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Thank you..

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Saturday, September 08, 2012

thanks for all the encouragement and support, i really appreciate it. I do need to make a correction. I made alot of refrences to job loss in my last blog. That was me drawing from past events trying to figure out why this whole work issue has affected me the way it has. That has led alot of very supportive people to believe that i had lost my job.

To make the proper correction, I have NOT lost my job. Rather, what is going on is that the union is locked in contract negotiations and the threat of a strike has been very real. The possibility of getting caught up in a strike has me very worried and the idea of being out on a prolonged labor dispute is frightening because you are draining your savings dry just trying to live through it. The idea of losing my home over a labor dispute has driven the anxiety levels through the roof and brought back a flood of fearful memories of past experiences... All of them bad.

However, NOTHING has happened as of yet. Because of this, i am going to be smart about my money but i am trying to get past being ruled by fear. Right now, as best as we can tell, our contract has been extended and should be extended until early October. Right now, its one day at a time with either side able to pull the plug at anytime.

However, isn't that how life is anyway??? I dont let the fear of getting hit by a car keep me from riding my bike or running. All i can do is to be pro active and take the necessary precautions and thats all i can do. Not one time have i ever allowed those things stop me from living or doing those afore mentioned things.

There are no guarentees with anything and i have made the decision to not allow my fears to go crazy.

The stress reaction to all of this has been intense and i guess its only natural to try to play ''war games'' in your head to try to work through all scenarios in order to develop a strategy of survival. However, there comes a time where, for the sake of mental health, I need to simply let it all go and accept the fact hat i have done all that i could be expected to do. It serves no purpose to torture myself. It also affects everyone around me. If i cant be strong then how does that affect those that look to me for leadership? What about my family? I simply cannot let myself fall to pieces over something that could happen.

Its just that those other times of loss have been so difficult that i fear going through it again but and if it is my lot to tread water in the angry ocean of uncertainty then i pray for the ability to suffer with grace and srength, to carry the burden of being a provider who has been stripped of his ability to provide.

I do not understand some guys at my workplace who have families and all they talk about is getting more money for beer, a new ATV, snowmobile, or some other new tinkertoy. Then talk to them when a strike or layoff is looming and they just shrug. wow, what a slug. I guess the bad experiences of the past has helped form my present attitude concerning wants and needs.

Figuratively speaking, if the memories of the last air raid are still fresh, you tend to keep an ear cocked for the sirens while you are building a better bunker, not wasting time fooling around and partying.

I just dont understand some guys.

I guess that is why i have struggled with guilt over buying my bike but if i were weighed in the balances and judged in the court of public opinion, i believe the verdict would be not guilty.

I shouldnt beat myself up any more. I have been a responsible man.

I choose to put this behind me and deal with it IF it comes.

I choose to live.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Chin up and move forward! You have a great attitude.
    1375 days ago
    Hi On2Victory,

    It's tough sometimes walking the line between living in the present and planning for the future at the same time. I believe your bike is a long lasting, good investment in you. Stay positive and I hope things work out the way you want with your job.

    Have a great day,

    1379 days ago
    You are living wisely. That's all you can do.
    1380 days ago
    Sorry to hear about your job situation....I fully understand as I am going through some uncertainty with my own. It is definitely a learning experience (for both of us it seems), to go through something like this and find other outlets and not turn to food. Just another one of the many valuable life lessons learned through Sparking. Despite the uncertainty, we are blessed indeed. Hope things straighten out for you soon, none the less, but, in the meantime.....hang in there buddy and SPARK STRONG!
    1383 days ago
  • v KIPPER15
    Think positive thoughts and draw strength from those who matter. emoticon
    1386 days ago
  • v SJKENT1
    good choice!!
    1386 days ago
    Hmmm. Just read your last few blogs and acquainted myself a little. I think many of us can find ourselves in your writings. We find a good high spot and we are cruising along with very pleasant breeze in our sails, and we love it and think we are so glad to be out of that very rotten place that we fought our way out of. And life seems so good, and we feel so strong and so vibrant and so healthy and so ABLE. Never! We think, Never, will I go back to that miserable place where I was. I am so glad I am not living that life anymore, we say to ourselves, and we actually have sympathy and maybe feel sorry for others that have been unable to claw their way out of the depths. ...And then...then we suddenly find ourselves back in the Valley. It is very stunning and perplexing. How did that happen? Why am I here? We think it was all a cruel game...the wonderful feelings of success and control. Just phantoms...I guess I CAN'T do this, we think. But hey...WE CAN! Just keep trying and keep with your program the best you can, and eventually you find yourself on top again. It's a strange journey, really, this road of life. You need to know that I am starting out on a rookie runner program. Second week...and it seems WAY harder than the first, but I finished the days program. And while I was out there I was pondering your writings...and wondering if you ever get a stitch in your side. And if you can even remember what it was like to be just a mere rookie at running. Your past experiences have shaped you into the wonderful person you are today, so try to embrace and appreciate your special spot in life. The sun can still shine on your face, flowers still bloom, children still laugh, you can still run and jump and play, you can hug your wife, you can still encourage a friend...even if the money is gone and the job deteriorates. Keep your chin up.

