Since I wrote last we have made a lot of changes in our lives. The salon I worked at closed – literally – overnight while we were on vacation and I just decided to focus all my energy on the mattress business. We opened another warehouse in Tampa and we are getting ready to start moving into the hospitality industry as well as a higher profile retail operation. All possible as the economy improves and our energy remains high. Michael and I always do better when we are in a growth phase. When we are comfortably numb with no immediate pressing demands being made, we get bored…and then we become foolish. Anyone who knows me knows I am a workaholic and always try to position myself to be number ONE. Michael is inventive and makes the most from networking opportunities. Together we are a powerful team. We have had the good fortune to have two of the very best professional sales people available in charge of each store and they are a huge part of our dramatic growth.
We moved to a house that we hope to eventually purchase that is in a much smaller – and backwards – community that is about an even distance from both stores and I planted a garden and replaced the kitchen appliances with ones gifted to me by my mother in law. Somehow having “my own” appliances has really created a sense of ownership and permanence that I didn’t have before. The smaller community has turned out to be welcoming and far friendlier than the metropolitan environment we were used to and being so disconnected from what we used to call civilization, has enabled us to spend more time together without distraction.
Our personal lives have changed too. Michaels’ son from his previous marriage has reappeared unexpectedly in the last six months and – unfortunately – brought the ex-wife, a younger brother and an adoptive father with him. We are embedded in the middle of a brutal tug of war between the evil ex-wife and her bitter ex husband as they work to make each other lives miserable and dictate our level of participation in Dereks life. For now – we are (so sorry so sad) to be shut out and can only communicate by cell phone and text. We are hoping to get to spend some extended time with him over the summer but it will require some serious negotiation with these two crazy people.
I have had very little time to reflect on the volcanic events that have changed our last year – and as grateful as I am for our success in business and our renewed relationship with Michaels son – it has revealed some cracks in my armor. That’s not bad in and of itself. I am a more considerate person than I used to be and I think about the impact my actions will have on others more often than not. I have more compassion. I have more empathy. I have more patience – although just a tiny bit more – and it wears off quite quickly. I am more absent minded. Although I start early and end late, I accomplish much less in a day than I feel I should. I am disappointed in my sales performance at the Tampa store and I feel like I am stretched into too many directions to be fully effective in any of them. I daydream – briefly – of projects I’d like to undertake of a more creative variety but I rarely take any action to complete anything of any real value. Finally – I went completely off the deep end when the ex-wife made a clumsy and completely futile pass at my beloved husband. Try as I might – I can’t come back from that offense and have been unable to either face her or forgive her.
On the other hand, I feel like I have really gotten a handle on the direction my weight has taken. I have lost a little over 40 pounds and have been able to keep it off and still feel like I am not being deprived. I feel I have – with Michaels determination and support – become more health conscious and less self destructive with my eating habits. I feel that I will soon be ready to dispense with the cigarettes for good. I feel a closer sense of family with my own “clan” and really miss both of my sisters. I talk to mom or dad more than I ever have and I really look forward to giving them updates and hearing about their daily activities.
I can say – without question – my life is better than I had ever hoped. I look around every day and can’t see anyone who is happier than I am. I don’t know how that happened with all the stupid decisions I have made, but I thank God for his grace. I only hope I can do it justice.