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Our jobs failed us
Fear is not a factor
In life you must recognize that obstacles exist and accept that it is ok to detour and take an unlikely path. Understand that life does not come with certainty. There is always the possibility of failure. The most challenging part of setting a tone and course for your life is to accept that you might not always fulfill your purpose. Sometimes to experience joy, you must re-frame your expectations. By examining your own thoughts and feelings through introspection, you realize new goals can be set and fueled by this insight you are no longer led by a calling that exists in an alternate reality. Your ambitious nature takes root.
A few years ago, my husband and I were living an ideal life. We owned a home, managed the day to day affairs of raising a family with a sufficient income. We wanted for nothing. At the end of the month, our bills were always paid on time and we enjoyed life. We spent our money in such a way as to take advantage of life’s little pleasures. There were shopping outings with the family and mini vacations to name a few. We could do anything we wanted because we managed our resources. We had savings and 401K plans like most Americans. We did not live pay check to pay check. As with most good things, they end.
The end, for me, came abruptly. It started with an email to see my boss in his office. He solemnly advised me that he did not want to give me false hope. My term position, iin all likelihood, would not be renewed. For me, this was the unimaginable. I was just bestowed the honor of employee of the year a month prior for my organization. I was still riding the coattails of my success. And in my mind, bad things are not supposed to happen to good people. I learned that day…they do. Two months later I was given a plaque and a farewell party. With tears, I said my goodbyes. The end, for my husband, would be a simple matter of timing.
I've learned the hard way that there is no way to avoid the perils of uncertainty. A few weeks into the start of my new adventure in unemployment, my husband came home with some news of his own. Like me, his term position was not to be renewed. After five years with his company it would end with him being released from employment by the end of the month. No farewell party for him, but a small severance check.
So here is where I learned, “We can undertake any action, we and this action, not the fear, will create our future.” I smiled and held back tears as I attempted to support my husband in the same manner as he did me. This did not mean that I stood strong in the absence of fear. No, this just meant that at that moment I stood, silently sobbing, in the midst of it. My mind firmly planted in a new state of concern and my heart filled with turmoil. As for my husband, he had already decided that he would not be plagued with worries. We would use his severance check to take one final family vacation; perhaps our last.
My husband’s reassurance that we would not feel the sting of this misfortune; was the turning point for me. I was able to negate my overwhelming fear of doomsday and see it as a stroke of bad luck. This was a mere stumbling block in our lives. We had fallen, victims of a downed economy, but we could play the roles of victims or hero and heroine.
I will not bore you with all of the trivial details of what happened next, but understand that in this time frame of upheaval we learned a lot. Mainly we learned about ourselves and how stressors impact relationships. We developed a mutual understanding that informing others of the gravity of our situation was not necessary. Our bond strengthened as we became more united and fixated on keeping our family afloat. We sustained a positive outlook and developed a mission statement for ourselves. To put it simply, we were on a path to defeat fear. Fears, when faced alone, are always worse and at this time in our lives we clung closely to one another for support.
We learned to react differently to fear and renew our spiritual lives. I embraced my lack of employment. I used this time to reconnect with others by volunteering. My husband used this time to research different career paths and embark on a course of study that would be the beginning of our new future. We devoted more time to prayer and attempting to understand God’s word every day. We confidently relied on God to sustain us; to rebuild our finances and to give us prospects. We learned to cope, endure and have faith. We learned to rely on our skills. We began cooking instead of eating out. We began to budget every bit of money we had. Trips to the mall became trips to the thrift stores. Designer bottles of perfume, watches, clothes and handbags were replaced by gifts from the heart on our anniversary and birthdays. We began to enjoy all of the free events our community held. We did away with cable and paid a minimal fee to stream shows. We made a lot of concessions, but we realized that we were still rich. Our memory bank was full of good times because we chose to experience joy through it all.
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