I never thought of my job as stressful, and most of the time it wasn’t. I worked from home and it seemed to very easily blend in with what I was already doing. I made Saturday my day to stay home and do laundry, prepare meals, and clean house. It was easy to get caught up on things at home and work at the same time. However, once I was no longer employed, it soon became apparent how much stress my job did bring into my life.
I was now footloose and fancy free. The stress was gone. I was no longer carrying around a burden like Christian in “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” My heavy load had been lifted. I was enjoying life. I fell in love with running, weight loss became a breeze, and I was approaching a huge goal.
My weekends soon became full of all kinds of events that I would have normally skipped out on if I had been working. By mid-March when the Commit to Get Fit program had ended, Spring was here and it was a great time to be outdoors. I started running as much as I could. My goal was to run three times a week, assuming that the weather cooperated.
My oldest daughter talked me into signing up for a 5K on Saturday, April 30th. It would be the first 5K of the year, and the second 5K of my life. I hadn’t been running regularly since the fall, so I had a lot of preparation to do for this race.
On the first Sunday in April I got a phone call from one of the drivers I used to work with. He had nothing but bad news to tell me. First, one of the drivers was suspended and probably was not going to come back to work. Second, Mr. G. had quit, he thought for medical reasons. Third, Bob, my boss who had become ill just over a year ago, had passed away.
This hit me like a ton of bricks. It was too much bad news at once. I went into the bathroom and wailed. Bob was one of the good guys. He cared about Jesus and his family. I knew his family would miss him severely. I really felt bad for Mr. G. This was his baby, this was his life, and he had walked away from it. I could not imagine what it was like for him.
On Monday I received a phone call from a nearby trucking company with a possible job opportunity. I wasn’t looking for a job and hadn’t applied, but we knew someone who worked there, and he had given the manager my phone number as a dispatcher out of a job. The woman I talked to said she would get back with me.
On Tuesday I went to Bob’s funeral. I arrived a few minutes early and found a driver that I knew. I sat with him and his family. We chit chatted and caught up with each other before the service started. He was in the same boat as I was–he was part-time, so he was not hired on by the new company. He said, “Have you seen Mr. G. yet?” I said, “He’ll be here at five after.”
Sure enough, at five minutes after Mr. G. came in and sat across the way from us. We made eye contact and he nodded to acknowledge that he saw me. I was glad to see that he at least looked well.
The service was beautiful. The music was fabulous and very uplifting. I know it sounds odd, but it was just what I needed during a time that I was feeling very down. You don’t usually go to a funeral expecting to get anything out of it. My belief is that funerals are for the living, and I usually go to support those that are grieving and missing their loved one. This family was definitely grieving. Bob’s death was sudden, and his family was feeling a great loss. In my attempt to be a blessing for Bob’s family that day, they had been a great blessing to me.
I was hoping to talk to Mr. G. after the funeral, but he went running out the door before it was over. I went home afterwards and within an hour had a phone call from Charles saying that they wanted to hire me. I guess when it rains, it pours! I confirmed that Mr. G. was no longer there. He told me that he and another guy had been working there the last 60 days without a day off, and they wanted to get someone in there so they could get some time off.
I wasn’t sure what to think. I now had two companies bidding for my employment. I was really enjoying a stress-free life and being able to do things with my family whenever I wanted. However, that came with a price–literally. It meant no paycheck. It wasn’t money that we relied on for our day-to-day expenses, but it had paid for things like a new washing machine, a new furnace, a new air conditioner, medical bills, running shoes, vacations, etc. I at least wanted to consider these two offers.
In the end, I took the job Charles offered me. We did some negotiating, and he bent over backwards to accommodate me. The only thing he could not give me was working from home–the company wouldn’t allow it. I was to work Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. This would make for long days and for some big changes at home. I knew I was entering a new season in life.