Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Keep on keeping on...and still go above and beyond

One of the phrases in Al-Anon (and AA, NA, etc.) is "Keep on keeping on" and that is what I'm doing today. I can only go forward, which means I continue to submit my resume to possible jobs, I follow up on opportunities still in progress or unknown yet, and I continue to network, search, and do whatever I can to "drum-up" opportunities. I've never experienced such a situation before where I've looked for work, even been interviewed for work, and still don't have work, but I guess there is a first time for everything and this is the time economically when trying to find work is difficult. The companies that are hiring have many potential employees to choose from and although I feel I'm a strong candidate, I have a lot of experience, I'm professional, smart, and learn quickly, I may not be "standing out"  as well as I should or could and that is what I have to work on. I need to find a way to highlight my strengths and show the employers why they should hire me over the others. And this is where I will apply the "go above and beyond." To another day of trying to shine!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Encouraging words...

This morning I woke up with the feeling somewhat depressed and dreading the day. I felt discouraged at facing the same-ole-same-ole that has permeated the past three months. Also, I will be losing phone service tonight at midnight and I was going to have to call my car loan company to let them know that unless a miracle came about, I would not be making partial payment on Monday as I had hoped. Not fun things to wake up to.

Finally, 15 or 20 minutes later, I got up and made some coffee and went back to my bedroom to have my morning time with God. While journaling, I acknowledged that I was having a very difficult time facing the day and wasn't sure if I could accomplish anything. Oftentimes, when I feel like there isn't anything I can do to accomplish anything worthwhile, I will remind myself of a saying I received from a friend of mine long ago. "Today, I'll focus on what I can do, not on what I can't do." So, I wrote down, "What can I do"? And proceeded to list five or six things that I thought I probably could manage to do and needed to do or might be helpful to someone else. Here are the six, now seven things, I felt capable of accomplishing in spite of the current emotions and situation.

  1. I can take care of the bank account verification and send it to DHS.
  2. I can follow up on Phill's brother James for Aunt Margaret.
  3. I can call Santander (my car loan company) and let them know I won't be able to make payment, but I am still wanting to keep the car and expect that by the first of September, I will be able to bring my account current.
  4. I can call Verizon and at least them know that I won't have the payment as expected, but I will pay my account as soon as possible.
  5. I can figure out food for Sabbath lunch (this is an easy one, thankfully!)
  6. I can call to check on prices of my prescription medicines so as to find out where I should have them filled (JD is helping me to get them filled).
  7. I can write a note to Christa (still haven't done this, but will before end of day to then send tomorrow).
Armed with a focus on what I can do, I set out to at least accomplish those things.

One of the first things I did was to go to the bank to get the verification form filled out. Deb, the bank representative who started helping me, and I began talking some about my situation and the difficulties I have been and am now experiencing due to my unemployment and denial of unemployment. We talked about what jobs are out there and she mentioned a couple of places that I might want to consider applying to, as they oftentimes are hiring. She was very nice and treated me with respect, in spite of my financial status, and as much as I'm down on banks and their insensitivity to people who are struggling financially, I have to say she at least improved my feelings about some of the bank's employees.

During our conversation, Deb mentioned that she had gone through a rough time and still struggles with the effect of her husband having a sudden heart attack 19 months ago at the age of 55. It was a devastating shock to her and her life, as she had only worked part-time before, and of course now she was having to fully support herself. We talked about how to get through the rough times and how we just have to continue and do what we can until things turn around. It was a blessing and an encouragement. It also made me cry my heart out to God after leaving the bank, telling Him how tired and scared I was. But, it helped me to once again accept where I am at this moment in time and trust that as I continue to focus each day on what I can do, eventually things will turn around for me and I will be a stronger person for having gone through these events.

Thanks, Deb, for the encouraging words and I pray that God will comfort you as you have encouraged me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thinking about the good things in life...

I was talking with a friend of mine today about my personal blog and some of her thoughts about it, since she had read some of it last night. She said," readers might learn that you battle depression." Ouch! That is true at times and it's kind of weird because I tend to write when I'm feeling depressed. In fact, it's one of the ways I process my feelings. That's not all bad, of course, but I just want to let my readers know that really, I'm not depressed all the time. I enjoy a lot of things in life and am grateful for all the blessings, friends, and family I have. And, I'm sorry if I've been a little depressing in my writing. I have been going through a very difficult time in my life, but there are a lot of positives too and I need to reflect on them more.

For example, today I went for a walk by the Kalamazoo River over in Plainwell at the Veteran's Memorial Park. It was a beautiful, sunny, not too hot and not too cold day and I wandered around, listening to flow of the river, taking pictures of the river and flowers in the park, and petting a friendly lab while talking with her owner. I should have taken a close-up of the dog, but didn't think about it until her and her owner were already gone, walking across the trestle bridge that spans the river. Here are a few of the photos I took while at the park.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Grieving today...

Yesterday and today I have felt such sadness and loneliness. It seems odd, like I'm not quite sure where it's coming from and what's causing it. Of course, there are several things I can think of that are adding to it, if not actually causing it.

For starters, Denyse, my close friend of eight plus years moved to Florida this past May. We didn't really spend much time together during the week, but on Sabbath after church my brother and I would just hang out with her and her husband and talk about anything and everything. I miss that! And then, my friend Chris and her husband Don who stayed with me over the winter, are down in Texas right now trying to take care of some of their scrap vehicles that had to be moved from where they were being stored. Chris and I text all the time, but it's not the same as having someone to talk with face-to-face and just hang out or go to the beach with. They will be back home in Michigan in another week or two, but I miss seeing them and hanging out with them. Also, FC, who I've been seeing since last December, didn't call at all to get together this weekend and I miss being with him and feeling like I almost have a boyfriend! :) And finally, Phill (or Chief Strongheart to me), my ex-boyfriend and lifetime love passed away July 10, from a diabetes-related, severe, staph infection and related strokes.

Even though Phill and I were only together officially from 1996-2001, unofficially together off-and-on from 2001-2006, and only at special times since 2006, our hearts connected when I was nine and he was ten and have been connected ever since until now. I miss knowing that someone knows me that well, knows my history, knew my parents, knew my family, knew my heart like he did. I miss his heart!

I guess the above is probably enough to make me feel deep sadness and loneliness today!

Chief Strongheart (tall, dark-haired Native American Indian) and me between two of his brothers, Tim and his wife Annie (left) and Sam (right). Taken at the dinner following his Mom's burial in Northport, Michigan, in July 2008.