Stop asking me when I’m going to get a job. Thank you.
Yes, it’s a topic that needs attention. But please understand that on February 17, 2012, I lost my career. My Facebook page lists my position as COO of the Fowler family. That was spot-on at the time of Adam’s diagnosis. After his diagnosis, my job became managing him—his appointments, his medications, his behavior. Driving him where he needed to go. Attending appointments and surgeries, etc etc. I don’t need to belabor the point.
Upon his death I lost a prong of my career and personal identity—wife. Gone. In an instant. Suddenly someone else. But who? Who knows? Still haven’t figured out that part of it.
Despite no longer being a wife I was still a mother. This mothering came at a critical time for my children and I was so crippled that I didn’t know how I would provide what they needed. They put up with a lot and accomplished much of what they have without, perhaps, the presence they needed from me. On the other hand, perhaps my unavailability taught them an independence that has served them well.
Now my children are in college and active mothering is off the list as well. (Oh don’t give me that philosophy about always being a mother. You know what I mean—providing active service to my children. I am now in the reserves.)
In my previous life I was very happy with my career, *which I had chosen*. My tasks were different every day. I was active, carrying out the demands of my family. I was a project manager, chef, laundress, personal shopper, accounts payable and receivables clerk, gardener, just to name a few. Now no one needs me to do those things. How can I just jump into something else?
Because I’ll tell you, the last thing I can cope with is appearing at an office cubicle every day at 8:30 wearing an outfit from J Jill’s Wearever collection, sitting under a fluourscent light while bored co-workers interrupt what I’m trying to accomplish or while darting out for a “meeting” which is nothing more than a couple of hours of chest-butting by my esteemed colleagues. No thanks.
The dinosaurs didn’t recover when the asteroid hit the earth. Well Adam’s death was an asteroid hitting my earth. I’ve spent my time since that day first just trying to function, second making sure that my kids weren’t going off the rails, and then learning to take care of the tasks Adam always took care of, learning things like how to do home-maintenance projects myself and how to do man stuff like changing the car battery, dealing with piles of paperwork that still haven’t been completely sorted out, well you get the picture.
I know I need to get a job. I need a job not only for income to keep me from diving prematurely into my life insurance policy, but also to occupy myself and ensure human contact, to give myself a sense of accomplishment now that I am no longer a family manager. Please understand that I have to find a new life purpose, not just a hamburger-flipping job. It’s a process, and I haven’t had much brain power to flesh it out and pursue it. So please be patient.
There are people in this world who must have a job/career for personal fulfillment. I’m not one of those people. I would be perfectly happy spending the rest of my life diddling around the house with various projects, doing some volunteer work, that kind of stuff. Apparently that’s not enough, though, so I have to figure out something else.
Yes, it’s been two years since Adam’s death. But those years have been full of attempts to heal, reacting to the needs of myself and others like a pinball hitting a lever, my father’s decline and death, and now maybe I’ll have time to think and figure out that new career.
If you have any ideas for me, just know that I love making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, as the saying goes. Taking something that’s down-and-out and fashioning it into something beautiful to be loved again—a manuscript, a house, a chair, a yard, you get the picture. (My life, maybe?)
Thanks for your time.