Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.


Coach Campbell has Arrived

Me? An assistant cross-country coach?!? Late Friday afternoon two weeks ago, I had just been sitting there in the tutoring center, when a guy walked in and asked, “Do you know anyone that would be interested in helping coach the cross county team?”

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How to Pass a Drug Test with Flying Colors

I have to pee in a cup before I start this job!? Well, yes. Some jobs require you take a drug test before you start work. Want to pass that drug test? Following are the things that helped me.

Don’t do drugs. Period. If you need support with dealing with life, get help from people, not substances.

Don’t eat poppy seeds in anything the days before the test (I had to turn down some lemon poppy-seed bread a friend had made. Bummer. But we laughed, “It would be sort of funny if I didn’t pass the drug test because of some bread!” My friend chimed in, “You’re the last person you would think of taking drugs.”)

Schedule the drug test as early in the morning as possible and then hold it until the test.
Excuse the bathroom talk, but it’s part of the test. You really have to go to be able to pee in a cup (or at least that’s my experience), so hold it and then drink a lot of water an hour before the test.

A few years ago I had to give a urine sample as part of a physical exam. That morning when I woke up, I went to the bathroom as usual, and then thought: “Oh, No!! I should have held it.” So I started drinking glass after glass of water in order to be ready for the test. When I got to the clinic, I tried to pee in the cup, but it wouldn’t come…I drank more water…nothing…ran the bathroom tap to get the water sound to help…then after thirty minutes, I succeeded. And for the next few hours I had to go to the bathroom every hour since I had drank so much water.
Holding it helps, and by the time you have to take the test, it will be easy.

Be thankful your work cares to have its employees be drug-free, and choose to be one of them.

By M. H. Campbell Copyright 2014



Top Ten Activities to Restore Hope After Job Loss

During this transition time, these activities have helped me greatly:

10. Run Toward Love. After I was fired, I drove out to my parents’ home where they served me pot roast and just let me cry, tell my story multiple times, and love me.
9. Take Someone with YouIf you still have to clear out your classroom or cubicle, take a loving person with you to finish off the job of clearing out your things. My Mom accompanied me; it helped to have a cheerleader.
8. Unpack Your Boxes and Reorganize Your Life. I let the boxes from work sit there for a week, then I tackled the project of finding spots for all those books. Just face into the boxes and start creating new life rhythms by putting your favorite work objects around your home.
7. Connect with Loving Co-workers, if possibleI communicated with several people at my old job about what happened, and it surprised me how compassionate they were! Several wrote me emails and cards full of truth and encouragement. One former co-worker brought chocolate and came over to talk; it was hard, but helpful to hear her opinion. Multiple people encouraged me to not let this situation jade me toward teaching, and told me “You ARE a good teacher.” Their words helped pull the poison out of the wound the job loss had afflicted. Because that co-worker had more objective viewpoint right then, she helped me know what I could say about the job loss. I’m so thankful for her coaching.
6. Go Away for a Few Days. Yes, file for unemployment as soon as possible, but you just need time away for a bit to let down so that you can heal. I visited my brother and his family the week after my job ended, and it was there, surrounded by love that I had the strength to file for unemployment. Filing and retelling the story was hard and very humbling, but it helped me process the trauma. Hugs from my one-year-old nephew, and then an invitation from my sister-in-law to stay for four days instead of one was healing balm. My mind could let down, forget what happened for a while, and just rest, play, and love.
5. Create a New Life Structure. Get up early on work days. Apply for jobs, go network, and let job hunting be your new “work.” Have hope; you will get another job.
4. ExerciseI planned exercise into my day because it relieved stress, and brought me joy! Go run by the lake or plan to go dancing.
3. Maximize Your Networks. Yes, sign up and use networking and job hunting sites, but also connect with people in person. I went to my grad school’s career office, and they loaned me career books (a great one is The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People by Carol Eikleberry), critiqued my resume, and supported me in thinking about different career choices. They helped me know it’s fine to try something different, like floral design…
2. Do What You Love and Feel Your FeelingsI read, I sang, I cooked. I took floral design classes, and I started writing a book. I cried, felt sad, shouted with anger, ached with loss, and chose to forgive. Then a tutoring job came!
1. Believe and Know That You Are Loved Just As You AreYes, sudden job loss wounds your heart and your confidence. Yes, you need time to heal, but while you are healing, just know that there is a plan for you designed by the Great Creator. Know that you are loved. You are not your job; you are of full value just as you are.
Copyright 2014 by M. H. Campbell