Author Archives: tracye1

About tracye1

Tracy. Catholic mama of 4 beautiful Redheads! Married to my high school sweetie since 1994. As most women I know, I am a multi-tasker. I find myself to be: Type-B(ish); married to a solid Type-A (some of it rubs off.....). I'm a Procrastinator and a Planner. I am an Introvert who occasionally displays Extrovert tendencies. I love taking pictures and sometimes I get some good ones! I enjoy blogging and hope that some of my experiences and our family's trials can shed a witness to the hope we have to rise above any situation because of the graces we are granted in Jesus Christ! Read on, enjoy the trek, life is a journey, one day at a time. Comment, follow and tell your friends....thanks for stopping by!

Bittersweet Blessings

Once upon a season, the idea of working weekends would have been detrimental to our home life. Time spent together as a family after a week of school, work, extracurricular and all that goes along with life with a family of 4 growing kiddos warranted some time for breathing and reconnecting for all of us and weekends were sacred. This season, however, is a different season altogether and finds us in a place of kids who are now young adults, spreading their wings and leaving us with an emptier nest by the day. At this point, working weekends isn’t so bad since it leaves plenty of time during the week that the hubs and I are home together, providing opportunities to take walks throughout the day, chit chat, lunch, daily Mass and usually a date thrown in somewhere.

This season is a slower pace of life. During the first few weeks of my current assignment with copious free time during the week, my grandmother (my dad’s mom) experienced some health problems that sent her into a physical decline and she was placed on hospice care at home with my aunt and uncle.

My grandparents were married for 44 years and when my grandfather passed away, I was 20 and entering radiology school. I moved in with my grandmother to keep her company and transition to a new life as a widow and maintained my freedom as a college student (living her best life with her grandmother). It was a mutually beneficial relationship and we got along wonderfully. She taught me to rotate my linens, folding towels in thirds, how to iron my uniforms (even though she did it for me most of the time), I mowed her lawn—occasionally decapitating sprinkler heads, we hung linens to dry on the clothesline (a smell I still love to this day), tended to her rose garden and various other plants in her immaculate yard and we had morning coffee and cake before I left for school. Our two years passed quickly and when I graduated, Gram sold her house and moved in with my aunt and uncle.

Life does not stop when illness enters the picture, and my aunt and uncle had various appointments they needed to attend so I was grateful for the opportunity to provide some respite care for them and selfishly, some special time with my grandmother catching up on life and grasping these last days. Physically, my grandmother was weak, slept a lot and didn’t eat or drink much, however, she was still very alert mentally. The evenings brought about “sundowning” but our daytime visits presented very little of this.

These visits with Gram were precious. She slept much but always woke up for our visits. This time, shared intermittently with other family members was borrowed time and we all cherished these moments. We caught Gram up on our lives, our kid’s lives, home projects in the works, discussed my aunt’s orchids, the garden and a few nostalgic stories for giggles. She was tired but present, sassy, laughing and holding hands with us and Mr. Wiggles, her (15-Year- old!!!!) poodle ever present at her side.

During what would be my last visit with Gram, she didn’t wake up. We spent this time in prayer. Holding her hand, I prayed with the Laudate app the prayers for the dying, the elderly, the Our Father, Hail Mary as well as my own words. I knew these prayers were walking her to Heaven and while I was so sad to let her go, I was so honored to walk with her. That evening she passed from this earthly life to the her heavenly home. What a gift.

Requiescat in pace, Gram.

Gram

Gram and Grampa
Gram with Dad and Aunt Liz
Gram (in black dress) with her parents and unknown gal

When it all falls in place

Back to the epic tale of Tracy.

There are times in my life when I have KNOWN without the shadow of a doubt that God is working and I am merely following His lead. I recognize it (not always right away—-which would be soooooo much easier) when my life seems to take an unexpected turn and wild ideas pop into my head WITH SOLUTIONS to the unexpected turns. My/our current job change is one of those times. And it is still in progress, so it is absolutely terrifying and fascinating to experience.

Once I recognized that my job wasn’t mine to keep and that we were being called to New England (it appears—remember, this is still in progress, we aren’t there yet!) I remembered that a former co-worker/friend and his wife had traveled years ago as X-ray techs and that seemed to be an interesting idea to pursue as well as a great way to figure out where we want to live and work—a kind of “try before we buy”. I talked with my friend who gave me good insight on travel life and I found a couple of helpful Facebook groups which had a ton of information and with that combination of guidance and direction everything snowballed very quickly. Much faster than the original thought of “two years from now”.

After narrowing down travel companies and figuring out a start date for a my first travel assignment (with a very generous resignation timeframe from my job), I resigned from my position and vaulted into the travel world. I was able to stay on PRN with my company since I have quite a wide range of abilities within the company, so it worked out well for them and I keep a foot in the door and pick up extra shifts when convenient. Win-win.

Ironically enough, since I had been out of clinical for the last 3 years and had no travel experience, I was not the hot commodity I thought I should be. Apparently 30 years of experience means nothing. Enter humble pie. Somehow though, I ended up with an interview and offer for a job 2 hours away with the hospital I worked at straight out of X-ray school—-it seems they would be my “first” again. Side note: Conveniently, this job is located in the same town our youngest son attends college. Bonus!!

