My 30’s have seen some pretty great milestones too but I think the greatest thing I have picked up in my 30’s have been the lessons. Because some of the milestones are pretty special, I’m still going to touch on those briefly first 😊
Career pivot (well…maybe a quarter pivot)
Now you heard me talk about wanting to be a pharmacist in the pharmacy in the teen years and in my 20’s. By the time I made it to my 30’s, I had had it with pharmacy or at least retail “box” pharmacy. I was working long hours away from my Hubs and little one. Spending weekends in the box instead of having fun with them. I was stressed to the max when I was at work, and that stress certainly came home with me everyday. My morale was affected not only where my career was concerned but also where my family was concerned and that was where I had to draw the line. By 2011, I told myself I needed to make a change. Even if I had to throw that entire eight years of college away, I was willing to find something to do that I could enjoy and still contribute to my home financially.
Gotta give it to Kelvin, he is the one who suggested I broaden my job search to “PharmD” instead of pharmacist and that’s how I came across a job title I had never heard of….Community Pharmacy Liaison. It was with the company that jump started my entire career in the pharmaceutical industry and I’ve never looked back…at least not where working in this industry is concerned. I worked that role for a few years before transitioning into the Medical Affairs sector of the industry and I will say these years of my career have been the most fulfilling for me and saved me from completely wasting my PharmD.
Actually when I look back over my pharmacy career so far, it has been really fulfilling. I’ve had the privilege of being able to explore so many avenues of using my education. I’ve done clinical work in small acute care hospital settings and rehabilitation hospital. I’ve worked on the managed care side doing prior authorization processing. I’ve precepted at health fairs. I’ve done career days at different schools. I’ve immunized several patients in community pharmacies. I’ve done way more than that 16 year old at Kroger Pharmacy ever imagined she could do. I have a lot of colleagues who are burned out and struggle to maintain sanity with the career choice they have made. I count it a major blessing from God that He has guided my steps not to have to endure that. Grace and mercy…that’s what my career is!
An unexpected outcome of my career has also been my network of friends I’ve formed over the years. I am that type of person who really feels like I’ve been blessed enough to make some awesome friends at my jobs. I see them that way because even though I’m not inside the same walls as some like I used to be working in the pharmacy and some of them I’ve never worked in the same walls with within my industry career; we connect as if we see each other everyday. We’ve helped each other grow our careers. We’ve supported each other from afar when difficult times have been experienced. If that’s been you, I call you friend. I’m going to take a chance and try to include a few pics of many of them and just hope I don’t leave anyone out. Chances are if we worked together and you are reading this and don’t see yourself, it’s because I couldn’t find any snapshots of us in this quest to dig up Memory Lane… perhaps it gives me something else to make sure I do in this new decade…I’m gonna find you!!
When I had Brooklyn in 2009, I was really hopeful that I could be the exception to the expectant moms that year and have a boy. Don’t have to tell you again how that turned out…lol. So when we decided to expand our family in 2014, I was once again in the position of praying for a boy. I still remember when we went to find out the sex of the baby in November 2014. The sonographer just causally said oh ok looks like it’s a boy and….whatever the rest of what she said after that. I remember stopping her saying…wait? It’s a boy? Are you sure? I’ll give Kelvin credit, he called it. He said in the elevator on the ride up, it’s going to be a boy. I remember leaving her office sooooo excited!! I had never really been around boys before. I grew up pretty much in a house full of ladies. I was sooooo excited, but I felt like I was completely clueless too.
Paxton James arrived shortly before 8am on Monday, May 11, 2015 with a loud and very GRAND announcement that he was here….whew those lungs!! He still has ridiculous volume in his voice without much effort at all. With him, our little family felt complete. I remember being emotional bringing him home from the hospital with me because I didn’t get that experience with Brooklyn. I took a picture of him and Brooklyn in the lobby before we left because I never got to do that for her. ❤️
He is such a cute little boy and sooooo smart. I recognized that early on. He picks up any skill like a sponge and he doesn’t give up until he figures things out. He is Mr. Personality as well. Never met a stranger and will keep you laughing. He should really be on an episode of Kids Say the Darnest Things. I’m amazed by him everyday!
