Xenia’s Life Updates

It has been a very long time since I posted anything on this blog.  I know that it is February, but Happy New Year

So much has happened over the past seven months.  First of all, in August I started having problems with my blog.  I was not able to get into it because I didn’t renew my SSL certificate.  The hosting company that I was trying out for a year turned out to be too expensive, and my blog was not operating up to speed.  Because I did not renew my SSL certificate, I could not log into my blog because part of the URL changed, and every single customer service representative that I spoke with was not able to identify the problem and fix it until just 2 weeks ago.  My blog looks different because the theme that I was using was disabled.  I decided not to activate it again because, quite frankly, I was tired of looking at it, and wanted to freshen up the look.  I looked around on Studio Press and chose a theme that does not need a banner picture.

I also decided to change the name of my blog.  As Collar City Brownstone evolved over the years, I started to wish that I had not chosen a name that was so specific to a place, because I write about so many things.  I don’t write a lot about where I live.  When I was finally able to access my blog again, I decided that since I have been missing in action for so long anyway, that it is a good time to start fresh.  About a year ago I picked the name Love In Grace for a fresh start.  You can access Love In Grace Here.  I sincerely hope that you will join me on Love In Grace.  After this post, I will no longer be updating Collar City Brownstone.  When my hosting year is up in August with the hosting company for this blog, I will be deleting the blog and letting go of the domain name.  It is simply time to move on. 

Right now, I am in the process of importing into my new blog all the posts that I want to keep from this one.  Initially, I was copying and pasting.  After doing that for days, it finally dawned on me that I could probably just import everything.  DUH!  I don’t know what form of stupid that I have been in, but I just wasted about a week copy and pasting when I could have just used the import tool.  So you will see posts on Love In Grace that you’ve read before, but they have February 2017 dates.  The import tool allows you to import your blog posts along with the originally dates, all the pictures and even all the comments.  

I’m not going to import everything, so I’m taking my time going through all of my CCB blog posts, and only importing want I want to keep.  Thank goodness that I have until August to complete the import project.  I’ve been blogging since 2011, so you can imagine how many posts I have to go through.

A lot more has happened since last summer.  By August I was disgusted with graduate school.  I completed one course and received a B-.  That is not really satisfactory to me, but at least I passed it.  The other course I did not pass because I didn’t complete the assignments.  Well, to me I completed them, but not as far as the professor and my advisor are concerned.   I was given more time to do the final assignment over again, but I simply refused.  School had ruined most of the summer months for me, and I simply refused to allow school to ruin the rest of it.  I did have until November to complete it, but quite frankly, I was completely fed up, and I would say even bitter by that point.  Getting an education is fine, but when you feel like you are being chewed up and spit out time and again, it is time to reevaluate the situation.  I understand that graduate school requires a higher standard, but seriously, I was so freaking tired of rewriting papers.  Even how I cited my sources was always criticized.  No matter what style I choose to use, I always did it according to how it is supposed to be done by solid accredited cites, including the student online center, yet every time the instructor and adviser found something wrong with it.  I even looked at published PhD papers and studied them for writing style and how they cited sources.  I spent so much time studying and trying to improve, only to be left feeling like I was simply not good enough.  The experience was changing me from being a generally very happy person to being extremely stressed out and weepy all the time.  I also had ZERO free time to get hold of myself.  My vacation in Tampa with my family was ruined because the whole time I was indoors working on two assignments.

I cannot move on with this particular graduate program unless I retake the required class that I did not receive credit for.  There is no darned way that am I going to relive that hell.  I did formally apply for a leave of absence, in case I change my mind, and the college is expecting me to return in September.  However, I am now sure that I will not be returning to graduate school.  At least not the one I was attending.  I did not register for Fall 2016 so I have been out of school all this time, and I feel like I’ve got my life back.  I am so much happier and don’t miss school at all.  If I ever do decide to return to get my Masters, it will be a different school and program.  I truly did not like where this program was taking me.  Besides the hardships, the program was not fulfilling my desires.  Higher education is too expensive and time consuming to spend it on what you really do not want. 

On the job front, I was laid off from my job at a local college on September 28, 2016.  I had been working there for just over two years.  While getting laid off is not a happy occasion, I was not sorry about it because as time went on, I didn’t care for working there anymore.  The job did not turn out to be what I had expected, and I felt as if I was not really respected for the experience I brought to the table.  Anyway, the college faced financial trouble, and I was one of about 45 people who were laid off.

I was planning to sit the rest of the year out while taking my time finding another job.  Two weeks later though, I was contacted by a recruiter about a job in my field working from home.  You can bet that I jumped on that real quick.  I drove three hours to the company headquarters for the interview on Columbus day.  The next day I was offered the job, and two days after that I drove back to company headquarters to train with the person I was replacing.  

It has been four months, and I not only love working full time from home as a Payroll Specialist, but I love the company that I work for.  They show appreciation for their employees, and the environment is a healthy and encouraging one.  The CEO and CFO are the examples for everyone else to follow.  

Working from home suits me perfectly because I am disciplined and I work well by myself.  My manager respects the fact that I know how to do my job and that I have over 25 years of experience.  I did not have that at my previous job.  The people were very nice on a personal level, but not always the best to work with.  

The only thing about working from home is that I have to make conscious efforts to make sure that I get out of the house every now and then.  The positives are numerous.  

  1. I save on gas.
  2. My commute is a simple climbing one flight of stairs to my second floor.
  3. It is easier to stick to eating healthy if I am always preparing lunch from my kitchen.
  4. Less interruptions when I am working.
  5. Less shopping because I don’t need to buy clothes or makeup much.   
  6. I use my own clean bathroom instead of having to stoop over a toilet that dozens of other women use.
  7. I work in the beautiful surroundings of my own house.

The company that I work for does have a small local office, and a desk is set up for me there, but I only go in there when I need to file or pick up my mail.  I completely work remotely.  Once in a while I may have to travel up to the main office three hours away.

Well, that is it for this blog.  More life updates will be posted on Love In Grace going forward.  I sincerely hope that you will continue to visit me and interact with me over there.  I’ve been in copy and paste/importing mode, but I will start writing again this week.  My life has changed a lot for the better, and I am thrilled to have the time again to work on my blog.

Thank you all so very much!  <3 <3 <3

Xenia Allen

 

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One comment

  1. Ann Marie Kelly says:

    Great new blog you have Xenia. And I can get it on my computer. Which is great too.
    I will be able to keep in touch with you now.
    God’s Blessings to your new Blog.

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