Wow! So I was looking back at when I wrote my last blog, and it was exactly a year ago. This is because there have been a lot of changes in my life lately. Very big ones and a few small ones. These changes have totally eaten into my time for writing but man, do I have a lot of ideas for some great books locked up in my brain.
The Professor (the nickname I have given my husband) and I now have four kids in college and one that has graduated from college and got himself hitched in Jamaica back in April. I am now officially a 'mother-in-law' to a wonderful daughter-in-law who seems perfect for my stepson. The wedding was to die for, and I was so proud of the two of them navigating the family 'waters' that have been muddied over the years because of divorce, unfortunately. I will say that everyone seemed to be on their best behavior while in Jamaica, and I was so thankful for this. The Professor and I feared the Clash of the Titans not only on our side but on my daughter-in-law's side as well, but that didn't happen. Thank God!
My son was slated to graduate in December 2022 but has decided to stay on at school and get his Masters. I was a mix of emotions about this because I was looking forward to him getting his own life, getting off of my financial books, and finally taking his dang shedding, small animal-killing dog off my hands. Alas, I have to wait at least 2.5 more years while I vacuum dog hair daily and get my shovel out to rid my yard of small animal carcasses. Sigh. I am so proud of him, though.
My daughter just finished up her second year of college and is killing it, I mean killing it. I am so proud of her. She will require a Masters as well in order to be a clinical mental health counselor, so she has 4 more years. I can't quite believe how much she has grown up over the last two years. I'm such a proud momma.
My youngest stepson just finished up his second year at a community college and because he changed his major to finance, he has a few more classes to take before he transfers to a university in January 2023. I almost have an empty nest!!
From what she told us in Jamaica, my stepdaughter has changed her major to psychology. She is one smart cookie, and whatever she decides to do, she will kill it, I'm sure.
Because of that stupid idiotic, emotionally traumatizing COVID crap that the world went through 2 years ago, the Professor was sent home to work remotely, and it looks like he will stay remote until he decides to retire. This new development took some getting used to as we were together constantly because I was working from home in my OT clinic as well.
One of the most significant changes that I made over the last year is deciding to retire from being a 30-year Pediatric Occupational Therapist and closing my Dragonfly Pediatric Therapy practice. I honestly thought I would remain in my career until the day I retired, but life threw me a curve ball.
You see, I have been running my private practice for over 22 years. When you run your own practice, you aren't just treating the sweet children you get to see each day. That's the fun part. You also have to do the scheduling, the billing, the follow-up on insurance denials, advertising, keeping your website up to date, looking for and posting helpful things on your business Facebook page, paperwork out the butt, collections, paying the bills, etc., etc. I found myself being just bone-tired of it all. I had been restless in my career for the last 3 years, and one day, about a year ago, after crying my eyes out from the guilt, I decided I needed a new path. I even went to counseling because of the guilt of feeling this way. I needed someone else besides my family to tell me it was okay to feel the way I was feeling. I love working with the kids so much, and not doing that anymore broke my heart. This has been one of the biggest changes in my life and one of the most terrifying.
So, I made the incredibly difficult decision to retire from OT and find another career that would allow me to use my medical background but wouldn't require me to have to go back to school for years and years. I landed on medical coding.
I started taking my medical coding class through AAPC on November 1, 2022, finished in 3.5 months, studied for my certification exam for 6 weeks, and took my exam at the end of March. Thankfully, I passed it and landed a remote job a few days later. I cannot tell you how blessed I felt. I also feel blessed because the Professor has been so encouraging and supportive along this new and scary journey. I took a big pay cut, which also scared the hell out of me, but I have no regrets.
Now that things have settled down a bit, I am itching to get back to my writing. Honestly, this is the first thing I have written in about 2 years. During the COVID lockdown, my plan was to sit down and work on the third book (Going In Blind) in my 'Change' series, but I was so disturbed and bothered by what was going on in the world, I just wasn't in the right mindset. I know I wasn't alone. What I did accomplish over the lockdown was losing the last of the 52 pounds I have now lost, which took me 1.5 years. I have managed to keep it off for almost 2 years next month.
If you have read my 'Circus' series, you will realize that this weight-loss bit has been something I have struggled with for about 10 years, and I have finally conquered it. In the meantime, I have also completely turned my eating around and eat cleaner than ever before. This change has made me feel better than I ever have in my whole life. All the ailments that I was dragging along with me year to year have disappeared, and I am off all of my prescription drugs for depression, anxiety, ADHD, and high blood pressure. I am also pain-free, something that I NEVER thought would happen. Life is really and truly good.
So, there you have it. Life has been quite interesting over the last few years, and I hope it continues that way. In the meantime, my goal is to carve out some time to finish writing 'Going In Blind.'
I hope all of you are living, laughing, and loving and if you aren't, figure out how you can because life has an expiration date after all.