The next step was to find housing since it’s not practical to make a 4 hour commute daily. After reviewing a few options of a “room for rent in a house”, I was able to find a studio apartment for a reasonable rate and super convenient location. It provides exactly what I need: bed, shower, coffee pot and a mostly quiet neighborhood and most importantly—-NOT in someone’s house. I sleep “ok”—not great, not horrible, but it’s fine. As soon as I finish my last shift each week, I drive home. It usually takes me a couple of hours to wind down after each shift, so it’s nice to do that in the car and be back in my own bed that night.

The actual job is busy. No surprise. It is a fast-paced 12 hours, but the ER team is great to work with and time flies. 13 weeks will be up before I know it. In fact, I am already at the point where I am reviewing positions for my next assignment which is wild to me!

The downside of the job is the shifts are on the weekend. The upside is I am home all week. My weekdays are finding a new rhythm and this new freedom has provided an enormous blessing…..to be continued

The fork in the road

Hello there!!!! It has been a minute, hasn’t it? In fact, it’s been so long that WordPress has had some updates and I am still figuring it out. Fortunately, it appears pretty straightforward so if you are reading this….you’ll know I was successful in my efforts!

Where to start? You’d think with the international health issues of the past two years, I’d have plenty of time to write with all the “quarantining”. Except….I changed jobs in 2019 to a Director of Operations position. This was, my “dream job” (which I had aspired to for years) with a company that I loved, working with people that I KNEW and liked, an industry that I was confident in—what a rush! But how did I get there?!?!

After 20+ years of clinical work, I finished my bachelor’s degree—while working full time and raising 4 young kids. All I can say about that is, “kids, finish while you’re young! Going back later isn’t for the faint of heart!” I decided my life and clinical expertise would be conducive in a leadership role, so I put my head down and got to work. This took roughly 5 years, a step “down” for the opportunity to go “up” and M.A.N.Y. “learning opportunities“ to reach my goal, but I did it and grabbed that golden ring. I stepped so far out of my comfort zone throughout the different roles I took and it turns out…….. I didn’t really enjoy my “dream job”. Don’t get me wrong, there were certainly aspects of it that I did enjoy and thrived on learning so much, but life is too short to be available 24/7.

The time commitment was one of many aspects that I struggled with—finding the ever elusive “work/life balance”. My main struggle was internal—-I really felt that God led me into this space and for the first time in my professional life, I didn’t shine. Don’t get me wrong, the first 18-21 months I did well, but the last 3 months—-crash and burn. There’s a lot more to it, but it boiled down to communication on many sides and the accumulation of responsibilities coupled with the feeling I had to do it all and refused to delegate. It was at that point that I realized (and maybe THIS is what God was showing me) that life is too short and we need to recognize when to move on and take our lessons with us, trusting His plan will find a home for it all in due time.

I was able to transition into a newly created position which was wildly productive and lucrative for our company and I learned a ton—-if you could imagine drinking through a fire hose—that would be a fairly accurate description of my learning curve. Despite my success, sitting in an office crunching spreadsheets began to feel like a filler job, not MY job (but someone else’s). During this time, our family took a vacation to our favorite spot, New Hampshire. Lots of fresh air, great hikes, stars showing off at midnight and a strong sense of peace. THIS is where I (we) are supposed to be. Discussing this on a hike with the Hubs, the confidence of THIS was deep in my soul. Details such as how, when, what were irrelevant; I knew God would reveal them in due time.

And so the prayers began.

to be continued…..

June 4.

Today we see the Pharisees try to catch Jesus off guard in his teaching, to stump him, to make him look less appealing to the people, to discredit him. Instead, Jesus puts the question back to the Pharisees in a manner that they cannot refute essentially silencing them. The people, however, are thrilled and enjoy his teachings.

Do the people grasp the fact that while Jesus is the ancestor of David, Jesus is also David’s Lord? Jesus IS the Messiah. Jesus IS seated at God’s right hand. Jesus is here to save them. And us. David “knew” and we “know” and yet, don’t we still question, “why”?

There is a difference in questioning out of ignorance, from a place longing for knowledge, to grow closer to Christ and questioning for the sake of challenging, hoping for a misstep and to be “right”.

So when we have questions ,are we asking from a place of faith or a place of arrogance? One leads to peace, strength and comfort, the other to jealousy, anger and weakness.

March 7

Today’s reading shows us a zealous Lord. We do not see this side of Jesus anywhere else in the Scriptures. He presents himself (in my mind) throughout Scripture as calm, cool and collected. Today, Jesus is furious — expressing his anger publicly to get His point across.

The people have become focused on sacrifice as an obligation. They have lost the point of making the trek to the temple; they have lost their focus on God. In the same way we sometimes get distracted in life and put aside our faith journey we also experience noise, chaos and distractions which keep us from growing closer to Jesus.

Jesus sometimes has to shake things up in a big way to get our attention, to remind us where our hearts need to be focused. It is often uncomfortable , loud, and usually requires a lot of cleanup but in the aftermath we can see the grace, love and beauty in Christ alone without all the distractions. There we are free to experience the gifts of grace, mercy and peace that accompany His love for us all.