Shift Changes

First off, I need all the friends and family reading this post to know that I’m really OK, I promise. I’m grateful for the concern and well wishes, but I don’t want anyone to have the impression that this is a “poor me” blog that requires an abundance of encouraging comments.  It’s actually been helpful for me to get my feelings out there while describing my journey. I truly feel better after every post.  At the same time, your encouragement and feedback proves the point I’m about to make, that I really am OK.

You may have noticed at this point that I’ve been tying each new post into the last one. I can’t claim that was the original plan, but based on reader feedback, I’ve noticed that there are lingering questions which can be accomplished by connecting previous posts into a new subject.

That being said, my last post “Where’d everybody go?” explaining the mass exodus of friends and family seemed to leave readers with the feeling that there is a void in my life. While I wanted to describe the loss that I felt, I may have missed the mark on explaining that I currently have a much stronger circle of support than I’ve ever had in my entire life.

I like to think of it as a “shift change”.  I strongly believe in both destiny and free will. I believe that the souls we have been connected to throughout our lives are pointing us in certain directions, I believe that everybody that comes into your life for a reason and everything that happens is also for a reason. How we interact with those people, and what we choose to do with the situations placed in front of us, that’s the free will part.

I believe that every single connection and decision I’ve made in my life both personally and professionally is for a reason. Perfect example: after I graduated high school, I started taking classes at Oakland Community College, three weeks into the first semester my grandpa died, and I had all four wisdom teeth pulled out, which turned into a wicked recovery. A few other bouts of bad luck followed and I eventually dropped out of that semester. My mother couldn’t pay for another one which I did not blame her for, she had spent every dime she had to finance my first semester. Since my job at the county was based on being a student, the following January I had to leave. So there I was without a job, no plan for my education, and thinking to myself “if my grandpa was still alive this wouldn’t be happening to me”. If I hadn’t only been 19, I would shutter at my ignorance. Looking back, I met my husband a few months before my grandpa passed away and within five days of my grandpa’s funeral, Chris and I were dating = shift change. Secondly, I ended up getting a job as a receptionist at a title company which literally catapulted me into my lifelong career in title insurance and settlement services. I love my career, I feel like it was designed for me (I may have a slight superiority complex).

The two most influential men in my life swapped roles within 5 days of each other, if that is not destiny, I don’t know what is. Let me take a moment to discuss my husband; Chris is my best friend, I could not ask for a better partner in all aspects of life. He loves me unconditionally, but that’s not to say he blindingly accepts my faults, quite the opposite. My husband appreciates me as I am, while also inspiring me to be a better person everyday. Recently I mentioned that we need to discuss a long-term care policy with our insurance agent since there will likely come a time that I require full-time care, Chris’s response was “I will always take care of you”, I explained that while I appreciate his dedication, I will need constant care that would consume his life, and his response was the same “NO, I will ALWAYS take care of you”, my heart melted. We are not a mushy, lovey-dovey kind of couple, we don’t have pet names, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day or even exchange gifts during holidays, birthdays, or anniversaries; however, I have no question as to his love and loyalty. I could go on forever, but another benefit of my relationship with Chris is that he had built up my confidence so high that I don’t feel the need to incessantly brag about our commitment to each other.

So, get to the point Tiff…shift changes have afforded me some of the most important people and experiences in my life, good and bad. I have a maximum capacity limit, too many people causes me to fall short of my responsibilities in the relationship, so shift changes are a necessity for me. I’m happy for the people who are in my life at any given moment, each person teaches me something that I never even knew I needed. Some lessons are painful, but without pain, there is no recovery, no growth. Negative experiences fuel the enjoyment of positive ones. I’m not saying that I thrive on negativity, quite the opposite is true; but I have learned that when you don’t attempt to learn from bad situations, you are destined to recreate them on a continuous loop until the lesson is solidified.

Two examples: the first being a personal one; we used to spend money without much regard for our future, then I decided to start working part time to go back to school and 2 weeks later, 9/11 happened, and we lost 70 % of our income in the 18 months that followed. We were everything short of homeless. We didn’t know it at time, but it was one of the best things that could’ve happened to us. We learned how to budget our income, we learned how to spend quality time with our children vs buying everything they wanted, and we (unintentionally) avoided charging our future away. Chris ended up in a job that not only provided for our immediate needs, it also set up our future in ways we never would have on our own. Second example (professional): I have stated before that I am pretty good at my job, it’s something I tend to take for granted. Last October, the settlement industry was flipped upside down and back upright again with an entire new process for mortgage closings which required massive training and updating of our software system to accommodate preparation of the new settlement forms. I went at this full blast and ready to rumble. Over and over, I experienced complications that resulted in uncomfortable conversations with clients and senior management. After 30 days of repeating this cycle, all the while blaming the software program, I decided that I needed to regain control of my role in each transaction. There were legitimate issues with the software, so I had to embrace a process that allowed me to proactively catch these complications before the deal went to closing. I had previously disregarded the process as unnecessary and a wasted duplication of effort, but that was because my own process had served me well; however, that was clearly no longer the case. To my surprise, the new process has actually increased my productivity! I’ve been in my profession for about 22 years, I’m constantly tweaking and making adjustments to improve performance and quality, but I never would’ve accepted this process had it not been for the problems revolving around those initial transactions.

So, while shift changes come in all forms, the ones that are most likely to stand out to us are the personal ones, and especially when the changeover is abrupt. We’ve all lost touch with people at one point, but when someone exits your life in a swift and seemingly purposeful manner, it impacts you at a very deep level. This experience tends to overshadow the positive changes that subsequently follow. Positive and Negative forces drive the Universe, you can’t have one without the other. No matter which shift you are working at this moment in my life, I am truly grateful.

In conclusion, for every single negative thing that has happened to me, I’ve been blessed with an equal portion of positive ones. Because of this, I really am OK.

Status update: My medicine arrived this week, I am working on the changeover to a healthy diet with moderate exercise and I will begin taking the medication in 2 weeks and of course I will be sharing that journey as well.

Thank you for reading!


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