Better Than I Was Last Year

2008 has been a year of evaluation, challenge and faith. The decision to use this blog as an avenue to express and document some of my thoughts, ideas and suggestions (thus the name of the blog) turned out to be a good decision.

In February of this year (2008), I began this post you’re reading now, but decided not to publish it until the end of the year. Boy I’m glad that I did. WHAT A YEAR! I believe I can add another category into my relationships, online friends. I have had more insightful, creative, intriguing, inspiring, funny and encouraging conversations from a very small group of individuals, whom I have never met, than people I see all the time. To have the rare and wonderful opportunity to have a conversation with who often lives hundreds and even thousands of miles away from you is something that couldn’t easily happen a few years ago.

For that small group of people, I thank you. I don’t think I need to give names, but they come from all walks of life, experiences, perspectives and opinions. Most live in the U.S., but I’m always delighted to hear from that wonderful lady across the pond too. I believe you know who you are and I just want to thank you for reading and being apart of the molding of my thoughts, ideas and suggestions. Some may view that as a compliment others may start screaming, “WHAT HAVE I DONE, I’VE CREATED A MONSTER!” Either way it’s been fun and look forward to more.

Now that I’ve said that, let me begin. Don’t worry it’s not that long.

This time last year I was working for a very large health care provider. I absolutely hated this place for a variety of reasons. On Thursday, January, 31st I was basically given notice that my time with this company is limited. Initially I wanted to get upset, but it was a relief. I wasn’t going to be respected and I have a problem working with people who know everything, but always asking you how to do something technically. Then question your expertise after you solve the problem and deny that you helped them.

Anyway, as I was sitting there a spirit of calmness came over me. I wanted to get mad. I have a mortgage, car payment and a list of other things to pay for. It’s hard enough to find a job and you’re getting rid of me. But the only word that spirit gave me was, “Remember! There’s no need to fear. You just need to walk by faith and not by sight.” It was then I could see the worry on my manager’s face and hear it in her voice. Although I think she’s a fake and a sneak and never bought into the “Look at me, I’m a Christian routine” she tried to play with me. Be who you are with me, don’t act a certain way towards me because of your perceptions. I’m not some stereotypical christian than blindly follows without question and you shouldn’t be one either. You gotta be true to yourself before you can be true to anyone else. (You see I need a pull-up man or woman. Because I’m not trying to go there this time.) Anyway,  strangely enough found myself offering her comforting words.

So, what do I do now? My time is very limited and bills will still be due. I have responsibilities. And God Knows that the Last Thing Wanna Do Is To Go Home And Tell A Black Woman I Lost My Job. You know what? I would want to go home and tell any color woman that, because the reaction is the same.  Wouldn’t that be just typical, a Black man losing his job. 🙂  I rather be televised slow dancing with Dick Cheney under the moonlight in a pink pinstripped prom dress from 1984 than do that. (That would not be a pretty sight for anyone to see.)

Well my only answer is that I have to be encouraged, resist the spirit of fear and to walk by faith and not by sight. I don’t know what the future holds for me. I knew that I may have some difficult days ahead, but I couldn’t worry about that now. I had too much to do.

I later found out that she was lying, but that’s another story. I was leaving the bottomless pit of despair you call a healthcare giant and go where I’m wanted and appreciated. So in this difficult job environment I left a job and walked by faith and not by sight. Exactly three (3) days later I get a phone call out of the blue. It’s some company calling me about a position I applied for. I don’t remember, but I’m in the market.

What’s interesting is that it took 3 days, but I’m not going to analyze that one.

Long story short after 3 interviews I was working again and all my bills were paid on time. Now I could use some church musicians right there, but I digress.  🙂

Let’s continue…

I was making four thousand less, had bills to pay and a family to provide for, guess what happens. Somehow  I was able to pay off four debts.. So how do you do that, when you’re making $4000 less? I think some already know my answer to that. I’ll just keep on walking through my story.

I want you to understand that I’m not where I want to be, but I’m much better off than where I was a year ago. I have a job that respects and appreciates my willingness to try to simplify how they work. I’ve had some wonderful conversations and hope that I have in some way encouraged, enlighten, persuade, challenge, made some mad and change your perceptions with the occasional laugh or smile. I know I made some people mad, but everyone will not like my thoughts, ideas & suggestions.

Merry Christmas.

PS: Let me know if you’re ever in Nashville.

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4 thoughts on “Better Than I Was Last Year

  1. Tim,

    You said, “Well my only answer is that I have to be encouraged, resist the spirit of fear and to walk by faith and not by sight. I don’t know what the future holds for me. I knew that I may have some difficult days ahead, but I couldn’t worry about that now. I had too much to do.”
    ======

    This is something I believe that most of us can relate to. I wish I could remember who it was that told me this (regarding fear)…yet, here it is:

    F….False
    E….Evidence
    A….Appearing
    R….Real

    If there was any one thing that tried to grip most all of us this past year, it was most definitely fear.

    I am profoundly grateful for our introduction through a mutual friend. (She is an amazing lady!) You have created a wonderful site. Each time I read one of your posts…I think this is the best one. Then I read the next one…and say the same thing all over again.

    Tim, I wish the very best for you and your family this holiday season and only joy for the new year. I also trust that the Lord continue to expand your level of wisdom as you use this blog as a forum to reach out to so many.

    Merry Christmas my Brother!

    Michelle

    1. Well if you ever wanted to see a Black man blush, here it is. 🙂 That’s one of the nicest comments I’ve ever received. Thank you. I only try to express my thoughts, ideas and suggestions as honest as I can. I hope that I’ve gotten better over the year, but I know I have so much more to learn.

      Eventually I’ll run out of things to say, but then Sarah Palin will do something and I’ll have something new to say. Seriously, I appreciate your kind words.

      PS: The check is in the mail.

  2. Great story. I just goes to show that there’s more than one way to win at this game called “life” without resorting to cheating (cough, Blagojevich, Madoff, cough). 🙂

    Keep up the good work, Tim. I’ll sure there is going to be a lot happening in 2009 that’s worth writing about.

  3. Great post, AND what a laugh. Your comment below has been my all time favorite for the year.

    ‘I rather be televised slow dancing with Dick Cheney under the moonlight in a pink pinstripped prom dress from 1984 than do that.’

    I laughed hard. The picture was frightening but I couldn’t help myself.

    Now on to a serious note. This month has wrought many changes for me. I cannot say that I am better off now than I was a year ago. But I will say, this time next year, I will be better off than I am right now. I mean for it to happen and I will not accept any less. Sometimes change has to knock us down before we choose to take a better path. I’ve come to recognize that what I cry about today will be hailed as a blessing in disguise tomorrow. Thanks for the reminder. The future looks bright and fear will be put in its place. *hits desk with gavel*

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