Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Soul Cleanse 26: E is for Enjoy

A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him.

Read more at Brainy Quote.

Soul Cleanse 26:  Enjoy each day, even when there are more tragedies than triumphs.

I do admit there are times when I struggle with this more than others. 

I have had times just when it seemed like things couldn’t possibly get any worse, they just did. 

Prime Example:

Back in January 2010, I was a manager for this restaurant chain.  I was putting in a lot of hours (well over 65 hours a week), and we were incredibly short staffed.  I was suffering from burn out and while I was working, my body just gave out—like I collapsed on the floor.  

When I came to, I was being rushed to the hospital.  

The doctor said I should be out for a week to a week and a half to get fully recovered—because I was malnourished, dehydrated and stressed out.  However, the company forced me to cut my vacation down to four days because they couldn’t find anyone to cover the store.  

A couple of weeks after that, a big snowstorm hit, and although most businesses were closed that day, the higher ups told us to stay open.  When I was trying to get the food to one of my customers (since most of my staff called out), I got into a car accident, which almost killed me due to the conditions of the road.  

Not even a week after the accident, my store got inspected and got less than a stellar review because the higher ups failed to replace the equipment that was broken.  A week after that, the higher ups brought in brand new management and decided to kick out any of the leftovers from the merger...

Guess which category I ended up in?

I couldn’t see the enjoyment in that day, especially since I had spent almost five years with the organization and was initially promised a promotion (which was one of the main reasons why I had stayed).

I was pissed because I had almost given my life for this company, and they could just throw me away without a thought.  I had not just invested energy in the store I managed but filled in a lot at the other stores when they were short staffed.  

Happy thoughts, looking on the bright side….I just didn’t see it.

I could have looked at it as an opportunity to really write like I wanted to, but I was so depressed and distraught as to how I was going to get by.  Plus, my outrage at the situation couldn’t quite be put into words; I just couldn’t get flowing.  I couldn’t plow past the pain cause I was too entrenched in it.

I could have seen this as a chance to get my health back in order. 

However I was still stressed; I had lost my insurance under my old job, and I couldn’t afford COBRA, even if I had received my unemployment in time, after taking care of my bills. 

I could have taken it as an opportunity to go back home, but I had to take the money I had saved up to take my vacation down there and use it to sustain myself until I got the approval for my unemployment.  My family understood, but it still hurt, especially since I would have gotten to spend some more time with Grandpa before he passed away in 2011.

To see the triumphs through the tragedies was the toughest thing

Going through these things I went through taught me so much.  It did teach me who was there for me and who wasn’t.  

It revealed to me which habits were truly a part of me and which ones were left over due to a failed relationship.  

I found out although having money was important, it meant nothing if you weren’t healthy enough to value it or if I couldn’t carve time out enough to invest it in my own enjoyment or benefit.

So even on days when I’m experiencing minor or major irritations, I just ask myself, “Where can I find the enjoyment?”  And the moment I can name that spot, the tragedies don’t hold as much power, even if the discovery process takes a while.


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