Thursday, 29 March 2012

Peace of surrender

Isn't it nice when you stop banging your head against a wall?  You're sure you'll get somewhere if you just keep hitting it.  But if the wall isn't meant to come down, no matter how hard you hit it, or with what, it'll keep standing and you're left with nothing more than a monster headache and extreme frustration.  But how like humans to keep trying anyway - we're sure we alone are powerful enough to make it move.  Perhaps if we hit it harder?  Perhaps if we hit it from another angle?  Or get a friend to try and hit it with us?  But walls are often put in our way for a reason - there could be a giant, snarly dog on the other side we don't know about, and the wall is there to keep us safe.  How often do we think about that?

When our daughter was born, I wanted so desperately NOT to have a caesarian.  I didn't care what else had to happen, or what I had to go through, I just didn't want a c-section.  But guess what?  I "failed to progress" after many hours of labour and her base heart rate started going up, indicating she was stressed.  The doctors gave us the options and possible outcomes but strongly suggested we have a caesarian - for the safety and wellbeing of both of us.  At that stage, I was so tired I didn't care - I just wanted her out, and I wanted her safe, in the world, born and breathing.

Afterwards, and in the months that followed, I couldn't stop kicking myself for having "failed".  "If only I tried harder," I would say to myself, "perhaps I wouldn't have had to have a caesarian."  I felt like I'd let her down, and let myself down, and that God had let me down because He knew I didn't want to have our baby in an operating theatre.  But you know what?  I have NO idea what the outcome would have been for either her or myself, if I had have dug my heels in and tried to have her normally.  And I don't want to.  I eventually realised that God knew what the alternative outcome would have been, and didn't want me or our daughter to go there.  And, thank you God for that!

My wonderful adopted mum forwarded me something she saw on Facebook, hoping that it would help me at this point.  And it did.  It helped me realise that while I can get angry or upset about the situation I find myself in at times, I need to trust that it's where I'm meant to be.  Everything has a purpose - we may see it at the time, perhaps later, or never - even though it might not be nice at the time.

Mothers, even adopted ones who live far away, are very wise.

Me: God, can I ask You a question?
God: Sure
Me: Promise You won't get mad
God: ...I promise
Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
God: What do u mean?
Me: Well, I woke up late
God: Yes
Me: My car took forever to start
God: Okay
Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
God: Hmmmmm
Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
God: All right
Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?

God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one
of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that
Me (humbled): OH
GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.
Me: (ashamed)
God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.
Me (embarrassed):Okay
God: Your phone went dead becasue the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.
Me (softly): I see God
God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a short that would knock out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.
Me: I'm Sorry God

God: Don't be sorry, just learn to Trust Me.... in All things , the Good & the bad.
Me: I will trust You.
God: And don't doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.
Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.
God: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children...

So, here I am, still facing losing my job - and how the time drags to find out - and I have no Plan B, or C or D.  I have an idea I'm going to try on for size - finding another job, using most of my current skills and qualifications, but challenging myself to take on new ones - and step out of my comfort zone.  Writing reports?  Liaising with the community?  Attending meetings?  Who knows - I might rock at those things!  But at the end of the day, if I come up against more brick walls trying to pursue that path, that I can't knock down with my thick head and a few swift kicks, then I need to realise it's there for a reason - for my safety. The wisdom is in knowing when to stop.  If I don't get a job I apply for, it's because I wasn't meant to have it, and there's something else out there for me.

So the new job hunt begins!  

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Becoming clearer

Just a quickie because dinner is about to come out of the oven - though I'm home alone tonight, so if I burn it, the only person who will know is the cat, and he's on my side anyway.

After a lunch chat today with a lovely friend, it's becoming clearer to me that going to university at the moment is not the path I should take.  It's throwing up too many problems that can't be solved - namely childcare and money.  Ah, to have a money tree...

What path am I going to take now to prevent financial meltdown at Castle Kerr?  Good question.  Still chewing on that, though as promised to my husband, I'm not obsessing about it.  Yet.  Trying.

So I may still lose my job, and I don't have a plan A or B that doesn't cause more problems than it solves, but I'm still working on it.

That gold nugget option is looking good!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Just give me a clue

Have you ever had something looming - some big decision or indecision in your life - and have absolutely no idea what to do?  I face this right now.

There's a pretty good chance I'm going to lose my job in the coming months and that freaks me out, as it would for most people with financial responsibility.  But I have warning - some people don't get that.  I also feel like I have a window of opportunity here where I can do something about it.  Well, I can't stop myself from losing my job - that's out of my hands - but I can start taking steps to train for and find another job before the axe falls.

For the sake of a little anonymity, I won't tell you where I work or the industry I work in.  I will say however, that I graduated from university 11 years ago and came bounding into this industry all pumped up and raring to go!  After trying on a few hats in the first year or so, I found my niche.  I love what I do, I'm pretty good at it, and I love where I work.  I'm even one of those lucky people who likes the people they work for and with, and I look forward to going to work.  It's a joy.

"If you find something you like doing, you won't work a day in your life."  Well, I've probably only had a few, true rough days over the last 11 years, so I've probably only 'worked' for two months of my life so far.  Not a bad innings, I'd say!

However, I'd heard rumours over the last six months or so about job cuts (since confirmed by my bosses).  About a month ago I decided I couldn't ignore it any more  - a good chunk of the staff in my area are going to be made redundant in the next few months - and needed to be proactive about it.  Job losses, down-sizing, restructuring and my favourite "future-proofing the business" is happening around the world.  In actual fact, we've done pretty well to last this long untouched.

