Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The End of an Era

Ever since Jim and I have been married I have worked in some capacity. While he was finished his BA and MA degrees, he worked for a fancy caterer in San Francisco part time and I worked for Standard Oil in Downtown SF. Those were lean, but exciting times. Living in a big city is an adventure even at the grocery store. I loved it, we both did.

The Standard Oil Company
The excitement of the corporate days
in The City.

When Jim got his first teaching job it was in Las Vegas. We lived there for three years during which time I worked at an Employment Agency, my first dental office and became a mommy. My all time favorite job for love/not $ is being a mommy...and I love that forever more I will be one! Jim has reminded me I also worked the switchboard at a dairy for a few weeks until I discovered they had misrepresented the job and wanted me to work Saturdays, so I resigned.

After thought:
I should have known this environment
is just too sterile for me!

During the time the kids were little I taught La Maze lessons to expectant parents back here in CA. Loved that and met so many great people including one young woman who asked me to be her labor coach. it was an amazing experience and the Fluds have been our life long friends. The little baby that was born is my friend, Deanna, and she just adopted a little girl named Emma of her own. The circle of life just keeps on and on. I also did daycare during that time.

La Maze & La Leche League Coaching~
Fulfilling Experiences!

Oh, and I also graded tons of high school English papers for a teacher we knew when Jenny was an infant.

After Thought:
Could this be why I love writing?

And I mailed out a billion marketing things for our friend who was an insurance agent. Oh my heck...that was the worst! It was essentially copying a phone book all day log. Ugh!

After thought:
Could this be why I hate paper work to this day?
And no wonder I was the happiest person on earth
when the cumbersome and annoying
white pages went online.

Around this time I took my first series of design classes at an antique collective near home. Long story short, the shopkeeper hired me to design the vignettes for the store. This was redesign before it became a facet of the interior design industry as we know it today. Although I had the option to come home with a paycheck, I rarely did. I worked part time and it took me oodles of hours to work off my antiques. This was my favorite among them.

This Old Welsh Church Bench
has graced our kitchen for decades now and
kept many a dear one warm by the fire.

I knew I loved design work but at the time there just wasn't much going on in our town for designers but selling draperies. Ugh! When Laura entered school I was offered a part time position in a dental office and learned all about oral surgery and became a certified surgical assistant.

After Thought: Did I not know anything about myself?
Is this why I had to force myself to get
a prophy (cleaning) yesterday?

It was a family owned business with two partners. The older doctor had two daughters working in the office. When the dental partnership broke up, seeing the writing on the wall...they'd be cutting back staff. So I resigned my position and took a job working for the Leisure Services Department of the city where we live. That was a fun job arranging for city snow trips, working with the Senior Citizens Center, ball teams, the City pre-schools and summer camp in the Sierras. And we were located in a gorgeous park. It was a really pretty place to go each day and get paid for it, as I listened to the children playing and birds chirping.

Leisure Services
Fun Times ~ Lots of Variety.

Six months into that job I got a call from the Oral Surgeon who had left the family practice and he was going to open his own practice right here in our city and he asked me to come to work with him over a breakfast one morning. I could not pass up his offer so said OK even though I was sad to resign from the City and the fun job I was enjoying there. I stayed in that job with Dr. H until the kids were raised and twenty something years had come and gone.

Ho Hum....
You never get use to the smell of a dental office...
Was this the remedy?

I also sold Salt City Candles during that time for about two years, just for fun. And it was a good experience, but I am no sales person! I enjoyed it though and to this day can remember the scented candles that a lot of my customers preferred. Why oh why, do I remember things that don't matter forever and forget things I really need to know??

Oh, and our family cleaned the dental office twice a week at night for about ten years for extra cash to go traveling to Europe now and again. Do you have any idea how many toilets I have cleaned in my day? Holy Moley! I'll spare you the photo of that!

The black and white of dentistry could not
to the color and aroma of beautiful homes for me.

The Golden Handcuffs made me stay in oral surgery long after I had tired of it and wanted to do something; anything else. I had such great benefits and flexible hours and great vacation time and the salary crept up each year so I just kept at it year after year. Finally, one day, the burn out was complete, I walked in and resigned to seek a new adventure. I don't know who was more shocked by it, the doctors or me. It wasn't how I planned to do it but it all worked out fine.

I have always loved decorating and have helped people do it since I was a teenager. I started looking into some certification practically the day I first heard of home staging and redesign. This job was tailor made for me and I wanted in! I started getting my training, nights, weekends and vacation weeks and finally became certified in both areas. While working at the dental office I started getting clients here and there and loved every minute of it.

