I have always loved black leather Aigner purses. The first expensive purse I ever bought when I got my first job was an Aigner purse. This past spring I donated several Aigner purses to one of my favorite charitable thrift stores. This ministry provides food and goods to individuals in need and also provides a store for people to purchase items cheaper than retail. I frequently donate and shop there.
Shortly after donating the purses I found out that I was going to a conference for work. I started looking at my remaining purses and decided that none of them was right for my upcoming trip. I couldn’t remember which thrift store I had donated to in particular because there are four different ones that I have given to during my journey to minimalism. So, one Saturday I went to three of them looking for the purses. The next chance I got I went to the other one. I didn’t find any of the purses that I had donated. So, I gave up looking and decided to make do with the purse that I carry every day.
I have a beautiful Vera Bradley purple purse and wallet that my niece bought for me at an outlet store. I took stuff in and out, consolidated my vitamins into smaller containers, and made it work. It was a good conference, a lovely trip, and I did not think about the lack of an Aigner purse one time on the trip.
Fast-forward to last Friday. I walk into the local thrift store, and what do you suppose my eyes behold…two of the black leather Aigner purses that I donated with price tags of $10.00 each. I carefully examined each of them. One of them had a bulky flap that goes over the top to seal it with a magnet. I never liked that feature. The other one seemed perfect until I looked at the bottom. It was worn a bit. I also saw a tweezer in a side pocket that I was sure that I didn’t mean to donate. But I left it there. They also had a lovely navy blue Aigner purse that was a little small. I don’t have any navy blue shoes and prefer to wear only black shoes. I put them all back and walked away to look around the rest of the store. I left without purchasing anything.
Honestly, upon leaving the store I didn’t think about going back to purchase them. The next day my son wanted to go to another thrift store. We went and neither of us purchased anything. I could have stopped at the one with the purses, but I kept driving.
I decided that none of those lovely purses are perfect for me. That is why I donated the two black ones in the first place. I had purchased them from a seller on eBay and had only carried them once each. Why have I thought about those purses every time I visited a thrift store in the past several months? Now I am satisfied with the knowledge that the thrift store will sell them and be able to use the money to help someone. I am free of the regret. I am happy with my purple purse that reminds me that I am loved.
I started this blog after working for over a year to minimize my possessions. I am an avid quilter and my life is a patchwork of experiences that have led me to the point where I am now. I used to be a borderline hoarder, but through the inspiration I have gained from Joshua Becker through his blog, Becoming Minimalist, his books, and his Uncluttered course, I have changed my life.
I am a lot of things. I am a Christian, a mom, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a great-aunt, an office manager, a choir member, a church clerk, a friend, a quilter, and a minimalist. I always used to say that I would quilt when I retired. A few years back with the economy the way it is, I decided that I should start quilting now because who knows when I will retire. I finished 3 bed-sized quilts in 2014, 6 in 2015, 3 in 2016, and 0 so far in 2017. You may ask how I can still call myself a quilter.
Well, The past year and a half I have spent most of my free time working toward becoming a minimalist. I know that word is scary…especially to quilters. You may think that I am going to ask you to give away your entire stash of fabric and tools. I am not going to do that. But, you will be surprised at how freeing it is to give away a few UFOs that you have grown tired of or never really loved in the first place.
Someone from a Facebook group I am in was questioning her career path, so it inspired me to write about mine. My mama convinced me to take Business Education at technical school in high school so that I wouldn’t have to take PE anymore. She worried about me because I had childhood asthma, but the Lord healed me of it when I was either 10 or 12. Anyway, I enjoyed the classes. I wasn’t looking for a part-time job, but my psychology teacher recommended me to work as a file clerk in an insurance office as part of a work-study program. I had to take a physical to qualify. That is when the doctor discovered my thyroid cancer. I had surgery to remove 85% of my thyroid and went back to my new job shortly after. I worked part-time there until graduating high school. Then I worked for five years full-time. I learned a lot there. During those years I married, had a miscarriage, and divorced. I decided to go to college. I first wanted to be a music major but decided that I wanted to teach after singing for an auditorium full of children. I waffled between music, education, and social work during my first two years of school. I graduated community college with a double major in music and elementary education. I went on to finish my Bachelor’s degree in elementary education. When I finished college there were no teaching jobs available. I was fortunate enough to get an interview with the local superintendent. I mentioned to him that I would be happy in an office setting since I already had so much experience in that. I was hired pretty quickly as an administrative assistant to work part-time for the Adult Education program. I had remarried before finishing school and found out that I was expecting my son right after I started my new job. I was able to work part-time there until my son was 2 1/2 and then went full-time. I was blessed that my mama was able to babysit for his first few years. I worked my way up to Office Manager/MIS. I taught a few GED classes in the beginning but soon realized that my true calling was in office/secretarial/data management work. (Mama must have known it all along.) I still interact with teachers and answer questions about student testing and data. I interact with students in referring them to class and sometimes subbing in the on-site classes from time to time. I think my desire to be an elementary teacher came from the thought that I might not be able to have children. Once I had my son I had plenty of opportunities to teach children as a cub scout leader, music teacher at church, volunteer at school, etc. I am thankful that the Lord directed my paths and led me to a fulfilling career that has served me well as far as flexibility to attend field trips when my son was small and time off when needed. I feel that I have served my community in helping the under-educated adults complete their education. I get teary-eyed at our annual GED graduation watching our students walk across that stage. I am so thankful that the Lord’s plans for me were better than my own. If you are struggling with a career decision I pray that you will find what you are looking for.
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