Monday, April 15, 2013

Motivational Monday

The only thing worse than wasting your time is waking up and realizing you wasted your life.

This is so true. I have made great strides in one aspect of my life in terms of this and in another I am so far from where I wish to be. Years ago I was driving on Rt. 30 through the Gettysburg battlefield on my way to Chambersburg for work. I hated my job. I didn't want to be in the field I was in, but I had been in it so long that I didn't really think I could break out of it. As I drove through the battlefield this insane feeling overcame me. I "heard" someone say "This is what you should be doing with your life, not fundraising. You should be working here. You should be working in the history field." It was a really strange feeling. It actually freaked me out. 

I got to Chambersburg and spent my day doing work for an event I had upcoming. It was a typical day in the fundraising world, nothing exciting. On my way home, back again down Rt. 30 through the Gettysburg battlefield, the ghost of the feeling was there. It wasn't as strong, but it was still there. Slightly disconcerting.

I changed jobs shortly after that, to another fundraising job. In my second year there, I chose to go back to grad school and earn an M.A. in American Studies hoping that the degree would help land me a job in the history field, hopefully in a museum. Just before I earned my degree, I was laid off from my fundraising job. It was a mixed blessing. As I said, I hated fundraising, but it paid really well...well as well as a fundraising job can pay and better than unemployed.

I earned my degree that year and tried to find a job in history. With the economy the way it was, no dice. I went back to fundraising and was hired by a really well-respected national charity. I lasted 4 weeks before being told I "lacked a specific quality to do the job." Huh. 9 years of successful fundraising and I lack the ability to do the job? Let's just say I have no respect for them anymore. 

I started volunteering at the state Archives a few months later. I was fortunate in that my boss treated me like an intern rather than a volunteer. I was able to learn all sorts of new things and be a part of a great group of people. Several months later, I was hired to clean historical documents. Six weeks later I was hired full-time, but temporary to prepare documents opening to the public. Two and a half months later, I was hired part-time permanent as a member of the Archives.

I had done it. I turned something I loved into something I got paid to do. I am still working on this. I want to be an Archivist, but with budget cuts there is not much open right now. I keep working. I keep trying to improve the Archives. I keep working on showing them that I am valuable. 

When it came to my career, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make a change. It's not easy and I'm not 100% there, but I'm happier than I ever was fundraising. My confidence in my job has me researching a book. 

But when it comes to my health and fitness I am still failing to reach my goals. I have been overweight since I was at least four. The last unoverweight photo I have is me at three. From there on out, too big. The doctors told my parents I would outgrow my "baby weight." I never did. I didn't gain the Freshman 15, I gained the Freshman 35. I lost weight for my wedding, gained some back. Lost weight before moving, gained some back. Lost weight last year, gained most of it back. 

I don't want to spend the rest of my life with a goal of losing weight. I want to reach my goal. I want to be happy with what I see in the mirror. I want to be happy with how I look in clothes. I want to be happy that I managed to reach a goal I have been striving for my whole life.  

I have been working out the kinks over the past few weeks. I haven't been perfect, but I am finding my way. What works, what hasn't. I believe when I set the goal of reaching a healthy weight in January, this will be the year I accomplish that. Then I can spend the rest of my life meeting new challenges, rather than fighting old demons.

Have you reached a goal you thought impossible? Are you striving towards a new goal or working on completing an old one?

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