esteem because with that knowledge and success I can now go forward and conquer not only the decisions that need to be made, but the WORLD (haha).

Yesterday as I got up way earlier than planned I discovered that now I wasn't forcing myself to take each step I was bouncing and bounding. I stopped and took a look into the mirror and said "Leslie Trosper, you are cute." I found that I didn't really MAKE a decision about the surgery it just kind of made itself. I have not lost any more weight in the past couple weeks, but I feel healthier so I am going to proceed slowly rather than with the quick loss that surgery would provide. I respect people that make that decision as well. It isn't the easy way out, as some people think. It takes alot of change...I just think I want to enjoy each tiny little change as it comes. I have actually faced the reality that I may not see alot of weight change, but I have proven to myself and others that I can be healthy, happy, and me at any weight. I will continue doing my best by eating properly and exercising and the Lord will fill in that GAP for me in the way that HE sees best.


As far as the job goes, I am having a blast in the interview process, but I will be making some other decisions shortly. The process has helped me to see myself at my finest. I KNOW someone will be lucky to get me, and I am looking forward to a new chapter. For the first time, ever, I know I can be successful financially while inspiring others to be successful as well.


Some of the other things that have specifically helped me were: 1) getting on the ATV when Marque encouraged me...made me feel so young, so alive! 2) Vickie and I working through and encouraging each other to keep on moving when our instinct was to just commiserate with each other. 3) Being around Sarah and Leah who brighten my world by just being in it! 4) Talking to my other kids and having them support and encourage me whatever my decisions 5) Living in, being mindful of, and thanking God for each moment and each tiny little success, viz., "Wow, I got out of bed! Good job Leslie, thank you God for pushing me to do what I asked you to push me to do." "This shower is awesome, shampooing my hair makes me feel so alive. Thank you God for water, soap, shower curtains, my little house, for Marque who gives it to me cheaply, my blue and white shower curtain."


Now, I am walking on clouds...I don't know how it happened or what it is, but I know EXACTLY how it happened and EXACTLY what it is.



Saturday, July 2, 2011

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

I am a patriot! I love this country and all the freedoms I get to take for granted. Don't we all sit in our comfortable homes with our full tummies watching our flat screened tv's forgetting sometimes what kind of patriots it took to give us this lifestyle. One of the things I avoid lately is watching the news. The news might tell me about politicians who have cheated on their wives, or the people who put them in office. It might tell me about how the economy is failing, or it might tell me about a war still being fought in the middle east for someone's liberty from tyranny. It's so easy to turn it off and I have to admit, I do.


But I don't forget what it took to get us the valuable freedoms that we can be so casual about. I have written several blogs on how my parents raised me to be proud of my country. My kids are proud too. Marque loves the history. All you have to do is walk in his office at home to see a multitude of books on the raising up of America. Jimmy is the one who knows his politics. He was so excited to meet Alan Cranston in the Capitol when he was 14 years old. He knows that the country was not conceived to be a hierarchy, it was conceived with a balance of power. He knows that it is important to know who you are voting for other than just the President because of that balance of power. Scott is a protector of our rights as a police officer. So I would say we were able to pass on the patriotism my parents gave to me.


I remember school days when we began each day with our hands over our hearts pledging allegiance to the flag. It had power when I said those words. When I was in 6th grade the whole city of 6th graders came together in Denver to do a concert...we filled a huge auditorium. It was breathtaking when we all sang God Bless America in unison. I cried then, and it is a moment I will never forget. What I didn't realize at that time is that it was a pretty new song to America at the time. Irving Berlin who was not born in this country served in World War I and in 1918 wrote "God Bless America" for a play. It wasn't accepted well so it was tucked away in a trunk. He pulled it out, dusted it off and changed a few of the lyrics around 1940. Kate Smith sang it. It became her signature song. I loved Kate Smith when I was a little girl. Hers was one of the first tv shows I watched in the 50's and she always closed the show with God Bless America. Another thing I always loved about it was that all the royalties Irving Berlin received were donated to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. That is still true. That is all side information...God Bless America is my favorite patriotic song because what it says, is what I feel.


God Bless America, Land that I love.

Stand beside her and guide her,

Through the night with a light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies,

To the oceans white with foam.

God Bless America, My home sweet home.

God Bless America, My home sweet home.


It's a prayer, isn't it? A prayer asking God to protect this beautiful country that houses us and our liberties. Simple lyrics, simple melody, but who can sing it without emotion?


Our Independence Day, The 4th of July, is one of my favorite holidays, because it is one we actually remember what the holiday is about. One of the things I resent is that holidays are sometimes celebrated more because it's a day off work, or school, than to remember what it's all about. I wonder if kids today even know what day Columbus discovered America, or is it just a day off? When is Lincoln's birthday, or Washington's birthday? It is just President's Day in February, another day from school. But on the 4th we seem to acknowledge and celebrate for the way our patriots fought the British so that we could pursue happiness in any way we see fit. They sweated in the hot days of summer with no air conditioning to map out the Declaration of Independence. Could they have even imagined the American Patriot of today? Even in the depths of the financial burdens we bear, most of us have so much. As we watch the fireworks we need to remember and acknowledge those who are still fighting, who sweat in the hot days in the desert for those who don't enjoy the freedoms and wealth we all enjoy.


Luckily I have had wonderful celebrations of the 4th of July in my lifetime. When I was young we lined up and marched to the front of the house as a family, posted the flag, and pledge our allegiance to it every Independence Day. Or we would find ourselves at my grandparents house in South Dakota and my grandma would run out to the car twirling a towel over her head saying "Hoowah, hoowah for the 4th of July"! As my kids grew we had block parties, barbecues and parades ending up sharing all the fireworks together. In 1987 we were on the Hudson River crammed with thousands. We started the crowd singing patriotic songs while we waited for fireworks over Hudson Bay. In Chesapeake, VA we listened to the Virginia Philharmonic Orchestra playing the 1812 overature with real cannon blasts before the fireworks started. One time we were at the Chesapeake Bay with boats parading while the most fantastic fireworks were timed perfectly with an orchestra playing. Then there was the time we took the metro in early morning down to the National Mall between the Capitol and Lincolns Memorial to enjoy the National Fireworks over the Washington Monument. Incredible! Enjoy the celebration and ask God to bless those who did the work in our history, those who are currently serving, and that we will always remember, and


God Bless America, Land that I love!