Diary

The Blessings of Unemployment

What a strange thing to say. How can being unemployed be a blessing?

Well it all depends on your outlook. Try it with “In all things be thankful.”

Not there yet? Still not making sense? How can I be thankful for unemployment? No income. No employer paid insurance. No paid vacations, company paid travel, expense accounts, bonuses, retirement fund, company paid training or any other advantage you can name to having a corporate job. And not to mention the looks you get when people ask what you do and you tell them you’re unemployed. How can I be thankful that I no longer have a job I had for 28 years!!??? And to have that job go to Costa Rica even! To people I trained!*

In ALL things be thankful.

Being thankful isn’t always easy. It’s not so difficult to be thankful for great food, a nice home, good health, a great job, or any number of other pleasant things. It’s a little more difficult, but not too hard to be thankful for things that you have in spite of your difficulties. For example, “Thank God I wasn’t hurt in that accident that totaled my car.” But try being thankful FOR your adversity.

A few weeks ago my church had a guest speaker who was a paraplegic. He had fallen from a roof and ended up in a wheel chair. The topic of his sermon was, you guessed it, “In all things be thankful.” He explained the process he went through going from anger about his plight to finding things to be thankful for and finally being thankful for his “disability” (in quotes because it is no longer a disability to him). Well if he can be thankful for his situation, how can I be miserable for my own?

So here goes… I’m thankful for becoming unemployed. As I ponder it, it really has been a blessing. If I weren’t unemployed I wouldn’t have been able to do many things that needed done that no one else was available to do. I’ve done home repairs and upgrades, helped put a roof on my son’s house, helped my brother in law put up a fence when his paid employees did a no-show, handled various medical emergencies and spent days making 450 pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals at a local mission (a joyful experience that I recommend to everyone).

And now the big one that applies here: I no longer have to worry about what my employer thinks about my political activities. I can’t get fired for making a controversial statement or for showing up at a Tea Party rally or for taking a stand against abortion or for posting through a company network or writing a letter to the editor or anything else. I’m FREE!!!! It’s a strangely liberating experience.

While I don’t recommend the status to others, unemployment has been a strange and wonderful blessing to me.

*This actually helped, they’re good people.