Trust The Process

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There’s nothing like a enormous, old-fashioned calamity to get my creative mojo in maximum overdrive.

Last month I experienced a big one.  I lost my job of 18 years.  Holy crap!  Don’t ask me about the details.  Trust me, you don’t want to know.

I took the news on the chin, packed up my office, drove home and crawled in bed.  Then I proceeded to cry, scream and freak out in more ways than I thought humanly possible. 

Fortunately, with the support of friends, family, wine and miscellaneous drugs, I avoided a trip to the crazy farm.

Still, I was left with quite a challenge.  How is a middle aged woman with lupus, who has an extremely photosensitive skin condition, chronic joint pain, increasing cognitive dysfunction, kidney damage, central nervous system deficits, anemia and minimal physical endurance going to find a well-paying job?  How is she going to find a job that allows her to be absent from work every three weeks so she can go to the hospital for day-long infusions?  How will she pay her bills and health insurance premium?

A life of crime had too many start-up costs.  And I didn’t want to cash in my vast fortune of inherited wealth.

Instead, I decided to trust the process.

Sometimes, you just have to rely on optimism that even if your life seems like it is going down the toilet, it probably won’t. Change is hard.  Life isn’t fair.  Having lupus sucks.  Being unemployed sucks even more.   However, I firmly believe there is a process that will keep me resilient and open to all these changes, as long as I have a little faith.

I’ve spent the last six weeks spinning a lot of plates.  I filed for unemployment and got my resume updated.  If I can find a job where I can work in incandescent light, take frequent breaks to rest, accommodate a zillion doctor appointments, be relatively stress free, and make enough money to afford increasing medical expenses … great.  But I also applied for disability because my health limitations are pretty crazy and aren’t going to miraculously evaporate any time soon.  Realizing I can actually qualify for disability is hard to accept.  My doctor had a great way of explaining my stress, health and work challenges and living with lupus.  She said “just because you can drive yourself to the office doesn’t mean you can actually do your job.”  Mind you, I haven’t turned into a full-fledged nut case but check out this work-related-stress site called Cubicle Freak Out.

Trusting the process involves realizing your limitations, emotionally and physically.  And I have an ever-growing list of both.

Trusting the process also means that if you’re lucky, people will help you get through the bad times, as well as celebrate with you when life is good.

Trusting the process helps prioritize what is truly important. And I’ve come to understand that it isn’t about where I live, or what I may or may not do for a living.  It isn’t how much material stuff I have accumulated or what kind of car I drive.

Trusting the process is realizing that my overall health is my biggest priority.  I want to live long enough to enjoy my family, friends and future grandchildren.

To that end,  I will soon be moving to another city and live with my sister.  I was eight years old when she was married and left home, so this will be a new adventure.   I’m grateful and looking forward to sharing her big house, her patio, her garden and most of all, her company.  I’m hoping to devote more creative time to blogging, photography and painting, making jewelry, cooking and helping my sister manage her home.  My sister is such a blessing!

Life is not a static experience.  One day I lost my job and before I know it, I’m starting over in a new city.  And once again, living with lupus has changed the quality of my life.

Trusting the process does make a difference.  Try it.

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10 responses »

  1. Wow, you’ve managed to turn it around and make it sound like an adventure! There is a part of me that hates change, but another part that loves the idea of it. More than once I’ve had things happen that I thought were the end of the world and then found something wonderful around the corner. I so hope this is how it all works out for you.

    Well, I have to admit that by the time I wrote this I was in a much better place emotionally. I spared the inbetween crazy part! However, I’m all for what’s round the bend and hope it will be great. 🙂

  2. Awesome post, but I’m sorry to hear of your inspiration. Change is never easy (not for me anyway), but it is almost always good.

    As I was reading, applying for disability kept coming to mind. I’m glad to hear you are looking into that option. Nothing wrong with that. I’d just on that in a heartbeat if I were in your shoes.

    Can’t wait to hear more about your move, job hunt, disability inquiries, new living situation, how you spend your time, and the resulting fantabulous posts. 😉

    Thanks! If nothing else, these new experiences will provide heaps of fodder for future posts.

  3. Sorry about the job loss but your future sounds lovely! So good of your sister to share her home and her life. It may be the best thing ever!

    Pip, pip, keep a stiff upper lip! ;p

    Jolly good advice 🙂 And yes, my sister is great!

  4. I’m gonna miss you… 😦
    but I hope for all the best for you! 🙂

    I’m going to miss you bunches. I hope your offer still stands, as I will be taking you up on it! xoxo

  5. Sometimes we need to trust the process Sue. It’s not easy, but we do need to trust.
    I hope all goes well for you, and keep us updated as you have the time…
    {{{hugs}}}

    Thanks sweetie. I know everything will work out. 🙂

  6. It is so great that you are able to keep such a positive attitude through a truly trying time! I hope the best for you as you move into a new phase of your life. It sounds like you have such great support around you!

    Thanks! I’m looking forward to Adventures In Cape Girardeau …. stay tuned! 🙂

  7. Oh, no. I just gasped out loud while reading this. I AM SO SORRY! While I don’t have Lupus, I have my bullcrap conditions and I can totally relate on a certain level to the extra challenges you are going to face while job hunting.

    If you lost your job to medical discrimination (and you don’t have to say if you did or not) let me tell you what I did – as it happened to me. I walked away and forgot about them (except I do honestly get mini nightmares about every 2 months). If I held on to the anger and grief, or filed a lawsuit, it would make me more sick. Don’t do it.

    I’m glad you sound good so far. It’s been over 8 months now, and I finally had an interview (2 technically) last week. The job has no benefits, and it’s part time. But it’s a perfect fit, and I’m looking at it realistically. I have time to go to appointments, and it’s less stress than what I had been doing. It’s better for my health and state of mind. I can’t let the stress of “What am I going to do, how am I going to pay my bills” get to me. Please take my (unsolicited) advice and do the same.

    Just be happy with your big sis and appreciate life. Relax, read books, do things for yourself. I know you can, you are a strong person! Email me anytime if you need to vent.

    Thankfully, the job loss wasn’t about medical discrimination. I remember reading about what you went through and am counting my blessings in that regard! I’m glad to hear you’re carefully going about the process of getting back to work … on YOUR terms. I hope to be able to do the same thing eventually. My sister is a godsend. I honestly think that my job was killing me. I feel I’m on the right path. Time will tell!

  8. You have no idea how much of an inspiration you are. I love that you are looking at this as an adventure and really, it truly is. Plus it is a means to getting to spend some quality time with your sister. I am looking forward to hearing more about your adventure and though I’m sorry that you lost a job because that can be a real blow, I know that each person’s purpose in life is much more than just a job. And just maybe you are needed elsewhere at this time. 🙂 Biggest of hugs to you!

    So good to hear from you Teeni! And you are very right … life is so much more than just a job. I think this move to Cape will really be a good fit not just for me, but also for my sister. Thanks 🙂

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