We felt like if we could just get through the first few years of babyhood with Paxton then we could start to live the family of four life without much effort. I remember his first birthday party. Kelvin and I smiled at each other and talked about how we were halfway there and we could already feel ourselves starting to breathe a little again. Not even a week later, boy were we in for the shock of our lives…
There’s just something about sweet little Collin Alfred or Bubby as he’s affectionately called around here. Here’s how it went…
I wanted to take some medication to help with regularity (you’re getting it all here folks), but I noticed Mr. Monthly Visitor was a few days later showing than usual. I had a stock of pregnancy tests from Dollar Tree that I had used back when we were trying for Paxton, so I thought I’d take a quick ONE test to see a negative so I wouldn’t feel worried after taking some medication for relief. I took it while I was cooking dinner and managing the kids. Kelvin hadn’t made it home yet. I popped back into the bathroom to check it so I could go ahead and take my medicine and I was stunned. I mean stunned 😳 I have literally never felt like that before. I had peed into a small plastic cup and fortunately hadn’t flushed it yet so I used all of the remaining pregnancy tests I had to re-test and they all said the same thing.
Cue Kelvin calling…impeccable timing. I don’t remember what he was talking about now nor can I say I heard anything he said then. I just remember him saying “Is everything alright? Is someone there? Are you safe? “. I had to hold that in until a whole 2 hours later after we got the kids inside their classes at church before bringing him back to the car in the parking lot and telling him. He was silent for an excruciating almost 10 minutes before he responded with a simple, “ok”. There you have it folks…the beginning for “mommyboy”…that’s my name for him.
Collin’s attitude and demeanor for the most part has always been pretty chill. Saying that is a bit of an oxymoron though because he was also my worst cryer. I remember every time Brandi would call me he would be crying in the background…lol. Took him a few months but he finally got the hang of this thing called life. At three years old, his voice is still a little raspy now and we can’t help but wonder if it’s from all that crying he did early on… 😂
Collin’s my main snuggler. Brook snuggled with me for years but I didn’t really have much to do but snuggle with her. Collin enforces the snuggle knowing full well I might be busy with other things. He looks for me constantly. He could be playing and minding his own business but he wants to know where I am at a moment’s notice so he can get his little snuggle fix in and then he’s fine. I love him!
I have learned more about myself in the last two years than I have my entire life. I’ve heard that happens in your 40’s and as you approach them. For years, I was proud that I had seemingly set out all I had accomplished to do in life. Yet, I wondered why I felt so unhappy sometimes. There were so many things about myself I had yet to discover and to appreciate. There were also many things I thought were my strengths that turned out to be my weaknesses and that can be a hard pill to swallow. I think the thing I never knew or gave power was that it’s ok for me to define life without having a template of what success should look like. If you’ve read the rest of this journey, you’ll remember me mentioning having “powers” I never knew of. I find myself frustrated with Brooklyn sometimes because she is so naive to the fact that she is limitless. She is young and she can make her life anything she wants it to be…I mean absolutely anything! She’s ten years old right now, but wait…here’s the real lesson. I’ve had to tell Porsche the exact same thing at thirty nine years old. I’m rediscovering that everyday. Here are just a few of the other lessons I’ve learned in these last 9 years in no particular order. Maybe they’ll resonate with you too…
- Lesson 1– It’s ok to say no…and without explanation. It doesn’t make you mean. It doesn’t make you inconsiderate. It makes you a person who has the self-awareness to set boundaries.
- Lesson 2– Never say what you won’t do. I mean never. You really don’t know what you’re capable of until faced with said situation. Keeping that in mind allows you to be gracious with others…and with yourself.
- Lesson 3– Be honest with yourself and with others about what you like (and don’t like) and what you want (and don’t want). It can be worse of a hurt for someone to find out how you really feel than for them to feel some type of way about your upfront honesty.
- Lesson 4– Everyone feels unhappy sometimes. Even those people who post those beautiful pictures of the picture perfect life and the picture perfect day on social media. I once read a sentiment that I often look back on when I’ve overindulged on social media and it’s left me feeling down…”Never let someone’s highlight reel on social media make you feel down about your real life you see everyday”. That should be a disclaimer that you sign off on that you’ll agree to before even setting up an account on any social media platform. I’ll even say this about this very Road to 40 series….THIS IS A HIGHLIGHT REEL! I’ve purposely chosen in this series to highlight the good things and not dwell on the tough lessons or even the mundane day-to-day. Please know that!
- Lesson 5– Needing time to yourself doesn’t make you a bad wife, mom, family member, or friend. It just doesn’t. I see the saying so often that I try and remind myself of that says “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. As much as I love my family, I very much so need time all to myself regularly. Sometimes it might just be an hour a day and some days it might mean me waking up earlier than everyone or going to bed later than everyone. I might take a ride and listen to music. I might go somewhere and quietly journal. Shoot, I might just sit and do nothing. Whatever it is, I need that and I don’t need to see or hear anyone else around me while I do that. That’s the truth y’all and that’s ok.
- Lesson 6– It’s ok to BE YOU! If you have to alter yourself outside of what you find necessary when you pray for guidance and do self-discovery based on life’s happenings with others inside it, then you’re not changing for you. Those types of changes won’t last and will drain the life out of you.