Brenda’s Pets

I figured my first story for Passion in Action would be one of my own. I have many passions and animals are one of them.

In 2003 I had come to the end of my rope with my present career, accounting.  I am very good at it and I enjoy parts of it, but I had become disenchanted with the corporate world.  I expect that the people in power are going to do the “right” thing and had found again and again at company after company, this is not always the case.  I had quit a job, without notice or another job, due to this ethical conundrum.  This resulted in a stretch of unemployment, which due to God’s grace I had friends and family to help me through it.  I just wanted out of that field.  Initially without thinking things through, I tried selling cars. HA! Good-bye frying pan, hello fire, which lasted two weeks.  Next, brilliant idea, waitressing!!  Again, bad idea!  I lasted less than a week in that experiment.  I finally decided that I would go back to accounting.  I got a job right away.  I found a room to rent and started back on that path, praying all the way.  After a year and a half in a sweatshop atmosphere, I quit and decided I would do accounting only as a temp employee while I found my passion.

My running partner growing up
My running partner growing up

So here we are in 2005, I’m doing temp work for and in the evening I am working on finding my path.

  1. I made a list of everything I love I had a hard time to start, but it come down to two things: Animals and Helping Others.
  2. Next I listed everything I could do to possibly support myself in those two areas, with no real start-up costs?  I know what you’re thinking, good luck lady.  I thought about it and I am everyone’s go to girl for pet sitting, but I wasn’t charging for my time.
  3. I did some research and found an organization called Pet Sitters International (PSI). They have a certification program, group insurance rates for pet sitter insurance, all the forms and business tools needed and a way of marketing.  JACKPOT!!  Only $200 at the time to get started.
  4. I designed my own website…not an easy task, but I got some clients that way. Most of my clients were my friends and referrals from my friends.  I used Google advertising and set a budget for what I could afford each week.  I got a few clients that way.
  5. Obstacles for me were that I could really only do morning and evening visits, overnight stays, or midday near my work. I pulled in probably a good $5,000 the first year this way.  I thought by 2007 I could hire on some sitters to expand my area.  I tried it and found that I didn’t have that level of trust and after only a few jobs I said back to just me.
  6. I decided that I may not be able to support myself with this I did have a nice side income and I got to hang with some great dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles. I also learned how to give insulin shots to cats, which came in handy when one of my own cats was diagnosed with diabetes.

After the economy crashed fewer people we willing to pay for pet sitting and it is a taxing job. I decided to set the business aside until retirement.  My pets have kept me very busy and I am so glad I followed through with my dream.  I learned so much about running a business and people in general.

My tip to anyone who has a dream they just can’t seem to make time for, MAKE TIME!!  You always have time for what is important.  How much time do you waste just doing nothing of value and call it relaxing.  I had to face this this year 2016, that I do tons of stuff but much of it is just a form of procrastination from doing the hard work related to what I REALLY want in my life.  I have to do the hard work and stop hiding in being “busy”.    TAKE THE ACTION!!

I have a list of 13 people I know who made the time and have pursued and are still pursuing their passions.  They have many successes even while having children, aging parents who need care, medical ailments and the list goes on.  There is nothing that can’t be done if you WANT it and LOVE it!!  GO!! DO IT!!  TAKE ACTION!!

Mr. Boots
Mr. Boots
Miss Maggie
Miss Maggie

5 Things I Promised Myself for 2016

Clock fleur de lis

I don’t know about all the men out there, but for most women the resolution is to lose weight and exercise. I am evidently not that resolute.  For some reason there is a mindset that goes with the New Years Resolution that once you break it you are done.  FAILURE!  Throw it all out the window and go back to life as it was.

I decided a few years ago the resolutions were not for me. I am an expert at ripping myself apart and I don’t need one more thing to pile on.  So last year I set goals and I would work toward attaining them.  I can do goals, I have goals at work and I just work on it step by step.  One of the keys is ACTION.  You have to DO SOMETHING.  Well I did well for a while last year, but I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is basically that my antibodies think my thyroid is a foreign body and keep attacking it.  So my body is destroying my thyroid.  The only solution is to take thyroid medication and only eat chicken, fish and green veggies.  I have to read every label for seasonings to avoid gluten.  In other words, my goals went from attainable to monumental and I gave up on them and me for a while.  I can’t believe it was only a year ago that I found out.

In December I made some decisions about my life and how I am going to make life changes doable.  In 2016 I give myself permission to do these 5 things:

IMAG0271 Make Mistakes – I am allowing myself to be imperfect.  I can just keep trying different ways until I find the right way.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Do-Overs – I promised myself I would not just quit if my actions went astray.  I didn’t do it right away.  I get to start again everyday if I need to.

file0002122926741 Be Gentle with Myself -I am not allowed to be mean to myself.  I will be supportive and pick myself up when I fall.

file7261239211365  Take Baby Steps – Everything doesn’t need to be done all at one time.  One thing at a time, one day at a time.

file9151250497820  Adjust My Goals – Sometimes I set unrealistic goals, so I am allowing myself to tweak them as needed in order to succeed.


7 Things I’d rather do than clean my bathroom…

When I saw this idea for a blog post I laughed, “Seven?  Only 7?!”  I can think of a million things I’d rather do, so shrinking the list down was a bit of a challenge.  I mean who likes cleaning the bathroom?  While making the list I was actually surprised at a few of them.

  1. DO MY TAXES?!  I am an accountant by profession and intentionally try to avoid the area of taxes in even my day to day work.  Just like the carpenter that doesn’t hang his own shelves.  I am notorious for not balancing my checkbook.  Thank goodness for MINT.COM, I don’t have to and it makes doing my taxes so much easier.  I was married to a self-employed carpenter, who kept all his records in a box and would hand it to me  at the end of the year so I could do the taxes.  I never hated a time of year more.  Technology is a wonderful thing!
  2. DECLUTTER MY ENTIRE APARTMENT!  Seriously, I actually went through every box, drawer, cubby and closet cleaned organized and got rid of a car load of stuff.  It took a week, rather than spend 30 minutes cleaning my bathroom, ok maybe 15 minutes.  I live alone, how bad can it be.
  3. SCOOP THE LITER BOX?!  I don’t even think about it. I take care of my cat better than myself sometimes.  While we are on the subject of my cat, Maggie, I spend time choosing just the right food, liter, getting only the best catnip. She has a warming mat that heats up only when she lays on it.  She got 2 Christmas stockings and a water fountain so her every need is satisfied.
    My Maggie
    The queen of the house!


  4. BINGE WATCH ANYTHING! I have managed to watch all the shows for Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld (I never watched it when it was on before.), Downton Abbey (time well spent), Friends, Storage Wars…procrastination at it’s best.
  5. MAKE A BUDGET.  Another thing accountants don’t generally do outside of work.
  6. CLEAN THE REFRIGERATOR! Actually that isn’t so bad since I don’t cook.  Cooking ranks right up there with taxes.  I learned to hate it when I was married.  It went from a creative outlet to a chore.  This brings me to the last one on this list.
  7. TAKING COOKING CLASSES.  I decided that this year I am going to try and fall in love with cooking again…RIGHT AFTER I CLEAN MY BATHROOM…I took my first class last weekend so guess what…I FINALLY cleaned my bathroom, every nook and cranny.

NOW, I am totally doing this in my bathroom!!