What is really important

14 02 2009

Could the answer be anything other than family? Maybe for others, but not for me. My recent calamity aside, my visit over a long weekend with my family has been very helpful. It is extremely gratifying to walk in the door and have a five year old (my niece) literally scream with delight as she sees me. It is also nice to have unconditional love from my parents and siblings. My sister in law actually had to pull me aside and tell me that she thought I looked great.

I am grateful for the fact that I have lost 85 pounds over the last 9 months. The fact that I am much healthier is going to help me in two big ways on my job search journey:  grocery expenses are cheaper because I make all my own meals, and looks matter. I would have insisted that they don’t a year ago, but that would have been me lying to myself. All other things being equal, the healthier looking person is going to get chosen. It was true on the dodgeball court in elementary school, and it is true on the corporate playground today.

My final thought is that it is important to be social when you are out of work. Locking myself away from others for a few days didn’t help me at all. Over the past couple of days I have been on the phone with friends and family. And while the conversations always include the obligatory ‘how are you doing’ question, they also all seem to have a useful suggestion. Socializing or networking doesn’t have to be about trying to make a connection that leads to a new job. But it can provide useful information and ideas that you haven’t considered. That has been my biggest takeaway from ending my self imposed exile.

In the end, everyone here loves me for me, not for what I do at work or who I work for. I saw a headline on a news service quoting the Anglican Bishop of London. I am paraphrasing, but he said that losing your job in this crisis could be a good thing, because it is a reminder that what you earn and what you have are not the important things in life. Greed is still a deadly sin, and maybe many of us in the world (myself included) have forgotten that. It is how you live, not what you have that makes the man. And family is a great reminder about why we need to put ourselves back on track to live better.

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