The last couple of weeks have been strange, to say the least. We are working into a new routine around the house since Michael is now working two jobs and I am on pins and needles in regards to mine. Like many of our friends and acquaintances, I work in a place that is going through budget issues and, everyday, I go to work expecting to hear bad news. There seems to be no one who is untouched by what is going on, economically, around us. Several friends have had salaries or hours cut and many have lost their jobs. It's difficult to start over when you've been with a company for a long time or if you are not exactly a spring chicken anymore. In your twenties, it's pretty easy to jump from one job to another but in your forties and fifties, it's a little more unsettling. It also makes it tough to make big decisions when you don't know if you'll be able to pay the bills next month. Big purchases such as houses, cars or even vacation plans have been put on hold. Many of my friends, even the ones who are still working, are worried about how they will put their children through college even though college may be ten years away. I know that I am the eternal optimist. I am always looking for the good in every situation and it's hard to tell someone who is losing everything that something good will come out of this but it's already happening.
I am seeing many people re-evaluate their priorities. More of my friends are saying goodbye to living in debt and hello to simplifying their lives. Many are embracing creative talents that they didn't make time for; before this happened. Some are even starting new businesses.We are being pushed out of our comfort zones into new lives. Perhaps, lives that were only dreamed of before. As for me, I have started to write a book. or should I say several books. Now that I've opened my mind, ideas seem to keep coming so I have a few works in progress. Who knows if anything will ever come out of it but I'm enjoying the process. I am also trying to form a collective with some of my friends and acquaintance in the area. Some are poets, artists, musicians, writers and film makers. Separately, we seem to be struggling but, perhaps, together we can break through. If I had remained in my safe place, I might not have made the effort to get these great talents together.
As I write this and look out the window, we are transitioning into a new season. The sky is gray and bleak in one direction and blue in the other. There is snow around the edges of my lawn but the daffodils are still blooming. It seems that life is mimicking nature right now. After the snow is gone, there will be new growth and new life.The same will be true for us.