career building blocks (3-pgs)

DISCOVERY YEARS

1961

At two weeks old, was holding my head up by myself; selfdiscipline and committed determination.

My mother was a gifted storyteller. Each story she made up had a moral and the one that rang for years ends with the proclamation, “If you’re Share’n and Care’n, you’ll have a Rich and fulfilling life”; each name expressive of her three children.

1964

Without supervision could change the vinyl 45 of Ethel Merman’s “God Bless America” or my favorite 33 LP’s on the Hi-fi stereo including “Burl Ives” and the gospel group “The Sebastian Sisters”. Also independently operate a reel-to-reel tape recorder and microphone,

1966

Kindergarten, demonstrated musical talent playing Triangles. Also excelled with building blocks, stringing beads, finger paints, and made chocolate pudding. I was already challenging fear with climbing trees and the repeated rush of climbing to the top of a five foot sliding board.

Chores included operating heavy equipment such as a Hoover Vacuum equal to my height and weight, and also overcoming fumigation of daily dusting with Lemon Pledge. And big kitchen helper; like it or not.

1967

By six or seven years old when deciding what I want to be when I grow up, I wanted to be the next Virgin Mary. I was a child with no concept of my decision except that I wanted to be really really important to God. Quite frequently when I was alone, I would stare out the glass of our front door and in my mind play out Jesus walking up the long sidewalk toward me. I’d practice searching the words how we would tell my mother so she would believe I was a good girl.

1969

With only six neighbors to play together, I was privileged to take the role of “Audra” (from the television series The Big Valley) who in our version was also an Insurance Agent played along side my dear friend “Heath Barkley”.  We did nothing small and I had the self initiative to hand draw all our necessary forms with boxes to check-off. I skillfully transformed a toy baby blue metal cash register into a 10-key calculator and kept quite busy running the numbers for hours.

Took special pride wearing my first uniform, a classic and always stylish Brownies’ uniform with sash and selling Girl Scout cookies.

1970

As I mature, I realize a more realistic path than another Mother Mary and tell my mother I want to be a nun.

1971

Demonstrated athletic coordination and endurance playing all bases of neighborhood Kickball. Blue ribbon in speed on track and field.

I was trusted to create my own 5th grade history class project which I decided to make and serve loaf bread to my classmates while demonstrating pilgrimage times and learned the overwhelming value to distinguish between 1/8 tsp salt, verses 1/8 cup.

1973

Entering Junior High, neighborhoods from all around join together in one massive building and, as I met the girls from St. Mary’s Elementary, I realize my limits of becoming a nun in the United Methodist Church.

Active member Jefferson Pioneers 4-H Club specializing in sewing; eventually building the majority of my wardrobe by hand and selecting own patterns and fabrics.

Later expanded into Cabinet Maker designing futuristic bedroom furniture and also my very own Garden which my father tilled. Though I still garden each Spring, my skill-set has not expanded far beyond that first year when I designed and planted, all by myself, tight crisp rows of watermelon, summer squash, and Morning Glories.

1974

Cheerleader Captain, Edgewood Jr High and continuing squad into Wooster High School class of 1979. Operated and maneuvered riding lawn mower over acreage well before driving age. Also was a trusted babysitter including alone with two different babies less than one-week old, and including toddlers of varying age.

1975

All my focus is harnessed to the field of Accounting and Office Management (as I had chosen years ago as “Audra”). I also studied 3+ years of Spanish as I so admire the multilingual.

Hostess and serve banquets at College of Wooster.

1978

In my last years of high school, I had an afterschool opportunity to learn office procedure with the beautiful and remarkably patient John and Jan Fleming of Johnston-Miller Insurance Agency.

Also worked evening shift as Nursing Aid with a fully dependent ward, gaining valuable life lessons and care skills.

 

MILITARY SERVICE

1979

Enlisted in the United States Air Force continuing my training in Accounting and Budget. I was trusted in positions ahead of my ranks. My emergency war skill was palletizing and manifestation of troops. Under the direction of SSgt Szanka, I was selected to serve as Basic Training Dorm Chief (thus the approaching nickname Reflexchief) meaning I was responsible to, and for, all actions of the 60 girls in my Squad as preparation in leadership skills. I was a master in cadence and marching maneuvers both in performance of, and in command.

1983

Competed in talent singing Diana Ross’s “Touch Me in the Morning” and was selected for the birth of Stars of Sound 1984, a group of 25 active duty military musicians and vocals offering a Top 40’s variety show to Tactical Air Commands across the nation.

1985

With the onset of personal computers replacing word processors in the workplace, I was challenged with the opportunity to transfer from my Accounting position into the role of Assistant to my Commander. This was before support hotlines and I was self taught, again as in childhood, programming form layouts to coordinate with the regulation carbon packed forms of the Department of Defense. Began love for body building with the boys at the airbase and the reference “pain is weakness leaving the body”.