    Wow...that was long!
    1386 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/13/2012 8:37:32 AM
    I so understand where you are coming from. My son Evan has asthma. It;s under control with meds. But his first year was so bad and in and out of the hospital. I have this hair trigger every time he coughs. It is now a reflex and I have to fight not to be anxious. This is really what you are describing. Fear has become a reflex. I hope you and I both can fight the fear and live by faith. Thanks for sharing
    1389 days ago
    Look at the bike as an asset you can always sell it if you need to I wouldn't stress over the bike.
    1389 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1389 days ago
    Way to go not letting the fear get the best of you! Enjoy your family, your bike, and your life! You deserve to be healthy and happy! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1389 days ago
  • v 4RASCALS
    Sounds like you've thought things out. You seem more calm & in control.
    Hope that things will be resolved quickly for you. Hang in there. Were all pulling for you.
    Take care

    1390 days ago
    Absolutely, positively do not haul your new bike down to the pawn shop.

    There. Now that that issue's out of the way, dump the guilt, fire that thing up and enjoy it. You've earned it.

    After all, where is the source of your sufficiency? If your job is your god, maybe you could have a little chat with your pastor. If God is your god, then it may be better to just enjoy your family rather than borrowing trouble. After all, you don't have to own every thought that passes through your head.

    One good alternative to playing "war games" in your head is to practice being thankful.
    1390 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/9/2012 7:40:30 PM
    Great blog! No, there are no guarantees and that can be frightening. As long as you know how to deal with this stress, you are probably ahead of almost everyone else.

    Best wishes!
    1390 days ago
  • v MUSOLF6
    1390 days ago
  • v NANHBH

    That's the way to kick fear to the curb! No more free rent in your mind for fear. It's too costly. God is in control. You can trust Him.
    1390 days ago
    I can only imagine the stress you must be under. You've posted a very thoughtful blog, however, and I can tell that because of your positive attitude you will overcome and surpass any challenge that comes along. Your faith, your experience and your wisdom will carry you through.

    God bless you! Thanks for sharing. emoticon
    1390 days ago
  • v 123ELAINE456
    Great Blog. You needed the bike for your health and to help keep yourself in good condition. Be happy that you have it. You have no control over what is going on in your work place. Take one day at a time. This is all you can do at the present time. This soon shall pass. Put it up all over your house I CHOOSE TO LIVE. Stop beating yourself over the head. It serves no purpose and is wasted energy. You Can do it. God is with you and watching over your family. God Bless You and Your Family. Have a Wonderful Week. Do something fun today and Enjoy it with the family.
    1390 days ago
    well done... it's ok to chew through alternatives... emotions are the bodies way of screaming something ain't right. your conclusions here are spot on, you've learned from the past, and now you can work to move forward, do what you can...

    do hope a strike is averted, it is expensive for everyone... wise to prepare in case it doesn't... that's what aresponsible provider does... *yay* u!
    1390 days ago
    THAT's the Robert I figured we'd see after you had the chance to work this all out in your head. I hope writing about it here and getting perspectives from so many of us has helped some.......!

    Please keep us posted.........and know that you are likely not alone in this boat of uncertainty.

