Wow, could there really be an upside of being outsourced? I never thought that would be something I’d ever say. I don’t support the concept or practice of outsourcing but maybe, just maybe, there could be a silver lining. Even if you can’t see it amidst the storm.
After reading the history of the Wente Family I’m inspired by their Love of the Journey. In the very early years of the winery they somehow survived the years of prohibition. Reading about their generations of hard work and successes I’m inspired to share my own Love of the Journey with you. With hard work, and sometimes adversity, we can love where the journey brings us.
When I was young I never thought much about what I wanted to do for a living. My parents struggled financially through my teens so I thought I’d be an accountant because they make good money. That’s not the right motivation for a career but I pursued it, for a little while anyway. I took a few accounting courses in High School but after graduation I was more concerned with getting a full time job so I could move out, than I was about going to College.
When my daughter was still a baby I joined some friends at the local community college for a few semesters but it never really clicked. Thankfully I was offered some really great job training opportunities over the years that got my feet in the doors of a few good jobs. They weren’t jobs I was passionate about but they put a roof over our heads and food on the table.
After meeting and marrying my husband I started working for an IT company as an Administrator. Apparently I had an aptitude for computers and after a few years I was promoted to work on the support team. Eventually I got hired with another company and after a few years I was promoted into management. I had great managers and the best team of people working for me. We worked well together and our group had a great reputation servicing our internal customers. Still not my dream job but it helped meet our family’s financial goals. And my work life was good.
And then it wasn’t.
“…maybe, just maybe, there could be a silver lining. Even if you can’t see it amidst the storm.”
Little by little upper management started making changes. Why can’t some companies ever leave good enough (actually, really good) alone? They reorganized and let some senior managers go. We lost the cohesive environment we once had. While morale declined the pressures increased. My immediate manager was moved to a new role and I reported directly to the new Sr. VP. Sadly that didn’t go well. When news of his plan to outsource was discovered it went over about as well as you can imagine.
My work life went from really great to totally crazy in a blink. Suddenly instead of 6 employees I was managing over 25. Work life was no longer good. Thankfully I had great friends at work that helped keep me sane.
It was the worst work year of my life. Not only was I working more hours with more stress, but I knew most of the people working for me were going to lose their jobs. I had no idea if I would be on the chopping block as well.
It was so bad that I was literally praying, “Please Lord, let it end. Let me move onto something less stressful and more creative.” Keep in mind I was asking for less stress 🙂
“They weren’t jobs I was passionate about but they put a roof over our heads and food on the table.”
I’d been thinking about starting a blog for a long time but with my work schedule I had no time to be creative. Sometimes you just have a gut feeling and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be retained. Now was the time to get the ball rolling. I started doing some research, chose my blog name, bought my domain, and got it all set up. I didn’t do much with it but it was ready when 6 months later I was called into a meeting with HR. They gave us all 3 months notice of our end date.
My husband was so supportive through the entire process. It was as stressful on him as it was on me. What a blessing he was, he knew the toll it was all taking on me. Sometimes we’d just sit together on the back patio, me sipping a glass of California Chardonnay while he enjoyed a cigar as we talked about the what ifs and the future.
I’ve always had creative ideas, and as a young girl I would do colored pencil sketches of objects, pictures, whatever. I made initials out of clay and big floor pillows for my nephews and nieces. And I installed a shelf over the kitchen sink in a tiny rental apartment (without the landlord’s approval 🙂 ). I made curtains out of sheets for most of our homes to save a buck. All through the years I’ve stored ideas in my head and magazine pages in a folder of the things I wanted to do.
I’d get unemployment for a time, and since we’d been good savers my husband agreed to letting me stay home for a bit to get my blog off the ground.
Blogging isn’t easy, in fact, it’s a lot of work, and stress. Remember I prayed for less stress? Hahaha, little did I know blogging has a lot of stresses involved, but it’s different. These deadlines and learning curves are something I want, my goals and my agenda, not someone else’s.
“What a blessing he was, he knew the toll it was all taking on me.”
I think this is the hardest I’ve ever worked at any job in my life. I don’t dare calculate my hourly rate but it’s by far the most rewarding hours I’ve ever worked. It feeds my creativity and I’m working toward a goal of making decent money that will ease us into retirement when that time comes. Plus I get to make some pretty cool stuff for our home. My blogging friends motivate and encourage me, and they’re the only one’s who really understand what it is I do 🙂
Since I’m not making a bunch of money in this new venture yet I recently started working a part time job. This job helps me bring in extra money while I grow my blogging business but I still have enough time to blog. Having this blog and being creative is without a doubt the best, most rewarding, thing I could be doing for myself.
A few years ago I couldn’t see through the storm this far forward to job satisfaction and fulfillment. Now I can’t imagine I ever did anything else.
We all have to start somewhere and even in my early 50s, starting over feels just fine. I’ve been blogging seriously for a little over a year but I’ve already had some successes. It takes time to get your projects circulating online but when a project gets a lot of traction quickly you know you’re on the right track. I’m not stopping, everything that’s worth anything takes hard work. And I have a lot of hard work left in me.
When it’s time to celebrate those successes and my hard work I enjoy a yummy glass of Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay.
It’s very smooth and goes perfectly with grapes and cheese for a light snack after a long day of being creative.
“Now I can’t imagine I ever did anything else.”
When I want to put a bigger spread together for a few friends I add in some olives and other yummy snacks that we can nibble on as we chat.
While preparing the yummy spread for this post I taste tested it all. Yes, and lots of it. A sip of wine a nibble of cheese, I mixed them up and tasted them all. It all tastes so yummy with the Morning Fog Chardonnay. I love that Livermore Wine is so close to me and will soon take a visit to the Wente Vineyards. If you like a sweeter wine you might enjoy their Riverbank Riesling. Or check out their product page where you can learn all about the many wines they have to offer.
Thank you again to Wente Vineyard for sponsoring this post. And to my readers for joining me on my “Love of the Journey” reflection. I guess there can be an upside of being outsourced.
What’s your story? I’d love to hear about your Love of the Journey, just leave me a comment and I promise I’ll read and reply.
Kathleen | Our Hopeful Home
Monday 17th of April 2017
I am so happy for you, Toni! Your story rings true for me as I'd love to blog as my "job." But right now it's still more of a hobby as I home school my youngest son. But he's off to high school next year, so maybe then I'll get my chance:) I'm up for cocktails any time, too bad we all live so far apart! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm! xo Kathleen | Our Hopeful Home
Thursday 13th of April 2017
Toni, I knew a few bits and pieces of your story but I loved reading more about you.
I'm don't indulge on a regular basis but I do enjoy a glass of wine here and there.
This is a lovely piece and your photos are amazing.
Saturday 8th of April 2017
I love the story of your journey and what you have achieved. It is incredibly! Cheers to more awesomeness to come! That spread looks amazing too
Friday 7th of April 2017
Nice story, Toni. You've inspired me to be a better story teller, drink more wine, and love the journey. All of this packed into one little post. How awesome is that? IN the meantime, I wish I could visit you and go to the vineyards for a day ---or six. LOL. We'd have lots of fun. Congrats on a great post. Susie from The Chelsea Project
Friday 7th of April 2017
Hey Susie, you are so sweet. You are a great story teller my friend! A visit to the winery with you would be so lovely and yes super fun!
Friday 7th of April 2017
I am so happy that you found something fulfilling, Toni. I selfishly miss you at the office, though.
Friday 7th of April 2017
Hey girl, you are so sweet. Let's get together very soon. I miss your face too but glad we're on FB together :)