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Question of the Day

Before I get on with the “real” post, here are two quick housekeeping items:

1. Thank you for ALL the gift cards and clothing for the Hardman Family. I’m waiting for two more cards (that are in the mail) and once I have those, I’ll be sending everything to the Hardman’s. You can read an article about how they and their neighbors are doing here.

2. Yesterday, I showed Cooper my post about his crush. He beamed the entire time he was reading it as though he had “arrived” now that his face was on the internet. And when he got to the end and read the last sentence, he looked at me almost shocked that I hadn’t realized that HE could make me a flower, and with the sweetest enthusiasm said: “I could make you one!” And he did. Colored in my favorite colors. Bless him. If only he were 20 years older.

And now for the “real” post…

As most of you know I lost my job last Thursday. Well, the very next day I went to an all-day event with my friend Mindy and then on Saturday, I helped at a booth at a Healthy Living Expo. Sunday was of course busy busy with Church as well as a photo shoot with my youngest sister. So yesterday was the first real day without a job and I was determined to enjoy it.

I got up, ate breakfast, and went to the gym. Then I got ready for the day and stopped by a neighbor’s house to go over some things for my new job at Church. Then I came home and made a list of grocery items and errands I needed to run. I finished all of that by 1:30. So I came home and cleaned my bathroom.

2:00.

At this point I began to feel lost. There were certainly still things I could do, but instead I just sat on my couch staring at the wall while a thunderstorm turned the sky dark and pelted my house with a monsoon. Luckily Frit came home a couple hours later and we canned peaches for Family Night.

She keeps asking me how I’m feeling but I never know how to answer her. Even as I write this I don’t know. Because I really am so extremely happy to not be working there anymore. I’m still totally thrilled that my life is wide open to endless possibilities. But right now, I just feel lost.

That job, even though it was hell on earth this last year, was my “thing.” It was where I went every day. It was what I did every day. It employed the people I talked to every day. It was the green box that took up the majority of every day in my perfectly color-coded planner. When someone asked, “What do you do?” it was my answer. And I’ll admit, I felt proud of the title and the position, perhaps to a fault.

But now I don’t know where to go or what to do. My planner has no colors. If someone asks, “What do you do?” (and someone did on Friday), I don’t have an answer. And all of that is a very weird feeling.

But the thought came to me this morning, I think as an answer to prayer: Your job did not define you. Whoa. Say what? Come again? Your job did not define you. And when I stopped to really think about that, it’s true. But it’s also totally and completely shocking. Because if my job didn’t define me, then the question becomes: what does?

And that my friends, is the question of the day.

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7 Comments

  1. I don't have an answer…all I can say is that I ask myself the same question. I decided recently to remember things/activites that made me truly happy…then I thought about why they made me happy. I really loved all the volunteer activities (mostly with kids) that I used to do. Helping people made me happy, and I havent' done much of that recently. Time to get back to it. What makes you happy?

  2. Over all the time I've been reading your blog, one theme seems consistant..'I love the beach..I don't belong in the desert..I miss the ocean'..etc. Maybe it's time to return to HHI, find the man of your dreams, get the house with the white picket fence, kids, cooking, cleaning and all that jazz. whatcha think?

  3. I agree with Sammy… you have been talking a lot lately that you eventually want to end up back in the south… maybe now is the time? i do know, however, that your life has been in utah almost as long as your life was on hilton head. how do you leave somewhere after twelve years of grown up life? i did… last year. i left 10 years of grown up life in utah to tackle a new adventure in texas. it was super hard but i grew a lot, and found my hubby. :) now i'm in another place i really don't want to be, but i'm determined to make the most of it until it's time to move on… either back up there or back home. i know wherever you are will play a big factor on where i end up, so let me know when you figure that out eh? :)

    anyways, what defines you… by far i think it's your relationship with the savior. you would be an AMAZING seminary teacher… maybe that's something to look into.

    another thing i think is your craftiness… cooking, cleaning, painting, projects… do something with that, because you LOVE it!

    i'm really excited for you at this time in your life sis. let me know if you need anything. love you!

    oh and did JJ tell you he finally mailed our gift card? it should be there soon if not already.

  4. I received a priesthood blessing recently because I was going through some very similar struggles (minus the loss of a job). The "where do I go and what do I do?" struggle. I received some very distinct and interesting counsel: Stop floundering around looking to the world for what you should do next. Get on your knees every day and ask Heavenly Father what HE wants for you. So maybe the question isn't "what" defines us, but "who?"

  5. I was on the boat today and thought of you–it was one of those amazingly clear days, gentle breeze, not too hot, just beautiful–if you had been there you would have been taking pictures!
    All fabulous comments so far…I agree! Plus…go back and read your blog this past year. There's so much meat there, so much insight. Also, while you were on HHI you mentioned in RS that you were trying to get to know the Savior even more–that you were stepping it up even more. These kinds of things help us come to know the Savior like nothing else. He's right there to help guide you and you are not alone and do not have to carry the burden alone. Check out Matt 11:28-30. You are in my thoughts and prayers constantly. The closest answer is the distance between your knees and the floor…or is it the fastest answer is however long it takes for your knees to hit the floor…You know me and quotes! lol But I know you get it! What defines you? You are you-rock solid-built upon the rock-you have a great heritage, loving family and friends-you're a gorgeous creation with so much to offer-and with God nothing is impossible! Life isn't about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain. Love you

  6. So I have to say, I hate to follow your mom on leaving a comment because mom's are always right-on & nothing can even match the wisdom & insight they share…

    But still, I wanted to share with you an epiphany that I had this morning: "What matters most in life is your CONTRIBUTION not your CREDENTIAL" In light of that, it really doesn't matter who your employer is or isn't. It doesn't matter your "title" becuase that's worthless in the long run anyway.
    What really matters in life is your contribution. And every day you have the opportunity to contribute something of value to this world around you — I realize this is nothing new to you — you are one of the people gives her heart and shares her talents every day. You create beauty in your home and garden, you contribute compassion to everyone who crosses your path, you create joy as your angelic voice fills a room & you share your musical talents. There has always been so much more in your life than just a job — and what you contribute outside the office is usually what is lasting and eternal anyway. So my best advice is to keep doing what you've always done — keep living and giving — contributing to this magnificent world around you.

    I, with thousands of others, will be forever grateful for the profound contribution your friendship has made in my life.

    Thanks for being my inspiration & BFF!

  7. I agree with your mom about going back and reading your blog . . . you never really talked about work and yet it's got insightful things, funny stuff, activities, relationships . . . a whole lot! As for the work-defining-you thing, it's interesting, and I think about this often. Whatever it is one does generally turns out to be very important in their own world, and the "spin" whereby they see everything else. I mean, look at the list of conventions in town this week. There are people who devote their lives to things we never even think about. I'm not saying that's entirely bad, I mean, you have to put your heart into whatever you do, but at the same time it's good to step away, and not be defined by that anymore. I told my colleagues at the school I taught at one year after I'd quit that I think I'd be a much better teacher after having a year off. They were surprised and couldn't imagine why. I think it helps you see what is important and what is not, and to view the world through different lenses. Okay, so this is a lot of rambling and no answers, but I love what everyone has written so far. What defines you has to be what doesn't change – who you really are in the eternal sense, and what you are working to be.

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