ymca (2)

That’s right…I love the Y! I never told you that I worked for the Y for 13 years. That is where I “retired” from when my health drastically declined. I visited there today. It is always bittersweet. I would have worked there forever…if my health allowed. Visiting there feels like going home and seeing family instead of old coworkers. I have to admit that most of my friends are people I have worked with at one time or another at the Y.

I started at the Y when the boys were little and I just needed some mental stimulation a few hours a week. You know, a break from Barney and the Teletubbies. It was also good because as an employment bonus, I received a membership. I brought the kids in for swim lessons or just to play in the pool. They loved it. As time went on my and family situation changed, my employment needs changed also. I moved into a full time position with the Y that allowed me to have the kids in after school care and still work. The perfect job for a single mom. Now I know this sounds like a paid endorsement for the Y but for real…it’s not…that is just how much I love the organization…still to this day.

I remember the day when I posted for the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director position. I was so nervous. I was really in need of the new position and more money. Raising two children alone was not easy. I remember borrowing clothes to wear for the interview. Actually, truth be told, I bought clothes at Goodwill. I was so embarrassed but I had to do what I had to do. I was so excited when I was offered the job. Would I like the job? UH…hell yea I would like the job. That lasted a year. She moved on to a bigger position and guess what…so did I.

I ended my career in the position of Executive Assistant to the CEO. Now that was an interview I will never forget. I was so nervous I thought I would pee my pants. But, I kept it together. I only slightly knew the CEO at that time and was still very nervous around him. It was a long shot that he would actually ever hire me but I was just crazy enough to go for it. And turns out…after the second interview…he hired me! I had a HUGE office with so many windows (8 huge windows)  and a fireplace (it was an historic building – we didn’t actually light fires in it) This is the building we worked in. We leased the top floor. See that top floor, left side  – the 3 windows – that whole wing was MY office!

lukens

Anyway…that CEO became like a father to me and still is to this day. I adore him and his wife and spend time with them often. I danced my father-daughter dance with him at my wedding. The day he retired was a sad day. But, I was so happy for him and his wife that they would get to enjoy life together retired while they were young enough to enjoy it.

My next CEO was…my boss before my last CEO. That’s right. It was like old times. Back together again. This time in a new building with a much smaller office (more realistic sized…lol) It was such a smooth transition and she had taught me so much. She had really prepared me for the job. We are also still close to this day and actually had lunch today. I have been very blessed to have great bosses.

As time went on, I was not able to handle all the stress and the schedule of my job. They were so awesome about it. They allowed me to stay but I moved a “desk over” with someone else supporting the CEO and I supported the COO and the CFO. I loved them both and consider them both like family to me. They were so patient with me and understanding during my sick times and times when my brain fog was so bad no one could make sense of me…not even me. I mean seriously, I took minutes for a meeting one time and I got them back with a “few” questions. WOW! They were being nice. It looked like my dogs had walked across the keyboard back and forth and then maybe did a jig. It was unintelligible. They stuck by me til the end in spite of it. I got very sick and spent about a month in the hospital and then took short term disability and then long term disability and even then, they would have welcomed me back with open arms.  It was the hardest decision I ever had to make. I wasn’t ready to leave. I wanted to retire from my job when I was old. I was the “go to” person. I knew answers to all the questions. And…suddenly…I didn’t know the answers and I think people knew it. I was angry at my disease for taking another piece of ME away. I was so sad to leave.

They had the nicest luncheon for me. Our CEO said a few nice words about me. Me being me, I invited the COO and the CFO and anyone else willing to say nice things about me too. They did. I liked it.

So, I visit every couple of months to have lunch with friends. You know, lunch for me…means broth. So I go to have broth with friends. Today, I sat in my old desk. I even answered a call. Shhh…don’t tell. I’m probably not supposed to do that. It felt so good. I know I made the best decision for me and for my health, but damn, it was a tough one.

Oh – did I mention that Tim also works there? Haha! He worked two offices down from me. So when I visit I get to see him too, but don’t often have lunch with him since I see him all the time. Sorry honey! But, you know it’s true!

So yes…it is fun to stay at the Y M C A…I just wish I could have! Once again, I have to say, I am so blessed.

Woohoo! My life is a blog!

And a very Happy Birthday to my very special Uncle Joe! I love you!

happy bday