I have been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ over the last few months. It has taken a lot of time because the ‘Eat’ portion was slow. It didn’t quite keep me reading. Not that it wasn’t well-written, it was, but it didn’t speak to me.
I got sucked ‘The Help’ and then ‘Starting From Scratch’ and then ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’. All of which I really should write reviews on because they are amazing.
Now I am in a lull, still discussing Hunger Games’ and starting to read Water For Elephants. I devoured the entire HG series last year and have been chomping at the bit for the movie.
Anyway, I am sick and in pain, so today I begin to read ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ again. I have ventured into the ‘Pray’ section and I have to say it has been very enthralling.
Gilbert’s candid prose about her experience has me stunned. Everything she says has touched something deep inside me. The passage that struck me was:
“Devotion is diligence without assurance. Faith is a way of saying, “Yes, I pre-accept the terms of the universe and I embrace in advance what I am presently incapable of understanding.”"
What a way to say something that affects any person who has any type of religion?
I”m not sure about the Love section yet, I am going to start that tomorrow. The Pray was a bit much for me, her struggles and experiences are overwhelming.
I would say even if you don’t think this book is something you would read, pick it up and read the Pray section, you won’t regret it.
A lot of sick, tired and stress has sapped my blogging and writing mojo in general.
I have made a commitment to go back to school to better learn to market myself and have that degree behind me.
The rejection of the job market and the constant stress of making ends meet has sucked the life right out of me.
A friend of mine linked to a FB site that has lit a fire inside me and hopefully will renew my optimism: The Face of the 99%
I am hoping that knowing so many people are in similar positions to myself and my family will help me.
We are only holding on because we have so many good people in our lives that help out. Our family members that help don’t even know the amount of rejection and hardship we have faced. My husband and I put on a happy face and make it seem like things are ok.
We try everyday. We hear ‘no’ everyday. We fear losing more everyday. A bit of us dies everyday.
Here is my contribution to The Face of the 99%:
I am a wife.
I am a mother.
I am a student.
I am a volunteer.
I am a hard worker.
I am a good friend.
I am unemployed.
I have worked since the day I could legally work. I have paid many years of taxes and social security. I have paid my bills and helped others pay theirs. I made a choice two years ago to quit my job for my newborn son’s welfare. Paying for his daycare would be too expensive since he was premature. With two other kids, it just seemed to be a better decision to cut our spending so I could stay at home with the kids.
A year later my husband lost his job. He did not qualify for unemployment. He put in hundreds of applications and sent out his resume but he could not find anything. We took a chance on a lifetime dream of his and took out our retirement to have as savings. As the economy got worse and the government came out with new laws on that industry, our savings melted away and we were left with nothing.
After over a year of barely paying bills, almost losing our house and constantly looking for work we finally broke down and applied for Medicaid and food stamps. It was not an easy decision but we needed help and after a combined 35 years of paying into the system, I think we have paid for the assistance we get now.
I have put in over 65 applications in the past six months at places that tell me I am over-qualified because of my experience, sent out my resume to 40 different companies for jobs similar to the one I held before. I have not received one offer.
My husband has sent out almost 250 resumes in two years for jobs like the one he had, even ones with an hour or two commute, along with over 50 applications in the past six months to places he is apparently over-qualified to work. He has had one job offer. For a position with an 80 mile roundtrip commute, at minimum wage for 4 hours, 5 days a week. Unfortunately, we crunched the numbers and the paycheck would barely pay for gas to get there and back.
I am not a freeloader.
I am not uneducated.
I am no longer going to keep quiet.
I AM the 99% and my voice counts!
This happened a few weeks back but with all the sickness and my never ending bronchitis, I have not gotten around to blogging much. Sleeping and holding my babies has been on the top of my list.
I think it is important to share because it just goes to show what a little bit of patience and kindness (for no reason other than I think other people deserve it) can get you.
On the way home from a Girl Scout leader meeting one night, I decided that I would just stop at Taco Bell instead of go home and cook since I was sick (this was at the beginning of this devilish cold turned everything else ucky).
I pulled into line and within 5 minutes I could tell it would be awhile. The place was packed and the drive thru line hadn’t moved at all.
I looked to the bright side, it was 8pm and I was no longer at a meeting that bored me tears. On top of that I was alone and it was blissfully quiet.
I had the realization I could turn on my radio to my favorite station, roll down the windows since the weather was good and not worry about rushing home to kids and chaos since I was trapped in a drive thru line. YAY!
The entire time the car in front of me interrupted my bliss…he honked and cussed and carried on, as if that was changing anything.
I got up to the speaker after about 20 minutes of waiting. I pleasantly ordered my food and said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Just like my Mamaw taught me. The poor guy apologized for the wait and joked about how busy they were. I chuckled and told him not to worry about it.
When the guy in front of me got to the window, he flipped the guy off and drove off cussing. He didn’t even get his food! I guess he thought he was showing them! He shorted them a whole $10 I am sure, and you know that will hurt Taco Bell’s bottom line.
Anyway, I drove up and smiled. The poor drive thru guy looked flustered and apologized profusely. I told him it wasn’t a big deal, still said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Mind you I had at this point been in line for 25 minutes, not being able to enjoy it because of the douchebag in front of me.
What’s the point of the story? The nice drive thru boy appreciated my kindness so much that he comp’d my ordered drinks and gave me to two free tacos and a free cinnamon twist. The amount of free stuff I got was worth more than I paid for my order!
I didn’t ask for it, I wasn’t angry. I received extras because I was kind during someone’s time of stress.
So, next time things aren’t going your way at drive thru, restaurant or retail store, please remember that the person you are being mean to very likely isn’t the reason for the hold up.
Smile, be kind and treat them as a person. You will get good karma, for sure, and maybe a little something extra for your kindness.
Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop
5.) I have no idea where the following message originated from, but it’s been floating around Facebook for the past week…who does it make you think about?
If you are looking for my usual sarcastic sense of humor and cute pictures of Ewoks….today is not your day. This week’s writing prompt has brought up something serious, a topic that hurts my heart just to think about, let alone to write about.
I have this friend…I think…I assume…hell I don’t know. She came into my life when I was very alone and when I needed someone. She was there for me and supported me through a year of turmoil and grief and depression. Then I gave back, because I was grateful for her friendship.
The problem is I have giving back and getting little ever since then. I try and try and try but she always has something better to do, some place more exciting to be.
I have texted to check on her when her FB clearly shows she is in turmoil and never received a response.
I have called, usually getting voicemail and no return call.
I have invited her to every function I have and there is always an excuse as to why she cannot attend. She even skipped my birthday reducing me to tears when she didn’t bother showing up. Several times she has left a function she actually showed up to claiming illness, only to post pictures with other friends out at a club later the same evening. (Darn that FB and it catching people in lies….)
And if I respond to anything on her FB it seems she answers every other commenter but skips addressing me, even of I ask a direct question.
It’s infuriating….maddening and very very hurtful.
Several times I have tried to cut ties in an effort to save myself the heartache of being rejected by her. I give in every time she needs me and I’m not sure when enough is enough.
She herself posts stuff like the picture above and statuses about fake friends constantly and I feel like this is my hint as a writing prompt.
Maybe I need to let it go….maybe I should grieve this friendship where I obviously care way more for her than she does for me. Maybe by doing this I will have the strength to ignore her the next time she needs me. I really don’t think I can do it anymore.
Every invitation she declines, text message she ignores, phone call she doesn’t make breaks my heart.
This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop.
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