I recall feeling so very sorry for myself in the months after my divorce. I lost my job at the same time as my ex left: funding for a contract that had been renewed over a number of years suddenly dried up and I found myself in the terrifying position of being an unemployed single-parent. I lived in Quebec City and jobs for English speakers were not terribly plentiful: my French was very good, but not good enough for most French speakers to want to hire me. I couldn’t imagine how I was ever going to be able to care for myself, let alone two small children.
I felt alone. I felt abandoned. I felt poor. I was terrified.
My best friend told me two things:
- My name was ‘in her pot’ for as long as I needed. I (and my kids) would never go hungry: we could come and get a meal whenever we wanted (of course, that bothered my pride dreadfully, even as I was grateful for the offer).
- I would always find work: of that she had no doubt. “You would dig ditches if you had to and you know it,” she told me (that was true, but I was sincerely hoping I wouldn’t have to dig any ditches all the same).
Of course, within three or four months I did find a job – a very low-paying job – but it was enough to pay my bills and put food on the table for the next year. Most importantly, though, it gave me some much-needed self confidence. And I looked absolutely amazing: all the worry; all the sleepless nights; all the anxious nausea that kept me from eating much of anything at that time meant that I had shed 30 pounds as effortlessly as a person might shed a pair of jeans.
About a year later, the funding for the work I had been doing previously came through again and I was back to a much better salary for the next several years. As a contract employee, work would always be precarious, though, and I would always have to be careful about squirrelling money away for the long summer months when there was no contract funding. But I was managing, without needing meals at my best friend’s house (although she and her husband frequently invited me, just the same) and without having to dig ditches.
I knew I was really, really going to be okay the day I came home from the grocery store and hurried to put away my purchases. I opened the fridge door to put away some item and had to work for several minutes to make room on a shelf. The fridge was jam-packed with vegetables, snacks, juices, milk, left-overs and other goodies. There wasn’t an inch of available space. My eyes widened in amazement.
“I am SO rich!” I exclaimed aloud, to my empty kitchen.
It had taken a bit of time, but I was no longer feeling sorry for myself. On the contrary, I was feeling pride, gratitude and relief. I was going to be okay. No, I was going to be MORE than okay.
The really funny thing is that my personal income is far less today than it was back in those days. And strangely, I have never felt richer.
Mindset can change everything…
Patti Moore Wilson © wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com