Sunday Reflections ~ 6/4/23

Since I’m on my phone, I won’t review the week. Adding those hyperlinks takes too much work. I’m waiting to post trip stuff for until the trip is through so instead let’s just say I’m reveling in the moment. That’s it, that’s my reflection. I’m blessed beyond measure & enjoying a new found sense of peace.

As always more to come.

Thursday Thoughts ~ 6/1/23

I’m scheduling this post in advance to keep my streak alive. I can’t have a little thing like life interrupt consecutive days writing because writing sets me free. I’ve always got a lot on my mind, just works that way. Hard wired into my DNA. Speaking of DNA, I’m gearing up for my trip of a lifetime. Yeah, queen comma drama aka lil Jilly is still in the house.

I’ve made a list of all that can go wrong not because I really think these things will happen but because doing so gets the intrusive thoughts out of my head. For anyone who ever watched This Is Us, remember Randall & Beth playing the verbal version … worst case scenario … go!! well that is what I did. Released the hounds as it were & I’m not even unhappy. I’m cautiously optimistic even if I do come home to a layoff. Because part of my twisted brain assumes I deserve to be laid off for even daring to take this pilgrimage. But that’s nonsense! As if anyone in this current situation deserves what they get. That includes the decision makers who are not themselves impacted.

Maybe a more healthy way to deal would be to write the good stuff that might happen. But then I’ve never really believed in unicorns. I’m more Eeyore than Tigger. Always have been & likely always will be even though I can rally to Pooh or Piglet like status on most occasions.

Alrighty, time to land the plane. If all goes according to plan, on this day, about this time, I will be meeting my cousin in Kent WA. We’ve emailed a few options for meeting plans back & forth, nothing aligning. I grabbed his most recent email offer with a resounding sounds great! let me know where to be at noon. I won’t look back until I land & if it’s an oops that won’t work then our meeting face to face was not meant to be.

As always, more to come.

Sunday Reflections: A Week in Review ~ 5/28/23

What a whirlwind. I’m trying not to dwell or Make Stuff Up aka MSU. So far, I’m doing a pretty good job of letting go of the work stuff. It’s nothing until it’s something. I distracted myself with mindless TV & baking. I also put the finishing touches on my itinerary for my pilgrimage that kicks off Thursday! I am alternatingly sick & excited. Not truly sick, but the butterflies are flying. I’m just nervous I guess.

My sweet Lulu Belle is funny. She said if they hurt me, she will rain fire down on them like they’ve never seen before. She kind of sounded like Samuel L Jackson’s character, Jules in Pulp Fiction. But she’s a tiny little sprite of a girl. Nothing she could do all the way from Texas but I appreciate her concern & worry over me. The only thing that will hurt me is a no-show but anything else will provide the healing I need. And even a no-show, I would excuse away eventually after bein crushed in the moment. I feel that I’m not worthy. But Charles has convinced me I belong & I matter. I will carry his words with me.

Now here’s the reverse roll call:

Peace y’all. Until next time. Stay safe.

As always, more to come.

Friday Feels ~ 5/26/23

I’ve re-watched our Memorial Day Ceremony three times now. In my 39 years at USAA, never have I ever witnessed a more moving presentation. As a coworker said, it was the wake up call many of us needed to reset & get back to basics – our mission.

All the worry of late, Return to Office, restructuring, & layoffs, sort of sidetracked the core purpose of our reason for being. I can’t change what still might happen but I can adjust my attitude while I’m still here. Be the tried and true loyal employee I’m capable of being.

As always more to come.

Thursday Thoughts ~ 5/25/23

I changed my featured image for this Thursday’s regularly scheduled post. I’m no longer a shadow, I’m a real girl even with my back turned to you. I was looking at a mermaid when Lulu snapped this picture. Nope not a “real” mermaid but a mermaid mosaiculture at the SA Botanical Gardens. The current exhibition Imaginary Worlds ~ Once Upon A Time ~ is fantastic!!!!!!

Here’s the mermaid I’m talking about … so y’all know I haven’t lost it completely.

I’m overthinking as usual but I want this post to be stand alone happy. She’s a siren & a savior. Meant to be viewed from all sides, at least that’s was the placard says. I may see a mermaid in WA? Again, not a “real” mermaid. This isn’t Fantasy Island. Ha-ha. For those TV viewers, IYKYK.

As always, more to come.

SA Botanical Gardens: Imaginary Worlds ~ Once Upon A Time ~ Mosaiculture

On Saturday, May 20, 2023, Lulu & I went to the SA Botanical Gardens to see the exhibition mentioned in the title. My featured image is how the show begins… Once Upon A Time. We took a self-guided tour deep into imaginary worlds & came out cleansed.

