Becoming Independent

Independence image

I’ve started my own company and it’s been up for over a year now.  It’s my company on writing – based on advice from an accountant at Writers Digest – and now I am the sole owner of an LLC business.  I recently left my full time job and that has become a bit of a challenge in a good way.  I am now challenged daily to have a work schedule that will focus ONLY on my work, my business, and making it grow.  I have a fund to work with – savings, really – and I have signed up with a shared office space within which to do the mundane things of putting up my laptop and writing in relative peace.  I can’t always write at home, especially with cats jumping on my desk and wanting a pet, or with my dog snoozing at my feet and getting all antsy once I am astir, to beg for treats at each moment that I’m not stuck at my home desk.

I don’t really miss the work meme – that sort of atmosphere of being amongst people in a company – not yet, anyway.  A friend of mine who worked for a company as a remote employee told me that she missed her cube mates.  But I’m not that sort of person even at work where I liked to chat with cube mates and meet at the kitchen to pour out coffee and comment on the day’s activities.  In my more mature years, that loner label has been cast at my direction more than once.  I accept that, and yet to some, the loner label is anathema.  Why is that?  I don’t know.  I like the idea of going at things alone, yet there is always that Higher Power that moves me and so I really am not alone.  Perhaps, in the work mode, team playing is big and that is what people are comfortable with.  Being a loner at a corporate level is not good, if I read these corporate types right. I can see why, they all need your input, they need your gut feelings on decisions and so on.  I seem to digress but perhaps this is part of the reason why I am going on my own.  I don’t want to have to work for somebody on projects that no longer appeal.

My work then is my writing.  The stuff that my dreams are based on.  I can be sure that if I spend time struggling with a document’s formatting (which I did yesterday with rather desperate results!), I can say that I am working on my stuff so I don’t consider it a waste of ‘company’ time.  I find it hard to think of some (digressing here) documents that are templates really, and make them into what I want them to be.  I think that the time to self-teach (go to and take some short courses on say, Microsoft Word?, lol) is here.  But, I would rather spend all my time learning how to create document templates (stationery, e.g.) than having to create hyperlinks to documents that go to an internal database that would never really be helpful to anyone but the person working on the document.  This sort of thing actually happened at my former workplace.  Imagine hyperlinking almost every word or term in documents for a stretch of days at a time?  No it was time to quit. LOL.

I am grateful for the independence from a job that has become onerous.  I may one day work part time to supplement my business, but that might not ever come because, hey, maybe God will send me a publishing contract (smile).  However it may be in my future, I think I’ll be ok.  I think that despite the risks involved in putting up my shingle at my age, I think I will be ok.  I give all to My God, and to His direction.  That is what keeps me from going into a stark reality that seems to cloud minds and reduce the creativity in this world.

I would suggest those who wish to strike out on their own to do it soon, but to find their passion first. And, more importantly, to ASK GOD for Guidance and Patience.  Things will one day be ok.  But the good part is that getting there will be filled with many moments of fun and good feelings. Imagine yourself in your own place, in your own office, having a cup of tea or coffee, wandering into the kitchen and finding snacks, petting the dog, and then going back to work. I think that’s an ideal life. And an ideal workplace.

The Learning

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The Learning

From the moment of infancy, children are taught to learn about things – eating to survive, crying to get attention, smiling to get more love and attention. Then as toddlers children learn to crawl, then walk, and this is all a process that has gone on from the beginning of all time.  God was there always, giving the child the means to find a way to survive and iive and thrive. When children go to school, there is the learning to make the mind facile and inquisitive.  To watch their teachers and learn what they are taught, to take on the attitudes of their friends and elders.  They sit at home at the kitchen table or dinner table and listen to their parents and grandparents talk of politics, and manners and people who have been significant in their lives. If the children are lucky, there are books to read and devour and learn from to think more, to have the ideas with which to reach for intangible things – life, love, happiness and that one thing that they will always strive for – Heaven.

Yet something gets in the way, doesn’t it?  Have you seen it happen too many times?  Our young children start to follow the wrong things and people.  They ape their heroes and heroines  – they smoke, take drugs, dress like harpies, get into bed too soon with the wrong ones, and then they bring all these hurts and  take them to new relationships and jobs and cities and all of that follows.  Their parents, we – or their elders  – the aunts and uncles – we sit helpless.  We remember how these children are and were, when they were just from the womb, wrapped in blankets and bonnets.  All slightly wrinkled and toothless. Smiling up at someone, not us, but at some other One who looked down at them and gave them that spark of life.

