Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Life is bittersweet. Maybe not for everyone but it has always been for me. I look for sweetness. The bitter just comes on its own. But perspective can sweeten the bitter. Yesterday I confronted my boss because I could tell by talking to one of my clients that a certain department I support was moving to Ohio. She confirmed it, and sort of confirmed that my work would move there, too. It is obnoxious that even confirmations are vague and indefinite but it was enough for me. It was my moment of truth. My job will go away.

I feel relieved, sad, excited, mad, and all kinds of stuff. I take my feelings as they come. I will be doing projects here for a while in addition to my regular job. I feel like the future is wide open. But sometimes I feel rejected, hurt and sad. I don't feel much fear. But it creeps in. Mostly when I try to sleep or think about buying stuff. We buy stuff all the time. I am going to get a list together of all the things we buy and start shopping less often. The less I go to stores, the better.

We went to the gym last night. It was great. Grandson was not having such a good night but he came. Daughter joined with her friend and they found out ALL the classes are included with the membership! I had no idea. There is yoga. Daughter is VERY excited. I am going to get into some classes. I am happy about this family gym membership. It is something we do together even though we each do our own thing. I have paid all our memberships for a year. So we know we can do it for a year anyway. Who knows what the future will bring. It's not that expensive and the value is immense. Physically, mentally and emotionally.

My weight is up and I am perplexed. I don't feel like I have been eating much but in reality I have not been paying attention. So I will pay attention today. My clothes fit, although some are snug. I have a wardrobe and I want to stay in it. I am going to stay within 5 to ten pounds of the weight I am now and not worry about it. I look fine. I feel pretty good. I am working on tone and cardio.

So more will be revealed but today we have the department meetings today that tell us what is to become And then a big one tomorrow with everyone so everyone will hear who else is getting sacked. Not names, just departments. But even these disclosures are not definite. It is torturous for people. They tell us the departments will go away but then there is this is only "if" the new deal is accepted by our customers. If the deal is not accepted then they don't know what they are going to do but they are still merging departments and moving a bunch of stuff to Ohio anyway. They have not thought it all through. There's no plan B. It sound like chaos. But I can do chaos. I know it well. I will keep my little nest calm in the storm and take care of my needs and the needs of my family no matter what.

There are many people who have been with this company for twenty years or more. It has been a great place to work. I look back on my own career and I see a great legacy. I have an outstanding record in my field. It feels good to do a resume. But my heart is tugging at my intellect and telling me I want to do something else now. The answers will come.

Here is what the Universe had to say this morning:

In both relationships and life, Cynthia, trust begets trust.
Generosity begets generosity.
Love begets love.
Be the spark, especially when it's dark.
Hubba, hubba - The Universe

To many (even me at times) this job situation seems very dark. So I want to be the spark. Always the spark. . .

PS - I am going to college in my final days of employment and taking advantage of tuition reimbursement!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Change is in the Air

Spring is coming. Even the bitter cold is temporary. If I look at the change through the eyes of spring it is exciting. At my job, change is coming. The end of an era. We don't know how it will all work out but we do know that there will be an end to what we know right now. If I look at it through the eyes of spring and cast all fear aside, it, too, can be interesting and exciting. We now freely discuss job openings amongst ourselves. We pass them around. People e-mail to each other through the company e-mail. If I see lawyer jobs, I pass them along. The lawyers send paralegal jobs to me. We are all in this together. No one has gotten notice yet but the writing is on the wall. Even if there is a chance of me being kept on I am not sure I want it. This morning on my way to work I had a feeling of peace when I thought of it coming to an end. I felt ready. More than ready.

I have been planning a strategy. More than one in fact. I have time and I don't have to make hasty decisions but I can examine all options. I can get out and interview for jobs even if I don't know if I want them, just to practice.....I have not been on an interview for maybe seven years. Wow. I used to love interviewing. I want to use this opportunity to explore other options, too. And I am still looking into taking a few classes before time runs out. So long as I am still employed here when the class begins, the company pays for it. On this bright sunny morning all of that seems exciting.

I must stay out of fear. I can look at reality and not be fearful. Life is change. The only constant is change. I have been burnt out on this job for a long time. In it for the money and the paid time off. So if the job changes that is a good thing. If the job goes away, I will get another and that will be a good thing.

The most important thing to me right now is taking care of our family needs and not letting the employment unrest have a negative impact on my life. In fact, I want it to have a positive impact. I made my doctor appointment yesterday and I took my grandson to a therapist which he needs. I also picked up some material on healthy family life from the school and was reading it with him. I want us to realize that we - me, daughter and grandson are a family. I want him to feel like his true home is with is. What needs we have for family relationships can be met at our home. This takes effort.

Last night I was in the kitchen in my special chair in front of the fire. I stayed down there at bedtime because the fire had not burned completely out. I dozed off and woke up when my grandson came down. He said he could not sleep and we talked a bit. He cried and talked about the dreams he'd been having and how he had been thinking of all the people in his life before the grandma died and he had to move. I talked a little and mostly listened. I told him that it was good to let ourselves feel our feelings even though they are sad, and to cry and let them go. I suggested some stuff he could do, read, watch a little TV, etc. and let him decide. I made him a sandwich and a glass of milk. He went to bed. I checked in a bit later and he was fast asleep surrounded with the pillows he took from his grandmother's bed the day she died. Feather pillows. Very cozy.

I am glad I was downstairs. I am glad he did not have to deal with his restlessness alone. I have been afraid I can't handle being there for him, that it is too much for me. But it is not. I don't have to have the answers. So much of life is just showing up. Or just being there already.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Better Already!

