Cinda here! I see its been some time since we have posted here, actually its been a very long time. Karla and I have been working full time, had the store open on weekends and had our own homes to attempt to maintain in the process. It has not been easy and many things had fallen by the wayside, especially when we are the ones that make the 30 plus signature jams that we sell at the store!
You see, when we decided to open the store it was with the intent to build the business and allow it to become established before I retire. To have a place to call our own, have creative fun and see where it went from there. My original planned retirement from my federal job (of 17+ years) was June 2020. You see I worked for TSA as a Security Manager with oversight of several airports in South Dakota. I started working with TSA at its beginning while I lived in Denver. Everyday I went to work I remembered the images of people jumping from the World Trade Centers as the buildings were on fire knowing they would not survive but praying somehow, that they might. The massive buildings falling to the earth and the first responders that gave their lives to save others. Vowing to do whatever part I could to ensure that we were never attacked like this again I applied with TSA and was hired. After several promotions and working in three states I saw the agency and the administration change. I did not see the look of personal pride and determination in some of the peoples eyes anymore when talking about our job. New employees were hired that didn't remember the destruction caused on 9/11, and first and foremost, the unity we had as a nation on 9/11 was gone. Now the country is divided on party lines with name calling, threats and worse. I was no longer going to work to ensure 9/11 never happened again. I was working with people that cared more about climbing the federal career ladder at ANY cost than thinking about 9/11.The stress caused by newly promoted individuals and by a few other individuals in upper positions was personal and crushing. I watched personal vendettas taken out on employees these people didn't like. I saw people promoted for kissing backsides and other reasons whispered about quietly in gossip. I heard the utmost inappropriate conversations by members of senior leadership and observed the outcomes of those conversations in daily operations. Yet I stayed. I stayed for the paycheck, I stayed for the benefits and I stayed for the staff that reported to me and, I hated myself for it. Please don't think that all in the federal government are these type of people, MOST are dedicated individuals that work from their heart and are absolutely dedicated to the mission. Yet, in my work environment, this small handful of people made life impossible for those that cared and several good people have left due to this. As for me, I developed an ulcer. My body made the decision for me and I listened, it was time to retire.
After taking some time for myself at home I have a renewed energy. I am happily opening the store two more days a week, getting ready to travel and spend time with our families and even take a "surprise" trip with my Dad! I feel balanced, fulfilled once again and to best describe it - HUMAN! A million projects were put aside due to lack of energy and/or time. I will not kill myself in tackling my lists. I have ONE item each day to complete, everything else is because I want to do it, and enjoy doing it.
The holidays are quickly drawing near, and the giggles I hear in video calls of our youngest grandson are uplifting. Our oldest grandson is quickly becoming a young man and our middle grandson has a new future with his extended family. I am enjoying the twinkling of Christmas lights with Dean Martin singing "I've got my love to keep me warm" in the background. My husband has been SO supportive of my decision, not once questioning our future. Life is wonderful, and I am here again, to be PRESENT in our life and to enjoy every minute of it!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a GOOD NIGHT!