What’s going on? Well, I’ve been out of work for about five months now. As you can imagine that has put a real crimp in the cash flow pipeline. Yes, I’m getting unemployment and yes, I’m actively looking for work and trying to make things happen. Despite all that, it is no walk in the park being unemployed; it wreaks havoc with your finances and, more importantly, your psychological state and self-confidence. Being out of work really chisels away at your feelings of self-worth and, sometimes, self-respect. I sometimes feel like I’m not contributing. That’s torture for a guy. Anyone who tells you otherwise is full of crap and hasn’t experienced the unemployment doldrums. Well things just got tighter financially and that put me in a tailspin.
I was very frustrated and, honestly, pissed at God. I felt that I should be further along after 8 years of recovery. I should have more money in the bank. I should be driving a better car than the one I am currently driving – at least one that is a model year within this millennium! My career should be cruising right along by now. Instead, I find my self pinching pennies, shopping the dented can aisle, worrying when my car is going to crap out and the like. It seemed like I was sliding backwards. Hell, at this point, being stuck in the mud was looking pretty darn appealing.
Quite the pity party, huh!
Yesterday my lovely wife pointed out that I’ve been miserable and it’s making life a bit difficult in the family. She reminds me of some of the good things that have happened in the past five months: finalizing the adoption of Kris; helping out with Peter while she recuperated from a broken arm; helping Kris adjust to life at home and at school; having the time to help Dad adjust to life as a widower. She also reminded me that this is not forever. Smart woman. (Thanks sweetie for the perspective check.)
Then this morning I read two pearls of wisdom that solidified my improving perspective. One was an email and the other was a blog post.
“Acceptance is kind of like ending a longstanding argument you’ve been having with the Universe.” I took a deep breath, exhaled and said to myself “It is what it is and this too shall pass.”
“Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver. My answer: pretty much anything I’d like.
It just might take a little longer than I expected.