Then there was the stress of knowing that there were likely five months of this to endure, five months of putting on a brave face when I was terrified, five months of needing to be professional in a devastating situation, stress that at times seemed unbearable. There were times when I was so raw that I cried, times when I allowed myself to feel angry at the people who had made this decision for me and still try to give them the respect colleagues should receive, There were times when I had to leave campus because the stress was overwhelming. Much of the time I was so engrossed in trying to make sense of the unknown that I was unable to be tuned in to very much else.
On Friday, for the first time, I woke up feeling very close to my real self. Here is what helped me to transform my lemons into lemonade:
- The patient, kind support of my husband.
- Messages, verbal and written, of concern and hope from family and friends.
- A couple of meetings with an outsourcing professional.
- Several meetings with a Stephen Minister from my church.
- My wonderful quilting buddies who listened when I wanted to talk, and understood when I didn't.
- Unexpected blessings like the flowers that showed up on my desk, the box of fabric that appeared in the mail, and a truly amazing vegan dessert (who knew?).
- Trying to think outside of myself, to make a meal for a friend recovering from surgery, to make charity quilts, to make a couple of "unnecessary" gift quilts.
- Oddly enough, a shared experience: One of my dearest friends received similar news just two weeks before I did. Collectively, we have visited every one of the Kubler-Ross stages of grief, some of them several times.
- And the offer of a job!
A few weeks ago, after I had become convinced that because of my age I would be unable to find a full-time job, I applied for a part-time position. Several days ago, I was offered and accepted the position. There are still some concerns that must be figured out, but the job appears to be a good fit, possibly custom-made for me. I will share more details soon. But right now, I think it is time for a glass of lemonade. And I certainly do like the sound of this recipe!