So anyway a few postings ago I mentioned I was on the brink of unemployment. Nothings changed except for the fatigue of emotions that has build up with time. The clock is ticking and by the end of this month, I stand a good chance of joining the rest of the 10% or so Americans out there that are unemployed. And for me it will not be so much due to economic downsizing reasons but quite a bit to “political” reasons and possibly a bit to “oh well” reasons.
What I mean by “oh well” reasons is when you see bureacracracies and policies make people do things that don’t make sense. All parties directly involved with whatever doesn’t make sense all agree that this doesn’t quite make sense, but it’s all too complicated and maybe somewhere there’s a good reason, and we all feel powerless to make any changes so we just shrug our shoulders and say “oh well”.
At my work place they’ve expediently hired a contractor to replace me. In fact they had a bit of extra money and hired 2nd person part time to enhance things. I talked to one of my supervisors and he said that something about this arrangement doesn’t seem right. But “oh well”. But let me stop ranting on this situation. It’s a done deal.
I am thankful that I was given 2 months notice before being kicked out on the streets. So I have been working real hard at finding another position to avoid the boot that is scheduled to occur the end of this month. It has been an emotional roller coaster of lot’s of out of the blue exciting prospects, met afterwards by disappointing apologies. I’m shell shocked to the point that if you offered me a job, I’d take it with a grain of salt.
Anyway I started interviewing for a job that would require me to accept a demotion in level and in salary. I was fortunate to talk with someone who was in a position to tell me the bottom line numbers on financial impact and it seemed rather smallish. So I started to think about the many years I’ve been striving and hoping to get a promotion, another boost in my income and another bump up in my pride. You know if that had happened I don’t know if I could have brought myself to interview for this lower level job, because the pain of larger drop might be too much to bear. But since I never did get promoted the drop in salary that would result is going to be tiny and the bruise to my ego moderate to small.
So I am in a strange way thankful I never got a promotion? It’s wierd. Clearly we see the phenomena of having less is being better. But it also makes me wonder should part of me be afraid of achieving greater financial success for fear of the greater financial fall if I get used to the higher status. Is happiness being mediocre?
It’s been suggested that the more you have the happier you will be. In many religions there’s talk of being granted overflowing abundance and prosperity and they are definitely referring to material and financial abundance and prosperity. Yet there are also statements to the effect that the more you accumulate the more you have to lose, suggesting that more is less. I do remember also reading about a concept in Joe Domingo’s “You Money or Your Life” describing the fact that initially increased money does cause increased happiness. But at some point with each boost of income you get the amount of increased happiness diminishes. And eventually happiness plateaus and starts to go down. So that additional money and things start to decrease happiness. So there could conceptually be a point in you’re career that when you are offered a promotion or salary increase you say: “No thanks, I don’t want it. It’s only going to make me less happy”. Wierd sounding isn’t it?
Finally, there’s the kind of wisdom that you’ll get about the power of just being present. Don’t try, don’t achieve, don’t do, just be. Picture yourself in a boat in the river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies … You are a monk seated peacefully in a mediative pose somewhere in the middle of the most destitute regions of India and you meditate for hours, and days on end motionless needing almost no food or water. And you are in Nirvana traveling in different dimensions with little need for the physical body.
So it’s all very wierd and confusing. I’m stressed but once I give up and secumb to the reality of complete failure and just sit in the emotions of what it would be like on June 1st to be unemployed it starts to become easier. I think what it would be like to know I’ve tried so hard to look for another position that I’m burnt out only to get the boot in the end. It feels terrible, but then once I’m there in emotions I realize I’m still alive and breathing and it just is what it is: really really really sucky and terrifying emotions no more no less. But I still love myself for trying.
I hear the lyrics of Prince’s “Sign of the Time” :
“Sometimes man isn’t truly happy until man truly dies”