Life’s Connections

On Facebook, I posted a picture of three “older” ladies with umbrellas kicking up their heels. One even has a small, black and white dog on a leash. That could be us before the passing of my sweet Emma.

img_4698I posted the picture because I liked it. The ladies appear happy and they seem to be sharing a happy moment together. It’s the goal. So let’s go beyond the Facebook “Friends” we make with a click and take a moment to honor the true friends we love.

With the changes in my life, (retirement, moving) my good (and old) friends are a bit geographically rearranged. This means I have to travel to see my out of town friends and make the effort to connect with my local friends.

The caption on the picture is “It takes a long time to grow an old friend. Make sure to treasure them”. Well, maybe enough said, but when I break it down, I interpret “old friend” as “good friend”. In the last few years, I have made some “new friends” that are just as close as the “old friends”. So maybe it does not take a long time to grow old friends.

I think I would rewrite this phase as follows: It takes time to grow good friends. Make sure to treasure them”.

I would also add: “it takes time to grow one’s self as a person, as friend.”

Through-out one’s life, it is the basic human condition to connect with other humans. Many of these connections we are lucky to consider to be our friends.

When we are grade school age, we tend to make friends with the neighbor kids or the one sitting next to you in the third grade. These are the basis for many life long connections. But as your personal life evolves, you become involved in special interests, a sport or a relationship and these original friends may drift away or settle in the background, ready to catch up through out your life’s journey. These are “good friends” and “old friends”, the older we get!

Once out in the real world, we attract a new set of friends; work colleagues, someone living near you and friends with similar interests and life style.

The mystery of the “love connection” as filled volumes of books, discussed over countless adult beverages and still we often don’t understand our own attractions. I think the friendship connection is just as complex. In addition to “old friends”, and “good friends” I would like to introduce the concept of an “intimate friend”. This is a rare individual that can grace our lives with great value. I am blessed with friends that I treasure, “old”, “good” and/or “intimate”, they are a big part of life’s journey.

Just one more type of friend I would like to mention. The “effortless” friend. The one you go weeks, months and maybe years without seeing but when you get together, well it’s just like old times, or is it? The time you spend with friends, the ideas you share and the resulting tears and laughter enhances our lives. I think the bottom line here is for us all to be a “old”, “good” friend to those we share our life with.

To you my friends, I love you all!

Cheers

Connie

I HAVE MOVED

In 2017 I moved EVERYTHING!

fullsizeoutput_1351

My mother passed away in December 2016 and in January I found myself moving into a new stage of life without my sweet mother’s love, sound advise and presence in my life. I miss her every day. She continues to be an influence in my life. She was smart, gracious and loved by many. Life is very different without her.

 

 

 

In April of 2017 I retired. I had worked at Hollywood Woodwork Inc for 10 years. Some doubted I would be able to retire but I succeeded in moving my focus from work to life. I think I might have been a little better at working than focusing on life but I am new at this. I will get better. I miss my friends at work everyday. It is a big move when one retires. It changes who you are or who you identify to be. I was a financial operations person who commuted from Portland, OR to Hollywood, FL 9 to 10 times a year. Now I am not!IMG_3035

The fantastic beautiful Hollywood Woodwork Business Ops Team

fullsizeoutput_62dIn August of 2017 we lost our beautiful Papillon, Emma. This has created a new reality for us. With Emma we always considered her comfort and care every time we walked out the door. She was a constant part of our life. We have now moved into a life style where we can walk out the door without looking for the leash. Loosing Emma saddened me beyond belief.

In the first week of December, we made our final move. We sold the condo we have lived in for 10 years. People like to tell you that moving is never fun. They are right.

But we love our new home; we have a great view and very nice neighbors. It all came to together as if meant to be.

IMG_4454

I am ready for 2018. I am ready to enjoy the time to share my life with my family and friends. I am ready to Improve my “focus” on life and become a better person. That will surely help me reach the success I desire and keep me moving though this journey called life.

In 2017 I MOVED.

Hooray for HOLLYWOOD

Yes, that’s right. When I was a young girl living in Portland, Oregon, I dreamed of working in Hollywood. I never considered what talent I might possess, I just wanted to work in Hollywood.

fullsizeoutput_127c

I pictured myself as a mousketeer or maybe on The Lassie Show, The Roy Rodgers Show or even Rin-tin-tin. The nostalgia of remembering these shows is amazing, if you are old enough to remember them. (SD)

Think of all the stars that got their start on the Mickey Mouse Club. Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, just to name a few. Well, obviously my name is not among this group.

fullsizeoutput_1281

My destiny was headed in a different direction.

There is a movie and now a common quote: “Be careful what you wish for”. Well, you see, my childhood wish was rather non-specific and I never knew there was a Hollywood, Florida!

Yes,, I ended up working in Hollywood, Florida, not Hollywood, California. In 2006 I began a 10 year working relationship with Hollywood Woodwork, Inc.

fullsizeoutput_1284

Looking back, it is interesting to me that I was sure I did not want to work for a woodworking company. But I came on site to help them with a software implementation and literally fell in love with the people, the work ethic and the beautiful creations they produced.

This relationship was a career high for me.

The job of Controller for Hollywood Woodwork had it’s challenges. The biggest hurdle was that I wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest and this job is in Florida. I was grateful to be living in a time of improved technology and working with a team that understood the potential value of a remote employee.

So, I lived in Vancouver, Washington and worked in HOLLYWOOD. I commuted between the west and east coasts and over my tenure, we grew a great team of accounting and IT professionals. At the same time I made life long friends.

In April of 2017 I made a difficult decision to retire. This decision was supported by management and made possible by the incredible team that we had built. And what a team. From Top to bottom, this group is dedicated and committed to SUCCESS.

img_3098-e1508034996420.jpg

Our inspiring CEO, Yves

IMG_1897

The fabulous Business Operations Team: Sebastien, Leo, Doreen, Eileen, Ruben, Gina, Connie and Janice

Since April, I have let distance come between most of these relationships. It is a piece of my life I miss but I am working on building my “retired” life in Vancouver. It is important for me to maintain this connection and  with the encouragement of my “boss” (SD), I will be visiting Florida at least once a year. This means so much to me and I look forward to keeping my ties to HOLLYWOOD alive.

And just one last very important mention of my Florida Wine Therapy Group, meeting regularly to solve the problems of the world with a glass of wine or two! We used to call this “ladies night” out but “Wine Therapy Group” sounded so much more appropriate.

IMG_0742

Lois, Doreen, Connie, Sofiya, Melissa, and Sharon. Missing from the picture is Eileen. These are truly ladies you can count on!


Hooray for HOLLYWOOD Woodwork and everyone involved in transforming inspired designs into extraordinary projects. There are many more stars on the Hollywood Team than I have mentioned. It is an honor to have been part of the entire group.