Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I Don't Have

I woke up this morning in a difficult place, still feeling the sting of disappointment from last week's job rejections.

I STILL don't have a job.

I started to follow the thought down the rabbit hole of grey thoughts, disillusionment and fear.  Then, I paused on the edge, and started thinking about the other things I don't have.

I don't have a broken leg.

I don't have a sick child.  (thank you, thank you!)

I don't have a hole in my roof, and there are no cracks in the house's foundation.

I don't have squirrels living in the eaves.

I don't have to say a prayer each time I turn the key when I get into the car. I'm pretty sure it will start. And if it doesn't, I have a good mechanic to fix it, AAA to tow it there, and friends who would help me get to where ever it was I wanted to go when I got into the car.

I don't have flood waters lapping at my door, and there have been no armed thugs lurking in the yard.

I don't have an appointment for a meeting with Trump on my calendar. (I can't think it would go well.)

There are no odd, suspicious smells arising from underneath my cabinets or anywhere in the basement.

I don't have any wasp stings.

Yes, I don't have a job. But there are so many other troubles I also don't have.

What I DO have is today, today is the only day I have, and I will choose how to spend it.

I will step back from the edge of the rabbit hole, and enjoy the thousand shades of green highlighted by the cloudy sky. I will take some baby steps in my job hunt. I will check off a few of the things on my long list of 'Things To Take Care Of Before The Wedding'.

And I will take a quick moment to send a prayer in the direction of the people who have more troubles than I.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Permission to Fail

I'm still spending my weekday mornings searching for my next job. It's turned into a routine. I scour the job sites, follow up on any actual possibilities, sigh when I find out, once again, I have not been chosen for the position.

This past week, my job search took off. Monday, it was business as usual - I found three or four jobs to apply to, one or two were promising enough to follow up on after the initial application. By Wednesday, I'd heard back from five, count them, five, different companies about viable openings - jobs that could actually come through.

One would think this is a good thing, and it is, but the multiple options threw me into a tizzy. Too many choices! What if I pick the wrong one? What if I blow all the interviews? What if none of them come through?

Somehow, in my head, these jobs turned into the last jobs I'd ever have a chance to get, and I had one last chance to choose and choose correctly, or the game would be irretrievably lost. I wasn't sleeping well; I blew one interview because my head was in the wrong place.  Arrgghhh!

Then, I took a deep breath, and gave myself permission to fail. I still wasn't glad to have blown the opportunity, but sometimes, I mess up. And that's OK. I'm not perfect. Sometimes, my head IS in the wrong place. All I can do is to stop, breathe, and resolve to do better next time.

Because there will be a next time. These jobs are not the last openings I will ever see which are a promising fit for my skills.

Permission to fail worked. For the next two phone screenings, I was able to show them my best self - the one who has the skills they're looking for to get their job done. For both screenings, I was asked to come back for an interview. And, if I hadn't been, it would have been OK. While these endless rejections feel personal, they're not. There's a person on the other end of the line who is looking for the right person to fit into their job as earnestly as I am looking to fit into it.

I still have my fingers crossed, hoping one of these two remaining positions will be "the one". (if you're keeping count: of the other two, one turned out to be an entry-level position, and wouldn't have been a good fit for me, and the other just disappeared, as some 80% of the openings do.)

If one comes through, I will be most pleased. There's a part of me that's good and ready to get back to work. If it doesn't, well, I have another screening interview lined up for later this week.

I will breathe, I will bring my best self to the table.
And one of these times, I will find the elusive right fit.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Other Mothers

As my thoughts turned to Mother's Day today, I kept reflecting on the other mothers.

Mothers who don't have legal custody of the children they are raising, yet love the children in their care as fiercely as any 'real' mother could.

Mothers who love their children enough to know they won't be able to give them what they need - who surrender them to another mother, and sunder forever their own hearts.

Mothers who choose to foster children from troubled homes. They take a child in and love them and hand over a piece of their hearts, knowing all the while that this precious child can and probably will leave their home - and take that piece of their hearts with them when they go.

Mothers who oh-so-desperately want to have a child, but cannot.

Mothers who carried a child who never drew breath.

Mothers who loved a child who died too soon.

Mothers who, after teaching other's children all day long, have no energy for their 'own' children - and so choose never to bear them.

Mothers who reach out to another mother's lost, broken children, giving them a solid example of love in a world gone crazy.

Mothers who have to say goodbye too soon - who death claims before they are allowed to see their beloved children grown.

I know at least one woman who embodies each of these other mothers. Their courage amazes me. Their ability to love beyond reason moves me to tears. They are my touchstones, my heroes. I hope I can be just like them when I grow up.

They are living examples of Good in our world.

Goddess Bless all the Other Mothers.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


 Monster, cat of boxes, blankets and bugs, is still learning how to trust.

He spent quite some time as a young cat in an apartment where he was physically cared for, but where his owner was hospitalized - so there was no one there to actually spend time with him and his mom. He wasn't abused, but had no time or reason to bond with the caregiver who took care of food, water and litter box.

When Joe first brought him here, he was much afraid and hid in the basement for days. We made sure there was food and water down there, and checked on him often, scouting the rafters for his telltale white ears. We'd reach up, let him smell our fingers, scratch his head between his ears, and let him be.

He's lived here now for almost three years, and is a much happier kitty. His fur is thicker, he's lost most of the excess weight he carried, and he no longer bolts from the room when someone new enters. And, when he purrs me to sleep (I'd keep him around for that if no other reason - when I lie down, he'll come next to me, place his paws on my arm, and purr for 15-20 minutes. The best sleep machine out there!), he no longer automatically jumps away if I so much as twitch a muscle. Sometimes, he just waits for me to resettle, then finds a new spot and begins to purr anew. I REALLY like those times.

This past winter, he decided that perhaps, just perhaps, he was a lap kitty. I'd see him watching the mis-named Angel as she curled up on my lap with an appraising eye. Then, one day as I was sitting at the table, up he hopped. It's taken some practice. Monster is a big cat, and takes a lot of room on a lap. Where she can gracefully balance along one thigh when my legs are crossed, he takes up the lap, the whole lap and there's no room for anything but cat on the lap. We've learned together that a cat sitting on a lap needs to be properly balanced and their weight must be kinda-sorta centered or said cat will slip off and ungracefully fall to the floor. (It still helps sometimes if I'll tuck one hand around his back to help him stay on.)

It's heartwarming. He'll climb on up, and start his deep purr, tucking his paws, closing his eyes until they're satisfied slits. He's king of the lap. Any books must be held to one side; no sharing the prime center-of-the-lap space for him. It's taken him a long time to come this far - and I feel privileged to be on the receiving end of both his trust and his purrs.

Healing is good.

P.S. I thought I should share a picture of the artistry of wastebasket, radio, and broom placement I spoke of last week.  It truly is an art form (and yes, they had to be placed just that way for the radio station to be clearly received):