Monday, January 14, 2013

Change - Dedicated to the Hedin Family

Change, it’s the only thing we’ve been able to rely on lately. The last few months have been a whirlwind of change and renewal in the Ross household, and while I’m happy about all of the changes and satisfied with the direction our lives have taken lately, I’ll have to admit it’s all been pretty exhausting.

It started over the Summer. Jeremy enrolled online at Jacksonville State University. Since we married in 2007, he’s been working on-and-off to obtain his degree. The summer of 2012 marked the most serious and permanent jump towards this effort, and it also marked the entrance of college loans into our lives. 

I didn’t anticipate the stress these loans would add to our lives. I had been fortunate enough to have the HOPE scholarship while in college, so I hadn’t accrued mountains of student loan debt. Also, Jeremy and I had lived under pretty strict self-inflicted financial rules for the duration of our married life and were hard-core avoiders of debt that wasn’t a mortgage.

In an instant, all that changed.

Also changing was my professional life. My supervisor and mentor moved on to another job. Other factors at work started shifting; my footing became less and less sure. And it became more and more clear that it was time to move on. I spent several months in a state of unrest. I was unsatisfied with the direction of things; I felt restless and impatient.

I changed during this time. I became Katie Version 2.0. I was myself, but I was stronger. I was more confident. I was less willing to settle. I was less willing to let people walk all over me. At the time, I didn’t even recognize the shift in myself. I only felt the struggle, the frustration. I overlooked the benefits of hardship. Such is human nature.

Blessed relief came in the form of a new job in December and that’s when I noticed the difference in myself. The weight that was lifted with my new job felt nearly like a personality transplant. The stress that had driven my life for so long seemed to evaporate. The happiness that was always just below the surface bubbled up, and I was the Katie that I wanted to be again.

As my new job evolves, as I find my footing and forge my new path, my happiness seems to only grow. As scary as it was to make the first leap from comfort zone to unchartered waters, I’m so relieved that I made that dive, that I’m beginning to make a real splash in my new career.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of another change. Jeremy will be embarking on a new part-time endeavor. As usual, I feel the butterflies and uncertainties that each new challenge brings. Doubt and hesitation make my heart skip a few beats as I think about the days and weeks to come.

With work and school and new-found hobbies and all of the wonderful things we want to try and do, how will we find time for it all? How will we handle all of these changes? How will we embrace new choices and goals and dreams?

I don’t know. I do know that we have survived change before. I do know that life is change and that I better get used to it. I do know that the only thing we can rely on in the coming months and years is that the world is spinning, and we’re going to need to run to keep up.

I do know that when it’s all said and done we’ll be able to see clearly the changes in ourselves and how through hardships and strife, through love and hate, through dark days and sunny, we only become better.

Hi friends,

My blogging friend Nina and her husband Tom are facing some dark days now. Nina is the author of ArtsyNina. She is the kind, witty mother of Jack and June and the wife of Tom. On January 5th, Tom was in a horrible snowmobile accident that left him seriously injured. He sustained numerous injuries to both legs and arms, to his head, his spine, etc., and his road to recovery is going to be long and difficult. 

Unfortunately, the financial burden of this recovery is difficult as well. Because Tom just started a new job recently, he doesn't qualify for FMLA, and Tom and Nina are facing medical bills that will just keep piling up as his recovery goes on. 

So that Tom can focus on his priority, which should be his recovery, a GiveForward site has been created in his honor to assist with the medical bills. If you are able to donate even a few dollars toward the Hedin family, I can assure you they will be appreciated. This young family is just like our own families; they just happened to stumble upon a bad turn of events. Even if you are not able to give, please help to share Tom and Nina's story. 

Thanks for reading!

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