The (R)Evolution of Mel

My mind has been racing since I last posted on my New Year’s resolutions, and it has been frustrating about 90% of the time.  I surrender to my crazy thoughts during the other 10%, and that’s when I really reach conclusions.  I have been in the midst of an evolution, a reinvention of sorts.

The word reinvention makes me think of Madonna over the years – from her “Like a Virgin” album cover, to the short haircut in the “Papa Don’t Preach” video (back in the glory days of MTV), the interesting wardrobe choice and long ponytail during the Blonde Ambition tour, and finally the amazing-looking middle-aged woman.  Is she really the same age as my mom?!

I am in the midst of transition, reinvention, evolution, and every other synonym you can imagine with it.  My new year began on January14 this year.  I thought I had turned a corner on January 1, but alas, the true realizations became apparent a few days later than I thought.  That’s the fun thing with evolving and moving through life: just when you think you are there, you have just a bit further to go.

My journey is nowhere near complete, but I do think I have reached the peak for at least a few months.  A lot has happened to build up to this point.  I wonder if Madonna had these moments as she was approaching a new album, look, or tour.  Hopefully I am cool and famous enough to get to ask her that in person one day.  Say what you want about her, but she is a force of nature.  And I love fascinating people.  I seek to be fascinating by simply being true to myself and doing good in the world – or maybe just my little corner of the world.

My new career path that started on October 1 was just a starting point, as was this blog.  I began to prioritize differently, only to find myself slipping back into old habits of saying yes too often and feeling stretched too thin.  When first coming to this realization, I thought my additional ventures, added on since November, were to blame.  Not so.  It was my initial plan that needed some tweaking.

I took a part-time church lady job to supplement my SendOutCards business.  A few red flags presented themselves early on, and while I did not ignore them, they have built up to a present discontent with the situation.  What began as a 20-hour-a-week-stress-free-part-time job has turned into playing a management and human resources role in which I have no authority……and has limits on pay rate and hours.  It’s quite an interesting situation, really.  And I will definitely work it into one of my future novels.

Side note: I have no regrets with the decision to take this job, as it has guided me to where I am today.  And I have made a couple of great friends, on which I can place no price tag.

By the end of November, I was back at Target, working part-time at Target Optical.  When presented with the opportunity I nearly dismissed it without a thought.  Luckily I did not and had a good heart-to-heart chat with the team leader.  And I love working at Optical!  It’s that “happy medium” job I was looking for.  I can say that today with total confidence, but if you would have asked me a month ago, I would have struggled with how I felt.  I briefly wondered if this job was going one step too far in stretching myself too thin.  Actually though, it’s the church stuff that is truly wearing on me.

So, what does a girl do?  No drastic action is underway, but a daily methodical  and persistent approach to the church job is a key to survival.  This comes during a time when our church is approaching its annual meeting, along with its standard one or two controversial decisions to be made.  And like most things in life, it all tends to work itself out in the end.

And then all of the other extras made me think more.  My political involvement is now mostly limited to Republican women meetings, events, and duties.  Here again, I have two parts: the state and the county.  One is functioning beautifully and the other is not.  Since I have responsibilities in the good and the bad, I can’t simply walk away from the one I don’t like.  But here again, I can identify the issues, persevere, and then make a note to make some changes down the road when appropriate.

I also took on a committee assignment with the Red Cross, but that is very limited in scope and beneficial.  So no agonizing over how that plays into my reinvention.

My entrepreneurial endeavors need some tweaking.  I am doing the right things with SendOutCards but have more services I can provide in conjunction with the theme of adding value to others’ lives by making things easier.  I love to organize, write, and plan.  So I need to integrate these into a business and work toward filling my time with fun things that also make me money.

I preach prioritization left and right, but it turns out I have a tough time practicing what I preach.  I have become better at prioritizing people.  It’s the things/jobs/organizations/situations that have been more of a struggle.  I get so wrapped up in the day-to-day task list that I forget to look at the big picture.

And, speaking of people…..  Those have played an integral part of reaching my peak during these past weeks.  I had a rather nasty revelation with a couple of members in my immediate family on Christmas Day, of all days.  The occasion caused me to do something very out of character – swallow my words, bite my lip, drink some wine, and bury it inside.  (OK, so drinking wine is actually very much in my normal character.)  But you can bet I made up for that bottling up of emotion during the weeks ahead.  As with the other yucky stuff in this post, I’m refraining from airing the dirty laundry with specifics and names – more material for the novel or a separate post.  The main point is sometimes it takes a while, but people can hit you with a blow to the gut.  What I thought was a paranoia on my part was an undercurrent of lack of support and respect from family.  So now that it’s out in the open, I can decide how much time and energy to give to those people.  And I can stop worrying about it and move along.

And then my Grandma Gesing went into the hospital on December 27 – two years to the day of my Grandpa Fosaaen’s funeral.  And during my mom and dad’s divorce many years ago, those two parents were on opposing sides of a big battle.  I was always close to Grandpa Fosaaen as a child, but was only close to Grandma Gesing for a short while.  And while everyone in the Fosaaen family rushed to the hospital, the Gesing family is fractured and chaos has ensued.

I finally went to see my grandma on Tuesday.  I had not seen her in at least 20 years.  It’s terrible that it took her being in the hospital for me to go see her, but I did it and I’m glad.  Few people understand, but that is OK.  My stepmom, who went with me, understands.  And my dad, who can’t bring himself to go see her, also gets it.

I had a breakthrough with one part of my nuclear family on Christmas Day, and then, out of the blue, I had a breakthrough with the second part last week.  They cannot be more different, and my feelings toward the two halves have always been a yin and yang, a balancing of the scales of justice.  Sometimes one is way up while the other is down.

Yes, it’s been quite a couple of weeks.  My writing notebook is full of great thoughts and ideas.  I have managed to work through my daily tasks, pay bills, and stay social in the midst of all of this.  I guess that proves I am still sane.

These may be pretty trivial realizations in the grand scheme of everything going on in this world: political strife, poverty, disease, shootings, etc.  In my world though, I have entered a new phase in my life.  The name of it is yet to be determined, but I am certain of one thing.  I do not anticipate needing a cone brassiere for this one.

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