I started a blog about injustices, real and imagined, that I felt had been perpetrated against me and someone very dear to my heart. Both my sister and my attorney advised me not to publish it -- they said it was beneath me. My sister tried to charge me $80 for the advice. However, I'll start with the same beginning: when one door closes, another usually opens.
I tell my kids that everyone has problems in their lives; the difference is how we cope with them. We can do so with grace or spend our lives blaming others and tasting only bitterness. I know people in both categories, and I choose grace. I like the concept of divine grace: it's a gift to us, not something we've earned. Whether you call it grace or luck, I've been blessed in abundance. I'm a high-maintenance spouse and mother and sibling and friend, and yet my life overflows with unconditional love. I've also been blessed with a sense of humor; I crack myself up all the time.
People handle obstacles in different ways: the brightest immediately plan how to surmount them, follow through and continue muddling through life; others repeatedly hurl themselves at the obstacle with the same (wrong) results each time and whine about their bad luck; and the pitiful ones curl up in a fetal position and wait for problems to magically disappear.
I lost my job. So far my strategy for finding another has been whining to lots of people about the favors they owe me and padding my one-page resume to eight, including being a Rhodes scholar, all the awards I've never received, the Boards on which I've never served and the scholarly articles I've never written. If I had the money or need for whatever skills I possess (I haven't figured that out yet), I would certainly hire myself.
My horoscope lately has predicted that I'll make to-die-for lemonade from rotten lemons and how if I hadn't experienced a painful event, I wouldn't have the opportunity I'm about to have, which has yet to reveal itself. Those horoscope writers are deep. And although I'm not truly happy unless I'm anxious and worried about something -- anything -- I have been aware of the silver linings, the dark before the dawn and all those other clichés that never fail to make me want to hurl. (As I write this paragraph - seriously - I received a letter from from someone named E. Wright informing me that "they" are trying to reach me about my $1,100,000.00 prize. Sometimes you win.)
I lost a job I loved; however, I made a lifelong friend. Although only a few years older than I, my colleague often treats me like a daughter, including giving me lots of gifts, advice and unconditional support in my personal and professional life. I just cut a lot of sentimental stuff about her because it would make her gag. Like my mother and sisters, she always encourages me to take the high road, which is sometimes difficult for me. I'm that one who says, in the words of Alice Roosevelt "if you don't have something nice to say about someone, come and sit by me."
The timing for my job loss is serendipitous. My girls are too old for daycare and no way am I leaving them to their own devices all day. I'm going to be earth mother, although I'll wear better-looking shoes. My children's lives will be enriched and their futures assured because of this time I'm about to spend with them. Who needs a vacation when you're got mommy dearest hovering over you, making you clip coupons and hammering home the value of doing something because it's the right thing. And they never tire of me bursting into their rooms screaming "No wire coat hangers!"
The girls after one of my lectures about making good choices, not doing drugs and not having sex.
Until I find work, I can sponge off my husband, who depends on me for transportation and food and beer and can't really afford to piss me off right now. Plus he's crazy about me, even after 25 years. And I'll get an unemployment check -- I know it will be huge because I had a two-figure salary.
As I already mentioned, I have an amazing support system; not only my immediate family but my extended family (including many who are not related by blood -- you know who you are), friends, special emergency backup friends, acquaintances and my pups Sugar and Sweetie. I would be a basket case without all of you, and I thank you for your love and casseroles.
I'll close with a quote from another great woman, Bette Midler, "enough about me -- what do you think of me?" I think I'm going to be fine -- living well is the best revenge.