Monday, November 5, 2012

Sweetness Follows

 We thought our butternut squash vine was dried up and done. But in the last few weeks,
it's sprouted new green growth and even some baby butternut buds. I look forward to
roasting it through the winter.

Last week (or rather a week prior to this past Saturday) marked the one-year anniversary of my layoff from corporate America. It's sort of strange that it's been an entire year, yet it feels like it could have been two or three by now. The daily commute to the office feels very, very far away.

Looking back on the last 365+ days, I can see lots of things that have been gained. The main thing lost seems to be income, but right now it feels worth it to have this time and freedom to sort out plans and get prepared for the big next steps. And the bills are still getting paid, just not with nearly as much wiggle room as there used to be.

I think one of the things that has made this whole experience as smooth as it's been was that from the day we found out we were losing our jobs at Yahoo!, I surrendered to the idea and took it as an opportunity to experience something new or grow in some way. (In case you didn't stop by last week, I wrote a post about surrender on The Path to Wonderful.) I tried to accept it as almost a gift—a chance to have free time for visiting Mr. W if he went on location; an opportunity to start pursuing other passions that had been percolating inside me; a shot at proving I was capable of becoming my own "business."

The teeny olive tree in the backyard has several plump rounds of fruit on it
and they've all started to change color. Not yet sure what we'll do with them,
but the transformation is fun to watch.

Yes, I still have to ask Mr. W a million questions about billing and taxes and write-offs. But I'm hoping my sliver of savvy will continue increasing with every passing pay stub.

Some mornings when I'm still in my workout clothes at 11:00, talking to the cats as I check freelance project emails, I wonder if this is really the way things are supposed to be for me. I think back to the free chai teas at the coffee bar and the hushed chitchat with my favorite coworkers. I miss it. And sometimes I think my new routine of sleeping in later and staring at my laptop screen until 11:30 every night isn't great for my health.

But then I choose to surrender again.

I recognize that I'm in the midst of what I hope will be a big shift. I'm working on paving a new career path. And soon Mr. W and I will be settling into a new home. This in-between time is a blessing. A luxury. A chance to turn inward and work on all the details of how we want our next phase to look.

Pardon the blurry shot. Up until about a week or two ago, I thought these were green pepper
plants. After Mr. W told me they were red, I was excited to see one of the fruits finally turning. 

I'm not sure any of it would have ever happened if it weren't for that layoff. I'm not sure we would have made some of the leaps we've made if we hadn't also experienced tremendous, heartbreaking loss this year. You gain a lot of perspective in the face of loss.

I've gained so much since last October 28th, yet I'm not even sure I can accurately articulate it all yet. But I can tell you I appreciate the freedom. The freedom to do my own thing is equaled in value by the freedom I have right now to make mistakes and figure things out.

 We finally picked the pumpkin. Couldn't bring ourselves to carve it, so now it sits
on the back steps waiting for us to decide how to use it. Risotto? Pumpkin pie? A bookend?

Maybe we all have that kind of freedom all of the time. But I'm sure glad I got the kick I needed to finally recognize it, and the willingness to surrender to it.


  1. Has that much time passed? What a year! I love your perspective on it. I think you totally have the right attitude. I used to get so panicked about big changes and now that I am older, I feel a little less freaked out knowing that everything is always shifting and even if it feels bad at the time, it won't always. Good things are always ahead.

  2. I have only a few friends who came face to face with being laid off. And in every single circumstance, they were able to take the time to figure out what they really wanted to do next and go for it. Each of them is better off because of that pesky little pink slip. I can now add you to their ranks - trust me, it's a pretty elite group of people. =)

  3. The idea that we ought to look closer and deeper and really try to see the bigger picture when something hard comes along has been so important for me in the last few years. Not only has it been encouraging and a catalyst for change for me, like you, but lately it has been the thing that has kept my sanity. Honestly. It is so important to see the ways we're growing and becoming our better selves in the midst of life seemingly coming down on us. I have a thousand reasons to panic, yet I'm not. That is special, and probably the thing we're supposed to hold on to as we move on to what's next, right? :)

  4. Wow...a year! seems like for the most part, it's been a great year...with another exciting year ahead!!


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