    One. Day. At. A. Time!!!!! emoticon
    1390 days ago
  • v BEECHNUT13
    Maybe it would alleviate some of your stress to update your resume (if you use resume's in your line of work) or cover letters or something. Or looking to see what else is available in your line of work.

    I know union negotiations are stressful when things aren't going well - but I know of so many people who have lost their unions, and the companies just take advantage and take advantage. It's harder to get pink slipped with a union there to protect you.

    And don't feel guilty about your bike! Your health is more important than anything else.

    Good luck, friend!
    1390 days ago
  • v LINDAK25
    It sounds like your head is in a much better place. Just stay the course, nice and steady.
    1390 days ago
  • v GINA180847
    Thank God you are coming out of your funk. Of all the stuff I read, yours tends to give me food for thought and one thought I had was 'he has control issues which a lot of us have'. We watched a movie called 'Walking with Cavemen" and I thought about control. They could not control any part of their lives so they just lived in the now, just like dogs. Enviable but not part of being real. So I guess the trick is balance. We work hard, plan ahead, live carefully and then leave the rest up to the Almighty. Like you I find this hard and whenever I have issues I get busy and clean my house or wherever I am living. Another thought came to me out of left field and that was Robert is so good at writing that he should pursue that in his spare time and make a little money if he can find out how. I know that is possible but finding a niche is not easy. People do respond to how you open your heart though and you have real talent.
    1390 days ago
    "I choose to live."
    What a powerful statement!!
    You need to type this up and put it where you can see this EVERY day!

    1390 days ago
  • v KATHIC2
    I admire your outlook.
    1390 days ago
    I guess all of us smacking you upside the head had it's good effect! Hang in there. emoticon
    1390 days ago
  • v MRFUZZ
    Your bike was much more of a need than a want. You are right. You have done what you could. God bless you.
    1390 days ago
    Great blog! We have to make the decision to look at what is good and BE HAPPY!
    God Bless You! emoticon emoticon
    1390 days ago
    I was a job steward for 14 yrs and later become management. I have seen both sides of the fence. Neither really wants to be there. In this job market strike is very risky for both sides. I am guessing you are union. My father once was out for 9 mos. We ate powered eggs, dad got odd jobs, my brother and I went door to door selling lawn orniments dad made. I myself was out once for 30 days. I always put money aside for possible strike which hit every 3 yrs then. You have a good attitude which will help to cushion any issues. Good Luck. I wish you well.
    1390 days ago
    Robert, as I mentioned before, I'm the CWO (chielf worry officer) in my household, and I have learned that there are many things to worry about. It's only productive to worry about the things you can control. Everything else - you can only deal with, so no use wasting precious energy worrying.

    1390 days ago
  • v GRACED777
    You need to have balance between responsible preparation and living (as opposed to existing) in the here and now. Sounds like you've found it, so I'd enjoy today because "sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." In other words, as you said, "Don't borrow trouble."

    1390 days ago
    Your head and heart are in the right place. You are much more ANT than GRASSHOPPER about the future because of your past history. Keep doing what you are doing, and enjoy the little things that make up your day-- family and biking.
    1390 days ago
  • v BILL60
    Hang tough and hug the family often.
    1390 days ago
  • v FITFOODIE806
    You have an incredible ability to see some positives in dark situations and take control of what you can control. Hope you have a good weekend. Hope you can send some fun time on that lovely bike of yours.
    1390 days ago
    I understand about the war games and finally coming to a place where you need to find a place of peace about it.

    Been there, doing that.
    1390 days ago
    Even though not facing the circumstances, facing what's stirring the emotional pot is daunting. Good for you! My comment stands... you *do* have the heart of a champion... and a responsible, reasoned man, too!
    1390 days ago
    WTG!!! You got it right! Enjoy your bike, you earned it!
    1391 days ago
    Great Attitude Robert!!!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1391 days ago
    You're making great choices Robert!
    emoticon emoticon
    1391 days ago
  • v SPIRIT42013
    Today is today, so don't let fear get the upper hand. No amount of money will help poor health, I can tellyou. Healthy heart and mind might be on equal paar with finances. emoticon
    1391 days ago
  • v SPIRIT42013
    Today is today, so don't let fear get the upper hand. No amount of money will help poor health, I can tellyou. Healthy heart and mind might be on equal paar with finances. emoticon
    1391 days ago
    As a UAW member, I can totally relate to what you are going through. It sounds like you're doing all the right things, just in case. You can't ever OVER plan for anything. It's always better to be prepared than to just see what happens. I'm sure you will get a new agreement soon.

