This phase of unemployment is difficult. It is hard to search deep down and try to identify who and what you are. I know I'm a good person, wife, daughter, mom, aunt, grandmother and friend. Part of a person's identity is what they do for a living. I was a student, office clerk, secretary, lab assistant, computer consultant. I'm none of these now. So what do I want to be?
I've had this opportunity to re-define part of my identity and I'm not sure quite how to go about it. Several years ago when Ali was in 11th grade, I took in one of her best friends for 9 months while caring for Terry's mom. There were a lot of challenges, yet rewards as well. When Ali was in grade/middle school I would take kids from my Sunday school class home for a meal and a chance to get out of some pretty tough neighborhoods (streets that are frequently in the news because of drive by shootings). On more than 1 occasion things I took for granted where beyond their comprehension. Such as, 1 girl asked why I had 2 ovens. It was my dishwasher. She had not seen one in a kitchen before. Another walked in my house and asked who lived upstairs....it was where our bedrooms where. They all INHALED whatever I put in front of them. I ran into one of these kids 2 years ago and she gave me a BIG hug and was so happy to see me. She was barely 19 and pregnant, dad not around, but neither was hers.
Terry and I discussed way back then that we would like to be foster parents "someday". The conversation has popped up again and again over the years. It has been discussed quite a bit in these past few months. How can we make this work? What are the risks, what will it cost (in time, $$ and personal compromises). There is NO way Social Services compensation makes this a profitable endeavor. How can we make this work.
It has been suggested that I be a nail technician (by my hairdresser), a doula, nurse, medical aid, administrative assistant, sales, and caterer. The common thread in all these career paths is I am a person who is drawn to the caring of people. It is who I am. It is where I find "doing" what is natural to me. I'm not sure where to start; even to the point of which of these paths to pursue. I feel like a deer in headlights.
I have enjoyed going to Pulaski every Monday afternoon to babysit my grand-daughter while Wendy taught 1st Communion class with Ben and Josh. I never had this much time off EVER and it has been such a gift to comfort and play with Grace. I go up there about 2 hours ahead of time which gives me time with Wendy. This has also been quite a gift as we've had time to talk one-on-one. First Communion and Grace's baptism was yesterday.
Not that I need an excuse to go up there, but it was a reason. That is what I'm missing being unemployed, a reason to do something - today, for it can always be done tomorrow. I have enjoyed just being home. I also miss not being in touch with other people, so I need to move on from this freeze frame.
While I've been sort of looking for a job, Terry gets a call from a former employer (17 years ago) and wants to talk with him about a job. Long story short, he is switching jobs. The salesman at this place is retiring and the other can no longer be on the road due to health issues. The only name that came up from customers and the 2 salesmen is Terry's. He wasn't even looking and he got a better job! He is already so much more relaxed. After 40 years of being on the road and to be put inside doing counter work was killing him, literally. Time clocks are not his thing. He also said that when he's on the road, he gets to choose who he talks with. Inside on the phones and the counter you get every type of lunatic all-day-long. There is no escape. Another thought we're tossing around is whether to sell our place and move to Oswego County near Wendy/Patrick and the kids. How do we make that work?
So as not to drag out this saga any longer, we are going on vacation to Virginia this Wednesday. Alison is joining us. We will be staying at Terry's sister's home, right on the York River. Private beach and dock. Being near the water always centers me. Eating seafood & wine is also very nice. Being with family is especially important as well. It will give Terry and I time to talk about our options away from here. At the end of the day is not the time to really discuss what lies ahead. He is so wiped out by then.
I will let you know what we've decided on when we get back May 21st. I will also be meeting with some professionals to discuss a path that is healthy for me and my family.
6 months ago