Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Falling Up the Steps

"Thank you, thank you, thank you...."

As I sit here on this snowy Tuesday morning, enjoying one of the few benefits of being unemployed [namely, not having to go out in this shit], I'm thinking of steps. Not forward or backward, but up or down. We took the Christmas tree down this weekend. Now, that's never a jolly time, but this year it felt particularly sad. Today, staring at the space where the tree stood, it's [at least] one step down. Why? I think because this year, for me, the tree represented more than just Christmas. It represented hope for a new beginning for me, for us. It represented a significant number of steps upward. Very, very high - higher than I'd been in years.

Alas, in a short month - like the tree - that feeling of ascension is gone. In it's place is a downward spiral I'm trying desperately to reverse. When I helped to put up the ornaments on the tree a month ago, it was the first time in years that I'd really looked at a lot of them. They all brought back memories and - for the first time in a long time - memories were no longer making me sad in early December.  Not from the height I'd reached. By the first full week of January, however, memories are back to not being my friend and so I let The Wife take the ornaments down.

Down. That's where I am now. Why? What happened between December 12th and January 12th? A friend has a theory that makes as much sense as any: I simply was too high on life after nearly losing mine on Thanksgiving. The height at which I was flying was simply unsustainable. I couldn't possibly keep flying that high. I was bound to fall. And, you know what they say about the higher they fly, and falling, and....well, you know what they say. So, the fall was further [or felt further] once I came back down. Perhaps even further down than I was pre-Thanksgiving.

So, now, it seems the key would be to get back up to somewhere between where I am now and the altitude at which I was flitting around a month ago. I suppose having a sense of humor about being out of work [see the start of this post re: snow] is a healthy attitude.  There's at least one positive in this nightmare. I'm also grateful that this is the first January in four years that I didn't have to do that God-awful low-iodine diet in preparation for my annual "Did your cancer come back" scan. I truly am grateful for that. I still have to do the bloodwork and see the doctor, but it's nice to be able to taste my food on January 12th for the first time since 2012.

So, there are two small steps upward - grateful for not having to drive in the snow this morning and grateful that I no longer have cancer - to get me some place between the lowest low and the highest high to a healthy, sustainable level.

Of course, for every two steps up, there may be one or two steps [hopefully no more] down. There are things going on in The Family that are reminiscent of last August/September. I realize that's going to be an ongoing trial - probably for years - and so it's going to be there threatening to knock me down a step or three. A new job that I like would go a long way toward helping me to stay a step up. Realistically, though, that probability recedes which each passing day. When you've been out of work six months, employers are skeptical. When you've been out of work a year and you're a male, employers don't even call to express their skepticism. They just go on to the next resume.

So, as I look at the space formerly occupied by our tree, the goal is to figuratively fill that space with something positive.  This morning, this blog entry serves as my first attempt at my first
step(s) up.

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