Those of you who follow my blog, know I am at a crossroad, presently being unemployed. During this time I have been doing some contract work, and friends have called telling me about jobs out there they feel I would be a good fit for. I am so blessed for their support during this time. Yet I feel that this situation would be wasted if I did not take time to really reflect on what should be next, instead of immediately jumping back into what has been a sure thing and comfortable for the last 30 years. It may be that one moment in time to really start something new or explore things I have always wanted to try, but fear held me back. The fear of the unknown. The fear of failure. Fear of how I’d feel not making a regular financial contribution to the household.
RangerSir and I have had many discussions about the idea of a temporary job during this time. We have weighed the pros and cons. The pros won. Since that decision, I have spent time looking at the temporary and seasonal jobs out there. I have been researching the positions, companies and interviewing. The good news is I have secured a temporary seasonal job. It means that this job will have a beginning and an end. So there is no lock-in for this job if I hate it; I just have to last the season. If I like it I have just added something to my resume. It will use many of my skills I already have, but just as importantly it will require skills I don’t have. This will feed my need for life long learning. It is an entry-level, worker-bee job. It means I have a job to do, and I will be responsible for me and my performance, that is it. I can’t remember the last time this was true. It feels very good. It is a four-tens, so I will still have three days a week to enjoy summer. I will be on the road most of the time, again something I have not done for years, but exploring the back roads of Montana sounds fine for the summer. Finally it will supply me with a regular paycheck, that I discover I need.
I admit the whole prospect of this summer job is almost frightening because it is so far out of my comfort zone. It could be a colossal failure, in so many different ways. Yet I find I am really excited to do something different and not to just wonder but actually know what something completely different will feel like. It will provide me with the time and space to really think about what next, while making a financial contribution to household.
Not everyone gets this chance. Not everyone sees this chance when it happens to them. I was lucky in that I got the chance and recognized it it. Thanks to my friends, family and blog followers who have been there with words of encouragement during this time of great unrest. Now on to the next great adventure.
As I work through the changes I have thrown myself into it has been amazing and frightening all at the same time. This quote captures the essence of my life during this time of change.
I thought that life would immediately reveal itself to me and I would be clear where I was headed and I would quickly move in that direction. To quote a friend of mine “Was I smoking crack?” I am old enough and experienced enough to know that isn’t real life Some days I struggle with this change I have made to my life and other days I am riding forward in a new direction with self-assured with no reservations. I continue to move forward, full of questions, second guesses, wild discoveries and affirmations about who I am. It is easier and more difficult that I imagined, but now that I have stepped off the path I have no choice but to move forward and finish what I have started.
One of the things that multiple people have said to me multiple times that now I can sleep in and do nothing since I am no longer employed by someone else. Interesting thought, but not happening. First and foremost I am a creature of habit and routine. So in spite of this big change in my life there is so much I do that I have always done and will likely continue to do, but I am seeking something different.
For this creature it means that I get up each morning and almost universally am rocking and rolling each day by 7. It is my internal time clock. It is part of me. Regular time or daylight savings time each day at 7 bells each am I am getting up, no alarm required. I am a morning person it is part of my undeniable chemistry always has been and not likely to change.
Another piece of my make up is the need for some kind of control. It is that type A, analytical business analysis that I spent most of my life being speaking up here. To satisfy that need to plan and have some control I still use a planner. In my planner you will still find a to-do list, though I will freely admit it looks much different. No longer is full of things my employer needs from me. My day is no longer driven by the obligations I have as an employee. Instead it is full of ideas that pop in my head, people I want to call, appointments I need to make for myself or the animals, things I want to learn more about, places I have wanted to visit and other things that are on my personal wish list. Each morning over that first cup of tea I look at the list and decide what on my list I want to do today. Some days it is one thing and other days it is five things. It depends on if the weather calling my name to come out and play in an early spring day in Montana, or my creative muse is begging me to spend the day in my studio space, or a book on my reading list just became available at the library, or a million other things that can make that day just right for me.
So maybe my method has not changed, but what I am doing with my time has changed. Lets see what the changes bring into my life.
I am been working very hard to maintain a healthy life balance in the mist of some hard changes lately, all of it outside of my control. I have been seeking to focus on what is truly important and letting go of what is not. I am spending more time on that which is under my control and not wasting time on things I can not change. It hasn’t been without some push back by external forces and some feelings of guilt or not being enough on my part. Yet in spite of it I feel I am moving forward in a good way, toward good things. I have been reading lots of works by different folks, finding some inspiration, encouragement and jumping off points for reflection on life . Maya Angelou is often quoted and this particular quote is often broken down and quoted in smaller bits and pieces. Here is the complete quote I want to share it with you because it has always been one of my favorites, and really rings true right now for me.
“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou
This quote also reminds me that although at this moment if feels very much like it is all about me it isn’t. I can ” be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud“, another great quote from Maya Angelou.
I hope that if you need it, this quote provides some inspiration or support to you, if not hold on to that thought it might come in helpful some time in the future.