Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself
and know that everything in this life has a purpose.
There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.
~~Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross ,(1926-) US writer, founder of the hospice care movement
There have certainly been times that I've thought a curse had been thrown at me. My life seemed to crumble around me and I wanted to just give up, quit fighting what seemed to be an upstream swim. One of those times was just recently, and I'm not completely out of it yet.
I've mentioned the difficult things going on in my life in the last few months. It's the breakup of two of my daughters' marriages and the impending divorces with the ugliness that is sprouting and blossoming and choking, leading to the heartache of each of my girls. It is devastating to all of us when their husbands have been part of our family for 21 years and 16 years. It is really hard because I've loved these men, trusted them, and been so thankful that they came into the girls' lives. Now in the past weeks, I'm having to readjust my thinking. At times I've been close to hatred for the hurt they are each causing, and i have had to bring myself back from the precipice of anger to a saner center when I know I don't hate them, but I do hate what they are doing to the girls and to the family at large.
And while I was trying to give both girls a shoulder to lean against, and an ear to scream into, I was also struggling with my own personal issue of realizing my retirement is slipping away too fast and that I need to find a job. Yes, five years into my retirement, I'm looking for a job because I see that I won't be able to stay independent very long if I don't subsidize my retirement income. I've seen this coming for a while, but I covered my eyes and hummed "Na, na na na na," to avoid facing it. I just allowed myself to peek between my fingers when the girls began to fall apart.
For about four weeks, I simply shut down. I felt as if my life was literally coming apart at the seams, allowing my happy retirement to spill out across the ground. I did all the things that you hear about (or have experienced) including wailing "Why me?" and wondering what I'd done wrong to deserve this, and counting my good deeds as if that would set things right.
Then something changed. I'm not sure what it was. Maybe one day I'll be far enough out of all this to be objective and see what that trigger or turning point was. But for now I can't. But everything began to fall into recognizable form, allowing me to grasp it and begin to take control of it all. No I can't change what my girls are going through, but I can and did get off my befuddled butt and actually start looking for a job. I've interviewed at one and have dropped of my application at a couple others, and I feel in charge of my financial destiny again. But the best of it is that I also unbefuddled my butt on another level, also.
Several months ago I had an idea for a business venture that I was excited about. It is a clothing line, simple garments of natural fabrics that would travel well with easy care. But something happened, and I lost my momentum. I lost my confidence in myself, began doubting the project, became afraid of losing money .... and losing face. So I quit. The beginning steps I'd taken were stashed away and when I ran across sketches and patterns here at the house, I sorta looked away.
However, there was something in this recent crisis that stirred me to "go back to the drawing board." I've now taken some of the next steps, including realizing a name for the line. "Gentle Graces," Grace for my mother's name, my middle name, the name of my granddaughter and two great nieces; Gentle for the look of the clothing, soft and flowing. And you know what they say about naming puppies .... name them and they are yours! Well, it's kinda the same for clothing lines, I think!
I'll be taking a job, probably part time, to allow time to devote to the business. That will give me enough to live on while having some time and money to put into the business. I'm excited! I've ordered fabric samples. I'll be talking to a couple seamstresses soon to see what their services will cost. I can sew and I will make my prototypes, but I'm not a seamstress. If this is going to succeed, it needs to be professional workmanship. I'm also evaluating aspects, such as target market, local outlets (I already have a couple), etc. I'm not rushing, but I'm moving steadily forward.
So this is my blessing. It took a major upheaval (or three!) to get me off my static position, to quit feeling sorry for myself, and to get several balls rolling. I'm not easy! I'm not a pushover! I resist with all my might when something tries to make me do something that needs to be done! But as Kubler-Ross says, "There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from." Yeah, a swift kick has helped me to learn, and I'm so glad it came my way, although it was just awful for a while there. And even thought I have a huge blue bruise on my tush!
My girls are still hurting, but now I can be more effective for helping them, and they dont have to worry about me. That's something.
What is one of your blessings, a blessing that was a clear blessing or a blessing that you had to work through to see that it was not a mistake? If you think it is too long to write about in the comments, do it on your blog and leave a note here so we can follow.