A few years ago, I was about to take a few critical steps in the path to a career change.  Along the way, through a trusted friend, I met a bright young woman with an entrepreneurial spirit and zest for life.  She had been working with one of those at home party-merchandise sales type of organizations for several years and had moved up the ranks while doing quite well for herself and her family.  She is one of the best goal setters I have ever met.

Part of my transition was a temporary shift from full- to part-time employment in order to work in the industry I was shifting to.  This had entailed nearly 2 years of cutting back on expenses beforehand, then, changes in my living scenario to help keep the financial puzzle put together (more or less).

…and so, it didn’t take long for this chipper entrepreneur to ask me if I wanted to take a stab at working part-time with her company.  I had never considered this type of arrangement, nor did I ever think I would have.  However, with a change of pace and location, it became appealing.  Not only did it have potential to help bridge some gaps from a financial perspective, it provided a social component.  Living in a new area had made me feel a little bit imbalanced in the latter area.

Flash forward a few years, I can reflect and say without hesitation that I really wasn’t born to be a sales person.  However, through this opportunity, I carved out a niche.  I started contributing a portion of my income from this model to various charitable causes.  If a hostess had one in mind, I would honor that for her.  It became a way to bring a little altruism into my social connectivity and, although I never really made a lot of money from the endeavor, I gained value in other areas of life.

One of the years I was on board, we had a small holiday party with regional members of the organization getting together.  We held a small gift exchange, each person brought one gift for an on the spot swap/share.  One of the items in my gift bag was a pair of red, fuzzy, slipper-like socks with the holiday themed word “Joy” appliqued to the front.  At the time, I could not have realized how I would come to appreciate this novelty gift item.

Not only do I now live in the Upper Midwest with colder, longer winters, I also have secondary Raynaud’s syndrome in which my fingers, toes, hands, and feet can experience temporary numbness and failed circulation.  The syndrome varies how and when it affects people, but for me, changes in the weather or cold, wet time periods are the most challenging and it is thought to be a secondary effect from other existing autoimmune conditions.  However, these fuzzy, slipper-like socks really help with my feet during the Raynaud’s episodes.

Now days, when I wear them, I find myself looking down at them while really, truly feeling “Joy” and appreciation for the small token given to me in life.  They provide a subtle, yet important, reminder of the delicate balancing act we play as we dance through life.  Furthermore, they illustrate the importance of gratitude as we take each step.

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