Tag Archive | Worry

Bittersweet Life Events

Lots of things have taken place of late (since March).  All have been quite emotional and has taken me on quite the journey of soul-searching and learning.

Without notice, my employer laid several people off – and I was included in that group.  My supervisor called me while I was on vacation to break the news to me.  The layoffs were effective immediately.

I found myself having to work through quite a few emotions during that time.  I’ve been laid-off before…but this one hit me a little differently.  If you have read previous posts – you know that I’ve struggled to get back on my feet after the divorce.  I literally had nothing financially – I was living paycheck to paycheck.  The day that I got the call was also a payday.  And that was the day I had been working towards – I FINALLY got out of that dreadful financial hole and was looking forward to breathing a little easier – until I got the phone call, that is.

So, needless to say, it took the wind out of my sail – as the saying goes.  I was devastated.  I found myself starting to worry about what I was going to do.  I was also a tad bitter.  You see, I was the ONLY person in my entire department who was cross-trained in all other positions.  Therefore, it didn’t make sense that I was one of them to go.  I learned later that the decisions were strictly on a whim made by the owners who had no real clue as to who did what….rather they went with the good old ‘seniority’ excuse. Hmph!  I also have some other emotions tied up in this – but I choose not to dwell on them and therefore, I won’t bother with them here.

For the most part – I only allowed myself to ‘grieve’ my loss for 3 days.  No more.  No wallowing allowed.  I immediately started the process for filing for unemployment (which I have never done before) and job searching.  

I was given a small severance package of 4 weeks’ pay when I was laid off.  So – God took me on a journey of trust and faith.  Not knowing how long I might be unemployed – I didn’t want to take a chance of losing my home.  So I took the severance and was able to completely pay off my mortgage (no, the pay wasn’t that huge….I was just that close to being finished with the note).  That left just enough to get me through about a month if I was careful.

During this time, I completely kept my eyes on my Savior and trusted Him fully to take care of me and my son.  It was actually a very pleasant and healing time for me.  My health improved.  I relaxed for the first time in ages.  It was wonderful!

It all came to a close WAY to quickly for me!  But exactly to the day that I ran out of money (unemployment had not kicked in yet) – I started a new job – though the pay was considerably less than I was making in my previous job.  This is as I suspected – I was going to have to accept a lower paying job because they just aren’t paying around here anymore.  But  I’m so grateful that it all worked out.  I thank God for always taking good care of me/us!

I must admit though – I find myself feeling a little down from time to time.  Some people will not understand this next part – but it is how I feel. You see, I have always thought that I would marry and have a husband who took care of me and our family.  Again as you know if you have read other posts here – that has not worked out for me.  That still saddens me.  Don’t get me wrong – I am not a gold digger or anything.  But I sure didn’t think that I would be in the position that I am now, at my age, in having to take a job because of money and the need to make ends meet rather than because I love it.  And honestly…..I’m tired of being the one to carry that burden.  

Another emotional roller coaster I’ve been on lately – is the care of my son this summer.  I’ve always had him in an excellent childcare facility during the summer.  My daughter went there when she was young as well.  However, with all of the above-mentioned issues – I simply am not in a position to pay for the childcare this year.  My ex-husband is the type of person to cut costs no matter what – so I could not count on him to take up the slack.  He did however agree to keep our son this summer.  You see, he now owns his own computer repair business.

Under normal circumstances – this would be a perfect solution.  But – in reality what that means is that my dear 8 year old son will be sitting in front of a computer monitor day in and day out for 9+ hours each playing some pretty graphic military computer games (that I do not approve of).  There is no talking to the ex about this – been there, done that.  He won’t listen nor cooperate.

In addition to that, my daughter and her husband have made the decision to move out of town.  Initially, I was excited for them – believing that they have so many more opportunities there than here.  As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for my father living here – and my not wanting to leave him alone – I would probably live down that way too.

But now, with one week left to go before the big move, I am finding myself feeling lonely and sad already.  Yes, I know, I know….it’s to be expected.  As a matter of fact, I did the same thing when I was her age – except I moved out of state.  I remember my dad calling me once to ask me to call more often because my mom was down in the dumps all of the time.  I did.  And I made it about 5 years before I came back to Texas…to home.

And finally….though I do not ever want to complain about what God has provided….I find myself feeling down about my new job.  It seems that a majority of the people there are unhappy employees.  I have worked in that type of atmosphere before and don’t care to do it again.  It is too emotionally draining.  I keep telling myself that it is simply people struggling to adjust to growing pains of the company and to change.  But the longer I’m there….the harder it gets to keep saying that.  So I pray that God will lead me….that He will guide me in the direction I should go.

On a positive note though:

One:  It’s Memorial Day weekend!  Woohoo!  May God bless all of our military – those who protect us now and those who have protected us in the past.  Thank God for all who have served and died.

