by Leslie Anderson, Salem Oregon – Andersons of West Hills
Insomnia is new for me in the last couple of years, and I am not a fan, ha ha. Here’s a little something I wrote about it to pass some of those long night time hours.
Thanks for reading along, and I hope you are reading this in the light of day, and that sleep is finding you. I trust that it will find me again soon too.
It's a comfort but lonely
I wrestle with an anxious mind
Willing myself to go back to sleep
But it never comes
I think of all the things that bother me
In the light of day, I had forgotten
But the dark brings them back to mind
So I worry them to an extreme
The hours tick by
I used to sleep so peacefully
But now it's a fleeting gift
And I am unable to capture the elusive rest I crave
Eventually the dawn breaks
It's a relief and a nuisance
My eyes are tired already
And I have a full day ahead
I wonder what the next night will bring
Will it be a fight
Or will rest find me
Giving me a break from my weary mind?
Spring 2022, you have arrived. Well, you will arrive in a couple of days, but in my heart, spring is already here. It’s been a weird couple of years to say the least, and it feels like the heavens have opened and a little sun is peeking through in all areas of my life.
The last 365 days have brought a ton of change to my life and to our family. All good, some challenging, and all very much needed.
Here’s what happened in 2021 and what I’m looking forward to in 2022.
Our family expanded last year as Jason met his son Josh for the first time after 30 years. It’s an amazing story of hope and it’s been a blessing to our family as we move forward to a new chapter. The full story is on our podcast, you can listen here if you like.
Last year we focused on a huge deck project for the majority of the summer and sprucing up our house and property. We are true DIY around here, and when we’re not in the shop or driving our cars, we’re usually at home, working on the nest or enjoying our animals and cooking food and spending time with our family.
I don’t have pictures of the deck yet, when the spring flowers are planted, I’ll post, but for now, enjoy this little snapshot of typical DIY adventures.
Our Business – Denwerks
We also made a big lifestyle change and I came to work for Denwerks full time. I used to be the bookkeeper and office and HR person for many years, so this recent change was big. Huge. Life altering. Fun. Scary.
We didn’t really plan it, but it just happened. If you listen to our podcast, you can hear about it in real time, as it happened.
I quit all those previous (boring) roles to be a full partner and buying and selling right alongside Jason. We’ve always been partners in the business, but this is different, because we now both have ownership of the outcomes.
Not gonna lie, it’s been amazingly difficult, but I have shown I have some skills and talents to offer and it’s been the best change I’ve made. Jason feels that too. We work well together, and there have been some growing pains and I’ve integrated myself into what he was already doing for so long. Also some growing pains for him as he integrates into changes I wanted to make and helping us go to the next level – TOGETHER.
We now both have our own deals, customers, and interests in the business, but we work together. I love every minute of it. Well, almost every minute, old cars and trucks can be finicky.
Here are some photos of the cars and trucks I’ve picked over the last year. I have loved every one of them, and if you want to see what we sell, you can find us on Bring a Trailer – that’s primarily where we sell our vehicles. You can also visit our website and find us on social media too if you like old stuff.
We’ve prioritized vacation and travel in this new life of ours. Last year we went to Maui, Hawaii, Bend, Oregon, Leavenworth, Washington and Monterey, California. All really fun and we are choosing to fit travel into our lives because seeing the world is precious and the kids are almost grown, so we have time to do more of the things we want to do.
Ah, so many photos to choose from, here are a couple from our recent trips:
What’s Next for 2022
There wasn’t a lot of time to focus on much else with all these big changes last year, but now it’s becoming routine and we have been able to look forward to adding in some of the things we love and enjoy – outside of work. Imagine that, we have lives outside of cars, trucks, and motorcycles, who knew?
One of my big passions is running. I put it on the shelf the last couple of years to get myself healthy and rolling with all the changes in our lives. But now it’s time to enjoy it again and I couldn’t be happier.
I signed up for a 10k at the end of May, and I’ve been doing some training. I really missed running. It’s been a balm to my soul for many years and I’m finding how much I missed it.
I’m using a training plan, but very relaxed. If you like running or walking and don’t need pressure, this is my favorite site for training plans. Take a look!
And if you like, join us at the Willamette Valley Marathon in May.
I cannot wait! My running shoes are still my best friends after all this time and I am most comfortable in my skin when I’m getting regular activity and exercise.
