In May of 1981 I began my security career with the George Washington University Police Department. Over the next few decades my career included stints in Corporate America, contract security organizations, my own training company and as a contractor for USCIS, a component of DHS. I was also very active for more than 20 years in ASIS International, the largest professional security organization in the world, including serving two terms on the organization’s Board of Directors. One week ago on June 30, 2021 I ended my 40 year career in the security profession.
In 2014, I began giving presentations and keynotes addresses about my book Being My Mom’s Mom that I wrote to help pay for my Mom’s care after she was diagnosed with dementia in 2006. I immediately loved the people I met and the organizations I spoke for and the caregivers I was helping. To date I have given more than 350 presentations, and did all of the work myself to schedule and make travel or virtual meeting arrangements for every event. Because I loved my “regular” job too, I held down two full-time jobs for seven years. I also had the full support of my bosses at work so I felt no pressure to quit my job.
I believe everyone at some point in their lives uses the word their “calling” to refer to what they should be doing with their life. Five years ago I realized that the speaking and sharing I was doing in small and large groups was absolutely my calling. I knew at some point I’d have to slow down and give up my full-time job to focus on my passion for the primary reason that I was helping many people.
In late 2020 I FINALLY began preparing to focus on speaking full-time. I joined an organization called The Speaker Lab where I learned the business side of speaking and it’s one of the best decisions I could have made. It can be really hard to transition from one thing to another but I was READY. I knew the work I was transitioning to is the work that God has called me to do. With the time I have left in my life I pray that I can continue to make a difference for others, to give them hope and spread some joy!
When I turned in my badge and laptop last week I didn’t turn around and look back. I did briefly cry because I wasn’t planning on doing this work and retirement without Tim and I remembered that he’d attend more than 100 of my speeches before his death. I know he’s proud of me. I didn’t look back because I’m sooo looking forward to my new future! In my first week of retirement / transition I have slept in, spent lots of time with Mom, built lots of LEGO models, toured a variety of assisted living and adult day centers, and met some amazing workers in the senior living and memory care fields. The more people I meet and the more places I visit, the more I can share with my audiences who are looking for knowledge, information and hope. I look forward to transitioning to the role of inspiring others on their caregiving journey and becoming the person God intended me to be.