I'm a little unsure of where all this is headed. But here goes. After much thought, I'm blogging.
If nothing else, I certainly have the time.
It has been afforded to me courtesy of my employer, who, late last week, saw fit to show me to the door after 10+ years of service.
Like a romance gone sour, there were reasons on both sides, but they don't really matter right now, do they? As I was being dismissed, I was told verbatim: "It wasn't enough," meaning my attempts at improvement that were designed to save myself. "It wasn't enough, and you've got to go."
So I packed my desk -- is there a more humiliating task under the sun -- and exited.
It is a somewhat heavy load upon my shoulders, at present. I'm the father of three girls: one in college (19 years old), one in high school (15 years old), and one in elementary school (11 years old). Joining them as dependents is a one-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, who requires a daily allotment of kibble and exercise. One of those represents a budget item on our monthly ledger -- small, but it's there. I'll also turn 50 this coming December, which might make any future career moves of mine a little difficult, even in a good economy. In today's markets, we shall see.
But I am hopeful. On the upside is the love and support of those three daughters, and that dog, and their lovely mother, to whom I have been wedded for 24 years.
In addition, I do have some supplementary income, in addition to the coin I was making by writing, editing, PR, and marking work I was doing professionally. I am a church organist at our local Catholic parish within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, a skill I picked up as a kid and have used to my advantage ever since (in a pinch, in our leaner years, a funeral fee often put some additional Christmas gifts under the tree for the kids).
So all is not completely lost.
And I do believe that God, as I perceive him to be, has my best interests at heart.
When I packed that desk to go, I brought home with me a Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum, thank you Google, it's a house plant for those not horticulturally savvy) that had been given to me as thanks for a high-profile job well done (back when I was still providing a job well done, apparently).
That Peace Lily sat on a shelf at the office for years, getting larger along the way, but never blooming.
It was leafy and green and lush, but without flower.
And when I brought it home, I absentmindedly placed it on our front porch, where it could enjoy the late-spring sunshine and warmth that were encouraging growth in my wife's other house plants.
And the very next morning, as I walked out the front door, I noticed it.
The plant had bloomed. There was a single, slipper-shaped lily stretching upward from one of the fronds.
I'll take that as a sign, thank you. I think we'll be okay...