Yep, y’all know I’m the queen comma drama but damn this experience was healing if I do say so myself. At first I said, no pictures, be in the moment, inhale the surroundings. But then, I changed course.

We will go back multiple times before the October closing & on one of the next trips, I will wander around aimlessly & camera free. What’s so cool about these living mosaicultures is every time we return, the plant installations will be changed even if every so slightly. Constant attention by staff & volunteers are called for to upkeep these works of art.

There were six giants of the plant kingdom: Storybooks, Pegasus, Dragon, Rip Van Winkle, Mermaid, & Peacock. What follows are five galleries showcasing a giant in each. Mermaid will be saved for my Thursday Thoughts. I’ll also toss in a miscellaneous gallery – the forever rose garden & other assorted plants. I couldn’t figure out how to make my videos work here but I’ll keep trying for a subsequent post. Neither pictures or videos do justice, this is truly something that must be seen but even if you feel a fraction of what we did, you’ll be better for it!!


Only these 3 pictures, the rest was video.


Isn’t he adorable …


Dragon was the star of the show. All these images look similar but there are subtle differences. You be the judge. I have some dragon videos as well, that I’ll post once I figure out how.

Rip Van Winkle


I loved the variety in the peacock plumes, especially the succulents along the wing & on the tail.

The Forever Rose Garden & Other Assorted Plants

As always, more to come.

Friday Feels ~ 5/19/23

Winding down after a busy stressful week. After a bit of reflection, I’m going to be okay. Ultimately “it is what it is” and all any of us can do is just breathe. Whew 😥

Tuesday 5/16/23 was the day everything happened though when I wrote my thoughts Thursday 5/18/23, I didn’t realize that. I assumed we were in for another wave 🌊. We still might be but not immediately. This means I will disconnect completely during my trip.

Areas Impacted: In January, home mortgage/Bank. In March, I/T and product support. In May, Actuary/Underwriting and my own backyard. There are many who believe July will be the final in this series to stabilize. Though we’ll never be done as unbeknownst to the front line, staffing is reviewed constantly. I knew this but somehow forgot. Outcome to date in 2023 ~ 900-1000 out of 37,000.

On a positive note, seeing my teammates in person was good for the soul. I’m fortunate to be here or there or anywhere. “Hey, hey, hey now. Don’t be mean. We don’t have to be mean cuz remember no matter where you go, there you are” ~ Buckaroo Banzai

As always more to come.

Thursday Thoughts ~ 5/18/23

40 years ago on this day I graduated from high school. It took me 23 years from 40 years ago to graduate from college. I took the extended route. But I’m glad because it made me stronger. 

Right now I’m having to draw on some of that strength. Summon my inner mettle to get through these trying times. I want to go out on my own terms after all these years but I may not be given a choice. We’re all scared, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Tuesday was another wave & more changes to follow.

It sucks when good hard-working people are displaced through no fault of their own. And that’s what’s going on right now. This time I know people personally. It wasn’t nameless faceless people in another area. I’m not saying that it wasn’t sad when the nameless faceless people were let go because it was equally as sad. Still, there’s something different about knowing them personally, that makes it a tougher pill to swallow.

So now I wait for yet another wave to come over. If it’s me, it’s meant to be. It wouldn’t be the first time that someone was let go at the end of their career under terms that they did not pick for themselves. It happened to my father-in-law at exactly the same age I am now. We share initials. I look for all these random coincidence that might make our situation the same. Actually now that I think about it, he was a year older than I am now. So maybe that’s my saving grace. Haha 😆

A coworker mentioned to me that she had 32 years in when she was let go. She’s been with us for three years now. Sometimes you do land on your feet. Glimmers of hope.

OK, no more doom & gloom. Except maybe one last thing. I am convinced, I will go on my pilgrimage and come back to the news of 60 days or out. It’s some sort of transference thing going on in my head. I’m feeling guilty about taking this trip and spending money on myself to do so, and that somehow I believe I should be punished. Oy vey. Thank goodness for therapy which if I’m laid off will be the first to go.

As always more to come.

Sunday Reflections: A Week in Review ~ 5/14/23

Reverse roll call. I’m making it quick because I’ve got places to go and people to see. Not really, that’s just an expression & I’m full of ’em or full of it! No time for lollygagging around though because I definitely have things to do & that feels awesome. And away we go …

Peace y’all. Until next time. Stay safe.

As always, more to come.