More travel awaits this year. We’re going to go to Mexico to visit our oldest daughter and her husband in a few months. She lives in Baja California and it’s been a couple of years since we’ve been down, due to Covid, so I cannot wait to go visit and get some sun, sand, tacos, and love on the kids.
I started doing some woodworking last year and have really enjoyed it – fun little DIY projects that are easier than I suspected.
Currently, I have a dresser that I’m getting ready to paint and I’m looking forward to salvaging it and incorporating it into our home decor. I’m waiting for paint to be shipped, and then the dresser is going to see a new life. It’s a piece that Jason and I bought many years ago, one of our first official sets, and it’s dated and tired and needs some paint to bring it to 2022 decorating standards.
Now, if someone could find me a way to update myself to be 2022 standards that would be great, but I don’t think there is enough paint in the world for that.
I am still working on writing, and it’s been a challenge to fit it into my life, but I’m planning to continue to develop myself in this area. It’s cathartic for me, creative, and fun, so you can read my other posts if you like reading what I have to say. I’m not exactly sure what it looks like in the future, and I’m not making any long term plans, I just want to enjoy the craft and getting better at it.
I have always had the dream of writing a book, but lately poetry has been capturing my attention. For now, just keeping it as a hobby and we’ll see what happens in the future.
So that’s it for now. A quick update on a breezy spring Saturday. Thanks for reading along, I write for me, but if you like reading it, I welcome you! Onward and upward.
This post is for anyone who wants to find their way. I’m finding mine, and here’s what happened when I made a big decision.
I’ve never worked harder in my life than these last 18 months. In all areas of my life, applying myself, learning, growing, changing, and moving forward. It’s been a fantastic journey. It’s also been extremely difficult because change and growth is never linear, but I look back and I see who I am now, and I like the new me. I’m still me, many of the same things that make me tick are still firmly ingrained, but I’ve let so many things go, in favor of allowing space and time for new growth and change.
Although I’ve never worked harder, at the same time, I’ve never been more relaxed and ready and it doesn’t feel like working at all because I want all of this. There are many layers to the growing this year, for purposes of this post, I am looking at the job aspects and how I’ve grown professionally. I could write a book about all the other changes in my life and heart, and maybe I will someday. It’s been a profoundly beautiful experience, and I know I can’t be the only one who has had experiences like this.
For Anyone Who Has Struggled To Find Your Way – Especially Women
This post is for anyone (especially any women out there) who have ever discounted yourself, feared being ‘too much’, or tried to shove yourself into a box to please other people, maybe what I have to say will be helpful. I’m writing it for myself, but if it is of use to you or helpful, I invite you to read along.
It’s a journey, and I don’t fault myself for how I arrived at this place, all the seasons have been necessary. I do wish some of them had been less difficult, but those times are always the most beneficial for personal growth in my experience.
A little background on this journey before I get in to things. In 2003, my husband and I started a classic car business and that’s been his full time job ever since. I stayed home with our kids when they were young, and got a career job of my own in 2009. I wanted to branch out on my own and I never really knew my place in our business, I was always the bookkeeper and helper, and Jason ran the business day to day. In 2021, I decided to leave my career job, I was burnt out, tired, and overwhelmed, and it just wasn’t fitting with who I had become anymore. I didn’t really know what I would do when I quit, but it felt great. Since then, I have grown and changed more than I could have ever imagined, and I’ve learned so much about myself. Here’s a little of those lessons learned for you.
Leaving my career job 11 months ago was a huge change and I haven’t missed it, not for one day, not for one minute, not for one second. My career had its place and time in my life and I was so ready to move on when it was time.
I knew when the time came that I was ready, and Jason and I made the decision together. We both knew it was right, and that has proven to be true time and time again over these last 11 months.
Benefits of Making This Huge Life Shift
Instead of sitting in an office with a window to a parking lot and a bus station, which is what I used to look forward to (I had arrived! I was successful! lol), I’ve been buying and selling classic cars, traveling in Oregon, Hawaii, California, and road trippin’ whenever possible to buy more cars to sell.
I am able to be around our pets and enjoy the beauty of our property every single day. No rushed sunrises or missed sunsets because of meetings or schedules. No more commute or expectations from anyone else. I work from home and I love morning snuggles with my cats and lingering over my coffee.
