Spring 2010. The second glorious week of the lovely May month has begun and all are anxious to celebrate it. Everyone is scrambling to get to kids birthday parties, Mothers Day outings and other various milestone occasions. The weather is seasonably beautiful- just right for hiking, biking, yard work or just plain ol' house-cleaning with the windows wide open. So what went wrong? How did this sunny dreamworld turn into a cloud of shit? And how did that cloud of shit turn into an epiphany? I'll tell you how.
Upon returning home from an enjoyable Mothers Day in Mystic-shopping with my mom- I received a horrible phone call. A very dear friend of mine had lost someone very close to him just hours earlier. I spent quite a while on the phone with the bearer of the tragic news and we expressed our sadness for our mutual and practically life-long friend. I truly couldn't fathom what he and his poor family would now have to endure. It seemed surreal and I could not get it off my mind. This feeling followed me into my sleep and materialized into several uncomfortable dreams. I woke up reminded and could not fully focus on my responsibilities. It wasn't as though I knew the deceased well- in fact I hadn't seen him in over 10 years. But we all grew up together. In our little school, in our little neighborhood. And he was always kind to me. My heart was heavy for my friend. Knowing what a sincere and good-hearted person he is just made it harder to accept that he was hurting and will be for quite some time. All I could do was express my sympathy and love. It is all anyone can do, really.
I went to work that day and kept to myself more so than usual. Headphones on, minimal conversation, mind focused half on work and half on my friend. And just seven short hours into the workday I was given the old heave-ho for the second year in a row. Laid off due to lack of work. I wasn't entirely shocked - although I was stunned that this would be my last day- my last HOUR in fact. I took the news easily, packed up my colorful desk decorations and after loading that crate into my car I was driving off into the sunset. Well, not really, it was only 5 o'clock so I guess I added that in for dramatic purposes. I wasn't upset. I wasn't pissed off. I didn't really feel sorry for myself. I couldn't compare my unfortunate situation to what my friend was going through. When you put things into perspective that way it is a LOT easier to deal with anything that comes at you. Sure my situation blows. And will certainly blow even harder if I am unable to collect unemployment insurance. We have a high mortgage, we have tons of bills, my car is starting to shit the bed, we aren't exactly living in the lap of luxury here - BUT we are living. We are happy, we are healthy and we have our friends and family near. What more can you really ask for?
Yes, I loved that job. Yes, this week has been a little on the difficult side. I am disappointed in the way that things worked out - for sure - but I have polished up my old outlook. And I feel almost guilty for attaining its shine through my friend's tragic circumstances. "It can always be worse" - just remember that every time you think you got a raw deal.
Someone else is always struggling harder. Keep that thought fresh.