This quote from the book “Who Carried My Cheese” warns people not to be dissatisfied with their jobs, knowing that things could change, that the company could be in trouble, and that they could lose their jobs.
It was the third time Glenn had been fired. He smelled cheese, but he didn’t want to talk about it because he didn’t want to worry about his wife, Tony. In fact, years after the marriage, Tony knew something was wrong. Glenn was quiet and ugly and not himself. Then the announcement came to tell Tony. Had gone through it a couple of times before, but it wasn’t less shocking. It was still very discouraging for both of us!
Losing a job causes a lot of fear. What should I do now? This was my identity. Who am I now? What about money? Will we be fine? What about us paying our bills, buying groceries, and health insurance? We are not young. How long does it take to find another job? Will our savings run out? Will we ever be able to take another vacation? These are just some of the goal setting shareware that you can use.
In fact Tony had many similar thoughts and some of her own. Can we go through this one more time? Do I have to work extra hours? Can I do that physically? Will I be able to support Glenn emotionally while she is looking for a new job? How does this affect our relationship? Will it save me from losing more jobs? Do my friends understand? Will they care? Do they give me emotional support? Or will they tell me that everything is going well if I have a positive outlook?
Many questions, but few answers. Days go by, weeks go by. Glenn looks, goes to job fairs, sends biographical leaflets. I suggest to Tony that Glenn reads “Who brought my cheese” and it will be useful for both of them. How to change it and fix it.
After two months, good leadership comes from the recruits. It’s kind of work that Glenn does, but the catch is that it’s in a town three hours away. It’s both exciting and scary at the same time. Glen has a phone interview. He feels better over time. Recruiters say it is important to be patient. Then comes the good news, they want Glenn to come in for an interview. He thinks it will go well, but he will have to wait again. Again, the recruiter says be patient. Glenn is on the edge and not sure how to help Tony. If he doesn’t get the job, it will be such a setback. If he gets the job, it means a big step. So many things to think about, so many emotions.
Finally hear them again! Glen gets to work. Hooray! They are ready for the challenges they face. They will “move their cheese”.
It’s been three months since Glenn started his new job. He received a good review. Tony has moved to the southwest coast of Floridanov and has been a great leader for a career in her chosen profession. They made a proposal for a house. They have settled in their new city and in their new conditions. The future is bright!
When Linda first sent me her story, I realized that she had listened to what I said and did not say during that difficult time, and seemed to be a faithful friend and mind reader. Part of the time I felt I had to be brave about this financial crisis during our weekly phone conversations about how Linda tragically lost her husband a year ago and how this compares to what she is experiencing. I realized that the tide is changing not only for the water bodies, but also for the lasting friendship. To me it feels like a gentle rhythm of our weeks of highs and lows alternating between listening and talking.
Surprisingly, nearly a year had passed since that phone call that Glenn had been anxiously waiting for. We know most of us have better options, but it’s never been easier and it’s scary to start over when you’ve near retirement. The policy you buy is basically a top-down mainstream medical plan that puts you in a hospital where savings go through unforeseen medical expenses. Many people tell us that we are well, in reality when it is a very emotional time, it is difficult to start from somewhere else as you get older.
We started a magazine for ourselves, full of information on migration, neighborhoods, things to do, and more. In fact, my magazine was full of painting, packaging, and moving fragile things on long weekend trips because I had been working for months. Temporary apartment. In his new job, Glenn was learning ropes and finding local racing and cycling teams. Activities were his emotional and physical release. Working collaboratively and doing everything I can is emotionally and physically exhausting, soothe my difficult days finding my dance and art groups.
After I moved to another location, I began to explore our new city. The first thing that fascinated me was the glorious sunset, a photo I took after I filled my iPhone camera album. We always loved to go kayaking and find Heron, Egretz and Rosetta spoons and here they were at my back door every evening. I took this to mean this is where we are.
Resettlement is isolated when you lose your community. At my age, I was constantly reminded of how my mom moved and what made her move easier. I found all my tastes; Line classes, art studios and fantastic volunteer organizations. Finding my place, offering my talents gave me something to look forward to. Telling my adventures and posting photos allowed me to show others that I was fine. Connecting with social media has been helpful, but most of all I want my close friends, who miss your A group when you want to sit back and be yourself. Those people are irreplaceable and finding new ways to connect means frequent trips and phone calls.
I was lucky enough to find a job and be part of a new integrated fitness program. As much as I can, I want to see someone’s face when I massage them through their cancer treatment and hear them say how grateful they are for my touch. I am grateful that my passion and life has become one and that I have been able to provide a therapeutic comfort touch in difficult times for those who have survived cancer treatment.
Recently, when my grandchildren came, I played with them and took them to see the Southeast Guide Dog Puppies. It was spring break and the line was long, so hard to look forward to when you were young. Remember the AT&T ads where the gentleman sits at the kids’ desk and asks them questions to think about. So I asked my three, “What’s wrong, queuing up to play with puppies or never watching TV, never coming to see your parents or seeing us again?” It was good to have that perspective and sometimes it helps to ask ourselves difficult questions. Life is not always easy, sometimes very difficult, why do you think try? Go away, and then a smile, a song, a sunset reminds you to “change the tide and have faith.” Maybe it’s not just moving the cheese, but also cutting the hard edges, a little bit of the old mold, helping to see new possibilities.
We have a new life in a new house with a view of the sun setting over the pond every night. The work we love, the hobbies that keep us young and engaged. It was easy, wasn’t it? It was necessary, yes? Feeling grateful and resilient and banking on those good feelings for the time you shout “really, again”.