Forty years ago today my life turned on a phone call. I changed immediately from a child to head of the family. My father died one month after coronary bypass surgery. My stepmother was left 7 months pregnant with 5 little girls to support. As the oldest, it seemed to fall to me to help keep the family together. Tough job for a 12 year old. So Daddy died and I was forced to start thinking about supplying the needs of a family.
I was thinking today about my recent job change and withdrawal from the rat race. I realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I actually sat relaxed and not worrying about a job, or work, or money. It was in those long ago days of Minnesota, 27 years. Anyway, I was thinking about what I should be doing. When working under the influence of workaholism, I could keep going on the job because I had a goal. I was working toward a promotion, more pay, support for my children then a retirement pension and a home of my own. But since I came to Florida, I lost the house I thought I was going to finally get to own. Then six months went by before I found a full time job. That has never happened before. I was so frustrated then to be off of work, but now I am happy to be off of work. Why is that? Well, it gives me time to work on my crafts and to focus my attention on the creative muse. I appreciate sleep more. I appreciate relaxation. I appreciate home. I appreciate the removal of stress. While working in Florida, I always have been under paid, driven a long commute, and endured a loss of reasonable benefits such as paid vacation and decent health care.
I know, I know, I bitch about Florida too much. What can I say, it has been tough. I moved here for what I thought were noble and right reasons. I have been disappointed at every turn. I accept responsibility for this disappointment. I could have told my husband no we can’t leave our great house and jobs in California to go to Florida when there is a recession on. If it hadn’t been for the seemingly easy to buy property situation at the time, I might not have considered it. I wanted a home so badly and I wanted to keep my husband happy and I thought it was important for Jacob to know his father while he was growing up. My boys had missed out on knowing their father after age 4 as I had after age 12. It is important for a child to have a real relationship with both parents and that both are a regular part of their lives. While Mark may not be the kind of father I would be, he is a good father to Jacob and they love and need each other in their lives. I am happy to be here for that.
So I do feel it was the right decision, it has just been a tough row to hoe. Like a row filled with boulders ten inches under the dirt so you think it is good soil until you start to turn it over to make rows and plant something. You have to dig up the boulders and get them out of the way so there will be deep enough soil for the roots to grow. I am just now starting to put down roots, but I think it is the long cool winter and the so far cool spring that has gotten me to feel this way. Plus moving (for the final time in Florida) closer to the beach. I don’t know, maybe the four moves and the three jobs in 2 1/2 years were the boulders I had to dig up. Perhaps the low pay and lousy benefits that have plagued my employment was God’s way to get my focus back onto what is important and to stop relying on hard work and a job to fulfill all my needs.
All I need to remember is that it is God that I should be relying on. I should be grateful and live with an attitude of gratitude. And, I should always remember that family and creativity and faith are more important than work, a home or the weather. I am happy to be here with my husband and to watch Jacob grow. I am missing my family and pray everyday to be able to go see them soon, but I am content to continue pursuing the crafts and Avon business options and just being still and know He is God and He is the only true Provider of my life.
So I thank God for each day I don’t have to sit at a desk crunching numbers for pay too low to pay my bills, for each day I don’t have to sit in traffic for hours, for each day I don’t spend money on fattening fast food, for each day I get to create a new fashion statement in hand knit or crochet. I thank God for time to create, for a home that is easy to maintain and close to the beach, for my husband, my sons, my grandson, my daughters in law, my moms, my sisters and my mostly for my life. I am what I am and that’s all that I am. I am finally finding the fifth agreement, the TRUTH!!!!