We all deal with it many times in our lifetime. Bad news, sad tidings, the gloom and doom of life. We are never prepared for it, no matter how carefully we plan the fulfillment of our dreams. On Monday, I received the news I had been dreading. As a result of a reduction in the work force, I have lost my management position. Demoted to a lower position with a significantly lower salary and status. Removed from the world of team building, problem solving, creativity and possiblilties that keeps me going in a tough field of work. Hard, now, to face my peers, whose jobs are safe. So sad to face employees that have been on this journey with me. Almost impossible to make it through a two hour meeting to carve up and distribute the team I have carefully built over the past five years. I am devastated. I am hurt. I am terrified. I am alone and on my own, facing a future I never imagined. I think I can't go on, hurting as I do.
But after I catch my breath, I look around. At my employee whose wife was laid off last month and he will be laid off soon. At the homeless person sitting next to his cart of belongings, wearing an oversized pirates hat with a bedraggled plume, soggy with the falling rain. At friends who have lost their battle with cancer. At working mothers who can't be there when their kids need them. At the many people you read about each day in the news that through no fault of their own, are visited by bad luck, bad karma, unfortunate events. And I know I must count my blessings, because it could be so much worse. No one asks for this. It is the randomness of life. Equal opportunity misfortune.
So I will look to what I have to be grateful for. I will have a salary, pay my mortgage, have health insurance. My dreams of travel and finding a way to become a full time artist may be delayed, but I will be looking for the next opportunity to make it come true. Life is not over yet. In a way, it is just another beginning, waiting for me to make the most of it. We never know what may come to us next. This may just be the best thing that has ever happened to me. I just don't know it yet.