So what happens with the learning?  Where did the learning go wrong?  Who made this learning fall into a pit of snakes?  I do think that smoking is the first thing that happens to a child – it happened to me.  I went to work at a hospital in my first job while in collge.  In that hospital, I was with a group of ICU nurses and staff.  They all would gather in one of the empty rooms and have a smoke.  I was there and felt out of place.  So I smoked too. My Dad found out – my room reeked of smoke and the ashtray was under my bed. He was a calm and authoritative man, and told me to stop smoking.  There was something in his voice that told me that he meant business. And so I did stop smoking.

But what of the others who pass through without an authority figure in their lives, smoking cigarettes then on to weed, then cocaine and then on to oblivion?

These are the ones that you might call “lucky” because their lives are short but miserable.  They don’t wreak havoc on their loved ones, they miss out on the people who would have helped them back on track, they don’t get into more trouble, cause fires, cause heartbreak, or God knows what else.  They learn the wrong things. They reach for the people who tell them this is the Good Life.  They like the fast cars, the big mansions, the easy money, the fashionable houses – the modeling, the grimy cities that promise success.

The Learning I am talking about is the Learning that tells a child that this is the true way and the path to getting OLD.  Yes, OLD.  Why do the young live a short life and then die into oblivion?  Because they made a choice to learn and reach for things that led them to death.  You can do that math – that connection of dots.  Think on your own lives and the lives of those who never made it past 18 or 25 or 30.

Why did I want to talk about Learning today?  Because we all keep learning Something.  What that Something is, is really a cooperation between you and God.  Yes, God.  Here’s that God word again, you say.  Well, it’s true.  Here’s another word – Satan.  A child is a big deal to both God and Satan. Satan wants the children.  He is salivating even now to snatch a child into his clutches and make this child become him and be as evil as sin and as death. There are so many of these seemingly untouched children out there.  They made the wrong choices and reached for the bad things in the world.  And then they use the knowledge that only Satan can give them and make others sad, suffer, or die. Every day.

The Learning is an important concept.  God taught us that first Learning.  In Eden.  Each of us goes through The Learning in our own Eden.  Who is the serpent in your life?  What will you and your children do when the serpent lifts its rattle and tells you to eat that luscious ‘apple’?  Where will you find recourse?  Who will you call to get you out of the pit of vipers?  What will you say or pray?  Will there be grace to give you to pray and call God’s name?  If you do call God’s name, then the Learning will have been successful because God hears you when you utter His name. And He will take you back into His loving arms to heal and forgive.

The Lie

Sacred Heart of Jesus Picture

I am going to go out on a limb and say that the Evil Satan is the Leader of this world.  He is the Father of Lies.  Lie No. 1 – You have to be rich to be happy.  Lie No. 2 – You have to move up in the world to be successful and happy.  Lie No. 3 – You need to be pretty and smart to be happy and successful.  Lie No. 4 – The world is the only place that matters.  Lie No. 5 – The happiness you seek is in drugs, food and sex.

I am sure that I will be pilloried by those who follow these lies and believe in them.  That is not going to stop me at all. There are millions of people in the world who are happy without these things – the trappings of success.  Lies are so rampant that people make concrete structures from them. A building can be a tissue of lies, wrapped with words, documents, products, and profit margins.  It is a lie to think that a company is successful because it has a good profit.

Do you believe everything that is seen by the stock market?  Is the stock market a lie in itself?  Why do people invest in it?  It is a lie too.

We are all sitting on unsteady ground.  None of us are really secure. The Father of Lies webs us all up in his magic and makes us believe he is real and will give you all you need.  This is what WE are up against.  Those who manufacture lies and follow the Evil One are destined to be like the weeds that are burned after a harvest.

Those who feel that they are given a God-given talent and want to pursue success must listen avidly to God’s prodding and making them depend upon His Divine Providence.  This is what God wants from the world.  It is not enough to feel that God is present when you go to daily Communion.  It is more important to feel that God is listening to you and you askHim for guidance.  It is always good to question the thoughts that come to you and make you want something or someone.  Always ask God what to do.  He will answer.

The Last One – my new novel concept

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Hello Everyone,

While things were brewing around my life, I had a vision in  my mind of JFK coming back to life.  I decided to write a story around this idea and got myself more interested as I wrote.  I thought it would work in a graphic novel, so that it would catch the eye of the younger generation.  The rest of the story about this new graphic novel concept can be seen in my Patreon page.

The Last One

On the Subject of Nurturing

Father God

What about nurture?

