Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Moral Obligations...

Well. I had to put this down because I had a bit of an "epiphany" this morning while drinking coffee. That isn't usually the time of day I have epiphanies - too early usually - but perhaps it was the decent night's sleep, coupled with the half-dream I still found myself in, standing in the kitchen, that led me to this realization.

You see, I was trying to figure out why H didn't jump up and say "YES! I know what you mean!" in enthusiasm when I told him I could no longer work where I work and wanted to find a different job. I thought "surely, he is on this journey with me, he will understand", and while he did seem to see where I was coming from, the reasons behind my decision did not seem to strike him as so important. I couldn't work out why that was.



I realized this morning though, that his perception of this experience has been profoundly different than mine. While he watched me almost die, and felt that pain acutely, and had that be an awful experience for him (I can hardly imagine being that scared for him - it must have been absolutely frightening and horrible) I was the one who almost died. But I don't say that for sympathy, or "my situation was so much worse" because as someone said on TV last night ("House" - a show I love but almost never get to watch because I am constantly working), it's a lot easier to die than it is to watch someone die.



But how true. It's true - it's not hard to die. I know that. You just lay there, and they put a lot of morphine in you, and you're so high that you are living for the moment - you just exist in that piece of time, right then, without worrying about your appearance. I bled all over the floor in the evening and it just seemed inconvenient and I felt bad for the nurses who had to clean up. There was a crash cart outside my room - I had no idea - it didn't seem important. All of the drips and wires and the heart monitor, and the blood dripping into me weren't hard to cope with. I could have died easily. Just faded out and that would have been that. Not hard at all really.

But being lucid and having to cope with all of that and almost losing your girl as well as your daughter, all at once...that would be something. That would affect you differently, wouldn't it? Make you more insecure about things? Sadder for a while at least, right?

But I...having almost died, have been left with a different emotional legacy. All of a sudden, all of the injustice in the world has been amplified. Once you've nearly died, people who don't "get" what they are doing to others in this life, or who treat their own with callous disregard suddenly become shaded in a different color - ignorant of the facts. It's easy to die...frighteningly easy. Nobody is immune from that...believe me.



So now, here in the present, I live. I can't waste time any more. I no longer have time for bullshit. Honestly, that is the way it's changed me. No time for trivial crap that means nothing. You want a report in by 8am - sure, I'll do it, but if my kid needs comforting in the night instead, you'd better believe I'm going to be by his or her side instead of doing the report, because the report is trivial then. Fire me for it? Sure - go ahead - but you are one sad, sad person for doing so. Now, if I want the weekend off and I have everything in place for it, you'd better believe I'll take it. I am very, VERY tired of working so very hard so that others up the chain of command can sit in luxury houses, "fat and happy" as they say, in designer suits. Money like that doesn't mean thing to me but - hello - I am human (and so are others in my position) and I deserve to be treated as a human being. If you won't do it, I will. My children and my family need me.

I do not understand micromanagement any more either. How, in my job, we are managed as though we have no brains in our heads. Quite honestly I don't know how anyone puts up with it. Someone "up there" clearly has too much time on their hands. I wish I did....but we are only given one day off a week where I'm at. Priorities...priorities.



So, like a new butterfly of whatever color, I am crawling out of the chrysalis of corporate America. I'm high in a tree, getting ready to let go. My colors are changing from black to mauve...orange...pink...purple... Immorality has had me trapped like a giant spider, hugging me to her... I've stuck the spider in the chest now, and off she falls, together with her fat profits and her disregard for the people in her care. As a company, you are supposed to be a Noah. The people in your company ought to be the people in his ark. I'm not Christian but I have read the bible and I know what it says, and what it means.

The voices of people telling me to labor on regardless because "a job is just a job" are fading...I can feel the wind in my ears and the spring air smells so sweet. I can see something I believe in and I think I can fly toward it. I wonder, who are all these other chrysalises beside me? Could it be that there are others who feel the same as I do? Come with me, people - do the right thing for your lives...free yourselves.



You're smarter than they want you to believe. Make a plan and follow through. You only have one life - that saying is so, so clear now.

8 comments:

Inanna said...

A few years ago, my husband almost died of necrotizing fasciitis (it's flesh-eating bacteria) brought about by an abscessed tooth. And now, our baby has died... and you're right, it brings things into focus. He's actually looking for a new place to work right now. We've had enough of the place he's at, and we've been tolerating it because of "the economy" - but after our recent experience, none of that seems relevant. I get it. Do what your heart wants. Follow your bliss. It's all that means anything, and it's the best gift you can give.

whitneymum said...

you rock jay..seriously.
I know you only from your posts here & MDC..and d*mn, you rock.
You speak to the soul and spirit, you are so close to what "living" truly means. It's a wonder to watch your journey. Thanks for having me along :)
*fyi..loving your music selection, so's my toddler*

Rachele said...

It's really so true. One profound thing just after Gideon died: My parents always had this thing about Garrin and I and money. It was never mean or rude, just that we needed to work everyday and make more money and how important our jobs were. And they really just aren't that important to us. Money is a necessary evil, so we work, end of story. When my Dad saw Garrin and I comforting each other the day before Gideon's funeral, he told us that if we were penniless and living in a cardboard box under a bridge we'd still have more than the richest man living in the largest mansion in the world.

All that, I guess, to say that I agree. It's not about jobs or money. Do what makes you happy, love the people you love and live this one life you have like the precious gift it is.

Fireflyforever said...

Jay, You are of the most Lifeful (I think I've just invented a word - I like it) people I know. Thank you for opening my eyes to the possibilites.

Hope's Mama said...

This is beautiful. I wish more people in this world shared your way of thinking.
Sally

Shannon Ryan said...

I love Jill's new word too! She says it all!! Jay IS so lifeful! What an amazing woman you are, and I am blessed to be on this journey with you.. I'm also 'the devil' when it comes to telling people to do what their hearts desire! I think there is a better job out there for you.. one that respects human life, and the joys outside of the office. You can do so many things with your lifeful (hehe used Jill's new word again!) attitude and artistic abilities. I hope you find your calling soon!

Anonymous said...

This is the strong, courageous, inspired, fiery girl I know, together with your siblings a true blessing to me, to our entire family, to our friends and to this world of many worlds! We two share a lot as far as life experiences go. However, you are the one who has made it into true freedom. Well done!!!
Mutti

Jay said...

Oh Mutti...I love you!