Navy Search and Rescue chopper flying away from a training I was a part of.
Navy Search and Rescue chopper flying away from a training I was a part of.

When people learn about my plan, one question I get a lot is, “Why don’t you just stay here and write?”

My answer:

If I stay here I won’t have time to write.

Let me rephrase that…

If I stay here I wont MAKE time to write.  My job is a lot, my life…is a lot.

I absolutely love my job, it’s extremely rewarding.  I get to work with amazing people.  I get to meet people and experience things that not everyone is fortunate enough to experience.   And if I can say so myself, I’m actually really good at my job as well.  I get other job offers all the time.  I actually had two just this week.  But I always decline them.  Would I  make three times as much as I make now?  yes.  Would I get to work less, with less responsibilities?  yes.  Would I be supported and valued more by my employer?  yes.  Would I move up the corporate ladder to the top?  yes.  But those things aren’t important to me.  They just aren’t.  What’s important to me is helping people and making a positive affect on peoples lives.

When I do preparedness fairs, or teach a class, or help plan and facilitate a drill…those are the times that I love my job the most.  I feel that I’m sharing my experiences and my knowledge to people who are asking questions, and wanting to know about how to be better prepared for a disaster, or I’m opening up different lines of communication between response organizations to try to get everyone on the same page, working together towards a common goal.

My typical week consists of working at least 40 hours in the office, sometimes working weekends, and sometimes up to four night meetings per week.  In addition to my regular work hours we have a duty (on-call) schedule which is 4 – 24 hour shifts on, 8 – 24 hour shifts off, then 4 – 24 hour shift on, then 8 – 24 hour shifts off…and so on and so on……..for the full year, and the next year, and the next year. If I get sick, like I did last week, then my whole juggling act, aka my squirrel life, freezes in mid air…then drops to the ground.  Then I have to work really hard to get caught up on any time that I have missed in the office.  Or if I’m out on a call all night…all that office work is still there, including a written report for the call I was on.  Good thing I really don’t sleep much.

I also volunteer with our local Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team, Ground Search and Rescue Team and the ATV Search and Rescue Team.  Those require team meetings and lots and lots of training hours.  All three of these teams are extremely important to me.  The people that I volunteer beside…absolutely the best people I know.  Love them to the moon and back.  As one of my closest friends on one of my teams always says, “I just love you weirdo’s.”  And yes, people who enjoy hiking out to the middle of the woods, in the winter, and staying the night with only what you packed in on your back are weirdo’s.  And I’m glad to be one.  Or anyone who thinks riding your ATV in the middle of the night, while it’s raining and hailing is fun…weirdo.  Can’t say enough about these team mates of mine.

I’m also a single mom of a senior in high school. As in previous posts, it’s probably pretty clear how important he is to me, so the mother/son relationship is something I make sure to make time for.  And with anyone who has ever had a senior in high school you know how many forms, projects, large quantities of money pouring out of your wallet and not to mention all the different events there are in this last year of high school.  And to brag a little bit here, this year my son has been elected Homecoming King, he was awarded a pretty good scholarship, we got to take a tour of his college of choice, had to think up and execute a plan for his senior project, not to mention the sports he’s participated heavily in for all four years (track and cross country).  And we can’t forget the senior pictures…or the graduation party I haven’t even started to plan yet!!

I have my parents, brother, sister in law, nephew, aunts, uncles, cousins, my ex’s family (who I still consider my family)…who are all important in my life as well.  So I have family things to go to, like birthday parties, graduations, baby births, weddings, family reunions and funerals.  Typical family stuff.

Since I am single, I sometimes get asked out on dates.  If a guy I like asks me out I will go out on a date with him and pray that they are not related to me somehow.  Oh yes, that’s happened before.  But as of today, no man has been able to keep up with me, but I’m not too worried about it, I’m still young.

Some of my time is spent with my girl friends.  I have to have some girl time.  Although I don’t get to hang out with my girlfriends too much anymore, we still try to do girl cabin weekends, or a night out here and there.  These are girlfriends who even if you haven’t hung out with them for a month or two, the minute you see them you just pick right back up from the last time you saw them.

I also have some very close guy friends as well.  “My boys” as I like to refer to them.  These are very easy, uncomplicated relationships.  More like brothers from another mother.  But equally as important as my girl friends.

With all of my friends, the best thing about our time together is when we laugh and reminisce about old times.  I have amazing friends.  All my relationships are very important to me, even the ones I have with my cats.  (I had to mention them or they would get their feelings hurt.  Yes, cats have feelings too.)

And so I don’t go totally bat shit crazy, I still have to have some rest and relaxation time…and a couple trips to Vegas sprinkled in for good measure.

So as you can see, with my busy schedule, busy life, I can’t seem to make time to focus solely on my writing.  Just writing these blog posts takes at least three hours each.  But I love sitting down at my laptop and writing…makes my soul sing.

When I finally make the move to implement this plan of mine and leave this county I won’t have this full of a plate.  My job will be to write and to explore this big beautiful world of ours.  My job will be to take pictures, experience how other people live and share my experiences with all of my readers.

I will have to write in order to make money to pay my cell phone bill, to buy gas so I can travel to even more places, to have a safe place to lay my head at night and to be able to buy food to fill my belly.

And most importantly, I will have to write in order to pay for all those mixed drinks and ice cold beers I plan on enjoying all along the way…uno mas por favor, uno mas…


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