Winston Churchill would be proud


“Just when the caterpillar thought its life was over, it became a butterfly.” ~Anonymous

"You don't really see a tractor, do ya, Murdock?"

“Remember, it’s always darkest right before it goes totally black.” ~Hannibal Smith, The A-Team

Life comes at us AS types fast and furious. We can be staring at something that may, to an NT, to be completely and totally bloody obvious, and only after years and years of looking at it do we really “get it.” The proverbial forest for the trees.

Ever heard that phrase “staring you right in the face?” That happened to me.

One of my great heroes from history is Winston Churchill, maybe the last of the great statesmen. I often wear a silver pendant engraved with the former British PM’s most famous quote: “Never, never, never give up.”

The original "V For Vendetta"

It’s tough to embrace change. Tough to give up what have become established habits. After a while, we don’t even notice that painful hangnail or callus or cold sore. We adjust to it. Tell ourselves that it’s not so bad.

I’d fallen into that trap myself; settling for less and telling myself that life would never get any better, and if it did, it was more apt to be sheer luck than anything.

The trouble with that line of thinking? There are no fairy godmothers (or godfathers) in this world who will magically appear with a handful of glittering dust to make everything all better. But, if we go looking for them, it’s then that the miraculous things happen.

I’d heard horror stories about unemployment in this recession economy. Master’s degree professionals reduced to working for nine bucks an hour. Families forced to live in tents because Mom and Dad couldn’t find work. Seniors having to sell family heirlooms or come out of retirement at age 75, just to get by. I was justifiably worried when I was laid off in June. What would happen to me? Would I survive? Would I go crazy?

I knew that self-pity and moaning were NOT the way to go. I started a resume blitz and instead of throwing it out everywhere, really started focusing on positions that might actively make my life better and help me grow. I knew beggars couldn’t be choosers, but I was doing the legwork and actively exploring new avenues. I was even looking in places I’d never thought to look before.

In every desert, there is at least some water. Otherwise, how would any ecosystem survive?

I’ve begun to believe that old saying “God helps those who help themselves.” The thought of going on public assistance, even for a short time, or for having someone I knew potentially seeing me in line at a food bank? Unthinkable. Pride may go before a fall, but my self-respectability was at stake. It was out of the question.

Two months in, though, I’d begun to worry, my thoughts drifting toward another cold winter and high heating bills. What if (there’s those nasty little Whatifs again) I couldn’t find anything by then, and unemployment vaporized at the end of December? I had this crazy image in my mind of me, bundled in rags, sitting around a campfire eating pork and beans out of a charred can.

Irrational, yes. But a possibility.

Opportunity has a way of finding us when we least expect it. Not only was I able to pull myself up by my bootstraps and get by, I found a full-time job with opportunity to grow and also that will give me time to work on my freelance writing and tutoring. In other words, I won’t have to work 60 hour weeks if I don’t really want to. I may have to for a while, just to get back on my feet after that titanic fall, but it’ll be worth it.

After all, the finest kind of tempered steel must be folded and re-folded maybe hundreds of times before it is ready. In order for dross to become finely honed metal, high temperatures are required.

I never, never, never gave up. And I’m a better person for it. As a very wise man once said, “Conflict is the source of the greatest things you do in life.”

Questions? Comments? Think I’m totally mad? I’d love to hear it…drop me a line at wikusandmurdock@yahoo.com!

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on August 23, 2010.

One Response to “Winston Churchill would be proud”

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