Coming to my mind – in Oxford University (UK), they have a practice or tradition of students being in meetings with their professors – a one to one kind of meeting to discuss and improve their work, and to write essays and papers. This appealed to me because I believed this was the right way to become educated. I love the idea of Oxford and being a student there.

In my life, nurturing is a big deal – my parents nurtured me, mostly my Mom who was my guide and mentor in all things. My father stood as the disciplinarian, the one who told me once to quit smoking and was the Voice of Authority.

As an only child, I wanted and sought out nurturers in my life. There were few. Besides my Mom, these may have been friends and teachers and in my graduate life, that was my PhD major professor. He wasn’t too nurturing as he was busy. But, he made sure that I was ‘protected’ from those who would wish to tear my project apart. He came to all my presentations, and then asked me what my wish would be – do I want to become an MD or a PhD? Or did I want to major in Biochem or in Pharmacology. These are not at all out of the ordinary for a major professor to do, but that was something I appreciated.  And it was nurturing. And, he enjoyed eating the Asian food I brought to work when we celebrated birthdays and achievements.

Nurturing children to become good students is a key thing. Nurturing students to succeed in their chosen field of study is most important. The trajectory of nurturing is in direct opposition to the progress of an individual’s growth, I fear. I fear that there are no older guides who are there to see to it that a growing or young adult is on the right path to becoming the best they can be. In terms of work, the ones who appear to be nurturers besides the management and higher levels of the company would be the human resources director and her staff. I know from experience that she would be checking to make sure everything was where and how they ought to be. That they are happy, content, filled with new projects etc.

But it isn’t really enough, though is it? To my mind, nurturing is mainly relegated to babies and nurseries. When the babies have been let out of school in the 7th grade, they are almost done with nurturing them. In church, nurturing is good as well, and this activity can be in the care of children while the parents are being given religious ‘food’ but the best part is when the children go to Sunday School. The nurturing there happens only on Sundays, and then the rest of the child’s life is taken to the four winds the rest of the week.

What I’m trying to say in so many words, though, is that we ALL NEED CONSTANT NURTURING. Self-love, maybe so – and that is the topic of another blog post (see MarianMusings.com). But, I mean – that love of a better and older, wiser person – those would be our parents. It behooves us Parents to nurture our children NO MATTER how old they are. To those who have no parents remaining, there are the aunts and great aunts, the grandparents and godparents. In the tradition of baptism, the godparents are given the task of taking over the raising of children of the family if both parents were to die suddenly before the children are of adult age.

Seek out the nurturers in your world. If you see the sign at the office “Your Mother DOES NOT WORK HERE” that only means you need to bus your tables and clean up after you have had your morning coffee. But it seems to hint at the fact that one cannot expect a “mother” or “nurturer” in that office.

It seems to me that the workplace is where nurturers are lacking. I don’t see supervisors being nurturers where I have worked. It seems that all work is geared towards the production of something. Not of someone. I suppose you can’t really expect a company to turn out better employees. Yet, isn’t that something that one could expect? Why not? If one were to go to another company and tell them they worked for A and company B is thinking “I’ve seen A employees and boy, they are great!” Is not that a good sign that A company was somehow nurturing? I don’t mean diaper changes and timely readings of bedtime stories. NO, I mean, that the company needs to improve the education of their employees in a nurturing way.

if a company fails an employee, that is deserves thirty lashes of a leather splint across the back. Well, I’m being facetious. But if an employee is someone who has had many good things to say and many good projects that they’ve done, and that company has marginalized that employee without much ado, then I’d say the company is comatose and is on life support.

Of course, nurturing an employee can be dangerous, can’t it? There are those who don’t think their coworkers should be nurtured. Why that person and not me? Then if that happens, nurturing must be equitable. But there are elements of fairness that aren’t present in many companies. It is then that an employee needs to decide whether he or she is in need of nurturing elsewhere. Or, if one can’t move or is somehow beholden to that company, then the nurturing must definitely come from “extra-terrestrial” sources.

I’m finding that this is how everyone must seek their Nurturers. I am suggesting that one seek Sunday school all over again. Sundays for nurturing the individual is perfect. One goes to have church services, and then maybe a hearty lunch, and then a little nap and then settle down to read, or write about how things could be improved in one’s life. Taking the ideas of what was discussed at church service and putting those against what one is going through in life. I’m suggesting a prescription of nurturing – asking a Higher Being to be part of one’s life and becoming THE ONLY and ONE NURTURER. It’s simple enough. Father God, you would begin, help me here because I need nurturing.