Two:  It has been raining for 3 days now!  We have been in drought conditions for a few years now – so this has been a great blessing!  They say we would need 18+ inches within the next 6 months to pull us out of the drought – which is doubtful……but hey, at least it’s a start!

Take care….see you next time!

It Has Been One of THOSE Days!

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We all have days that make you wonder if you shouldn’t go back home and start over……or go back to bed.  It seems like we had one like that today at work.

Monday.  Walk in and find that two offices have been flooded due to who-knows-what….some leaking pipes or something.  It ruined a few things in the payroll office.  There were guys here cleaning up the mess, setting up fans and looking to repair the mess.  Instantly, when you walk near the place, you smell the mildew/moisture – which is not a good thing for some of us (me included) who have allergies to such ‘aromas’.  Top that with the cleaning products that permeated the air – which triggered more problems for some very highly sensitive folks in the office.  All of that made for some pretty miserable people.

Add to that – our phone system was down.  Tech guys didn’t know why. They rigged up a phone that allowed the external calls to continue coming in – but they couldn’t be transferred or place on hold, etc.  Therefore the receptionists had to take messages and/or ask the caller to call the employee’s cell phone (company phones, not personal).  Can you spell S-T-R-E-S-S?

And finally – a dear, beloved man that our company has worked closely with for many, many years passed away this weekend.  His funeral was today.  Several folks are greatly saddened by this.

I must say though – everyone handled the chaotic morning better than some places I’ve worked before.  Everyone simply got to work doing what was necessary.  And ultimately it smoothed out by the end of the day – for the most part. 

Yes, it has been one of those days, for sure.

Then there is my friend.  She and I email back and forth to check in on each other from time to time.  She is ‘stressed’ she says.  I say she is depressed.  Either way, she doesn’t sound good.  I worry – no, I am concerned about her – because she tends to take on unnecessary burdens.  She is a people-pleaser and therefore she takes on too many things trying to ‘help’ others at the expense of her own well-being.  She means well.  She is a good person.  But she needs to stop doing that.

Most of our conversations consist of her looking to escape by moving somewhere else.  I’ve known her for over 20 years and she has always wanted to leave town.  She did once…for a while and then she came back.  But she still dreams of leaving.  I personally think she is looking for things to be ‘better’ in another place rather than facing what the real problem is in her life.  Do I know what her ‘problem’ is?  No.  That’s not my expertise – but it seems to me that she is looking to fill a huge void in her life with material things rather than with what she really needs.

I believe she has a lot of self-esteem issues.  I believe she needs a closer relationship with God – let Him fill that void.  But she’s not there yet.  She ‘searches’ by visiting different churches every week – but can’t seem to land anywhere. And she believes she is ‘good’ in this area – and honestly, who am I to judge?

I care deeply for her – and I’m concerned greatly.  I pray for her.  I don’t ‘worry’ because that is not of God – and I know that He knows better than I what she needs and what she needs to learn on her journey.  She and I have little in common – we don’t even know why or how we became friends actually.  We are both single moms – but her kids are grown.  I have one grown and one 7-year-old. So we don’t really hang out or do anything together.  We communicate by email and sometimes by phone and that’s it.

Since we don’t hang like best friends normally do – I choose my words carefully with her so as not to sound like I’m preaching.  After all, I’m on my own journey (hence the name of my blog).  But I do try my best to be encouraging and uplifting when I can.  But here’s the kicker…

I have to be careful so as not to be taken down the negativity road myself.  What I mean is – have you ever been around people who want to dwell in the negative all of the time!?  If you have, you know how draining that can be.  You know how it can ‘rub off’ on you if you aren’t careful.  Since I come by negativity very naturally myself – it takes real effort to keep myself from going there.  So when I find myself banging up against that wall with her – I try to be encouraging, she shoots it down, I try another angle, she finds something wrong with it too…I simply have to step back, and remind myself of the Truth.  And remember that He is in control and that it is not up to me to do or fix her situation. 

If God chooses to use me to be a testimony or something – that’s awesome!  But that doesn’t mean that I am to ‘do’ anything – because that is ME controlling the situation again – or trying to at least.  See how I must self-talk all of the time because I find myself chasing my own tail!?  LOL – don’t worry, I’m not crazy yet. Just traveling along on my journey with my best friend – God!

But I do have a tremendous need for my vacation to hurry up already!!!!  I can hardly wait – mountains, fresh air, fresh water…..ahhhhh!  Can you see it, feel it, smell it!?!?  I have included pics I took on my last vacation with this post – this will give you an idea.

