Yes, I will seriously date myself with this post, but here I go anyway. In the last few months I have been concerned primarily with completely re-starting my personal career. The need to do this was predicated by the traumatic loss of my previous career of 27 years with Wells Fargo Bank in 2015.
The loss of my job and my livelihood was unexpected and complicated and unfair. I spent an entire year struggling to keep a career I had built over my entire adult life and that provided the income needed to take care my family. It has been an
unfortunate roller coaster ride that crippled me and my family financially and emotionally.
Many friends and loved ones sent their good wishes and words of encouragement to me during the year and they were greatly appreciated. One of the messages I received repeatedly was “One day you will look back on this experience and laugh because it was all for the best.” Okay, so currently, I am about halfway there. I am laughing at the situation because #1, it feels better than the alternative and B, it makes me feel stronger and braver as I move ahead into new territory. Make no mistake, the loss of my job and all that came with it in 2015, broke me into irreparable pieces emotionally. Pieces too small to put back together in the end, so I had to build something new to be able to walk away. But also, in the end, I have always been able to find the humor in most everything that happens to me. I refuse to let that part of me be lost too.
So yes, I am old enough to say I watched The Brady Bunch on TV when they were not reruns. If you don’t know anything about the Brady Bunch, I am sorry for you and you will have to Google it. For everyone else, remember the one where the boys were told, “Don’t play ball in the house” and they did anyway? And then what happened? Yep, they broke the lamp in the living room. That is me! I am the broken lamp! See, if they had done the right thing in the first place, the way they had been trained to do, it never would have happened. But instead they did exactly what they wanted to and CRASH! Broken lamp, broken me!
I was as broken as that damn lamp when I lost my job. I did not see it coming and was stunned when it did because everyone knows that Mom always says, “Don’t play ball in the house!” Because I knew the rules and I followed them. But then, do you remember what those boys did after they broke the lamp? Did they come clean and tell the truth? NO! They tried to glue the freaking lamp back together so no one would know and put it right back where it was and acted like nothing happened.
Like I said before, that is exactly what happened to me! There I was broken to pieces, and suddenly I had to put myself back together and go right back to where I was at Wells Fargo and act like nothing had happened. But no one came clean, and no one told the truth…except me. And just like me the Brady Bunch lamp ended up telling the truth, because in the end, the covered up, and glued together version gave way and fell apart. Now here is where I was different than the lamp, I held up, I was strong…until I was hit again. More ball in the house! And this time, I was smashed into pieces that could not be put together again.
But I fell apart where no one could see. So at Wells Fargo, they are still playing ball, in the house no less. It took several weeks to realize that I was the Brady Bunch lamp. But where those boys had to come clean and tell the truth, Wells Fargo and those that played a part, still refuse to do so. But Karma is a constant watch man and as I have been told many times, “the truth will always out and you will reap as you sow.” Take it from the Brady Bunch Lamp.
That said, I had to rebuild and create a new life for myself and my kids. Because just like that stupid lamp, they look to me to light the way. As their mother, I want to be an example of strength, integrity and resiliency for them. I want them to know that we can weather any storm, especially when we take the high road. It starts with changing your mind and letting go of the past to start over again. So I did.
It is the hardest work I have ever done both physically and emotionally. I see a therapist for both. The good news is that I find myself happy and under so much less stress than before. My health has improved as well. The bad news is that financially, progress is slow. When you start over you start at the bottom and work your way up. Trust me, I have done it before and I pray I can do it again now.
The fact is I am not 22 or even 32 this time around. I am 50 next month and believe me, I feel every single minute of my age. I am putting in 9 to 15 hour days on my feet in the kitchens. Training to become a chef, and actually being a chef are two very different things. I come home and flop into bed with the jimmy legs and already half asleep. I wake up the next morning with nothing short of rigor mortis setting in. I crack and limp my way around like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. But this is the path ahead. I am committed to see it through.
Life rolls on, you see. It is full of unexpected joys and sorrows. Your current situation can change in a moment. You have be willing, if not ready, to roll with it or you will be left broken on the side of the road. Don’t let anyone put your light out, be brave and take the high road…and please, don’t play ball in the house.
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