Last night I finally gave in and took something to help me get to sleep ... AND I SLEPT GREAT! Eight hours of peaceful sleep that totally refreshed me. I woke up this morning feeling fabulous, thin and taller ... hee hee hee .. And I'm ready (and can finally) talk about that little rain cloud patch that was traveling over my head for the past little while!
It seems to me that Life should be routine, it should have a normal "push and shove" but it doesn't. It seems that the lows can be much more frequent than the highs and the bad news can often outweigh the good news ... except I'm finding it's all about perspective. If I let things drag me down, then they are REALLY bad ... if I look at them realistically, they are just what they are - situations! I know in my mind that I can't control most situations ... I can only control my reaction to those situations ... and that, my friends, is often where my little train car jumps the tracks and heads south!
In the span of a few days, I found out that my brother had been injured in an explosion in Afghanistan, I found out that my son was traveling back to the States from Iraq and I applied for a new job. One of these things would have been stressful but all of them together was overwhelming me.
My brother is younger than me ... the baby of the family ... and he has been working as a private contractor in Afghanistan for a long time. I love my brother but sadly we are estranged at his own choice over a situation that I did not create. We had a disagreement a few years back and he can't forgive or forget and I can't do anything to change his mind so I don't try any more. (If you care for an elderly parent and have siblings, you probably understand how that tends to pull a family in directions you never wanted to go.) Anyway, my brother had decided it was time to return to the States and spend more time with his family. The decision had been made, he had told people he was starting the paperwork to come back to the States, and then he was injured when a building exploded. When we first found out, we knew that he had been injured and that there were some fatalities, lots of casualties and not many medical personnel. At that time I was told they were keeping him heavily sedated. It was scary to think about losing my little brother ... and horrifying to think that we might part ways without ever mending our relationship. I don't believe in holding grudges -- and I am an eternal optimist. I want our family to be whole again some day. I am delighted to say he is now back in the States and will be getting medical treatment for back injuries. I am so thankful ...
And my son ... him coming back to the States was an answer to prayer! It was a long year for him to be there - especially since his unit didn't get mid-rotation leave to come home for 2 weeks. There were some complications so they really did the whole year! He told me they were "starting to head home" but everything was very hush hush. It was my own decision to not try and go back for the "green ramp" because my son and his wife weren't married for very long before he left and I think it is way more important for him to be able to spend good quality time with his wife .... but oh, how my heart yearned to be there. I miss him so ... it was made more difficult by their decision to not let us know when he actually arrived safely in the States. They wanted to wait until they were ready to let us know - which was a few days more. I find more and more often that being the parent to an adult child is hugely more heartbreaking than watching them learn to walk, ride their bike or roller blade. At least then I could kiss their owies and make things better ... and I still felt important in my children's lives. It's complicated!
And so, to add more stress, in that 2 or 3 day stretch, I decided to apply for a new job ... which I didn't get (I found out yesterday). I have been in my current position for 18 years ... in my career field for 20 years. I've tested for advancement several times but am always passed over. On paper - my yearly evaluations - I look like a super star with nothing to improve, a great attitude and a huge asset ... but in reality, I feel like I'm spinning in place. When the chance to apply for a secretarial position for about the same pay within the same City I already work for came open, I jumped at it! I can't say that I wasn't disappointed when I heard yesterday that they filled the position without even testing for it but they did exactly what I would have done if I had been in their position ... I would promote the person who already knows what is going on in the position instead of training someone new. I'm not bitter ... I'm not even that much disappointed today but in this process, I realized that I am ready to leave my comfort zone - my security blanket -(thank you, Rachel for pointing that out to me!) and look for something that will allow me to use my skills and experience while continuing to grow and learn. That might mean a different dispatch center or it could mean a different career field. I just need to be patient and wait for the right opportunities, then not let them get away. I think a little piece of my heart chipped off when I realized how much I'm changing. I have always loved my job ... but now I think I could move on with a clear conscience if I could find the right place to go!
Somehow knowing I'd be content to move on has lightened my load at work. I feel completely freed of the oppressive spirit that I've felt for a long time about not being "able" to leave. Today was crazy busy but (for the most part) I worked hard, helped when I could, smiled, laughed and finished up the day with a good attitude. Life's too short to cry over spilled milk, other people's choices and things beyond our control ... So how about we just go for the gusto and make sure when we slide into eternity we did everything we could to be all we can be? Who's with me? WAAAHOOO ... Let's go!