Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The Scythe Has Fallen...
The Scythe of the Grim Reaper of Unemployment, that is... Yes, my job is the latest casualty of the healthcare crisis. It was quite an unexpected blow to me. As I was clocking out for the day on Monday, my supervising physician pulls me aside and explains that due to current financial issues (less private-insurance patients, lack of reimbursement from Medicaid patients) the clinic could no longer afford to keep me. The news floored me. I was unemployed as of that very evening.
My emotions are still a bit raw. It is mainly the grief of loss, the unexpected shock, the stress of meeting my financial obligations (I have two loan payments due in a couple of weeks, and seven months left of my lease) and the sudden disruption of a life that had been progressing very smoothly. Today I reflected on Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's 5 stages of death/dying/loss and noted that I had a short moment of denial (the "is this just a bad dream?" thought I had on Monday night), and now passing through the sadness stage and gradually easing into acceptance with the whole thing. I have tried to self-medicate by watching the first season of "Flight of the Conchords." I really could use a laugh. And maybe some chocolate milk... Nevertheless, I feel no anger, no bitterness,* or need to "bargain." The grief is still real, and I have had shed more tears the past couple days than I would like to admit, but I want to arouse my optimistic nature as well. Things will work out. I don't want this to be mistaken as a false happiness to suppress discouragement, but it is as the adage says, "Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." I also reflected recently on a saying that Joseph B. Wirthlin said, quoting his mother, "Come what may, and love it." So, am I going to love being unemployed? Well, I may not like its effects and stresses, but I can still find joy in today. I have more opportunities waiting for me. More free time, that hopefully I will be able to put to good use including serving others. Anyone need help moving out? Some cookies or empanadas made? Or, hey, maybe I could even go out on a date on a weeknight! (Okay that last one might be a little too optimistic, haha!). My mother suggested a possible visit to see Cutest Nephew Ever I and II. Very tempting, I have to see how the remaining finances** go when I figure them out. I haven't come across too many jobs yet, especially since I may be commuting from Riverside for a while. There's an opening in Thermal (near Coachella/Indio), CA. Like I said, I haven't come across too many openings yet. We'll see what happens.
* I initially felt no anger of bitterness, but I later realized that the way that I was laid off was, as my mother puts it, "despicable" and was very unprofessional. It was an insult to me and to the physician assistant profession. I am not one gets angry very often, but I will say that this issue left me very, very disappointed.
** I have also decided that applying for unemployment is not a bad thing, especially since 1/3 of my paycheck (even my final paycheck) goes to the government anyway.