There is joy in new beginnings


There is joy in new beginnings, no matter how many new year celebrations we might have under our belt. This, for me, has been one of the most exhilarating and joyous years of my life.

So many times, we cannot put our lives in perspective until we are allowed to view it all in retrospective. Looking back over this past year, I realize it has been one of the most interesting. It was the year in which I found my voice to finally begin looking out for myself.

Reclaimed myself

In May, I walked away from a job that was no longer a good place for me to be. It was no longer challenging or rewarding, and it was time to dust off what had become a toxic environment. Though there are far too many instances to recount, it became very clear it was way past time for me to walk away. It felt remarkably uplifting to reclaim myself.

In a decidedly tough economy in which jobs were seemingly impossible to find, I found one immediately. I worked for a time as director of an assisted living home, and absolutely loved it. The residents were that wonderful mix of charming and demanding, a blend that kept me on my toes.

I enjoyed everything about the job except for the fact that there were no benefits. After many years of working without benefits, I was ready to look out for myself for a change. I spoke with each of the residents individually before I made my decision, and with the wisdom of age, each one of them told me I needed to consider my own retirement years, helping me to make the right move.

I landed back in the same field I had walked away from in May, in a wonderful professional office, making more money than I ever would have made if I had stayed where I had been a long-term employee. For the first time in my life, I know what it is like to have a paid holiday. I am earning credit hours toward paid vacations which I can take at my own choosing, not simply a week determined by the boss, and toward a solid retirement.

Learning new things

One of the greatest things is that I am learning new things every single day, and loving the challenge. I am impressed by the most current way of accomplishing great things for our clients, and the inventory of items available to achieve a great end result is impressive. If I had never found it within myself to walk away from my previous position, I never would have grown as an individual, and never would have known these rewards both personally and professionally.

Best of all, I am surrounded by the most amazingly supportive co-workers who have welcomed me with warmth and an enthusiasm that is contagious. Each member of the team is an impressive individual, and our individuality is praised, right down to great nicknames. It is a joy to be a part of their team.

True feeling of family

At our company Christmas party, held in a beautiful lodge, everyone was excited to introduce me to their spouse, and anxious to meet mine. It is a true feeling of family, and I can’t think of a single thing I could ask for that would make this experience any better.

Back in May when I wrote my column about finding it within ones’ self to change that which is not quite right in life, I received lots of great feedback from Farm and Dairy readers. So, in wishing everyone a wonderful new year, I would like to encourage you to contemplate what could be accomplished by changing your life in even the simplest of ways.

Make 2010 a great new year!


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.



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