- Someday Lesson: We may not always be able to choose our circumstances but we can always choose our reactions.
Here in Spain, unemployment has reached an all-time high, with over 4 million people on unemployment and something like 9,000 new people let go from their jobs every day.
Back in March my part-time job had to cut out my English as a Second Language class because the government severely cut back on funding to adult education. Then yesterday was my partner’s last day at his job and he is now on the unemployment line.
We don’t worry that much. I have other income sources and Spain’s unemployment benefits totally rock, plus we keep our cost of living ultra low. There’s just one thing that sucks: the lack of choice. While my partner will be happier and healthier away from a toxic (physically and psychologically) work place and I’ve started working much harder both with my writing and with Someday Syndrome, neither of us chose to end our jobs.
I always say that life is choice but occasionally that choice is limited to how we react to something. We could have panicked; I could have thrown myself at whatever English job I could find in the city and my partner could have taken whatever job, no matter how bad, just to have the security of a paycheque.
But we didn’t.
Instead we both decided to pursue our dreams. In my case, I recommitted to my twin dreams of writing and Someday-busting. My partner has decided to take his occasional work as a wedding DJ to a professional level, turning it into a full-time business.
Before that, however, he’s going to ignore the bad economy and do something he hasn’t done in over ten years. He’s going to take the summer off, to lie on the beach and recover his sense of calm.
Here are some tips for staying positive in the face of sudden changes in circumstances:
- The idea of a silver lining isn’t just an optimist’s silliness – you can always find something good about a situation, no matter how small.
- Unless you live inside a soap opera, it’s highly unlikely that anyone is out to get you – drop the ego and the wounded pride because they just lead to a negative spiral of resentment and anger.
- Remember the advice in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: DON’T PANIC – panicking only creates irrational thoughts and actions
- Distract yourself with something new and fun – to “celebrate” his last day, my partner bought varnish stripper and stain to redo all the doors in the apartment.
How do you react to sudden changes in circumstances? Any tips you’d like to share?