Originally Published on November 7, 2018 on LinkedIn
I’ve never been a great cook. I don’t enjoy it but as a single adult, I must do it when the restaurants are closed or I’m too lazy to go out. So I’ve burned a lot of freakin toast, bacon, and countless other meals because I get so distracted by other more enjoyable things than cooking. And because I don’t like wasting food, I’d eat my burned bacon. Every. Single. Time.
So today isn’t so different. I burned my bacon again this morning in my brand new camper. I set off the smoke alarm (not a new thing for me either) and opened all the windows to let out the smoke despite the 22 degrees outside. I didn’t even hesitate when I gently placed those burned strips of yummy, crunchy bacon on my plate.
What is different about today is that my employment was terminated (this will the fourth layoff in my career) this morning via email. At first, I was a little upset but after only a few moments, I began to think about all of the things that I’ve wanted to start doing, places I wanted to see, people I want to spend more time with and possibly build a new career around. I bounced between glee, depression, anger, acceptance and fear a million times in just a few minutes.
And now, a few hours later, I sit in front of my burned bacon and mostly cooked pancakes with a pleasant and familiar smile. I don’t mind this burned bacon for my breakfast because it represents something very precious and personal to me. I need challenges and failures to learn how to do things differently. I need to be challenged so that I continue to understand empathy and compassion. I need burned bacon every once in a while to show me when I’m too distracted and need to slow down and pay attention to the things that matter to me. I need focus. And thanks to this layoff, I have the kick in the pants to get moving and starting focusing on what I want to do next.
I have loved my work for many years but I have especially loved the people I work with and the team we’ve built together. It hasn’t always been kittens and rainbows but it was all part of the journey. As a seasoned “laid off employee” (there should be an award for that by the way), I can say that after each layoff, I found myself in a better place. Every. Single. Time. This will be no different. My next journey will begin soon and it’s starting to feel scary and exciting at the same time. It is what Steve Farber would call my “OS!M” and I’m ready for it! Everything that happens in life has brought me here so I do not regret or begrudge any of it. Seriously! I can still afford the damn bacon and the camper to burn it in, too!