I think it’s important to find the silver lining in every gray cloud we encounter in our lives. It is too easy to dwell upon sad or even tragic events in our lives and then become depressed at best and a non-functional at worst.
My husband has lost two childhood friends this year and one other person who wasn’t quite a friend, but he was more than just an acquaintance. Death may be a natural part of life, but no one likes to think about it. However, when three people in your immediate life have all made their transition in such a short period of time, it does make one take stock of their own life or at least it should.
In my husband’s case, I think these deaths have made him a little more aware of his mortality. It certainly has mad me more aware of both his and mine. In my case, it has reminded me that every day should be a “special” day because none of us are guaranteed a tomorrow.
My husband, on the other hand, has become more cognizant of little things like phone calls to friends. He’s noticed that lately when he speaks to a friend they tend to say something like, “Oh, I’ve been thinking about you…” Really? Then why didn’t you pick up the phone and call me?
I’m veering off on a tangent, so back to finding the silver lining in every gray cloud. I don’t think anything happens by chance. We are all where we are in life (or not where we want to be in life) because of previous choices we’ve made up to this point.
In my husband’s case, these passings have spurred him into action to do things he’s either been putting off or felt he’d get around to “later.” Some of these things are small things and others are bigger things.
In my case, these deaths have served to remind me, yet again, that life is short. I don’t care how long you live, in the grand scheme of time, life is fleeting. So, it’s important to do what makes you HAPPY. This means doing things at times that go against what others feel you should be doing in life.
A friend of mine the other day said, “You know you’re so smart and intelligent. I think you could be doing so much more with your life than just wasting it away as an Uber driver/freelance writer/Poshmark seller. I mean, you don’t write full time, and Poshmark is okay when you’re selling stuff, but driving around in a car all day is just a waste of your intelligence. You could do so much more.”
While she was trying to be kind and supportive, she was looking at things from a very narrow perspective. I was part of Corporate America for over 20 years, and with my personality type, I never really was able to climb the “corporate ladder.” I am loyal, dependable, honest, and trustworthy. I have a keen eye for detail. I’m great at anticipating the needs of others. I am comfortable speaking in front of both small and large groups of people. I take responsibility for my actions and I don’t “pass the buck.” While these are all admirable and desirable traits in a person and an employee, there is also a list of things I am not. I am not a game player. I am not subtle nor am I the most politically correct person on the planet. I am not a backstabber, I am not into office politics, and I am not a shrinking violet, if something doesn’t sound right or make sense, I speak my mind.
My “I am not” attributes never worked well for me in the corporate world. So, while I was beyond proficient in all my jobs, I tended to stagnate and stay “at the bottom” with little, if any, advancement.
My silver lining from a gray cloud came back in 2009 when I was a casualty of the recession. I was let go from my job of 8 years and at that moment I decided I would never become reliant on a “job.” Yes, I’ve worked a job here and there since that fateful day, but I refuse to become a prisoner to any company. My main focus is making a living as a freelance “anything.”
Now that I am a freelancer, it’s true that I don’t have a steady paycheck or medical benefits or paid time off or a company matched 401k savings plan, but I do have my FREEDOM, my sanity, and I am HAPPY in my life..something I was not during most of my work life in Corporate America.
I also have a husband who is loving and supportive of my choices. Would he love to have a wife that makes tons of money? Well, of course. Who wouldn’t? Yet, he’s smart enough to know that just because someone makes a lot of money does not make them happy or necessarily pleasant to be around.
So, every day I am thankful for what I have…my husband, my freedom, my happiness, and all the other good things in my life.