Is it just me or do we all have our side blinders on these days and don’t take the time to look back at where we have been? I am guilty of this, so that is probably why God gave me the tools I needed to stop and rewind today. I don’t recall if I have told my blog followers yet, but I have been unemployed for 8 months now. I had worked at a desk job for a large company for 15 years and in August 2014, I was laid off. The terminology they used is “Reduction In Force” or RIF, but honestly it was my ticket out of jail. 🙂
So for the last 7 months I have enjoyed the luxury of living off of my separation packet from my old job. I have worked around the house, took naps, substituted at my kid’s school, took naps, finished Marie’s Story and took naps. Okay, by now you should have noticed that I am napping a lot!!! But hey, I needed and deserved it. I have worked ever since I graduated from college in 1992 and I was tired. Not to mention the fact that I have four children at home, so when I wasn’t clocked in at my paying job, I was at my family job. So yes, I have taken great advantage of my 7 month break from working.
However, all good things must come to an end. Things like separation packages that keep my bank account full, family insurance at a great rate and the luxury of not worrying about money. But now that my separation package has ended, I have to start on my plans. First I had planned on getting a similar desk job, but then I was bitten by the teaching bug. So now, at the age of 45, I am going back to college for a teaching degree.
Today was one of the first steps towards this new future. I had went to a job force company that works with the unemployment office. They help dislocated employees (that’s me), to get the training they need to get a new job. Today I spent some time listening to all the resources I have available to me. Then I had to create a résumé to show to my career counselor. Making that resume made me realize that I am a pretty smart cookie. If I wanted to, I could walk right back into a similar job like my last one. But I just don’t have the desire to.
I want to work with kids, mostly middle school kids. I want to feel like I have made a difference in this world. Like I have left my mark on this world, through helping kids succeed. I have to say that after reviewing my résumé, it occurred to me that I have not been giving myself enough credit. When you get laid off from work, it is easy to forget all you have accomplished. But God helped me stop and rewind my life a bit, to see how amazing I am.
But that is not all he did for me. He also got me connected to a woman named Kyley, that helped me fill out a Pell Grant loan to attend college. I have not enrolled in a college yet, but I am so much closer than I was yesterday. That is a great feeling. But God wasn’t done showing me the great things I have accomplished.
While I was working with Kyley, I ran into an old temp that helped me at my old company. We had lost contact with each other, so we had to get caught back up. She knew me when I was a mother of two kids. She had no idea that I had two more. She was in awe at how good I looked after being a mother of 4. She also was not surprised when I informed her that I was going to be a teacher.
When she was working with me at my old company, I had to train her to do my job before I went on medical leave. She had told me then that I was a great teacher. So she was not surprised to hear me say that I was going back to college to become a teacher. It sure was a good feeling to know that other people from my past had faith in my abilities. I enjoyed reminiscing with her and it got me thinking back. By the time I left there, I realized that I was pretty darn great. In fact, I think I left there with a much lighter step and with my shoulders held back a little taller. Because God gave me a chance to stop and rewind.
My mom had a favorite quote she used often, “You’ve come a long way baby!” Today I realized that I had come a long way. With everything; my career, my family and my personal issues. I have been so busy looking at all the things in front of me, that I haven’t had time to look at my past and be proud. I really have come a long way and I’m glad I realized it.
It makes me realize how important it is to be thankful for all the things that add up to your life. I am a different person because of the things I have experienced. I am much stronger now.