A quick trip to the gym made my mind feel better. I also found out that my brother is staying at a church - a shelter/long term residential place. He can stay there all the time and they have bible study, etc. which he likes to do. I am grateful for that. It put my mind at ease for today. While working out I thought about everyone in my life and how much I care about them. I also acknowledged that I am not responsible for them. I am responsible for taking care of me, though. And that means rest, eating right, not taking on too many commitments, having some fun, doing things I enjoy, getting exercise, and so on. So I am going to focus on that. I spent a good deal of quality time with daughter this weekend. Grandson went to a friend's for a couple of nights which was good for him. Overall I had a very nice weekend with much relaxation and rest. I overdid the food but I am back on track today. I am feeling better by the minute!

Today, I will take actions that appear appropriate. I will let go of the rest. I will strive for the balance between self-responsibility, responsibility to others, and letting go.
From "The Language of Letting Go"

Blue Monday

I had a downward dip in my mood. It started last week. It peaked over the weekend I think. The grand finale was seeing my brother (the mentally ill one) on Saturday night. My sister is trying to get him some help up here since living with my parents is not working out for him. She has a friend who is a social worker and they were with him all day Friday and again on Saturday, trying to find him a temporary place to live and getting him linked to somewhere he can get evaluated. I don't know details of what they have accomplished. As of Saturday night, though, he had nowhere to stay.

Seeing him made me feel very depressed. I don't even want to go into it all. I am trying to pull myself out of the downward spiral. I did not want to go to work. But I got out of bed, got ready and showed up. I want to go eat bagels but I am sipping green ginger tea instead. I want to go to the gym today. I have been keeping up with that habit and it makes me feel good. I feel kind of lost. All sorts of uncertainty. But I am finding things that give me a feeling of security, and I am clinging to them.

I don't want to add weight gain to the number of things to feel bad about. But it is still there. I was doing good and then we had a food fest. I shot up five pounds. So I will have to shoot back down. I refuse to live like that again. That's one thing I can do something about. I can't fix my brother but I can choose what I eat.

So I am going to change the small things I can and accept the reality of the things I can't.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just a little poetry from the middle of the night....

Long past lovely, when the world's asleep
In the shadow of midnight
I hide to weep
Let the waves wash over
and the feelings crest
So my heart can grieve
And my soul can rest

Monday, February 9, 2009

Skinnying Down

Last week was a monumental week. It began on Sunday evening when my mother told me that my father was sick and he had forgotten how to walk, could not swallow pills, and she could not move him. My father has Alzheimer's but he was also running a fever. His mental and bodily functions were impacted. We did not know if it would last. It was a shock on my mother who was not ready for such a drop in abilities. His inability to take pills was a medical emergency. She had called paramedics. They live two hours away from me. The paramedics said his vitals were good. She declined to have him transported to the hospital. It was his mind we were worried about. She nursed him through the night and he was able to take his pills in the morning.

I came down on Monday. I shopped for her and bought supplies for the elderly. Things we did not want to acknowledge she would need. I also bought supplies you'd buy for children, like liquid medicine for aches and fever, and for hydration. He took them well. I brought the kids. We all did little chores and anything we could to make my mom's life easier. I cleaned in my dad's room and gave him his "grape juice" - actually children's pedialyte. I spent time with him. I cleaned his room, I sat with him while he drank his juice. I showed him pictures of people he no longer remembers in words. But he liked it. He does not have to know who everyone is. My daughter said his mind may remember somewhere but not in the language we speak. He does not know what daughter means but he says I am his friend. That's good enough for me, maybe even better.

It was emotional. On the way down and the way back I cried. I had to tell the kids that I did not know what was going to happen. If Dad did not improve this could be the beginning of the end. It also could result in moving him into a nursing home - something we all dread. It lifted my mom's spirits to have us there. It lifted his as well. With the fever gone his functioning improved. He was walking and drinking and taking his pills. But he slept quite a bit. I drove them to the doctor. He had pneumonia but not very bad. We came home that night. I have not felt the same since. It was a huge reality.

Two days later we had the Big Meeting at work. All employees at this location. Some 150 plus people. We were told that there was a new plan. If it is approved it will mean entire departments will be eliminated, and then some departments will be moved away. Whatever remains here will be "skinnied down". In plain English it means job loss for most of the people. Possibly even me but maybe not. I am another story. We were told of severance pay and things related to losing your job. I have not felt the same since. It was another reality. The end of an era.

I am not freaked out about my job or lack thereof. There is time. The timeline of events gives me about 4 months before the end if there is an end. Plus I get at least 4 months of pay. So that's 8 month until the paycheck ends. I was asked about moving which is a good sign, but I am not moving now. I want to be near my parents. I did say I was open to staying on if I could remain in the same location. I'd love to work from home. As far as employment, endings are beginnings. But there's plenty of room to be nervous in today's jobless environment. When I see headlines about job loss I now feel a part of it.

In my department everyone is looking for a new job already. Some have been told they will lose theirs for sure. I have not been told that. But I will know more at the end of the month. I may be part of the skinnied down department that stays. My boss used the "skinnied down" description in our meeting. I like it.

I've been skinnying down for a while now. So it's time for more skinnying. Skinny down the budget to allow for more savings. Skinny down my commitments to make room for my parents and the most important stuff. Skinny down my thoughts to promote inner peace. Skinny down my priorities. I am all for the skinny down so long as I am not the fat that gets lost in the process.

Sort of takes my breath away to think of last week.

PS - I lost a pound.

More will be revealed.