Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Big Picture

We all have things we need to do in the short term that we do not want to do. It is often very hard to get past the minutia of the minute, the irritation of the day, the pain of what happens in any one particular week.

But sometimes, you have to step back and take a look at the big picture. Why am I here? What is my goal? What am I trying to accomplish by doing this? Where do I want to be in an hour, week, month, year?

Today was one of those days when i had to be reminded about the big picture.

Today is Mother's Day. And my kids who all work in food service had the day off to spend with me! Unfortunately, the part-time job I recently picked up scheduled me to work from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Earlier this month my manager indicated that staff could not request off for holidays. I've worked in restaurants and in retail before -- I assumed that, like all of those jobs, Mother's Day was a holiday I could not ask off. I didn't find out until Thursday that I was scheduled to work today.

I was OK with it until I realized that I could have asked for it off! Seriously? The only woman in this department with children, and you scheduled ME to work Mother's Day?

Then I was pissed -- ROYALLY pissed! I am too old to be treated this way for a crappy part-time job!

After I calmed down, I took a step back and had a look at the big picture. I am at the part-time job for a reason. I have a plan that will take about a year to fulfill. 99% of the people I work with are very nice. Even the customers are mostly very nice. So, this one time, I have to work Mother's Day. I can live with it. I can get past this. And I can guarantee it will never happen again.

No, I don't "need" this particular job. But if I look at the big picture -- I WANT this job and it will get me where I need to be next year.

One thing I did learn is, it is not good to assume anything. Immediately after discovering that I was scheduled today, I asked off for every single day I wanted off through the month of July.


We all have those happy anniversary dates we cannot forget: first dates, first day at a new job, weddings, birthdays...

But we also have the sad dates we cannot forget, like the day a divorce is final, 9/11, or the day your parents died.

I bring this up because my in-laws died tragically in May more than 20 years ago. (If you have read this blog before, you know how they died, and I don't really want to get into that right now.)

For a very long time, the entire month of May would be difficult for my husband. Then for years, the week of the anniversary would be hard for him. Finally, just the day of their deaths was the hard day.

Most of the time he does a great job of not dwelling! People who do not know us would never guess that that day can be difficult.

But then some years we have the double whammy -- the anniversary of their deaths falls on Mother's Day.  This year -- today -- is the 25th anniversary.

A couple of days ago, I asked my husband if it would be hard for him, and he said no. We have great kids -- we count four now, even though only two are "officially" ours. And the kids do a great job of spoiling us both, so there really is no time to think about anything sad.

Still 25 years ago today, our lives changed in such a dramatic way! Sometimes I cannot believe that it has been 25 years already! And on other days, it feels as if it was an eternity ago -- it feels as if it happened to different people.

So, on this day when I am going to be spoiled rotten, I want to take a moment to remember the two best in-laws that ever were. If I could have planned a mother-in-law and father-in-law, it would have been you.

Mom and Grumpy -- we still miss you and think about you! Thank you for having been such a positive influence on me, even if it was for only four years!