So, being a planner and control freak, with a new mortgage that my current income is paying off, I started talking, thinking and planning what I was going to do next.
Find another job in the same industry?  Nah, every company is as rocky as each other, and I work in a very specific, small niche.  Bummer. Wish someone had have pointed out future job prospects when I settled my square peg into that square hole.
Not worry about working and stay at home to raise more babies?  For my mental wellbeing, not a good option.  Financially, impossible for any longer than a couple of months.
Find another industry and make the jump?  Yes!  Nursing?  Yes!  Two years full-time study to qualify?  Sure.  I can do that!  I'm smart and driven.  Done.  Settled.

I'd thought I'd settled on a plan.  But then I started thinking of all the problems my stroke of genius would cause my little family.

Childcare:  I'd need childcare for our baby because our current arrangement wouldn't be enough if I added full-time study into the mix.  I was blessed to be able to stay home with bub for 11 months, and it broke my heart to have to leave our baby with someone else, but thankfully it was with a wonderful family member who stepped in to help us two days a week.  Our little one enjoys going there, but daycare is a whole other kettle of fish.

Money:  How the hec do we pay for the aforementioned childcare, fees, books etc.  We watch our pennies now as it is, but asking us to come up with a spare several thousand a year?  Yeah.  We've got about as much chance of digging up a gold nugget in the back yard.

Capabilities:   Would I be able to work the equivalent of three full-time jobs at once?  Mum, wife, part-time employee, successful university student, and still be some kind of good friend and daughter/aunt?  Unknown.  But I'm a pretty tough and organised cookie.

To recap - Problem.  Leads to possible solution.  Problems arise as yet unsolved.  Could thwart current possible solution.

So my question is this.  Have you ever wanted God to just tell you - "Yes.  It will all be okay.  You will always have a job; you'll always make enough money to pay the mortgage, and you'll be happy, and your baby will thrive.  Fear not."  Then I'd know.  I'd rest easy.

I had a similar conversation with my then-work-friend, now-husband about finding 'the one'.  In my late 20s back then, with a string of bad relationships mostly behind me, I'd wondered if I'd ever meet my 'one'.  He wondered the same thing.  I remember saying to him: "I just want God to say, 'yes Jen, you'll meet the right man, you'll get married, have children, be in love and happy together.  But it won't happen for another 10 years'.  Then I'd at least know it was going to work out and I would relax."  He said something deep like "Yeah, I know what you mean."  And what do you know?  The guy I was talking to turned out to be my 'one' and it's all worked out so far - over four years together, three years married.

So, perhaps this entry is to remind myself that it worked out then, so it will work out perfectly again in this mess.  Though I can't see how right now - that I'll always have a job that pays enough to pay our mortgage off - I have to trust that it will all shake out.

Oh, and my sweet child peed on me this afternoon while we were having a nice quiet cuddle and chat on the couch.  I think she likes me.  She's marked her turf.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Welcome aboard

This is my first crack at blogging.  I think I've been put off in the past because of the name - blog.  It just sounds so unattractive.  Blog.  Bog.  Bleck!  But the concept has won me over, and I think this is a time in my life when I have something to say, to chronicle, perhaps worthy of sharing to whomever wants to read it.  I'm open and honest and like to talk and share - so why not write, too.

This blog doesn't have a single direction, but is basically a 'diary' of the coming years as my husband, daughter and I go through some massive challenges, changes and adventures - the good, the bad, the ugly... the wonderful, the beautiful, too. 

I'm a busy mum to a wonderful one-year-old who melts my heart every single day in one way or another - or twenty!  I'm a wife to an amazing husband who is endlessly patient with and supportive of me - though like any real couple, we bug the snot out of each other at times and need to work things through.  I work part-time and will be taking on full-time study soon, too *gulp*.  We are proud first-time mortgage owners with a house that needs some love, and money is quite tight.  I'm Christian, I love Jesus with my whole heart and my faith plays a big part in my life so will often feature on here (though I'm not a preacher and don't pretend to be an expert - it's only MY journey and experience). Oh, and I have a cat whose name is Possum.  He's my buddy, who I rescued back in 2008.  I'm his favourite human.

I love writing and find it quite therapeutic, and will be using this blog as self-therapy - using the world as a sounding board.  But mostly it's just for me, to look back on and see how far I've come and what I've achieved because sometimes when you've had your head down and butt up, you lose sight of how much ground you've covered.  This blog is my rear-view mirror.

I have no expectations on myself of how often I will write.  If I plan to write once a week but then don't find time for a month, I'll get annoyed at myself.  I'm that kind of person.  However, if I give myself permission to write only when the urge strikes, or if I have a lot on my mind and need to get it out, I'll be a much happier camper and you'll avoid crappy posts not worth reading, just to get my quota up!

I've chosen the name "Winging it" because that is the only way I think I'll be making it through the next few years - taking each day as it comes, meeting those challenges and trying to keep the battle wounds and melt-downs to a minimum (though sometimes a good cry makes the world of difference).  Winging it will also be a challenge for this planner and self-confessed control freak (of myself, not anyone else!  I'm a nice person!)

So welcome aboard.  I hope you enjoy this blog.  It'd be great to have some company!