Thursday, March 20, 2014

This Life

May I vent?

Just a bit.

I was up for a project filling in for someone going on maternity leave but I just learned they offered it to someone else. A four-month paycheck would have been nice but no dice. I didn't even bother to tell my family.

My friend just called to tell me about some other jobs I might apply for and I heard myself telling her, "Maybe I'm not ready. Maybe I'm going to have to hurt a little bit more to get really motivated." But my severance runs out next week. Hurt is waiting in the wings.

Could be, too, that I'm hiding out from the disappointment. I was really kind of crushed when I got the email today that they'd offered the position to someone else. If I'm being honest, I imagined that someone else to be younger, slimmer, white. I imagined he or she was deemed to "fit in" better than the editor who interviewed me thought I might. They say people hire who the ones they want to go out and have cocktails with. I'm sure this is true.

I have a payday coming for the job I just completed, but after that, who knows? I'm trying to trust that I will be okay. The story I have long told myself is that this particular life—in this particular body, in this particular place, adjacent to these particular people—is not about the pain of having no money. I've been able to indulge myself with this story because even during those periods when there was very little coming in, there was enough. Enough to meet my most basic needs, if not my simple wants. Enough to help provide for our family. Enough.

It seemed to me therefore that this life of mine was about other lessons. The clues always have to do with pain. What aspects of my life have caused me the greatest measure of distress? Those were the signposts—things like body comfort, the physical body, learning to treat myself with compassion, learning to risk mind-bending, heart-exploding love for others knowing you have no control over what might come and how that might undo you.

These are lessons I am learning still. But now, money is starting to cause its own measure of concern. And that worries me because I have been known to declare to my husband, "If I don't worry about money, I won't have to," a superstition that always makes him shake his head dubiously as if to say, "Do you."

I feel like the girl at the dance who didn't get chosen, who stands in the corner making up the reasons why.

Okay, I guess that's enough of feeling sorry for myself.

Thanks for letting me share.


Here's what else happened today.

My husband called from work this morning. My son and I were home, as my son doesn't go to his coaching job till 2 pm. My husband asked if our son could come and get him at work; he was feeling dizzy and unwell. My son and I jumped in the car and went to collect him. His coworker walked him out to the car, because he was feeling very lightheaded.

On the way back home, my son asked him lots of questions about what he had eaten and what activities he had done and then told his dad that even though he had sworn off sugar for Lent, he should drink a glass of mango juice when we got home.

When we got home, our son took out his stethoscope and blood pressure cuff to check his dad's numbers. He said, "Okay, Pops, sit here. You didn't educate me for nothing." He wondered if maybe his dad's recent healthier eating and newly regular gym schedule might be having a positive effect on his usually high blood pressure, so that his blood pressure medication might now be too much. He instructed him to go and see his doctor so see if his meds need adjusting.

My husband drank the glass of juice our son handed him and did begin to feel steadier. He ate a protein lunch and now he is dozing in the chair right next to where I am sitting. Before he drifted off, he said, "You know, I called my son and when I put down the phone I wanted to say to my coworker, 'EMT is on his way,' but I didn't." There was pride in his voice. You could tell he felt taken care of by his son.

When I think about it this way, on balance, this is a good day.


  1. I talked to my Jessie earlier. She was upset about some stuff and she so rarely shows that- any sort of upset. And she cried a little and talked and at the end, she said, "Thanks for letting me vent."
    I said, "God gave us mouths so we could vent. We all have to do it."
    Which, you know- sounds flippant coming from old agnostic me but still- we ARE humans and as such, most of us need desperately to do it now and then at least. Or a lot, if they are like me.
    So you just vent all you want and your feelings and thoughts are probably fairly accurate.
    As to your son and your husband- isn't it a wonderful proudness we can feel when we see our children do what they have been trained and educated to do? When we realize that they are fully-realized in their aspirations and that yes, they can even take care of us sometimes?
    And I think your son's diagnosis sounds correct. His BP medication may indeed need adjusting.

  2. I don't know why I'm feeling so weepy but you and Ms Moon have both melted my little knotted up heart today and I feel all.....thingy.
    Hope all are well as this day slowly turns to evening on your end.
    Much love to you Dear Angella!

  3. Wow -- alot of things happening here today. I am going through incredible job turmoil right now, with many possibilities but also possible pitfalls in my path. My father is being pushed out of his job (he's 66) and is dealing with so many of these things too. I am here in the swirling madness with you.

    I would be disappointed too about the 4-month assignment. I don't blame you for that at all.

    You must be fit to bursting with pride for that son of yours. I am proud, and I don't even know him!

  4. Glad that your son was there.

  5. Thank you for venting. A wise friend once said to me, why are we always so scared of being without money when there are so many of us? But of course it is not that easy.
    I hope your man will feel better in no time, what a wonderful son you have!

  6. I'm sorry you didnt' get that temp job. I know how hard it is, how discouraging, so vent away. But you are not too old or too anything to work, you are just a victim of a crappy economy and a struggling industry. I hope things work out for you soon, those money worries are awful.

    Your son is wonderful, and I'm so glad your husband is ok and you are both in good hands.

  7. Angella, the job thing and the age thing. My son and I were discussing this just this morning as he drove me to the DOGNURSE. I've applied for over 700 jobs since my lay-off in July. And not a single bite not even a nibble. And the jobs that were mysteriously marked as 'cancelled' by my former company what the hell was that? Those jobs did not disappear. I did not put my age on my application but when they check your credit report they see it they see everything. It's ageism. Look at who is working these days. Drive by the shops and factories and lit restaurants and it's all young people. When I got laid off the 120 of us who got pink slips were all over 55 years old. That is no coincidence and we discussed it among ourselves and because we were bottom tier white collar workers with no union backing none of us had the money to sue or even question the company's decision. It's terrifying. I hear you with my whole heart. Just to have a few good days in a row in which we can float without worry wouldn't that be heaven?

  8. I am going back to work next week after being off for four months with depression so I really understand this! The anxiety just thinking about it is crippling at times. I have to keep reminding myself that the anxiety is going to be worse than the actual going back.

    You will get through this, Angella. My guess is that the anxiety in preparing to go back is going to be the worse part. You are strong , confident and intelligent and the Universe has something in place just for you. And when you settle in to wherever you are supposed to be it will go seamlessly. Until then, breathe.

  9. a nice balance indeed. But, in regards to your job search, i think it's important to consider what you really want to do--career wise (which may not be what you were used to doing). Do you want to just go through the motions just to find any job, or do you want to find one that doesn't seem like a job? Maybe your proposed obligation to find a job is getting in the way of what you should be doing instead.

  10. Oh, yes. I understand that reluctance-yet-eagerness for new job, and all the disappointments. And what a moment, for your son's father to feel such pride.

    Thanks for sharing. Again I feel you writing to my heart.

  11. I am so sorry about the job anxiety. I completely understand and I really hope something come thru, you deserve a good hand.
    And... So impressed by your son. Even more impressed by your family dynamics.
    Sending you hugs and love

  12. I'm so sorry, Angella. It is awful to be scared. There is a saying about depression--depression lies. I'm not suggesting you are depressed, but I do mean that a stressed mind, an overtaxed brain, can lie as well. You don't have to believe every thought that pops into your head. I find that in stressful times I need to focus on being as kind to myself as possible. Everybody out here is sending our good energy your way. Say all you want and need.

    You both deserve to be so proud of your son.