Sunday nights’ sleep is peaceful and Monday feels the same as a Saturday or a Tuesday. We take trips when we want to, and because of the nature of our business, we often get to travel to other parts of the state to buy cars and that is a luxury that I never had, and a job that Jason always did alone.
Now, we accompany each other on buying trips and make a day or an afternoon of looking at cars, drinking coffee and talking as we take our time, no rush to get back to a schedule or work. The freedom of that is not to be underestimated. It’s been so good for the soul.
Every day feels like I am retired, despite working hard to provide for our family and the responsibilities that come with that. There are still stressors to be sure. We are responsible. We have to face up when things get hard and the bills need to be paid and customers need to be tended to. I don’t mind, it’s an accountability that makes me a better person overall.
We also get to enjoy the fruit of dealing with amazing customers, when the deals work out swimmingly, and being around classic cars all day. It’s really a nice way of life.
Things I Don’t Miss About Working for Someone Else
There are so many things I don’t miss about working in a career job. There is no one to tell me how to do my work, or what hours I need to commit to, or endless meetings that bear little fruit.
I was always a fantastic employee because I worked so hard. I worked tirelessly to get the job done, be the best, and keep moving up the ladder. It was a gerbil wheel at best, and I thought it would fill me up. It didn’t.
I also don’t miss that there is no one expressing praise or disappointment in me, critiquing my work, or giving feedback and I realize I’ve always needed freedom from those things in the first place. I really hate all the cliche’ terms of the working world now.
I don’t want feedback unless it’s a truly trusted friend who is helping me to be a better person, or a family member who loves me and wants the best for me.
I’m In Charge Now! (Jack Black)
In many ways, I am now un-coachable, un-employable, and probably unwanted in the view of the world. I could care less and that feels great. I wasn’t meant to be a follower, I was meant to be a leader, and I just never allowed myself to be the leader I have always been.
I do as little paperwork as possible, and zero meetings. I arrange communications and business gets done. There’s no waiting on others approval, timeline or budget. I get to decide all of those variables and I love it.
I see now that I should have always been my own employer. I’m strong willed and independent, and I’ve always needed freedom. I never allowed myself to have it because I tried so hard to shove myself in a box of what others thought or expected of me.
We’ve had this great business for so many years, and I embraced Jason’s freedom in being an entrepreneur, but never my own. I didn’t even consider that I, too, was an entrepreneurial risk taker and also co-owner of the business. It makes me sad to even admit that, but I didn’t. I saw myself as a bystander and helper, rather than a full-fledged partner and owner of this amazing thing we’ve built together over the years.
I helped start this whole business after all!! Hello?! Why didn’t I grab hold of the freedom of life it has afforded him over the years?
I am, and always have been strong willed and independent, but I stuffed myself in a box of a career 8-5 world with a pension, and ‘security.’ Don’t get me wrong, I loved climbing the ladder and achieving things. I’m type A, it’s what I do, and I’ll always be driven, it’s in my nature.
I just limited myself or didn’t want to be ‘too much’ or step out of line. I’m not exactly sure why, I think being a woman has something to do with it, and my upbringing in a conservative, but extremely male centered environment was a big contributing factor.
I wanted people to like me, and approve of me, and give me validation. I’m learning to get over that, and live the life I want to live, regardless of praise or accolades from others.
So What’s Next?
Jason is strong enough to be married to someone like me, and he has (and is) making space for me to partner with him in different ways. We’ve made quite a few changes in our business this year, and it’s a result of using both of our gifts and talents together. We both have different skill sets, together, we are an unstoppable team because we both bring things to the table that we could never bring alone.
We’ve seen the fruit of our collective efforts and are enjoying working with our customers together and forging ahead.
I plan to continue writing and growing myself and documenting the journey. It’s been a big year with so many changes and it’s been difficult to keep up with everything as we navigate new territory. Now that we are both getting used to the flow around here, I imagine I’ll have more time to write and create and grow my creative muscles.
I wouldn’t change a thing about where I am now, even though I do regret some of the paths I’ve taken that have gotten me here. But that is life, and that is the reality of our existence here, learning from the good, the bad and the ugly.
Want to Follow Along Our Journey?
If you’d like to follow along into 2022, there are several ways you can see what we are up to everyday.
