I was out of work for 543 days, that is a long time not being able to provide for my children the way they expect, not being able to provide for myself the things I am use to having. 543 days of not feeling good about myself. 543 days of trying to make the best of the situation.
So I decided, that I am going to list 543 lessons I learned, new discoveries, rediscoveries and blessings received during my time of unemployment. (this is going to stretch me and take awhile!!) And sorry if I repeat a few things....this is a long list :)
1. During this time I have learned that I need to value myself enough to take care of my body
2. I have learned who my real friends are and those who just wanted to be "friends" to get information to further their career.
3. I have learned the difference between wants and needs
4. Been blessed with people who have come along side of me to give me encouragement
5. I have come to understand that God does things in His time not mine.
6. Both of my boys are pretty much self reliant now and only need me in a pinch.
7. Rediscovered my love of the beach.
8. My church family stood in the gap with me during this time and prayed hard for me.
9. Discovered my love of reading is still there
10. Learned that I don't always have to say yes to everyone
11. That I can say no and not feel bad
12. Was able to be in places that I wanted to be with those I wanted to be with at anytime, any day of the week.
13. Reconnected with my adoptive family when my Fay Mom passed away. Was blessed by their love and acceptance of me as their sister and auntie
14. My brother is my best friend, it took us a few years to get back to that and I love every minute on the phone with him, every text and every visit with him. He raised me and loves me and my faults!
15. Learned how much stress I was carrying around with me while in my last job. I was making myself sick with stress.
16. Rediscovered my love of naps!
17. I have been blessed with an amazing Mother in Law, she supported me, propped me up, told me I would get through this and loved me when she didn't have to.
18. My faith has grown stronger during this.
19. Having the ability to be there more for my youngest, spending more time with him has been great.
20. Learned that when backed into a corner, I find resources to get out of it.
21. I have learned to stop thinking that I am better than others.
22. Learned that breaking bad habit is freeing
23. Learned that building better habits will keep me healthy
24. Discovered what coffee shops have free Wi-Fi and who has good coffee.
25. Learned that being lazy is ok sometimes
26. Been blessed by strangers who have seen me cry ask if they could pray for me
27. Blessed by a couple that I sit by in church, their love and prayers kept me going.
28. Learned that I can send a child a state away to college and not cry.
29. Blessed when I see two birds or two butterflies to remind me of my moms and their love for me.
30. I have learned to stand up for myself and not back down.
31. Learned how generous my friends are.
32. I have figured out who I want as part of my life and those who I don't.
33. I have learned that I will not chase people to be part of my life.
34. Come to the conclusion that I don't need a man in my life to make me complete or happy. I am responsible for all of that.
35. That taking the time to read the bible is actually good for me (when I remember to)
36. Was blessed by a man named Tony that on some Sundays at church slip a $20 bill into my purse because he wanted me to do something special for me.
37. Learned to deal with the Medi-cal and EBT system to get the help I needed.
38. Learned that I had to reach out and ask for help and not to be ashamed for it.
39. Discovered the library is a great place to use the internet and get books when you don't have money to sit in a coffee shop to use their internet when you didn't have the money to pay for the internet at home. And books and DVDs are free to rent.
40. Learned the concept of delayed gratification. Learning to wait.
41. Patience....hard thing to learn but learned a little and still working on it.
42. When I put my mind to something I can do it, just takes me more time then most but it gets done.
43. I became pretty versed in the way the Federal Government works when they failed to pass unemployment extension for millions of Americans. I wrote Senator, Representatives and the President. I was quoted in an article for the Wall Street Journal and in a letter from the Ways and Means Committee to the Speaker of the House.
44. That it is ok to cry when you are sad and to let the tears just flow.
45. Being home so much made me realize I am a slob....have I taken care of that? not yet but it is good to recognize your faults.
46. Learned that I much rather spend time in the gym then in bed all day. Not to say that I don't have stay in bed all day days....
47. Blessed that is was God that keep my feet planted everyday and keeping me from going crazy.
48. Blessed that my Dad lives with us, financially I don't know how I would have been able to keep my house, put gas in the car some weeks or pay the bills.
49. Coupons are my friend! We have been able to have some meals with coupons (much to the embarrassment of the boys, who know love those coupons). When shopping at the grocery store whatever I saved in coupons I treated myself to something with the money saved.
50. Learned how to stretch a meal into a lunch or another dinner
51. Freezer bags have been my friend in assisting in #50.
52. Learning that making this list is harder than I thought....but goes back pushing myself
53. My friend AC gives me the greatest advice, she feels more like a little sister at times then a friend.
54. Another friend RC gave me the gift of taking care of me, she saw my weight going up and the depression sinking in.
55. I took some time to do a few on line bible studies, this helped me a lot!!
56. Realized that I did a pretty good job raising my boys.
57. Blessed by the pastor at my church, he does not know me or my story but weekly he says something that I swear is meant for me.
58. My computer, it helped me look for jobs, research and kept me entertained when I was not happy or when I was lonely.
59. I have finally come to the conclusion that I am ok being alone. I don't need a mate to make me happy...I have to make me happy first.
60. Learned to be content with what I have
61. Learned how to find the blessing in anything that comes my way the good and the bad.
62. The word hope....I love the word....hope for more of Christ in my life, hope for the best for my boys, hope for my circumstances to change, hope, hope....love it sounds much better than a wish!!
Ok for those who are actually reading all of this, I really thought I could write 543 things that I learned while out of work. The biggest things I have learned is that I am no ones door mat, that my boys are great, I have so many things to be grateful for and I learned that hope is not a wish, hope is something that will come true if I take it to God.
Thanks for reading this......