the search for lost things

I’ve lost my job.

I’ve looked in all the usual places … gone through my trouser pockets, scanned the mantelpiece, looked under the car seat, been through the ‘man drawer’, checked the bedside table, looked on the kitchen shelf where the important stuff resides.  I’ve methodically been through my jackets, looked down the back of the sofa, searched behind the fridge where things have a habit of falling. I’ve shaken some boxes at the back of the garage. I’ve asked my wife to go through her handbag, I’ve re-traced my steps around the house, drive and garden, I’ve looked on the table in the hall and felt the lining of my coat.

No joy.

Strange we say we’ve ‘lost a job’. Like we’ve lost a pen, or our car keys or our favourite sunglasses.

Actually I haven’t lost my job at all. It wasn’t ever mine really.  Not mine to lose.

The reality is that my employer decided to reorganise the work which constituted the role I was paid to do.  Some work was stopped, some new work added and the way in which my former employer set out to carry out that work no longer included a package of work previously called ‘my job’.  I haven’t lost it, the organisation has removed it.

Time to find another path, another ‘thing’ to occupy my time, feed my interests and my family.

So where do I look? Not under the car seat seemingly. Not in my coat lining. More a case of looking inside? Under my skin, in my gut or in my heart perhaps?  Searching there is not as straightforward though as looking behind the fridge or in the loft.

A search more rewarding perhaps?

So, it turns out, the removal of my job isn’t a loss, it’s a gift. An opportunity. A chance to reconnect with what matters to me. A chance to get closer to myself. A chance to be more me.

Maybe having a job all this time has been masking the true loss – the (temporary) loss of my connection to self? A temporary blindness to what drives me and why I am here.

Well I’ve found that again now, so all is good.

Advertisements

travelling how?

travelling through life

How do you travel through life?

Do you roll, like a smooth pebble; always moving, rolling ever onwards to the sea?

Do you dance like a starling at dusk, part of the whirling, ever changing murmuration?

Do you drift like a cloud, morphing as life’s winds blow?

Do you dive like a kingfisher, arrowed and true, breaking the surface for what lies beneath?

Do you set your SatNav to avoid the tolls, so that life is trouble free and scenic?

Do you let life come to you, like the leaf of a tree, mellowing through the seasons?

Do you run like the prey, staying safe and ever alert to dangers?

Do you hunt like the predator, opportunistic and meeting your needs?

Do you melt slowly like a sugar cube, sweetening your surroundings?

Do you float on a cloud of your perpetual dreams and imagination?

Do you travel light, ready to soar on an upward current of unexpected breeze rising from life’s hot desert?

Do you speed like a train, sure of your path, keen to remain on track and to get there quickly?

Do you skate like a water boatman; surfacing all, never diving deep?

Do you build stepping stones across the fast flowing river, sure of your place as the current rushes between your feet?

Do you stay in the pack, travelling where the pack goes, hidden within?

Do you fall like a snowdrop, gently drifting in life’s beauty until you melt away?

Do you sway like tall grass, whispering to the grasses around you?

Do you shine like a sun ray; enlightening, growing and warming those you touch?

How do you travel through life?

 

destination unknown, journey blind…

image

When I join a motorway, board a train, get on a bus, I don’t notice where it ends, where it terminates. I merely check if it’s going to my stop. Perhaps you do the same?

Some days, I get a bus from the train station in London to work. I know which buses go there. I have made this journey for several years. I pay scant attention to where the bus is headed though, beyond my disembarking point. It trundles off, my use of it complete. My journey is bounded by what I know. By start and end. By familiarity.

Earlier this week I was working elsewhere for a few days and discovered the same bus went there; I just needed to stay on it for another twenty minutes.

Now my normal journey has more context  I can imagine the onward journey in my mind. I still don’t know where the final destination of my bus is, but more is known to me and so strangely the bus has more life, more character, more relevance. I am somehow more connected.

Life is like that.

We know where our next port of call is. We become familiar with the small repeat journeys we make. But we find it hard to see beyond; to see the context of the whole journey, to see where we are headed. To know a destination.

I am travelling abroad now for seven weeks. I have a planned route and know where I will end up. Yet I don’t know where I’m going still; in that the terrain is all new, the environment totally strange to me, everything is to be discovered on route. Nothing is familiar. Nothing on repeat.

Sometimes life is like that too.