 

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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Fear, Anxiety, Worry – Consumers of Joy

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Let me first say I’m not one to go around saying ‘God told me this’ or quoting scriptures to people.  But I have chosen to seek a closer relationship to God and I am learning (slowly) to quiet down and listen for God’s voice.  So, this is a bit about what I’m learning in that journey.

 
As many of you know, I’ve been through a lot over my lifetime.  And it’s been quite a rough ride over the past couple of years in many ways.  But I also want to praise God for walking through it with me and showing how to have peace and happiness along the way!

 
Today I listened to a message about fear, anxiety and worry.  While listening I felt like this was just for me.  I have been living under chronic stress for many years – of course that is another way of saying that I’ve been a worrier and anxious about way more things necessary.  It’s like it is my character – I’ve always been that way.  
 
I always felt that some of that was a good thing in that it made me a hard worker (fear of failure).  It made me to be sensitive to others’ feelings and situations (good until you take on their burdens).  It made me keep going no matter what came along (fear of failure again). That fear of failure is what has driven me in a lot of areas – even as far back as making good grades in school.
 
But, as we all know – life is full of trials and part of that includes failure – otherwise how do we learn?  But I couldn’t ever see it that way.  So, when something came along that I viewed as a failure, I spiraled into depression.  And that had been building for many, many years.
 
Along with that went my health.  I cannot even begin to tell you all of the ways that it has negatively impacted my health.  Many see that I am overweight and assume I’m lazy or that I eat too much.  But truth is, it is more directly related to my overall health and the inability to do much about it.  
 
When I was finally diagnosed a few years back with Fibromyalgia, I was somewhat relieved to be able to put a label on many of my unexplained symptoms.  However, I also started getting hard-headed and decided that there had to be a better way.  I refused to take prescription meds for my ‘condition’ – instead I started really paying attention to what was triggering the pain.
 
My progress has been slow – but through a lot of prayer – I believe God is leading me to the solution.  I am seeing positive outcomes with small changes and as long as I continue to speak with Him through prayer and tears, He is faithful to lead me to the next step.
 
Through this process I believe that all of this is directly related to what I have been calling chronic stress – but can now say it boils down even further to fear, anxiety and worry.  I believe that my chronic issues have greatly manifested to a point where it has taken my quality of life away.  It has contributed to failed marriage.  It has impacted my kids and my relationship with them.  It hinders friendships.  I could go on and on.
 
As this has become more and more clear to me I now know what I need to work on – right?  Well, sort of….  
 
You see, for many years, I knew what my problem was (to an extent) but tried to correct it on my own.  Wrong.  Can’t do it.  It’s temporary.  I have to keep reminding myself to rely on God….it’s not ‘habit’ for me because I am a survivor and part of that requires me to be in charge (Ha!) – so I’m still working on it, trust me!
 
So after working through my failed marriage and divorce.  After changing jobs from one that I invested everything I had into only to be betrayed by people who ‘claim’ to care about others to something much less stressful.  After working to straighten my finances up after the long, rough marriage.  I can now say I am on the right track!
 
I seldom have fibro pain – though I do find that it will flare right back up as strong as before when I let anxiety and worry creep back in.  My mind is clearer.  I have slightly improved energy.  I’m no longer depressed.  
 
Most recently, I was talking with God on the way to work.  I was telling him that I just knew there had to be more to life.  I know with every inch of me that He did not put us on this earth to be miserable.  I long to have energy and health to be on fire for Him.  I want to live the life He had planned for me.  So I asked Him to show me the way.  Show me how to get there, what He wanted me to do.  I asked Him to change me from the ‘inside out’ so I could be healthy and full of life.
 
From that moment on, I have seen changes in me like nothing before!  I have actually felt better physically – not that I’m ready to run a marathon – but more like I have energy at the end of the day to spend with my beautiful son.  I can concentrate more and I am now ready to do whatever it takes to keep progressing.  This is new for me folks.  Prior to this, if it required much energy or effort – it wasn’t going to happen.
 
I have many more things to say about things I have come to realize in the past few weeks – but I will save it for another post.  Bottom line is that I keep hearing over and over from various unrelated things/people etc that one must remove stress and anxiety from your life in order to maintain your health and quality of life.
 
As we have all heard this many, many times – we almost laugh when we hear it.  But really, when you stop to consider exactly what has it done for you or to you….it makes you pay attention.  And for me, because I was to the point that I just assumed I would always live my life unhappy and miserable.  I was about to accept it for my norm.
 
Not anymore!  I CHOOSE to be healthy and live!  I CHOOSE to make the changes now to have a better tomorrow!  I CHOOSE my friends and family over my ridiculous need to be in control of something that obviously was way out of control in my life!  I CHOOSE quality of life!
 
If you would like to hear one of the most important messages of your life click this link and choose ‘I Changed My Mind’ (Part 2).  http://www.tfc.org/sermons