What am I thankful for…

Since being laid off, it’s been challenging to maintain high spirits.  I wake up some days with such focus and determination, other days I wake up with doubt. 

I sprained my ankle while shopping for Thanksgiving ingredients.  I had previously “broken” the ankle about 10 years ago as a teenager (I use quotations because what I had was a severe sprain, but it went misdiagnosed by a podiatrist – who I later saw on America’s Most Wanted. Yep.)  I’ve been “babying” my ankle, as my boyfriend likes to call it.  The inability to work out and release some endorphins has undoubtedly resulted in slight depression.  Combined with the overeating of the recent holiday and birthday trip to New York, I’ve gained weight.. and I’m not happy about it. 

But as I promised myself, I have to at least try to be positive.  Effort does pay off here.  The string of bad luck serves a purpose, I’m sure.  In fact, it’s made me realize that I am so thankful for my health and the health of my family and friends.  On the job front, I’m thankful that I at least have some assistance.  I’m thankful for learning how to curb my expenses.

I’m also thankful that I’m fairly healthy… I have to remind people that my standard of health is what I am comfortable with. I hate when people say “you’re already skinny, what are you going to lose?”  Well, I can’t fit my clothes.. and I’m not about to buy a new wardrobe (with monopoly money).

This is me as I start my journey toward making healthier choices.

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My boyfriend and I watched Joe Cross’s Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead this past weekend.  I’m not fanatical about giving up all all carbohydrates.  However, we are ultimate carnivores, and this is our attempt to introduce more vegetables to our diet.  Eating healthy has no cons, so why not take it up?  It is the only thing that I can make for certain during this time in my life, and that is to take care of my health.

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Make Lemonade

Random Trivia:  The Japanese Drink, “Ramune” is actually intended to be read like “Lemonade”.  There is no “L” sound in the Japanese language, that’s why Ls and Rs are so often mixed up.  So next time you see “Ramune”, just think of Lemonade.

On that very off beat note, I recently came across the quote,

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything.”

It’s true, it’s those optimists who are able to make lemonade from lemons that survive the toughest times.

Yesterday’s church service presented the theme of perseverance.  The Father spoke about how during the most challenging times of our lives, whether it be due to time constraints, stress, we tend to give up our faith first.  We dwell in ourselves.  We abandon that which we have learned from.  It’s difficult to stay strong during these periods in your life, but it is important to always remember that in the end… all will be good.  So if it’s not good, don’t worry.  It’s not the end. 

The Cost of Living

In five to six years of my past career, I’ve seen my salary increase dramatically, nearly doubling from the time I started working. Since being laid off, I receive about $400 a week, which amounts to about $20,800 annually.  I’ve never in my life ever had so little to work with.  Oddly enough, I’m making it work.  I thought money would be tight, which it is… but I’m not struggling as much as I had anticipated.  Being on a rigid budget, I realize how wasteful I’ve been… particularly with groceries.  Although, I can’t just buy a brand new pair of shoes on the whim because I need to make sure I have enough to pay for my rent, car, etc., my life has been simpler.  That simplicity in itself has helped me figure out what’s important. 

During the last five years of my career, I became a person I didn’t like.  I put a lot of value into the materials that I could buy with my income and not nearly enough recognition of my family and friends. 

You have one life to live and what matters are the memories and experiences you create during your time.  It’s one thing to be passionate about your work, it’s another to know your passion.

At 26, I feel like I find a new passion every week.  I have to say it is a struggle not knowing what path to take.  What I do know that whatever my next step is, I need to make sure it’s a place that values me, vice versa. 

The way I see it is that I’ve worked so hard the last five years and have barely been able to experience anything.  In fact, about a year and half ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  I had come to dread waking up because it was not only physically painful, but so much mental preparation had to be done. The cost of working at a job that you dread and not having time to see your family because you’re depressed and want to hide out is irreversible.

The cost of living your life should be priceless.  I’m trying to live my life with purpose, even if it means taking one day at a time.  You should do whatever it takes to make you smile. 

Honeymoon Phase Is Over

The first two weeks after my layoff was (I hate to admit) great.  All this free time that I had to do daily chores like cooking, cleaning were now easily accomplished during the week.  The truth is, I was grateful to be away from that office… it had become so toxic and uninspiring.  I didn’t take my layoff personally then, but now after the initial first few weeks… it’s been a month, where I watch my boyfriend and everyone else get ready for work and I’m home without a purpose.  This “quiet” time, “down” time has really forced me to question what it is that I want to do with my life.

I know what I’ve been doing is not necessarily something I’d like to continue doing, which leaves me with very little guidance as to which steps and direction to take next.

I guess I am one of the hundreds of thousands of people that will admit, unemployment sucks.

One thing I do have to remind myself is to take one day at a time.  If you need to cry, cry. If you can smile, smile.

I got laid off. Now what?

About a week ago on Thursday September 12th, I joined the millions of unemployed people. I was laid off.

This is not a blog about the woes of being laid off.  Quite frankly, I feel grateful.  There are many others in much dire situations.  I do not have a mortgage, I do not have dependents.  I am fortunate.

This is a blog about the new opportunity I have been afforded.  How will I survive – or rather – how crafty will I become with my new budget?  What new things will I accomplish during this time?  This is a time of action.  A time that I will hopefully spend doing things I’ve always wanted.