Saturday, April 21, 2012

Look, Ma! I'm Blogging!


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.

Not once.

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...


  1. A really rough experience. Sounds like you have enough income to keep body and soul together, so keep the faith and believe in that peace lily!

  2. You have my best wishes that you will find your path to your future career.


  3. Dan,

    You have been miserable in the job since the company management changed. Be like that Peace Lilly and let yourself enjoy the sunshine and clean air. Another job will come along. Any employer who is looking for a creative hard worker will be lucky to get you as an employee.

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  4. God has your back, Dan. I went through a rough employment patch this past summer. Rather than be angry at potential employers, I decided to give praise to God. God didn't allow me to have the pie I wanted, he gave me the piece of pie he thought I needed. I didn't get the contractual teaching position the high school I graduated from; he gave me the non-contractual teaching position of Night School Social Studies teacher and let me continue the irregular work as substitute teacher at the same school. I simply could not survive on this income without my wife's. God has blessed us and his path must be better than the path I had planned.

    I'll look forwarded to reading your adventures in your blog. Dan, I was PLEASED to open your blog to discover you are going through this instead of a deadly bout with cancer for you, or wife, or kids. Hang in there! God is good!


  5. I'm sure the path that you take (with God's guidance) will be the right one. There will be surprises around many of the turns that will cause you to be in awe of His plan!!


  6. All the best Dan. Keep up the good writing!

  7. Best wishes!! The peace lily is a sign; it has bloomed and so will you.

  8. How come the bits in your post about the peace lily are all in white.

    Aw, settle down. Just nit picking.