Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shift in the wind

Mary Poppins said, "I shall stay until there's a change in the wind."  I think that sometimes life's like that, and it takes a shift in the wind to change everything.

I sense a change in the wind.

They say things come in threes, and I feel like I've got my three figured out: cancer, divorce, unemployment.  It is time for things to shift...

...and I feel it.

Running really straightens out my mind in ways I can't fully articulate, and the longer the run, the better the epiphanies that arise from the run.  The epiphany that I receive the most often - and it does bear repeating, because it's a hard lesson to learn, to really absorb deeply rather than superficially - is that if I can teach my body to run ten or more miles without stopping, with better and better times (8:26 pace on my 14.5 miler!), then I can do anything I set my mind to.

A year ago, running 14.5 miles was "impossible" for me - I would have had a heart attack or fallen down or thrown up or something dramatic, because it just wasn't something I could do.  But I set out several times a week to run, first only in bits, a maximum of three miles at a time, usually a ten minute pace, usually walking back up the long hill home.....and things started to change.  I got faster.  I could keep running (albeit slowly) up the hill.  I could add distance.  It didn't happen overnight by any means, but a year after I started running, I really am a runner, I'm still at it, and I'm having huge successes.  Six months ago a half marathon seemed like a huge stretch, and now a marathon seems like a realistic dream.  (May 4, 2014!)

And this really is how life works.  The impossible often really is possible.  It requires a combination of skill, perseverance, and good fortune to succeed, but the dose of perseverance applied seems to make up for lots of skill.  Good fortune is hard to figure out, but we know it when we see it.

My perseverance is running: often at 5am in the cold and dark, often in the rain, almost always alone (or with my dog).  I absolutely love sleeping in, and I'm not a morning person by nature, but I keep at it, and I see results.  I have minimal skill, but I read a lot (Runner's World and other resources), talk to other runners, and try to learn the skills I don't have.  Good fortune in running I have aplenty: I live in an area that inspires me (running by the ocean is better than just about anything), I have long legs and smallish bone structure, and my body seems to like running.  I don't appear injury prone, and I don't have plantar fasciitis or shin splints or Achilles' issues yet, and I've been doing this consistently for a year.  I'm lucky.

These lessons appear to be bearing fruit.  I'm really hitting the ground running in my job search, and I'm putting in the time.  I have a rock solid resume, a good approach for cover letters (unique to each an every job, but with a formula for addressing each position's needs).  I'm looking on the web, contacting my network, following up with every lead, learning what I can.

Perseverance is big, and I'm doing that.  But it's only part of it.  Like in running, some of it is getting out of bed and going, but some of it is skill like learning how to do intervals, and I'm getting that too.  I'm learning my new industry and what it needs, honing my interview skills, improving my marketability by reading and attending workshops.

But it's the last piece - good luck - that really brings the shift in the wind, and that's what I'm sensing right now.  Not predicting (we've ascertained that I have no idea how to predict the future) but really feeling, from somewhere inside me.

My network is really stepping it up.  I'm getting better and better leads.  I can hardly believe some of the interviews I've landed, because they are with such fantastic organizations.  I'm getting called back for additional interviews.  I'm hearing, "You are a fabulous candidate" and "I want to help you - the industry needs people like you," from all kinds of places, including people who are really in the know.

I think that the wind is shifting, and I feel it.  At some point, I will have learned my lessons, I will have accomplished what I must accomplish, and sheer good fortune will kick in, landing me in the right place at the right time with the right job offer for the right salary for the right organization, and there will be a mutual "YES!" so that I can move to the next phase of my life.

I am ready to go back to work.  I'm ready to lend my talents to the workplace, to the world, to be part of something bigger than myself and my family.  I want to show Katherine what it's really like to take charge of one's life, to stay close to one's dreams, to work hard, to rely on faith that the universe in on our side, and to let it all come together.  I appreciate the colleagues that work offers, the stability, the intellectual challenges, the teamwork, the problem solving.  I love meeting with clients (donors), and I love that the work I am about to do really does make the world a better place.

I am ready.

I realized a while ago, actually while I was dating Luke, that my readiness for work and my readiness for love are interconnected.  He asked me about my job, and I found myself not wanting to tell him, because it didn't interest me, and I didn't think it was a reflection of my self.  That was the beginning of the end of my old job, I think, as I knew I could not stay in that place if that is how I felt.  I believe, deeply and from some core place that is simple knowing and not logic or rationalization, that I need to straighten out my career, move into this new job (whatever it may be), in order to be ready for love.

So much of my life is good.  I have an amazing daughter who is currently sitting across the table from me doing her homework, dallying as all children sometimes do, but so capable.  I live in a comfortable house filled with quirky antiques, lots of books, with music playing frequently.  I have a kind and loyal dog and a spunky little firecracker of a cat (whose antics falling off the back of a chair just moments ago had Katherine and I in hysterics).  I have health - glorious, beautiful health.  I am alive, and each breath....oh, beautiful breathing!  I have good friends who invite me to parties but also invite me to sit quietly with a cup of tea, who check in on me, who share their lives with me.  I have a strange but loving family who cares for me.  For the first time in my life (?) "Lose weight and exercise more" is NOT on my list of New Year's goals, because I really am fit and slim and perfectly content within my imperfect body.

So, life is good.

And I feel like it's going to get even better soon.  That this job I'm seeking will be here soon - this month or next, perhaps - and that it will be the opening of the floodgates for even more.  I think I'm nearly ready for love, too.  I'm not there yet, and I'm not dating, and I know I thought I was ready in the past....but this feels different.  This feels stronger.

I feel stronger than I ever have before, even though it's Christmastime and I'm unemployed.  I don't even know how that's possible, but it is.

The wind is changing.

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