Life, Getting Busy, and Taking Care of Myself

Life,

One little word that encompasses sooooo much!

When someone asks “Why have you been away so long?” The usual answer is well, life has gotten in the way.

Or why didn’t you keep in touch?  Life.

It’s amazing how life moves on whether or not you are ready for it to, whether or not everyone you count on is in your life and whether or not you can afford for it to.  No, there hasn’t been a tragedy of sorts in my life, and yes most people that mean anything to me are still with me, but you don’t talk to everyone you know every day.  You don’t have hourly updates with friends on where their life is and where they are headed.  Sometimes, when you stopped and take stalk, you realize its been months, maybe even years since you last talked to someone that use to be your rock, your listening ear, your own personal therapist.

Anyway, those are just some of the things I have been thinking of.  If I haven’t spoken to you in a while, please know that yes, you are still on my mind.  I think about most of the people in my life daily.  If it were not for friends or family that I may not speak to often but still want to be connected to, I wouldn’t even have a facebook.  But this wonderful tool, lets just have a glimpse into their lives while we may not play a pivotal role.  Don’t worry, I will get around to speaking to you again my friends!

As for getting busy, it seems like a lot of life is falling into place at the same time.

Work wise, I’m finally starting to get things, finally starting to understand why we do what we do and how we do it.  I take my producer license test on the 14th, ahh!  The office we are opening in another town is almost complete, furniture and phone/internet install is today!  Our projected move in date is around September 14th, yes that’s right the same day as my producer license test!!! Also, we are starting to get a few more renewals and requests for insurance coming into the office.  What does that mean for me?  Well, right now, it means a lot more spreadsheet/excel fun for this gal!

I have also been on this kick of wanting to really take care of myself lately.  No not, sort of, lets go on a diet take care of myself.  I mean, lets figure out a way to solve all my problems and get me back on the meds to help fight this pcos and high blood pressure take care of myself kick.  So far, so good.  I’ll have to keep you all posted though.

As for now, it’s time to get back to work!

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Life after the seminar!

I know, I know, I know! It’s been a few days since I last posted.

I bet you have all been waiting with baited breath for my next post too.  Well, wait no more!

The last two days, I had to drive to Champaign for a seminar on Health and Life insurance.  I have to tell you, I am not that great at driving in Chambana.  In fact, I kind of hate it.  Hate is usually a strong word, I know, but in this instance it is not strong enough.  Anyway, I followed my GPS (thank goodness my data restarted the day before I had to drive there), and I actually had a pretty nice drive to the hotel the seminar was being held at.

I had been warned by ****, the individual who works on crop insurance here at the bank, that it would be a somewhat boring seminar and I should expect to be tired and overwhelmed.  But, that is about all the preparation for the seminar that I had.  Keep this in mind when I write about how well I did after.

I learned all kinds of interesting life insurance and accident/health insurance info. at this seminar.  As well as laws and regulations of being a producer and selling insurance.  Contrary to what I was told, I actually found some of the seminar far less than boring, in fact, I would go so far as to say some of it was fun and interesting.  Especially the second day when it came to the health insurance portion.

Any who, I met some really cool peeps in that class.  There were six of us, so it was relatively small and it gave the speaker time and flexibility to give us a little more attention than if it were a huge number of people in the seminar.  In fact, I met one girl who will be working with Health Alliance, Two who will be working with north west and then two other agents who are in independent companies like myself.  Lunch was nothing to worry about as well for the most part all went to eat together and talked about our lives rather than insurance.

After the first day (Monday), it was recommended that we take the 1st practice test.  It would be  practice test on life insurance.  The goal was to miss no more than 20 questions on this first test (which would give a 60% passing rate).  The next practice test for life we are suppose to be reaching a goal of 85%, or no more than 7 missed.  Well, I did the test Monday night, even though I was exhausted and my family was talking up a storm, plush I had a headache.  I only missed three questions!!  That’s right folks, I scored a 94% right out of the gate.

I was a little nervous Tuesday when we had to take the final for the seminar.  We then had accident/health and the laws and regulations.  I did not know going into it, that we would be taking a test right then and there.  I mean, two days of studying and we were ready for the final?! Anyway, I took it no problem, 100%.  I thought I had this in the bag.  I called Tuesday night to schedule my state test, because yes, we just had to take a test to prove that we were ready to take a test.  Then after taking the second test I get to apply for my license.  So, in essence, you take a test to prove you can take a test, to prove you can apply for a license.  Seems like too much red time to me.  But gotta do what you gotta do.

