The windows are open and I’m enjoying the breeze and the sound of the falling rain. That gentle, slow rain that is the best for growing things and soothing the soul. Soon I will get up from here and go do the responsible things an adult does such as tidying up the house, but not yet. Because I am listening.
I’m listening not only to the rain, but to the thoughts that are part of a lesson I am going through. One that I have been going through for the past two years and still have not fully come to grips with. I have heard it said that the lessons that take the longest, are the ones you will remember best. Maybe, or maybe I am being stubborn and a bit resentful. Even though, deep down, I am also grateful for this time.
Two years ago, I became unemployed from a job that I was weeks away from having held for thirty years. Mostly in the same position. I felt betrayed, and in all honesty, at times I still feel that way. Even though in truth, being removed from that job put in me the position where I was needed. Because I was told my job loss was due to Covid I would get the extra unemployment benefit. While I heard the outcry over how it wasn’t fair, I still took it, believing what I was told in that I would be called back. Which wasn’t true and now I know that was best. I did not seek another position because it became obvious how badly my parents needed me. We live next door to each other making it easy to be here for them. Not working, made it possible, to be here for them any time they needed me. I was in a position where I could, so I took early retirement. Social Security doesn’t go far, but it pays the bills and with my son’s help we have food in the house. We’re okay.
And yet, I still need to listen, I need to pay attention because even as I know how blessed I am to be able to do the things for my parents, money being so tight is a frustration. I look at things I would like to have, see others doing things I would like to do, but know that I simply can’t afford those things. I need to learn, am trying to learn full gratitude for what I have and acceptance of what I don’t need.
As I said, I don’t work and I don’t date so I don’t need a lot of dress up clothing. I only need functional and not a lot of that. If and when my situation changes, then I can worry about dressing nicer.
Fuel prices what they are, and how they continue to climb while my social security check remains the same means staying home or close to home. But it is here, where I find time to listen and learn.
My son has mostly moved from the house into his camper beside the house. Why not? It has most of what he needs and what he doesn’t he can just take a few steps into the house. It makes the house quieter. One can hear more, if they listen.
I understand that I’m being given lessons of gratitude. Knowing really deep down understanding, how blessed I am. I’m not homeless. I’m not hungry. I am not without what I need. I am not without transportation to get where I need to go. I am being taught to learn need over want. To learn gratitude for what I have over jealousy over what I do not.
My son works a day job and is gone for most of the day. My mother calls often, but there are long stretches when the phone is quiet. I am here alone with a few animals and my thoughts. It is during those times when the loneliness creeps in accompanied by sadness. I see people I know participating in events and having a grand time, but those events take money. Either for gas to get there, or donations, or for stops to eat. I watch what is posted on social media, I listen to shared comments on what happened and while happy for them, I cannot in all honesty deny the envy. But, it is just another lesson, just another test of learning. How to be fully happy for those who can, without the jealousy. Without the feeling of being left out.
I have come to the understanding that I don’t need a lot of things. I don’t have any desire to go on a cruise, or to Disney parks or many of the other expensive places. I don’t wear jewelry, so no need for diamonds or gold. I know, that I don’t need fancy, when simple will do. A walk in the woods, sitting by a stream, watching the stars at night. Okay, and the occasional nascar race.
I’m listening to the rain falling outside. As it falls it washes away impurities. It removes pollen from the air. It waters the plants. It is healing and relaxing. Even when the thunder rumbles, it is peaceful. A reminder that even in the calm, there are rumbles of disruption. It is up to us to learn how to handle what comes.
I know that the passage of time has lessened the betrayal and anger I have felt. It has given me the opportunity to see from a distance what I was enduring where I once worked. What all who worked and currently work there goes through. The stress that came with the job now gone. The frustrations of dealing with those who have agendas now gone. The passage of time has allowed me to see the gift becoming unemployed. I am learning and growing, as I listen.
Some of the interactions I have had in the past two years, and the lack of interactions, have given me an understanding that the most important relationship I can have, is the one with my Savior. When I really pay attention, when I listen, I can see the difference in my life. I can see where He has been with me, strengthened me, lifted me up from those moments of darkness. He has and continues to teach me gratitude. When I listen.
I am learning, those times when I feel apart, alone, forgotten. That I am not of this world. I am merely a sojourner traveling through. Sharing what I know of God’s love with those I pass along the way to my eternal home. Showing and sharing, with all who will listen.