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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A.Adams Jones ~ The Main Reason I ended up back in Colorado Springs (Part III)

  
      Moving Forward - Part III         

Update: June 22, 2016

 

In recognition of the author who inspired so many changes in my life three years ago...here's a re-post from 2013 PLUS links to this author's books and video synopsis.



Blind Innocence


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym4Jrwo7LjM


Where were we?  Oh yes.  My employer chose not to pay my vacation time.  When I called to find out what had happened, I was chastised that I did not verbally inform my employer that I wanted to be paid for my vacation time.  Hmmm.  Did I not complete a leave request form?  Indeed I had.  I also remember telling my employer that I wanted to use whatever vacation time I had left.  Turns out that a discrepancy on the vacation form made it possible for the Director to overlook my request.  She agreed to ask the School Owners to look into the matter.  I trusted that this would be taken care of so that I could return to Georgia in time to begin the new school year. 

Again, I checked my account on the next expected payday and found myself lacking funds.  I once more called my Center Director and was greeted with what amounted to a different type of "pay back."  I was told that ,"Well, Mr. XYZ felt that he didn't need to pay you since you left he and Mrs. XYZ in a bind by leaving.  Additionally, The Infant Room had an increase in enrollments and we had to hire a new Lead Teacher to replace you."  Perhaps a sudden increase had actually occurred in the one week time since I last spoke with her.  However, I was sure that there was something I could have done to help out if only on a part time basis.  I was advised that I was no longer expected to return on the date I had written on my vacation request form.  "We'll call you if we need you." (Additional Note:  I discovered from other colleagues that the enrollment had not actually significantly increased, which is what I had suspected.)

There was a deep sense of disappointment that I had been unceremoniously dumped.  If at any time the Center Director had indicated I could not take a leave of absence I would have respected that decision.  If I had known that taking my children to see their dad would result in an inability to receive my earned vacation pay or that I would have no job upon returning to Georgia I surely would have postponed the visit.  Most of all, I felt like I had let everyone down.  I missed the infants and I missed talking with their parents.   I also missed the coworkers I had grown to love.  We had worked so hard together to make sure the Infant Program was one that made us proud.  I felt like all my efforts had been disregarded.

Moving forward is never easy.  It takes a lot of humility and forgiveness to let go of the "What might have beens."  Here's the thing.  It's never good to second guess yourself.  You do the best you can under given circumstances and proceed as planned.  Sure there will be plenty of individuals who disagree with your choices or don't understand your motives.  Can you imagine what life would be like if you felt like you had to justify every action you take, every word you write, and every breath you chose to breathe?  Believe me, it's no way to live!  Although guilt has it's purpose in the the world, an excess amount prevents you from moving forward and living the life God intended for you. 

I am currently in the process of  "moving forward."  I have filed for unemployment while I continue to look for work.  My children will attend school in Colorado Springs for now.  We are gathering birth certificates, applying for medical insurance, and getting the necessary forms completed to begin a chapter in our history I'll call "Return to Colorado."  Perhaps I have unfinished business.  There are worse places I could be "stranded."  Whatever the reason I ended up here, it's now my job to make the best of our adventure and embrace the results.  I can do this!  I've reinvented myself before and I'm quite awesome at creating new environments for my children.  I hope that they will grow to be resilient, accepting, and versatile individuals with a zest for life.  Most of all, I hope my family will understand that I am doing the best I can for my children. 

Planning is still a good idea. I love list making.  But I also know that there needs to be a lot of flexibility built into your thought process.  The strongest tree in the forest is not the one that stands upright, but one that sways and bends in the wind.  (A favorite quote..just can't recall who said it.)  And this ends my vacation story.  I look forward to documenting our new challenges.







 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A.Adams Jones ~ The Main Reason I ended up back in Colorado Springs (Part II)

     Consequences and Resolutions - Part II          

Update: June 15, 2016

In recognition of the author who inspired so many changes in my life three years ago...here's a re-post from 2013 PLUS links to this author's books and video synopsis.



Blind Innocence


 
 
My five-year-old's recommendation for our trip to the park set into motion a series of events that I never could have foreseen.  There were too many factors involved in what transpired following this visit to believe in simple coincidences.  Something bigger was at work here.  Yes, I ultimately made decisions.  However, if I had known about the consequences, I may have played my cards quite differently.   Sometimes, you just have to take that trip, see those sights, and experience the sensations that accompany the journey. 

Following my introduction to A. Adams Jones, author and publisher of the debut book "Blind Innocence", I began to realize how pressured the past eighteen months had been.  Once again I had been left to raise three children alone (after a brief attempt by their father to reunite everyone in Atlanta, Georgia), survived a horrific car accident where someone slammed into my car as I was stopped at a red light - pushing me into the car in front of me (thank God the children were not in the car at the time), re-entered the work force as a teacher, lost my apartment and moved into an extended stay hotel, and struggled to deal with some very challenging group dynamics in my classroom. 

One day at work, after another stressful situation arose, I decided that it was time to take a break from all the chaos and  reclaim my spirit.  There is only so much a human can physically and emotionally tolerate before you realize you're headed to the zoo.  I submitted a leave request to my Center Director.  I had hoped that since we had college students returning to help, the room would have adequate coverage in my absence.  I was advised that I may not have the Lead Infant Teacher position available upon my return if enrollments increased, but was assured that something would be available.  I was told, "We are going to honor your request."  Since the Director was also a single mom of three, I felt like she understood I needed to take my children to see their Dad.  They hadn't seen him in eighteen months.  Their behaviors indicated to me that it was time that they went for a visit.

My plan seemed sound.  I spent the first day of my vacation updating Developmental Milestones folders for each child from my classroom.  I organized important forms and other paperwork that the staff would need in my absence.  I left all of my personal resources including books and activities so the infants could continue to enjoy them.   The following day I delivered the files to the school and left numbers where I could be reached.  The vacation pay I expected would be just enough to fund my return trip.  Everything seemed to be set for my road trip too. 

With a well packed car, directions, a map, and snacks, my three children and I set out on our adventure. We crossed five states and drove from Smyrna, Georgia to Colorado Springs, Colorado in two days.  (I have always love to travel.)  This time I did it with three children.  We had a blast!  The visit with their dad went well and I was sure I had done the right thing.  My first hint that all was not well  with my plan came when my bank account failed to show my vacation time had been paid.  Never assume people will do the right thing.  You'd think I would learn after all this time.  Yet I continue to trust, believe, and see the good in people.  Sometimes to my detriment .  This turned out to be one of those times.  Next Posting... Moving Forward - Part III        


PARTS I and II Now Available