Posted by: Kate | November 16, 2008

An Attempt at Optimism

Losing my job means I can stop waffling about where to travel on Thanksgiving weekend.  The answer becomes, quite clearly, Nowhere.  Stay home, and save money.

It also means I won’t be working on the holiday, so if anyone is in the area and wants to join us for dinner, let me know.  I put on a good, traditional sort of spread.

Losing my job means no more staff meetings, and no more verbal abuse from a coworker whose anger is directed at the whole wide world but is willing to deflect it onto the head of anyone around him simply because they have the misfortune to breathe.

It means I am free to write a book about the work, the clients, and my experiences there.  It’s not exactly a get-rich-quick scheme, but I’ve thought of writing for a while, and I know I can create a compelling turn of phrase once in a while.

I will be able to act as a clear and immediate role model for my children.  I could wallow and ruminate and second-guess and vent and resent, but I’m trying instead to show them that it’s just a job.  We still have family and health and long-term plans.  We will still have Christmas.  I think it’s perfectly normal and important to let the kids see that I am upset, and that it’s even more important to show them how I handle myself when upset: both how I comport myself and how I work to solve the problem.

I’m sure there are other things.  I’m not a raging optimist by nature, but nor am I a rampant pessimist.  I could spend my time obsessing about the fact that we have almost certainly lost our chance to open a B&B within the next few years; getting that mortgage was going to be dependent on my employment history, which has suddenly stopped being consistent and reliable.  I could spend energy bemoaning the imminent loss of health insurance (for which a replacement is available through Willem’s school, but a decidedly sub-par replacement it is) and obsess about whether it would be more responsible and appropriate to cease and desist all efforts to conceive another baby until we have formed new long-term plans.  I could remind myself that it will be hard to find a replacement position, at all, and that it will be flat-out impossible to find something so close to home and with a schedule that allows me to stay home with my son two days a week.

I could dwell on all of those things, and lots more, because I have a strong mind and the ability to come up with endless new facets of a situation that need to be considered.

But I’m trying not to.  I’m trying to focus on that which I can control and on the ways in which my life could improve, because I have a responsibility to me family not to fall to pieces.

But, man, responsibility bites.


  1. oh yeh it does. I hate responsibility. My husband and I were “talking” about that yesterday (read: shouting loudly). If you want to come down here and fall to pieces in private, I have a very nice guest room, lots of pumpkin muffins and a big backyard. Not sure what the backyard has to do with it but, hey, it’s there….

  2. Yes indeed it does! When I was dealing with my sister and putting down her cat, I had this realization that I was at the point in life where I could not just call on mom to step in and fix everything. I had to deal with the adult mess and emotions on my own. Not that I have called on either of my parents for anything more than a little emotional support in the last 10 years, but every once in a while, I am confronted with the fact that I am an adult with responsibilities. And it sucks. There’s pretty much no going back.

    If I were closer, I’d love to come over for Thanksgiving. Instead, I’ll be dealing with my family. I love them all dearly, but I’m going to have to have a couple pre-dinner drinks to deal with my grandmother.

  3. Hey hadn’t been here in a few days, so sorry about your loss 😦

  4. Glass half full vs glass half empty and all that. Can’t you get another job? But you’re right to focus on the things you can control, the rest just happens!

  5. Writing a book would be so much fun!! Glad to see you are having a better day 😉

  6. I’m thinking of you.

  7. You know, I was thinking about you over the weekend and very quickly thought of book-writing (as if I should have any say-so in your future) … I love your writing and think you could create such a compelling work, using either your career/jobs as a basis or just random musings, a la this blog. But I think that whatever you do, you’re giving Jacob and Emily a wonderful gift by showing them your resiliance in dealing with life’s disappointing curveballs.

    And yes, I do realize that I’m breaking my blog/message board/internet hiatus for you … sorry, friends are more important. 🙂

  8. Add my voice to the chorus of “WRITE THAT BOOK” — I’ve thought it since the first post I ever read (21 Shirts). And sheesh, I link to you all the time — you can bet I’ll buy copies of any book you write to give to all my friends.

    Or don’t write it. Do whatever works. But selfishly, please keep blogging…

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