Anyway, all of this just to say, I am now ready for the next step.  Unfortunately, I don’t take my test until September 14th, so this leaves time for me to forget the information, unless I study like I’m suppose to. Don’t worry I already did another practice test today.  This time on the accident/health.  I only missed 4!  The goal for the first practice test on accident/health was also no more than 20, so I made that goal and then some :).

thanks for reading, and thanks to those who encouraged me to do what I wanted.  This just feel right.

A BOYRFRIEND?! Say WHAT?!?!?!?! Random thoughts on a Thursday.

First of all, if the boyfriend is reading this, I am not going to post your name or any personal information about you.  I did not ask your permission to include you, so it would not be right of me to do so.

A blog post on my boyfriend, OK well maybe not on the boyfriend, but he is part of my life and I did promise to blog about all the adventures in my life.

If you know me, you know that for most, almost all, of my life I have been single.  No boyfriend.  But, the question is, do any of you know why?!  Nope, well maybe one, ok maybe two.  My mother and my cousin (Cassi) both know a lot of my story.  They are the two on this planet that know more about me than anyone else.  I suppose with that, you will want to know why most of my life I was without a boyfriend.  Am I ugly?  Is there something wrong with me?

The answer to both questions is a resounding NO.  I am not ugly and there is nothing wrong with me.  Well, maybe I’m partial on both accounts.  Then why?  Life.  Childhood bullying.  Family situations.  All of those factor into why.

I grew up on a farm at least 10-15 minutes from a small town where I went to school.  10-15 minutes doesn’t sound so bad until you realize that as a kid you can’t drive into town to hang out with your friends.  You are entirely reliant on the adults in your life.  When the adults in your life are hired hands on a farm or students going to nursing school, they have absolutely no time to take you into town for things that are not important.  When you are a kid, if you don’t make the time to hang out with friends or try to be included in events (which by the way just because my parents didn’t have the time didn’t mean they didn’t try.  I was in softball up till high school and I was in band which meant summer band! In junior high i was even on the track team!).  But really, when you live a life that is mostly mysterious to your fellow classmates you become something other.  Something to wonder about.  Something to make stories up about and then make fun of.

That’s right folks, yours truly was subjected to bullying all of her life.  Notice I said subjected to, not victim of.  I could have easily used the victim word, but I refused and still refuse to play victim to anyone! What does this have to do with a boyfriend, well you will see I promise.  Keep in mind that this bullying was very intense.  Most nights I cried myself to sleep.  This went on from Kindergarten (which I was to young to know what was happening so did not bother me at the time) until I was well into high school.

When I did start liking people, it was a joke to everyone around.  How dare Kristen have a crush on you.  We will show her.  In junior high, I almost became a laughing stock of sorts.  Then, when hurting me had not satisfied their needs, they tried tricking me.  I stood fast.  I put my heart and soul into learning my clarinet.  I wrote poems at home, I doodled the heck out of my notebooks, and tried to be an artist.  I rode my bike all over the country side, anything I could to get out of my own head.  To stop thinking.  On a side note, this is also why I hate fishing.  In fishing there is too much time to think, too much time to dwell on whats happening and what other people are thinking.

Any who, I made it through that and eventually I no longer had the desire to even try.  Why try to attract someone or act on a crush when it was just going to end in all that torture?!

Thank goodness I grew out of that and found my current boyfriend.  I have waited literally my entire life for someone to just accept me.  I may not like what I look like or be happy where I am in life, but you know what he told me early on in the relationship… he said, He didn’t fall in love with me for my looks.  LOVE.  love isn’t what you look like.  love isn’t superficial.  LOVE real love.  It’s acceptance.

How did I get so lucky to find someone who I instantly trusted.  Someone who I instinctively knew accepted me, but also had the courage to say it to my face!  He loves me and he means it.  Never in my entire life have I met anyone who doesn’t have to fight through any wall, doesn’t have to break them down.  Because when I am around him, they do not exist.

So, sadly I wont see the boyfriend until Friday (tomorrow), but when I do, I will have my big goofy grin on ready for a big hug and passionate kiss.

Love you more babe!

Also, thank you readers for following/reading/liking my blog.  Stay tuned for more adventures, stories, and random thoughts.

CSR/Administrative Assistant – multitasking like a pro!

Have you ever wondered what it is like to work at an Insurance Agency?

Well, never fear you can find out here!

I may not be the world’s best or leading source on any of this information, but I am learning and experiencing what it is like.  Currently we are in a “slow” period for the agency.  Which means open enrollments have not yet started coming around and clients are really in need of anything major.  Just regular maintenance here and there.  For instance, this morning I had a phone call from a client who needed my help determining why he was receiving an EOB from his insurance company asking for his medicare summary.  All I had to do was speak with customer service to find out for him.  However, it is that extra mile for the client that makes them come back to us time and again.

