I lost my job due to the pandemic….and I am grateful.
Did I hear a few gasps? A few surprised “What? Why?” Let me explain.
When I was working, we were at times going through periods of ten hour or more days, five days a week, sometimes having to pull hours on Saturday as well. Product that had to be gotten out within a certain time frame. I was rising to an ugly alarm clock sounding at just before four in the morning and going until I collapsed in the bed at night. My time was fully consumed by work and household responsibilities. I was a walking zombie of a person. I would try to find time to spend with my son, I would make a couple of hours to spend with my mother on Sunday after lunch. But I was so beyond tired.
Then, I received a call I wasn’t expecting. I no longer had a job. I had been told I was essential on Thursday, on Friday I was told I was temporarily laid off, on Monday it was permanent. I was confused. I was shocked. I was lost. This job was all I knew. I had done this job for almost half my life. Cut adrift with no anchor, I had no idea what I was going to do next. I was told that when things picked up, I would be called back so I held onto that word.
I knew though that as I waited, I needed to stay busy. I was not one to just sit around. So I cleared my house and yard. I helped with my parent’s yard. Days, weeks, months passed and no call came. I finally realized that the call wasn’t going to come. I had to make a decision. I considered returning to work, but my mother freaked out. I then decided to go ahead and take early retirement.
There, is where the gratefulness comes in.
I have and continue to have time with my parents. When they call, I can simply walk next door to where they live and respond to needs. I can take mom where she needs or simply wants to go. I’m not fighting that tiredness like before. There is no hurry, no need to push, just walk and enjoy.
I have time to be with my now grown son. We sit and talk about nearly everything. He shares a lot of the things he deals with day to day or the things he finds online. He helps me with the things I can’t do on my own and he irritates the not so stray cats just because he can. And I wonder why they are still nervous, no, actually I don’t.
I have had time to write and to read. I have had time, energy and ability to create and work on this blog in a somewhat intelligent manner. I have books that teach and inspire me. I have time to rest.
I have time to enjoy my big back yard that blends in with the woods behind my home. I can sit and listen to the creatures of the woods and feel the peace they bring. I have a small store bought fire pit that I am once again ready to light and spend time sitting outside and just being.
I have found my balance. Somewhere along the way while working, I had set it aside and forgotten where. I had spent so much time trying to please others, I forgot me. I was neglecting, me. I had become such a yes person, that I don’t recall the last time I had told anyone no. I can do that now. But I can also say yes, without reservation when I know the reason is right.
I had spent so much time and energy working, that I had neglected myself, my family, my faith. I attended church, but the exhaustion made really fully being there difficult. Now I am fully involved and happier.
There is a lot I don’t have. There are limits now. But mostly, there is a grateful, peaceful, contentment now.