Surprised by Calm


My partner has been unemployed for several months now…going on infinity. Or at least that’s how it feels from my supportive partner position.  It’s exhausting. I’m normally an upbeat optimistic sprite…the kind non-morning people hate waking up to each day before coffee. Or so I’m told.

Remaining positive in the midst of the looming depression, insecurity and fear that comes with endless application submissions, interviews ad nauseum and the waiting…waiting…waiting…days to weeks to months without closure or progress, takes a bit more effort than I am used to exerting. So far I have avoided that rabbit hole myself. That “what if” vortex that sucks me back to every time I have cried over a pile of bills on the kitchen table, with no means to pay them, wracking my brain for the umpteenth way I can rob Peter to pay Paul. It would be so easy to plunge into that uncertainty, angst and despair. I know it, because I’ve ridden that roller coaster before.  And I’ve been waiting for it…but in a startling development, even to me, I am surprisingly calm.

It’s as if I am in the midst of a final exam, spiritually speaking. The piper has come to collect on all my “live in the moment” aspirations. Sure I like to say I am practicing conscious moment to moment living. If you’ve known me long enough, you’ve probably heard me say it or read it in one of my flowery optimistic posts…Oy…I know it’s easy for me to say right? But the truth is, right here right now I am doing okay, even more, I know that I know everything will work out in the end.

How did this happen? I admit I am startled that I am not falling apart right about now. But I am encouraged by my progress.  I just may ace the test this time. I guess I’ve paid attention all those moments when Wisdom whispered into my ear, or when Experience, taskmaster that she is, took me through her impossible obstacle courses over and over and over again. It’s exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time, but each passing day I grow more and more confident.  And when I say “we got this”…  “you’ve got this” to my partner, I mean it with every ounce of my being. Even if sometimes I have to repeat it out loud to myself to make sure I’m hearing myself correctly.

Enter the dangling carrot bedazzled with glitter.  That job…THE job finally crossed our path – upwardly mobile, room for growth and a substantial pay increase. Every job hunter’s dream! We…I say we, but it is my partner who finally got that much anticipated call and entered into a dizzying series of interviews. The drama transpired over a month and a half, each interviewer extolling her virtues and passing her upstream to the next talking head. And in the meantime, another call for a job…not spectacular, but not horrible, not a step back, but meh…and the ensuing course of even more interviews. The moment of truth has been approaching for both opportunities. And I admit we both allowed ourselves to dream a little, to toss around the idea of a more comfortable life and the ability to tuck a bit away for that retirement I had just assumed was out of our reach.

When the call finally came, it was stunning. The last interviewer for THAT job lowered the ax…thanks but no thanks.  Even the bearer of this outcome, a friendly HR person, was shocked and dismayed by the verdict and offered another option within the company, a traveling position with an even higher compensation package so as not to lose what she considered a tremendously qualified candidate. Travel…extensive travel…more pay…extensive travel…no home life…churn…

As for that other job…what had become the lesser than, but adequate backup job. That process seems to be moving forward. Background and reference checks are checked…offer expected most assuredly in a few days. And another surprise…even another test? Perhaps, the most important test of all. A good night’s sleep and the new day sealed my resolve. How quickly THE job turned into just a job. Because there are a few things worth considering…important things. Clarity…the true gift of each moment, is a beautiful thing!

This morning I told my partner that having her around is more important than having…stuff. Of course, all this has confirmed what I already knew. It’s all going to work out in the end. It always has and always will. Riding the wave has been quite a thrill and I’ve learned I can let go, and to savor each precious moment when it happens. So with a smile and a nod and an “atta girl”…after she’s had her coffee…I think my partner is starting to believe it too. And at this very moment we are both fine…yes fine indeed!

P.S. We got a wonderful offer late last week! Filled are we with happy anticipation as we turn the page and begin the next chapter!

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