During this slow time, I am taking the opportunity to learn everything I can related to insurance.  For instance, ever wondered how the Health Care Reform Act affects you?  Well, maybe one of these random blog postings will answer that question for you.

First, maybe we should start with what all those acronyms used in the Health Care Reform actually mean.  This list is by no means all encompassing. I should note, I found this list on zywave today and am using some of their terminology when describing the acronyms. 

ACA: The affordable Care Act – used to refer to the final amended version of the health care reform legislation.

CHIP – Children’s Health Insurance Program (for low-income and sometimes pregnant women who do not qualify for Medicaid)

EBSA – Employee Benefits Security Administration. (responsible for compliance assistance regarding benefit plans).

EPO plan – Exclusive Provider Organization plan (only covers services in the plan’s network of doctors, specialists or hospitals; except in case of an emergency).

ERRP – Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (temporary program to provide coverage to early retirees).

FSA – Flexible Spending Account

HDHP – High Deductible Health Plan

HMO – Health Maintenance Organization (type of plan that typically limits coverage to care from medical providers who work for a contract with the HMO).

HRA – Health Reimbursement Arrangement or Account

HSA – Health Savings Account

IRO – An Independent Review Organization. performs independent external reviews of adverse benefit determinations.

OOP – Out-of-pocket limit (maximum amount you have to pay for covered services in a plan year).

POS Plan – Point-of-service plan, you pay less if you go to doctors, hospitals and other health care providers that belong to the plans network (will require a referral from your doctor for specialists).

PPACA – Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

PPO – Preferred provider organization.   Contracts with medical providers to create a network of participating providers.  You pay less when using these providers, but can use providers outside the network.

SHOP Exchange – Small Business Health Options Program. Each health insurance exchange must create to assist eligible small employers when enrolling their employees in qualified health plans offered in the small-group market.

So why does my heading say multitasking like a pro?

Well my friends, when working in an insurance agency, you might have many clients files open at one time.  Working on multiple claims or issues all at once.  when an email comes in you have to be prepared to answer it, you really want each client to feel they are the top priority in your office.  So far (in my almost month working her), I have found that at any given time, I am working on customer service claim issue for one person, while I get an email from another group wanting someone added to their insurance or terminated from their insurance.  You have to be able to handle the fast pace when its around and the slow pace during the slow times.  That’s what I’ve been learning.  I’m writing this blog as a way to help me remember what I’m learning in the insurance world, and to help inform you, the public, my friends, hopefully some strangers as well.

That should be all for today folks.  Check back tomorrow to see what adventures await.

Hello World!!!!!

So, I have decided to start blogging my experiences in this world.

When I tried to think of what I would like to blog about, one phrase stuck out and would not leave me.  Creatively OCD was born.  I am by nature creative, but I’m also a little OCD.  Why not call my blog creatively OCD and blog about my life!

My life is currently a little crazy, a little busy, and a little awesome!  I’m starting a new career, which some people might not find as entertaining and interesting as I do.  I’m currently an insurance CSR/administrative assistant.  Next week I take a course to prepare me to take my producer license exam.  What does all that mean?  Well, that means I will become a producer with the insurance company I work for.  I will be able to sell insurance through the agency.

How can insurance be interesting?  It’s all in the attitude my friends.  The people, the relationships you make, the stories you hear and tell, all of it makes my line of work actually fun.  I have been introduced to so many people I never in my life thought I would have the pleasure of knowing or being able to call favors from.  I mean seriously, have you tried calling up an insurance company lately and getting something done in less than 24 hours?  It isn’t easy and yet somehow, I’m getting it done! 🙂

Insurance is all good and what not, but what about the creative part??  Well, I am addicted to reading, crocheting, art and anything internet related.  I mean seriously, I try creating with any art supply except glitter (we all know its the herpes of the arts and crafts world).  However, I find myself trying to make my projects better and better before I will call them finished.  This is where the OCD part of the creatively OCD phrase comes in.  Even back when I was in 8th grade, my art teacher noticed it.  I try to prefect any piece of artwork I put out there.  never happy.  Also, I have a little bit of a hand washing OCD, makes for horribly dry skin.

Any way folks, I hope you stop by often.  I will try to report on the latest information I’m  learning in the world of insurance, the latest project I’m working on in the world of arts and crafts, and the latest OCD story to share.  This will be light hearted, entertaining and informative.