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Single Living

I bet you didn’t know that pink signifies happiness and joy in Catholicism. I’ve always been fond of the color and receive pink roses from time to time as a gift from my sweetheart Mr. Right, whom I met on CatholicMatch. 

I love the look of these blossoms but don’t often take the time to smell their sweet fragrance or consider the beauty of this precious gift that God so freely shares with us.  

Last month I had occasion to pause and reflect about what the color pink represented when it came in the form of a pink slip from my employer. After being in a top management position which I had worked years to attain, I was told that the company had decided to reorganize and my title was being eliminated. 

I can’t say that I didn’t see this coming from a mile away, as I was the financial guru. The employment picture has been dimming in this country for the last few years, and my company just like so many others has made massive cuts in the recent past. After we lost our group health insurance last year, it seemed that the only thing left to cut this year was employees.  

If you are wondering whether I have hard feelings about the organization that I worked for or the tough decision the finance committee had to make in order to keep a non-profit organization in business, I would tell you that I do not.  

[Quitting My Job: Why Work Place Matters More For Singles]

I applied for unemployment immediately but haven’t seen a penny yet. I was told by the Division of Unemployment that correspondence between their department and my former employer could take up to five weeks since there is the usual government red tape involved. In the meantime, I’m getting by living off my retirement savings. Not a perfect situation, but I am grateful that I have some funds to fall back on.  

One requirement of unemployment insurance in Wisconsin is that you must apply for two jobs per week. This is fairly simple and can be easily accomplished via the Internet.  The only bad thing is that management positions in my field are few and far between in this area. Thus, I have been forced to apply for positions as far as 125 miles away.    

I have gotten a good number of calls on my resume and have been lucky enough to interview at three companies so far. Unfortunately, the company that was most interested in me is over 80 miles away. That said, I have a whole new host of things to consider should the job be offered to me. 

Should I drive daily until I sell my house? The gasoline prices would put a serious hole in my wallet. Should I rent in that area temporarily until I can sell? That would also be expensive. What should I do with my 115-pound dog? And most importantly, what about Mr. Right, who lives more than120 miles away from me in a border state? 

The interesting part of this whole puzzle is that Mr. Right is also temporarily without a permanent full-time job. He does do consulting, but with the economy in a slump, business is definitely not what it used to be. Thus, he is also hitting the bricks in search of a steady job with benefits. This confounds my job search since the possibility does exist that if I find a job near Mr. Right’s home it may be fruitless if his job search leads him elsewhere. 

 

Let go & let God

My attitude of late has been one of prayer and acceptance. After all, in the “Our Father” we recite the verse “Your will be done.” I truly feel as though this job loss is all part of God’s plan for both my life and Mr. Right’s and that now is the time for me to stop and smell the roses.

Although I have spent the majority of my time the last month looking for employment, I have also had the opportunity to visit my grown sons and their families, babysit my grandchildren, spend time with friends, soak up some rays in my beautiful backyard and spend time on my knees in adoration.  

I have also had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Right at length about our future together. Our love has not changed but grown deeper as we’ve spent time visiting the cathedral in Milwaukee and praying the rosary together. I wait for the day that we can overcome the temporary obstacles of distance and job loss that have been put between us. 

Being a widow, unemployment is not the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I remind myself daily that this could be a blessing or a curse, depending on my outlook.  I have chosen to take the high road and see this as a blessing in disguise and I reflect on the “Serenity Prayer” that has gotten me through so many truly bad days in the past.  

If you are currently unemployed or see a pink slip looming on the horizon, I urge you to stop and smell the roses in your life by counting the great blessings that God has already bestowed on you. And join with me in this prayer:  

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

 

 

 

Editor’s note

We publish Barb Tess’ reflections on life as a Catholic widow the first Sunday of every month. Be sure to check back on Sept. 2 – and, in the meantime, enjoy some of her 20 archived pieces here.

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10 Comments

  1. Joan-629290 August 5, 2012

    Barb,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sure you have provided hope and encouragement for many others experiencing the stress and uncertainty of job loss. I always enjoy reading your words of wisdom based on a great Faith in God. I agree that we all need to learn to “let His will be done”.

    Prayers ascending for your job search and as well as your future with Mr. Right.

    All the best to you!

    Joan

    • Barb Tess
      Barb Tess August 17, 2012

      Thanks so much for the kind words Joan. I take heart in the words “Thy will be done” rather than “my will be done” and I find hope in the promise of new beginnings.

  2. Jim-397948 August 6, 2012

    Ditto with my prayers!!!

    • Barb Tess
      Barb Tess August 17, 2012

      Thanks much Jim and good luck in the search for your Miss Right…

  3. Dawn-58330 August 7, 2012

    Barb, I am glad you wrote about this. I was let go from my teaching position fifteen months ago. I have been thanking God ever since… or at least trying to. For the most part I’ve been successful. And I am thankful for the lesson in gratitude. LOL Being grateful in all circumstances has been the difference between me being joyful and me becoming bitter. I’ve been able to move beyond the staggering disappointment to see this as a time of growth for my faith and many other areas of my life. While my pocketbook is getting smaller, my spiritual treasures are overflowing. Ultimately that is what counts. Eventually I will embrace something other than the apartment leasing position I am in, but for now I am choosing the joy of life rather than the grief over what was and no longer is.

    I wish you the very best, and will keep you in my prayers.

    Dawn

    • Barb Tess
      Barb Tess August 17, 2012

      Your words are music to my ears Dawn. I am so very grateful that you have read between the lines and found the joy in life rather than the bitterness. God works in mysterious ways and always in our best interest, so I also take heart in the fact that when He closes a door, He opens a window and we enjoy a fresh start and all the beauty this life can hold.

      Blessings to you as you move through this period of transition with happiness in your heart.
      Barb

  4. Carol-746366 August 15, 2012

    Thank you for reminding us that God is still in charge. :)

    • Barb Tess
      Barb Tess August 18, 2012

      You are very welcome Carol. God’s peace to you today and everyday.

  5. Novemi-732443 August 19, 2012

    Dear Barb,

    I have sincerely enjoyed reading your article and has served as an instrument to remind me of “Thy will be done”. In addition, the “Serenity Prayer” is powerful. There is so much I could share along these lines but suffice to say, how much I appreciate your encouragement in letting God do the rest.

    God bless you always and may you have happiness with your “Mr. Right” as I am also waiting for God to bless me with a “Mr. Right”.

    Novemi

    • Barb-505508 August 21, 2012

      Thank you so very much Novemi. I have been studying our faith recently with fresh eyes and find that everything I need to know, in order to feel secure, is contained right in the Catechism of the Catholic Faith. God’s loving embrace is there for all to share. I will keep you in my prayers tonight.

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