Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ending Radio Silence

I haven't written in a while. The last few weeks have been a roller coaster and I have been stuck about how to write about it and how much to say. I've also been very busy living it.

I had one great week where I booked several weddings for 2012. It was an amazing week and I was giddy with success.

The next week we found out that we don't qualify for refinance. While there are some things left to be doneso we don't have a time frame yetwe know we're losing the house. So that really killed the mood.

The first thing I did was send an email to immediate family. It was an announcement and a request. I listed things that would be helpful to hear and things we didn't need to hear. After that, I spread the word on Facebook and via email to more friends. It's nerve-wracking to admit to the world that you're in troublethat your best efforts to keep your head above water have not been enough. Having got the word out and received a response, I can say that while we face some uncertainty, we have a lot of support.

Over the next two weeks, I was called about three potential jobs.  I had two interviews for one, but have not been called back. That's alright though, I don't think we're a great match.

All of this lead me to some reflection. Wookie and I talked about success and failure. I've never measured success in terms of money. Losing my full-time job last year didn't impact my self-image that much because it was just what I did for money.  Don't get me wrong, I take pride in my work as an editor and technical writer. I do a fantastic job for my business writing clients* and they have always been happy with my work.  But my real calling will always be Celebrancy and teaching. The business writing doesn't touch lives the way Celebrancy and teaching my Celebrant students does.  
*I consider full-time employers clients too.

The knowledge that we will be losing the house though, caused me to call some things into question. I know we're not alone. There are people who are much worse off than us. But I found myself in a dark moment where I had to wonder if my definition of success could handle the material realities of what many would define as failure.

I have to say I am definitely married to the right man for me. Wookie defines success as I doin lives touched. While we've both struggled to make a living in this economy, he's never stopped helping people. Right now he's the training officer for a volunteer search and rescue dive squad, and while he looks for a job as an EMT, he keeps taking courses, training, learning more. We've both lost count of the number of people he's helped along the way.

Wookie reminded me that we share the same view of what's important. He told me about his Dad and his uncles–how he learned from them the value of making an impact on someone's life and how there is more to the world than one's net worth.–We especially talked about his uncle Des, who I had the pleasure to meet on just a few occasions and who was, maybe one of the sweetest people ever.

Last week Des passed away. We knew it was coming, he'd been ill for some time, but it's still sad. Here was a man whose love for his wife Margaret will always be a model for me. Even as Alzheimer's stripped the world away one memory at a time he held on to her. What an amazing love.

And so, I have perspective again. It may seem that the world is crashing down on our ears. I look at our not very neat house and try to wrap my head around packing while Wookie looks for a place for us and the cats to live. I worry about the practical things and getting it all done while tending to my Celebrant students, and my clients, and everything else. But at the end of the day, wherever we wind up, I know we'll be together, doing what we do. And that's what really matters.