Friday, July 24, 2009

Two Weeks Notice

I quit my job. Without having another one lined up. In one of the worst economies since the Great Depression. Scary!

It was not a rash decision to quit; rather, things had been steadily moving in this direction for the past couple months. Besides not being a right 'fit,' having a supervisor from hell, and being generally unhappy and stressed, the job was not too bad. I was just at a breaking point, and was feeling like I could not perform at the job at the level I needed to stay employed there. People at work have been supportive, and one girl actually followed suite today after hearing that I had resigned. People are fed up with the management, and if something doesn't change they're going to lose a lot more case managers.

I know a few things in my life right now, but there's a hell of a lot I am not sure about. Will I get another job? What does God have in store? Will I be broke? Will I be a good father, a good husband? What do I do if I get in a car accident? What about medical insurance?

Deep breath. Actually, I have been trying to use this technique, a la Jon Kabat-Zinn...focusing on the breath as stress-management. I heard once that looking at life in the way I have been looking at it--as one giant insurmountable obstacle--is like looking at all the food you have to consume in your lifetime in order to live and thinking you have to eat it all at once. If you saw this mountain of food and thought you had to eat it in one sitting, it would probably make you nauseaus. But "give us this day our DAILY bread." We eat one meal at a time, one bite at a time, and eventually, we get through all that food by the time we die, and even enjoy it along the way. I guess life is similar. It doesn't have to be figured out once and for all all at once in order to proceed. Uncertainty doesn't have to be strained out before one can be happy and content. And I know I am loved, by God, and by many people who care about me, and that goes a long way.

Sometimes sins are like those gophers at Chuck-E-Cheese you bop on the head, and they disappear into a hole and then pop up from another one. The sins of the flesh have not been much of an issue lately. My chief sins these days are laziness and lack of trust. Fear is not of God, and I have been consumed by it. I have been facing some pretty big decisions lately, and have been fighting my share of spiritual battles, many of which I am losing. I pray to St. Michael the Archangel for help. I meditate on the story of Peter walking on the water and then losing his nerve and having to be rescued.

The devil knows where we are weak, and attacks us there. He works on my fears--of uncertainty, of catastrophe, of lack of security--and churns them up in my head. It ebbs and flows, but when it flows it is like a tidal wave of fear that grips and refuses to be shaken off, like a dog clamped on the leg. Eventually it settles down. Being fearful is kind of embarassing. I look at myself in the past and all the stupid shit I have done and not even thought twice about it, and all the things I am fearful of now, and I wonder, is it just getting older? Have I lost a lot of nerve? Where did it go? But Rob is very excited for tomorrow...

1 comment:

Regina Terrae said...

Oh boy ... I can so relate, Rob. I'm unemployed, too, and fear is debilitating.

Sorry if this is rambling, but it's just what is happening in my life too.

Two things have helped: one, realizing that even though I thought months ago that I was about to crash and burn, in reality I still haven't missed a mortgage payment.... I've had to use my credit card, and I'm behind on the electric bill and taxes, but I'm not in imminent danger of winding up on the streets. I'm not quite sure how He's managing to do it, but my head is still above water. Next week I will meet with the foreclosure prevention nonprofit people and hopefully get either a refi, a deferral of a few months' payments, or both.

The other is realizing that stress is debilitating and just refusing to entertain it. I HAVE to move forward, there is no other choice. I can't live my fantasy life as a hermit up in Appalachia somewhere. Maybe when my pension starts, 13 years from now, but not in 2009. I have to find a way to support myself, despite my ADD and all my quirks and introversion. I can't sell the house, so moving somewhere cheaper isn't an option. The point is, if I MUST do this, then I CAN do it....

It really is a matter of trust in God. It's also about discernment. The fear and stress build up around whether I am doing the right things, and trying to figure out what I should do. The things I thought I should do have not worked out, either because they are a bad mismatch to my individual strengths and weaknesses, or just because the house wouldn't sell, or rent, or refi.... So I can finally let go of the stress of not doing them.

Now I'm working on starting my own business, as a personal chef (still looking for an hourly wage job in the meantime). I love to cook, I love good healthy food, but am far from being a trained chef, and I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur. But now I think I CAN, because the things I thought I SHOULD turned out to be wrong. And here I am, still afloat.

God bless you, brother.