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I experienced a big change this past week – after 17 years at the same job (different roles through the years, but the same company), last week was officially my last week as an employee.

It’s bittersweet because the company’s mission is something I value very much and the people I’ve crossed paths with through the years are very dear to me. But changes over the past few years in both my workplace and my personal life eventually led to my decision.

The shift began a few weeks ago after changes in our carpool situation led to me making the 20-minute drive each way to school (a total of 80 minutes each day, plus the stress of trying to make it to both places on time while thinking of all the things that I needed to get done that I couldn’t do at that moment).

In order to help pass the time in a positive way, I picked up some motivational CDs from the library: “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale; “What I Know For Sure” by Oprah Winfrey and “Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life & Achieve Prosperity Today” by Lisa Nichols.

Their messages were similar and had a similar impact on me, emphasizing that I needed to make a change in my life. The message that everybody is here on earth for a purpose and everybody has their own purpose. Some people are inspired to become doctors or firefighters, others are drawn to music and others science. Whatever it is, everybody is different and thank goodness for that since the world needs all types of services and products.

For me, it’s been writing. Since third grade I knew I wanted to be a writer and in high school, I was on the newspaper staff, the yearbook staff and was writing song lyrics with melodies.

Earl Nightingale’s big message was: “We become what we think about.”

When I think about it, I see that in my own life. Before this job, I worked at a corporation for four years and all I could think about was wanting to work as a writer at a newspaper.

One of the things I think about often now is songwriting. Although I’ve written songs for years, there was a lull of about 10 years and I only recently started writing again .

So a few weeks ago, I spoke to G-d and asked him if I should be doing anything about my passion for writing songs. Should I be doing something different with my work? I knew it was time to make a change, but I wasn’t sure what it should be.

Then I went to the Internet to see if I could find an answer. I went to Groupon and looked for music lessons to see if there was any sign there. And there was a Groupon for four songwriting lessons! So I bought the Groupon and as of today, I’ve had my four lessons and hope to continue.

After I finished my fourth lesson, I thought I’d look at the local community college to see if there were any music classes there I could take. And there was a summer course about songwriting copyrights and the process to make a demo! So I signed up.

After hearing the message from all three audiobooks that the opportunities to do what you want to do are out there, but you have to take action, I decided to act on both of these. Who knows, maybe that Grammy speech I practiced back in high school will someday be televised or maybe I’ll just be happy that the songs in my head made it to a recording, but either way I feel compelled to do something.

When I was thinking of this summer and continuing the hectic schedule with summer camp mirroring the school routine, all I felt was anxiety. And when I looked at the numbers, I realized that the cost of camp would be more than my income. And then I realized that what I really wanted to do was to spend the summer with my kids. My youngest has just turned 7 and I’ve been facing the reality of how quickly time flies and how quickly kids grow up.

So that led to my decision to make a change. It’s a little scary because I’ve worked full-time for so long, but I have some ideas for moving forward that I’m really looking forward to exploring. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to just hang out with my boys this summer. Time is so precious and even though I just had to go break up yet another fight between two of them, I am looking toward this summer with a great deal of excitement!