Today is really the first day that I've had the time to actually sit down and take stock of my life and my current situation. Yes, the idea behind today's blog has been percolating in my brain for a few days now but I lacked the time and the inclination to get it together. I had so many other ideas for the first ATG blog post, including one that I wanted to call 'Fallen, Not Broken'.
Two weeks ago, I did indeed feel 'fallen, but not broken'. I'm not sure if I really feel that way now. I'm pushing more towards seeing things through new eyes instead hence the current name of today's post. To get you up to speed, a couple of weeks ago I joined the not-so-exclusive club shared by many Americans called 'Unemployed'. (Yes, aside from doing this blog, I had a 'normal' job that basically paid the bills.)
My mindset about this is not negative. I don't hate my former place of employment and am very grateful for what I learned there, the experiences I had and the things I took from it, in particular the people. The employees are always such a big part of wherever I've worked and thanks to social media, we all can stay in touch and on occasion, spend some time together.
I think one thing that helped in this situation is that I somehow knew that the layoff was coming. And when it did, I was neither angry nor blindsided, as I'd been in past situations. I pretty much hit the ground running. I was prepared in a way that I hadn't been before while in the same situation years back.
It's not to say that I haven't felt the pull of sadness, wondering 'what if' and 'what could have been.' I think those ideas reside in all of us to some degree. A great word for this feeling is what I'd found on Facebook of all places.
(n) a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.
I have spent a good portion of the past two weeks thinking not only of my most recent job but the ones I've had before this one. The yearning I felt for those good memories was almost physical. I call it a 'pull'.
Luckily, I don't spend all my waking hours living in the past. I couldn't function if that was the case. An important thing that I focus on is that I need to give up the life I had to go for the life I want and this includes getting rid of preconceived notions about things and having a more open mindset. It seems that everything I thought I really wanted is ending up not really being that, if that makes any sense. I'm finding that I am pursuing new ideas, trying some on for size and when they don't fit, shedding them and moving on.
It's becoming easier to move on when something doesn't work for me. In the past, I used to dwell and beat myself up something fierce. Sometimes when things don't work out, it really has nothing to do with you personally, it just might not have been the right thing for you at that time.
I had lost my job five years ago from a company where I thought I'd retire from, I had been there nearly twenty years. I was completely blindsided and when it happened, my world dropped out from underneath me. It's been said how devastating job loss is for people and I believe it. At that time, I had skills in one industry but not enough to really take me where I wanted to go. At that time, I had no self worth at all as an employee. I didn't think I had much if anything to offer anyone. I would not want to live like that again.
Yet, I am unemployed but this time it is different. When it happened this time, I had a long talk with myself. I was not going to make the same mistakes I'd made in the past. Last time, I did not enjoy my life at all. I had felt as if I didn't deserve to because I felt like I was 'bad.' I felt defective. I took it very personally, even though the reason really had nothing to do with me. I wasn't as well-rounded then as I am now. I didn't have the resources for support then as I do now and I just felt beat up and it immobilized me to the point where fear ruled my world.
But, now? I'm not doing that. I am enjoying my life. I am not so attached to the outcome of things as I had been before. I've gotten away from the thinking that something needs to go a certain way to make me happy. Yes, I'd like things to go in a positive direction for my life but I feel that when one door closes, another opens. I'm learning to be happy now and not delay my happiness on some future event that may or may not ever happen. I think the concept I'm referring to is known as 'living in the present.'
Because I feel and think differently, things are happening now that are for my greater good. Even if the situation or thing is seen as negative, I can always learn from it and do better next time or choose differently. I find myself not worrying quite so much and just taking things one step at a time. For a one-time chronic worrier, this is big. Worry really serves no purpose at all. I used to think that if I worried about something in the future that when the thing happened, I'd have covered all the bases and would be okay. Yes, this is how a brain on worry works, at least mine did. Not a great way to live life. I'd found that I miss a lot of what's happening in the present when I'm worrying about something in the future.
I can't spend my life worrying. It is just a waste of time. There is nothing wrong with thinking things through but when it turns into over- thinking or worrying, then all is lost.
Another thing is keeping a positive outlook. I am not listening to the news like I used to. I'm not hitting any of the news websites. I'm consciously seeking out positive people, messages and mindsets. I'm also providing positive, uplifting messages and friendship towards a lot of my other unemployed friends as well as people that seem to need it now. I'm working very hard to see the good in the world as opposed to all the doom and gloom.
So having said all that, I am living an entirely different sort of life. I find myself doing a lot of things these past few weeks that I might have given a pass on before. I really don't know what's coming up and I'm going to keep my mind open to what it might turn out to be. I could say in all honesty, that living this 'entirely different sort of life' has been rather fun.