Starting Over: Facing The Winds of Change? Be A Willow, Not An Oak

When we think of facing adversity, we usually imagine that we would be stalwart, stoic and strong; we would face all challenges head on, refusing to allow hard time to dissuade us, move us, bend or break us.

And in the current ecomonic storm (more commonly known as “The New Economy”), many are doing just that: staying strong and staying put, regardless of the many signs that indicate going a different way.

Much like the story of Job, even though there are trials and tribulation, our faith and ourselves shall not be moved.

And while there seems to be across-the-board approval for Job’s handling of adversity, the reality is that may not work for those of us currently experiencing hard times.

When my husband and I lost our employment through layoffs, we stayed put for as long as it made sense, and for us, that meant as long as it took to get affairs in order, gather up what was reasonable to take with us, and move to another area to try and start over. We moved from Phoenix, AZ to go and live with my mother in Chicago.

While in Chicago, we managed to find jobs. The jobs didn’t pay very much, nor were they in our normal field of IT or technical support, but we were gainfully employed when so many others weren’t, and we were grateful. We saved our money over six months, with the single goal in mind of moving back to the southwest to live.

While traveling to Austin, TX (where we eventually decided to live), we stopped in Nashville, TN, for an overnight stay. We were unfortunately robbed of all the money we saved for the trip, as well as a few other items of value.

Most people would have thought this would be the end for the ModernMarrieds.

Not so! We managed to find daily manual labor work that paid between 40-60 dollars a day. We saved it daily sans what we needed for food and gas. We lived and slept in our car the entire time. It took couple of months, but eventually we made it to Austin, where our car was promptly repossessed.

No matter. It was an SUV and drank gas like it was water. We actually saw losing the vehicle as a blessing. It provided an opportunity to find a more economical mode of transportation.

Once there, within a week, we employed at decent jobs. Within a month we had an apartment, a new (to us) car, and furniture. Within that month, we were homeless, but made use of some resources (non-governmental) available.

The most important thing that we did is we remained flexible and open to different solutions to our problems. While neither of us is particularly used to or well-suited for manual labor, when the situation arose, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. When the job market in Chicago did not seem to yield the types of jobs we wanted or were qualified for, we did research to find an area in the country that did have such a job market and we moved there.

We moved, we worked within the circumstances presented, we downsized.

Whatever it took to get back on our feet, we did.

Many people suffering through this frightening economy are not willing to change, to look for unqiue solutions, to try different things.

In a storm, while the winds are howling, the graceful willow tree bends with those winds, moving in tandem with the direction that the winds blow, while the mighty oak stands strong in the face of the winds. But when the storm is over, how many willow trees are uprooted? Not that many.

The oak trees, on the other hand? Branches gone and more than likely uprooted.

When people are faced with the winds of change during a storm of adversity, they would do better to emulate the willow: assess the direction in which the winds are blowing, and go with it. Work within the circumstance. If the job situation in your immediate area is poor, research and find an area where more jobs are offered. If the housing situation in your area is dismal, find where the housing situatiuon is  better. Be open to the possibility of having to move where true opportuntiy presents itself.

Many people use the excuse of not wanting uproot family, or have children who don’t want to leave school or friends. But if your situation is dire, you’ve not been gainfully employed for an extended period of time and you stand to lose everything, why sit and wait until the complete sky falls in? Be proactive! The family will be happier with stability and security in the long run — no matter where that is, because luckily, as a species, we humans will and do adapt.

The Starting Over moral of this part of the story? Be Flexible. learn to bend with the winds of change during a storm of adversity, so that you can when the storm is over, you can strong on your own once again.

The Modern Married Chick

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About Modern Married Chick

42. Fabulous. Happily married.Blissfully childfree. Dog mommy. Chicago native, Austin resident. Lover of books, wine, food, dinner parties, politics, great conversation, social media, girly things and geeky pursuits. Striving to be the perfect wife -- with a modern twist.
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