Today I have clarity of this period that I was not privied to at the time. What I know is that every person is born with spiritual gifts and mine, the gift of healing, was now boldly presenting itself. I am an empathic. It’s told my normal is not normal at all. If you hurt, I feel it. Often days before we meet. If you share your suffering while in each others aura, I will cry the same depth of your pain. Prior to any understanding at this point, my emotional pain couldn’t be harnessed. I wanted out. How was easy, but my every thought was deciding when.

1986

But then, I was given temporary orders traveling to Germany with my squadron. I was allotted to stay behind, alone, to confront the man I had grown to hate. He had given advice the previous year that altered the entire direction of my life. Without a vehicle, and speaking no German, I headed out at the mercy of the German taxi driver and trusting that when the car stopped, I would be safe from his harm. I was petrified but in God’s mercy I made it and walked up to this man who I cast blame and said, “I’m Karen”. To which he replied he already knew. I told him of the hate in my heart and I asked him to forgive me. We wept together in his office and my life would never ever ever be the same. He is the last person I would ever hate. That is why that week, Palm Sunday, I asked this same man to immerse me in Baptism. And that’s when I claimed my mother’s wisdom and took the spelling “Care’n”.

 

CIVILIAN LIFE

1987

USAF Honorable Discharge

As a civilian I excelled in vast adaptability and skill-sets with various temporary positions as I searched my place outside the comfort of military discipline.

1988

Joined Rubbermaid Incorporated as Secretary for my most cherished boss for all he taught me to be strong and believing in myself, VP (Richard) Dick Allen, Specialty Products Division. Self-taught and became a go-to source throughout all company locations programming databases in DOS, Paradox, and now Word Access. In capacity with the Color Lab, I have experience operating and troubleshooting Injection Molding.

1993

Continued mastery of skills in home interior design and remodel specializing in power tools, drywall, painting, and other duties as assigned.

1994

Teacher, Ballroom Dance, benched from my Greek partner with knee injury during competition training.

1995

While working in the offices of EDG, Environmental Design Group, in Akron Ohio, I overworked the landscape at home and required surgery on my elbow. Surgery fell outside my beliefs of the body’s ability to heal and after four months of rapid decline, I trusted my now limp, inoperable arm, over to a referral who turned out to be a Reflexologist. Returning to work the next day and magically healed, was an invitation for teasing and at one moment of being told, “See, that proves it was all in your head”, I felt the jolt of the heavens and that’s the moment I became a Reflexologist. I spent the next two years in school evenings and weekends part-time to be acknowledged as a professional.

1998

REFLEXOLOGYPlus became a corporation I grew successfully over the next 16-years while ultimately booking ten to fourteen hour days witnessing fascinating stories of client success. My clientele came entirely by referral and as a last resort; some traveling from out-of-state or around the globe.

1999

I was introduced to and became a member with Young Living Essential Oils where I remain faithful.

2000

Welcomed as an active member of the 555 Honors Detachment, “Triple Nickle”, alongside many other Wayne County Veterans for the honor of serving Military Last Rites and singing of our National Anthem.

2004

Several years vocal worship with Praise Team serving at Montrose Zion UMC under the gifted direction of Ted Peplowski.

2014

Nearing what turned out to be the retirement of REFLEXOLOGYPlus, clairvoyance alerted me I would need my own healing.

Then I received a procedure causing the muscles of my face and neck to spasm to such degree that all 3 types of tears (to cleanse and lubricate) stopped functioning and everything tasted like leaded poison. My vision for the time was a view described as only a smoke filled room with the scariest being to look in what I knew was a mirror but no reflection looked back, or look into my husband’s eyes and not see him look at me. It was not a malicious act, nonetheless, I was temporarily blinded for more than 2-weeks, 5-months to gain full sight, and scared out of my mind.

On the third day following this unfortunate emergency, I received the first of many aggressive letters to follow from one client I cared for and listened to beyond the boundaries of a session. Their suffering became my suffering. And now, sightless and scared beyond words that this could be my new reality, I laid helpless taking hit after hit as this dear soul turned on me because what they saw is I wasn’t there for them. My dried eyes turned into staph infection. I couldn’t help anyone and I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t have the strength to standup and I had to lay there, just take it, while my eyes rested, my heart gave up, and my mind walked away.

2015

My friend and talented Massage Therapist stepped up taking over the studio of REFLEXOLOGYPlus and has successfully grown into her own.

Just two months after retiring my business, I took a fall that splintered both legs across and up the shin bones. I fell to the floor and politely asked for, “Oils”; and water since I was about to pass out (lol). With the next three months in denial and my whole world on the living room couch, I decided on gratitude for the gift of time to focus the next two years moving our family and studying my new path in the Direct Sales Profession.

2016

My first trip to Cuba, humanitarian, and the recommitment to expand my knowledge of the Spanish language.

2017 – present

Learning of my Air Force buddy who has passed, it took lost opportunity to find my courage to walk into life and own that I am exactly who God was counting on when He placed me in the womb. I have been broken, I have been reborn. This is my story.