Well, you know what they say about having all your eggs in one basket. At my age, I’m happy to have any eggs in my basket at all. There have been times in my life when I thought I had lost the basket along with all the eggs…yeah, a basket case, right?
When I was divorced, it felt like that. Lost the dream of our family staying together. Lost my job. Lost the dog (see “Life is Long” post) But true to the truisms of life, I found myself. When I had no job and knew no one while living in an apartment in one of those Georgian houses on the common in Salem, I was happier than I had ever been. Why was that… or come again?
Things had gotten so bad that I was beyond bottomed out. I was burned out from a brutal job, I was unemployed, living off savings. I was alone in life because my ex-husband and my children had all disappeared, avoiding the fallout from the divorce. I didn’t know what would happen to me. Usually a very strong person, I had had it at this point in my life. I cried “Uncle!” and gave the burden of my fear away.
I looked up and said to the Universe, “Here, take it! It’s all yours! I can’t handle it anymore so I am asking for your help and hoping that you will hear me.” “Please.”
And for the rest of my time in that place, I didn’t worry about the future constantly anymore. I just lived. One day after another.
Little by little, things happened and help was on the way. I got a call from a VP from my last job that asked if I wanted to do some consulting for a start-up biotech firm. When I moved there, my piano needed fixing and I met my future husband to be (see “Life is Long“).
The COO of the biotech company asked me what I wanted to find in a place to live. I said a new contemporary condo with a view of the water. He said “good luck“. The next day, a stranger called me about a condo on a lake that was just listed for rent. I moved in there and loved it. It had more pantry space in the kitchen than I had ever had. Although having pared things down, I no longer needed it as much.
Now that I had a job, I could support myself again. There was a fireplace, a glassed in atrium with a bluestone floor, a small deck that looked out on the lake. There were lots of birds and wildlife too. A large blue heron would stand on the dock near my back yard and preen itself in the afternoon sunlight. Once, I heard a fluttering in the chimney and a bird got into the house, flying back and forth frantically seeking a way out. That same COO answered my distress call along with his wife and two young sons. A graduate of MIT, he engineered a chute with a chair and a blanket draped over it so that the poor bird (who was standing still under my bed by this time) could emerge and fly out the open window.
Then, I became friends with the piano tuner who invited me to dinner at his home, a huge Queen Anne Victorian house where his shop was, and which he renovated with a geothermal heating system drilling a well deep under the house. There was also a handsome stone drywall built around the perimeter of the property, the rock hauled by hand and loaded on over fifty trips in his small truck.
Life went up and down again. The biotech start-up that had such promise sputtered when their clinical trials (which I was managing) failed. We opened the interim results on a Thursday night and the company closed on Friday. I was out of work again. More work appeared magically over the phone. I could never figure out how they knew where to reach me. I was lucky. I also worked very hard for a long time, not always knowing what to do but coming up with ways to solve problems. Finally, I found myself not having to do it anymore.
So, I don’t know about eggs in a basket. My experience is that there is help and all you have to do is ask for it. And to be thankful when it comes. That’s an important part of this whole thing. Ask for help and be grateful when it arrives. It is also important to recognize help when it appears and to go with the flow if your intuition tells you that it’s okay. Just remember to give thanks.