Our Company!

I gave my month's notice in oral surgery and started my own business on January 1, 2004. My training in the OS office was perfect as I basically started that business as well, working the front office for the doctor and taking care of the business end of things. I also had a tn of experience working with people one on one. That along with the certification training and internal fortitude was all I needed. I figured if William Randall Hearst hadn't even conceived of the idea of Hearst Castle until he was was good enough to inspire me to think I was not too old to try something completely new and different and succeed at the same age.

I have adored this career. It was my dream job.. like no other. I truly understood for the first time what it means to do what makes you the most happy and get paid to do it. That is the prefect wake up happy and are excited to go to work each day. Every new project is a challenge and fun. It never got old.

One of our first houses~sold in a few hours!
Back in the day!

The best thing was setting my own hours, fees and solitude (no office politics...hooray!) There were times that I could make more $ on one house than I made in an entire month at the OS office doing something I adored rather than dreaded. Who knew?? I got to work with our daughter Laura and Jim and when she moved away I had my sister-in-law, Emily and my good friend Maureen helping. We had the best of times. It has been wonderful. This is the lesson I learned. Always love what you do, life is too short to waste it day after day being bored and uninspired.

If you love homes like I have to see this!
Here is a circle pix of one of our beautiful homes...

But all good things must come to an end one day...
So by the end of this weekend we will have completely liquidated the inventory in the warehouse and I will be done officially as a home stager. The real estate broken bubble kind of forced the issue as things have slowed to a crawl, but really I have no regrets as this has been the best thing in the work place I have ever done. And the timing is perfect as Jim will be quitting his job just a short time after me. And as the song by Kenny Rogers points out... a gambler has to 'know when to hold 'em...know when to fold 'em.' We both feel good about now.

Who knows maybe someday we will try another endeavor together but for the next long while we are going to do whatever we want. I cannot even imagine it but I know it will be good...all good. Along with some relaxing we see a lot of fun things and endless possibilities and opportunities to serve others in our future. One thing is for sure...the end of one era is the beginning of another. And the beat goes on.....and I am excited to be entering it with my best friend.


Caroline Craven said...

I had no idea you had done all those jobs. I knew you worked for an oral surgeon and did your staging business and that's about it. No wonder that sterile environment drove you out! I am off to New York this morning to see Nicki, can't wait to get there. I also ran into Sarah Carney yesterday, at the fabric store, no less. She said to say hi.

Bonnie said...

How exciting, Caroline! Have a wonderful time. I know you about it when you get back. Tell Nicki we said "HI!"

What an awesome thing for mom and daughter to enjoy together. I hope to do it with Laura in October!

Hugs, B

Deanna and Christian said...

That was so fun learning more about you. I never knew ANY of that. How awesome you are. I loved this post.
Love you.

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Hi Bonnie...

I loved reading all about you....and that house! Isn't that just the yummiest? I'd LOVE to have that kitchen...well, and the rest too.

I'm so happy to hear you're good with the changes....and how wonderful to be able to spend time with your sweetie.

I'm going to zip back over and see if I can figure out the whole playlist thing. I emailed them to ask for tips, but haven't heard back yet. They're great to work with, so I'm sure they'll have some advice.


mandy* said...

I didn't know you had so many different careers! I only remember Dr. H's office and your own business. You have a very full resume! Also, why didn't I know that you taught La Maze??? What a fun job! I think I would really enjoy a teaching job like that...we'll see.

Sister Susie said...

How amazing to see things we have in common and things that are so interesting to have in one's life. It makes me look to the joy of life.
Pray for me to "hang in there" one more year with this public school system. I'm praying Gov. Crist will veto this bill that is weighing like a ton of bricks on the teachers backs. The politics has us in a nightmare we can't wake up from (all for the "love" of money!)

The joy of my blogging friends keeps me going as I read of such wonderful things in their lives. Thank you for all you share.

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Oh yea, that is a great pic of you and Jim, and you are so pretty!!
You go girl!! lol
Blessings, Nellie

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Loved your post, it was great!
Another thing we have in common, I used to work in a dental office as well, as a dental Asst. and I loved it, but I wasn't there but about 6 months.
I am very excited for you and Jim,
I know yall are gonna have a ball,
and have so many fun and different experiences coming your way.
I wish you both all the best!!
But I don't want to lose you as a bloggy friend either!! so tell Jim you must have time to blog!! lol
Thanks for sharing that with us.
Loved the virtual tour, beautiful job on that house. wow!!
You have a good rest of the week,
Love ya, Nellie
blessings Galore sweet friend!