A month ago, I lost my job, quite unceremoniously.
Conversely, when I got the job, 20 years ago, it was quite spectacular. (Several months prior, I had to sleep with someone to ensure I would get it. Don’t tell my mom.)
The first day of work there was blood, sweat and tears.
I was violently (my words) induced. It was fairly ugly. I threw up. My head spun around. I slugged my former husband when he said ‘just breathe’. I screamed M***ER F*CKER more than once.
I fell in love, crazy drug like love, with the job. And then lined up (same method as the first time, don’t tell mom) a sister for #1 so I wouldn’t have to play Barbies for hours on end.
But full time motherhood may have begun with a bang (sorry again, mom) it ended with a fizzle. It was a Monday morning on this date exactly in June, around 9. A camp friend picked up my 5’10” baby and off they went.
I did not cry. I was not sad. I was excited for both of us. It did not feel like anything strange.
Is there a chance I will be normal and graceful and calm?
That sounds unlikely.
I came up with a partial list of what has helped.
It helped I had 11 girls in my basement studio ready for a week of city studio camp.
It helped I worked all that day at this second favourite job and then got pretty for a beautiful dinner party at a friend’s. And here is the kicker- I did not have to make dinner for anyone at home before leaving for dinner. Weird. Novel.
(Note to self – going forward try not to drink in that time instead.)
I stayed at my favourite left handed brainiac’s house for a week and got to adore his 3 children and hear their stories. That helped.
I rented my home for the summer, moved out, preventing ‘precious’. Precious is where you take material things too seriously and get too set in your ways. You ‘catch old‘, as my dad used to say.
A shake up always helps.
I had plans, like a maniac, every night as part of my ENP (Empty Nest Program). There were weekends away with no hurry back. I feel like I have been in a hurry since 1994.
It is dress season. That works like a charm.
I run. I think I might hate it/resent it/ prefer sleeping in but it helps (way more than I would like to admit).
There is swimming in cold bodies of water. Sacred.
There are very proud moments in my work. I get to love children, sometimes be one and make beauty. That helps.
And life, the bitch that she can be, out of nowhere, (not at the end of a life or even in the middle but at the beginning, if you ask me my perspective on my age) presents terrible tragedy reminding us that life is divided into mere seconds. It makes us worship life and not find sadness in things that aren’t sad.
One day at a time. This helps.
And maybe a puppy?
I welcome your input.
PS-My greatest day on the job may have been when I said ‘ of course you can have all your meals in those two rubbermaid containers and make it your home and sleep in it, fill it with water and swim in them for days on end.’