The timeless sayings about ‘seasons changing’ and the metaphors to life that provide hope and restoration for weary souls have always provided peace and comfort during the most challenging times of the human experience.
Nothing lasts forever, we say. It helps. The words are something to cling to when at times we feel all hope is lost.
Eventually the seasons do change and we realize it was indeed true, not all is lost, and nothing lasts forever. Then we feel comforted again and life moves on, and those most difficult times are muted in memory because they did, indeed, pass.
It makes it seem like it wasn’t so bad after all in the first place, and all the worry and long nights of lost sleep fade away to a distant memory when the seasons finally lose grip and the new one takes root.
In our faded memories, the season seems to have changed from the difficult to the wonderful one overnight. The reality is, it didn’t happen that way at all. One season gave in to another, slowly and painfully. One lost grip on the other.
Around here, it’s changing from fall to winter as we speak. The weather can’t decide between sunny and warm or the less desirable: dark, stormy, and cold.
From day to day or week to week it is different. Sometimes it’s a week of nasty wind and rain, the cold wet drops stinging my face every time I go outside and I shiver in the depths of my body, and it takes hours to truly warm up after being outside in the nasty rain.
The discolored leaves fall off in spurts, whenever there is a wind. Just when I’ve cleaned off the sidewalk with the leaf blower, here comes the storm again, messing up the work I thought I already did. It forces a redo, which I hate, but it’s inevitable.
And then after that, a sunny day comes along, cool and bright, but the fall glow of the sun is different than the bright summer sun, and I can feel the warmth and I value it even more when I know it’s just a respite from the cold and wet.
The days get progressively shorter now, and the golden hour is four hours earlier than it used to be a few months ago. I didn’t notice it, it changed slowly, but it’s still golden nonetheless.
That’s how the seasons change and how nothing lasts forever. It’s a painful and confusing transition.
I know how it’ll end up, but the process is messier than it appears. Time marches forward, but along the way there are fits and starts that don’t feel that comfortable or peaceful.
At some point the transition is done, but it’s never marked with a clear guidepost of FINISHED. It just happens, and those last leaves fall off the trees, the winter rains and snow settle in, and it’s time to hibernate for a little while.
So it is during life transitions too. The difficult times wane, they ebb and flow, leaving soul scars that are healing, slowly, but certainly, if we are willing. They peak in difficulty and pain at some point, but it’s not linear or clear.
The healing takes hold, and we notice we are indeed better than we once were, peaceful and comforted, but it took a lot of time, and wouldn’t be forced. Couldn’t be forced, in fact, forcing it only protracted the pain.
Leaving room for those ugly parts and submitting to the seasons, because they do happen anyway, whether we want them to or not, is a beautiful act of surrender. That releasing of grip allows rest and peace during the uncertainty of change.
In my life, the last of the summer leaves are holding on for dear life to the trees as the wind and rain pelt them. Some of those leaves are ugly, spotted and dark, and others are bright red and gold. All will fall, I’m more thankful for the beautiful ones than the ugly ones, but I have needed them both.
I’m ready to head into winter, slowly, surely, for a time of hibernation and rest. I’ve been on my way for awhile, and the rest and peace is coming in waves, there are easy days and hard days.
The more I surrender to the process, the easier it is to accept that it will take the time it takes, and there are truly peaceful moments along the way. I could ignore that it’s happening, but I would miss out on the growth and goodness of participating in all of it.
Meanwhile, the seasons are changing, and it’s true, nothing lasts forever.
Like Denwerks? Like You Tube? We’ve always featured our cars for sale on our channel, but we’re expanding the page to offer a couple of new features and I am so excited about these. I’ve really fallen in love with cutting and editing video, so that’s been a fun addition to our shop and our business. Here’s what’s new on You Tube:
If you like what and how we sell our vehicles, we have started a series to give you our take on how we do things.
The Cherry Bomb Project – 1957 Chevy Nomad
We recently bought a 1957 Chevy Nomad as a personal project for Jason and I, and we decided to document it on our You Tube channel. It’s a really fantastic car, and we are having fun getting it road ready.
We’ve always featured our current and past cars for sale, and that will continue. If you want to learn about a certain make or model, there’s a lot of good information to glean about the cars in general, so it’s worthwhile to watch our vehicles, even if one has sold, you can learn a lot.