My rant about the closing of My Marsh store

Marsh

I am dealing with progress in my little town.  We have had a large influx of new settlers here, some from different parts of the world, some from neighboring towns, some just temporarily – students, I mean.  And with these new settlers the large companies have decided to set up their own flagship buildings.  Some companies, though, have left.  And one of them, our Marsh store in West Lafayette, has decided to close.  There are other bigger box groceries in town. So, I suppose that was what drove our little Marsh store off the grid. We have Meijer, Walmart, Kroger-Payless, and even some smaller groceries that serve the university studentship.  We won’t mention them, in case the business gods want them to leave as well.

Our little Marsh store was not a little one at all.  It had all the amenities:  the deli, the bakery, the flower shop, and, it had international items (like Chinese and English fare).  It had a navigable footprint, we knew where to find things – and it wasn’t a long slog like with Walmart where you could easily get lost in it looking for vitamins or Coffee or canned meat.

When my family settled here in the early 90’s, the Marsh store was pretty much the only store in town, perhaps the Kroger one was also up.  But Kroger had a large store and it was difficult to park in it. I had visions of being t-boned in their parking because someone didn’t look behind to see who was driving past.  So Kroger, despite being a serviceable store, seemed a bit of a risk to me.

Marsh had friendly people, the greengrocers liked to say hello and helped when I couldn’t find the pine nuts for my recipe.  The manager, who I just met a few months ago (he’d been there for years) had informed me then that they weren’t going out of business, they really are doing a profit and so the fear of them closing had dissipated.  But that was then, the news, the cold hard news is that they are now being run off the grid of West Lafayette.

 
It is a difficult thing to see something that’s been there for decades and been the provider of your food and greens and alcohol since you started and made this place your own.  My own, as it were.  I know that another bigger, fancier store will come out and replace it.  It will tear down the building and who knows what other ones attached, and it will be a mess for a while and then it will announce itself.

Maybe that is progress.  But what progress really, for the manager who told me he was glad they weren’t closing because he is a couple of years away from retirement?  Or the green grocers who have aged through the years, and still look as young as they were with just a bit of grey around the gills – where do they go?  I know that they will be taken care of, at least, that is what I hope Marsh will do – give them a good retirement package.  But the memories will go away.

Memories of Marsh you say?  Well, we had friends who were the cashier, the ones who sold us our lotto tickets, the assistant manager who offered to keep an eye on my dog while I shopped, the friends we bumped into and regaled with news of our latest trips or retirements and so on. Where will they be next?  I doubt that there will be a greater chance to see them again – where would they be?  What do people do when their favorite store closes?  Are the alternatives going to be ok?  What will I miss most about Marsh?

I guess I will miss a few things about Marsh, besides what I have already said.  I will miss their ample parking (mostly due to the fact that hardly anyone shopped there anymore) where I could actually sit and scroll through my newsfeed on Twitter in my parked car, or, where I would eat my Starbucks Danish before going in to shop.  I will miss its accessibility. I will miss well, the past.  I guess that is what I will miss.  The past that includes my whole family shopping there and now the family has dwindled.  So, perhaps that is what I will miss about Marsh.  Those scenes in the past where Marsh figured in some way.  Not greatly, but in a significant way.

Small towns are the thing of the past, though. Our town is eager to be part of the next technological super age.  So, with that, let all small grocery stores beware.  One can’t always stay the same, one must do what they can to matter to those who are around.  Those who have patronized Marsh are in their later years, those who are more inclined to want to shop safely, to feel like there’s a warm place to go and feel like they belong.  The youth of the town will go where they have access to Starbucks, to new-fangled foods, to every type of monster drink available.  The rich will always go where the parking lot is paved and has no bad holes.  The entrepreneurs will go where there are party stuff to celebrate openings and launches.  And then where would these stores be that can’t have all for these demographical shoppers?
 

Perhaps that is what Marsh needed – and they tried to keep up, they tried to stock those things that only they would carry and not others.  They installed U-scan devices, and made the store more spacious.  But, too little too late.

I fear for those who will miss Marsh that they will completely be in a catatonic state when they enter a big box store.  What of those tender hearts who really only wanted one item and then scurry back home to cherish it with their recipe?

I might be getting too maudlin, but I really really hate that Marsh is closing here.  I know I’ll get over it.  I shouldn’t fret, of course, because perhaps it is part of God’s plan.  Yes, He has a plan even for Marsh stores.  I don’t know what that would be, but in God’s Mind, these things are present.  So for all Marsh aficionados, take heart.  God’s in control.  He will be happy to hear our fears and settle them in his Fatherly way.