    Don't feel guilty about your bike. In fact, embrace that bike. These times can be stressful and that bike can really help you reduce your stress.
    1391 days ago
  • v SPSPSP1
    Wish you the best.
    1391 days ago
    I think you are a very responsible man and I hope you will 'drop the guilt' about the bike. You've worked hard and I'm sure your family wants you to have some rewards, too - you have a temporary reprieve and heck, things might be resolved without going into strike. At this point it's something to try to prepare for but not something to tear up your life at this point. Even if you do go on strike, there's a good chance it will be a short one - in this economy, most people on both sides of that type of negotiation are not interested in a long, drawn-out fight! It's too expensive for ALL involved.

    I'm not there but.....I do know that a LOT of 'posturing' goes on during negotiations. It reminds me a bit of a cat fight - if you've ever watched cats encounter each other, the vast majority of the time there's a lot of puffing, a lot of hissing, a lot of yowling and other noise, sometimes one cat will even charge the other......and honestly, that's all there is when it comes down to it! There are a FEW TIMES when they'll actually get into combat but again, if you watch them carefully, you'll notice there isn't a whole lot of actual fighting going on MOST OF THE TIME - the big exception is when it involves two male cats who have not been neutered. But even then, the fight looks and sounds a lot worse than the injuries turn out to be and the funny thing is, afterwards they often become friends!! So I know the union and management are not cats - but a lot of the same 'rituals' take place - puffing, hissing, yowling very loudly and maybe even a swipe or a charge - all trying to make the other 'cat' back down without actually getting into a fight or risking injury.

    Help yourself deal with the whole thing right now - write down your bills, figure out which ones could be let go for awhile or cut back, which ones are absolutely essential - figure out how much money you have in the bank - whether there is a strike fund to give you at least a little income - could you borrow money, sell something, get another part-time job for awhile - you might realize that you're in better shape than you think! Or at least you'll have a better idea of what steps to take to try to survive and help yourself avoid panic. The idea you might lose your house is probably more 'awful-izing' than likely. In other words, our fear pushes our thoughts to the most awful outcome possible, whether it's likely to happen or not.

    As you said - you 'could' get hit by a car when riding your bike - or you 'could' get squished by a piece of space junk falling on you - or you 'could' have some other problem - or no problem at all, ever. If we let all the 'could' stuff get to us, we'd pull the covers over our head and stay there forever! Fortunately, we don't - and 99.99% of all that 'could' stuff just ain't gonna happen anyway!

    I think this is all going to turn out OK but whether it does or not, you can only do what you can do and have to leave the rest up to God, fate, the universe or whatever else you believe in. In the meantime, you have a LOT of friends hoping for the best for you!
    1391 days ago
    Sounds like you are figuring this out...have you discussed your feelings about this with your wife? She is in this as deep as you band is your biggest advocate . You guys are a team. Work together and you will be stronger than ever and be ok.
    1391 days ago
    My sense is that if you KNEW that you would be in this current situation you probably would have held off purchasing the bike.. BUT you didn't have a crystal ball so you shouldn't feel guilty for doing something that was perfectly reasonable! Nuff said!

    1391 days ago
  • v NEWSTART127
    No guilt about the bike! It's going to help you change your life! And you'll hopefully be able to ride out some of your frustrations!

    I remember when I was 5 or 6 and my dad's union went on strike. I thought it was the best thing ever as a kid. Dad was around more. I got to go to the union hall and eat donuts with a couple of the other coworkers kids. I had NO IDEA what a strike really meant. It's a SCARY thing to not know where the money to buy food, pay for the roof over your head, the lights and water is going to come from.

    Sounds like you are looking at this situation with your eyes wide open, and that will help you and your family be OKAY through this tough time.

    Best wishes for a new agreement SOON!
    1391 days ago
  • v PRINCESS1959
    1391 days ago
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