Trees of Transition

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


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Forgiving Yourself After Sudden Job Loss

The morning after I got fired, I wrote my former bosses a resignation letter because the word “fired” just seemed too painful; I wanted to control the situation and just resign. My sister-in-law, Erin, was the one who gently reminded me: “They fired you yesterday, so sending them this letter would just confuse them.” Right, that made sense.

Just writing the letter was enough (I didn’t need to send it); it helped me grapple with what I was feeling. Writing has helped me bring resolution to this situation; even just typing out a password for a job search website has helped my brain through the forgiving process.

At first I believed I could have done better and kept my job; however, looking back I see that I did the best I could. I fully jumped in and engaged the students, yes, I wasn’t perfect, but I connected and helped those high school Seniors become better writers for a month.

Over the last couple months, I have felt multiple emotions other than peace. First, when I was told I had two weeks to do even more with the students, teach better, I felt tension, but also a challenge. After working 12 hour days and doing the best I could, I felt confusion, when after those two weeks I was fired because I had not met their expectations. Crying and anger mixed with relief followed. Elation and tons of job ideas trailed by sadness and just needing to lay there and watch movies for hours have been part of my healing journey. Talking with people and finding out how many people have been fired at different parts of their lives has helped me connect deeper with humanity in general.

Each workday I would log into a job searching website and type in my password: 77forgive, and then continue on with my search. Each time I entered those job hunting passwords the forgiveness would grow toward the bosses that fired me and the pain would lessen. I just realized I also was forgiving myself for what had happened. Just seeing the word “forgive” and having to think it several times a day has really paid off by having that job episode fade peacefully into the past.

I’ve had to go through the cycle of grief in regards to losing this job. Numbness, followed by sadness and anger, mixed with a desire for revenge. As I received love and support from family and friends, I could let down and just be sad about it all and then acceptance. As this happened, I had the strength and courage to get back out there, apply for jobs, interview and land another job.

I chose to forgive from the start because I knew it was what I was supposed to do, but as I’ve daily typed in “77forgive,” my heart healed enough to forgive my old bosses and to forgive myself. I drove by my old school yesterday and felt peaceful; I give the credit for healing my heart to God (and the passwords you type every day influence you more than you think!)

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By M. H. Campbell


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The End of Hodge-Podge Jobs and Vacuuming up Dog Toenails

What do peanut M&Ms, cat fur, and a peaceful farmhouse all have in common?

Working at an animal hospital! They aren’t all mixed together, of course.

I didn’t figure out what all the little black bumps were that would rattle up the vacuum tube for a while. Then I shouted out “Ewwwwww!” When I realized they were dog toenails!

Some seasons of life are more thrown together than others. Two years ago I needed a second part-time job to supplement my first part-time job. I asked at a dinner my friends, who are vets, if they were hiring. They were!

It took the business manager weeks to contact me, and by that time I had picked up a tutoring job, but I was open to more work, so a rather big patch got sewn into my crazy quilt of employment.

I’ve had quite the adventures there: Before my boss told me I couldn’t bring in people to help me clean, I dragged several people in. The first guy was a date who wanted to take me dancing, but who I told I couldn’t go unless he helped me get the cleaning done. Oh, wow… Let’s just say I saw that guy walking with another girl the next day. Singing at the top of my voice and dancing around with a mop was fun.

I also dragged my Mom, several friends, and my former boyfriend to clean bathrooms, vacuum, and mop the old farmhouse-turned animal hospital.

Over the two years, I’ve gotten off the time clock to have important talks and text exchanges with family, boyfriends, and potential boyfriends.

I had to clean after 7:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday nights and anytime after 12:30 on Saturdays. I’ve mopped into the wee hours of the morning, but have kept going because of the snack cupboard and ginger ale and water in the fridge.

I must have had a junk food deficiency from being raised by a health-foodie, so their snack cupboard full of M&Ms, snickers, cheese it’s, Doritos, almonds, carmel, and popcorn satisfied that debt.

I have described the job as, “I’m getting paid to listen to podcasts!” At the start I would sing to keep me awake, now I tend to listen to money and relationship advice on podcasts.

This job was my first job to ever get vacation pay or a bonus gift because the business is doing well.

Now that I have found a full-time teaching job with benefits, it’s time to let this job go!

I will miss the peaceful, country-ness it brought to my life, the kind support from my bosses, the snacks, but I will NOT miss cleaning up the spatters of blood and the dog toenails!

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