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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

WALKING DOWN A DIFFERENT STREET

"fill us in if you can", she said...

And when someone as fantabulous as Phoenix does you the honour of taking an interest in what you've been up to, how can you ignore her request? After all, it's hard to refuse someone with a face like this (and a beautiful soul to match):

So here it is in a nutshell, for you, Phoenix and anyone else who is interested...

GENERAL BACKDROP...

Greece is going through tough times at the moment. Overnight, workers rights have been dismantled, unemployment is skyrocketing, schools are shutting, cutbacks, cutbacks, cutbacks...the future looks grim (more about that in my next post).

WORK...

You may remember that things were getting tight at my work with cameras being brought in to spy on us and colleagues being sacked. Delays in salary payments and unpaid overtime were just the tip of the ice berg with a whole department being called in to work on Saturday evenings illegally without extra pay.

The bosses started fighting it out between themselves with legal proceedings and loads of drama. You could literally carve the bad climate that was flung in our faces as a reason for more cutbacks and belt-tightening. To add insult to injury, one of the bosses built a mansion amidst this turbulence. But while bosses will be bosses, what I could not understand was the attitude of fellow employees who were sucking up to the management and ratting out rather than spitting. 

Every night, I would go home and announce that tomorrow would be my last day. And my husband would advise me to rethink as the general sentiment in my country at the moment is: "You are lucky to have a job."

So I would go back all sour-faced and constantly pissed off. People would say "Good morning" and, as if by reflex, I would say "No!" "No!" was just the first word that popped to mind. "No!" "No!" "No!"

Until, one day, I received a phone call from my boss who sacked me. Nicely. "Due to financial cutbacks we cannot afford you anymore." He evidently wasn't gutsy or decent enough to tell me to my face.

Lucky for me, the person dismissed before me had taken the company to court which meant that I got full compensation plus delayed backpayments which is more than I can say for most of Greece's unemployed. Three cheers for me.

So I thought I'd write that book, make myself more computer savvy, maybe look into doing a course, hopefully do some volunteer work and enjoy summer. But just several days following my dismissal a job fell onto my lap from out of nowhere at a time when jobs are pretty scarce in this country.

NEW JOB...

Inhouse editor for a publishing company that has offices in London and around the Mediterranean. It's pretty cool cause I get to read books all day and go on a different tangent professionally. Refreshing. But its still the honeymoon period.

PRAYING...

Surprise! Surprise! I've been doing a lot of that. But not in a church way. I'm not even sure it can be called praying. Maybe its just meditation. I have been making a point of going to beautiful, spiritual places, closing my eyes and feeling grateful to be a person who does not sell out on her personal beliefs and just begging for strength and the power to continue hanging in there. I keep conjuring images of Vivi and Alexandra and calling forth some deep connection. It fills me with warmth to imagine them beside me, like it used to be when they were alive. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I feel childish, sometimes I think I'm going crazy... but maybe I'm onto something.

FAMILY...

We are all well. Having a first grader and a sixth grader means I have my hands full. I see them as the two ends of the primary school bridge. Just a few more days to go before school holidays. And everything is in a state of flux and heat.

CHANGE...

Yes, it's slowly happening. Not in a linear way... but in circles that keep opening and shutting. Perhaps life is just a circle. A great big bubble that keeps bursting and then blowing up again. As one part comes full circle a new one begins.

So here's a little poem I dedicate to you (again), Phoenix, and to everyone else who happens to read this, especially to my rogue anthropologist friend Michael (Archive Fire) who seems to have toned it down a bit since the Fukishima explosion. Perhaps we cannot stop the tide, but that doesn't mean we should tolerate life's daily injustices...

FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS ON CHANGE
Chapter 1.
I walk down a street and there's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. It takes forever to get out. It's my fault.
Chapter 2.
I walk down the same street. I fall in the hole again. It still takes a long time to get out. It's not my fault.
Chapter 3.
I walk down the same street. I fall in the hole again. It's becoming a habit. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
Chapter 4.
I walk down the same street and see the deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
Chapter 5.
I walk down a different street.

9 comments:

Sharon said...

PC, this is the woman I came to know and respect. Can't tell you how happy I am for your quantum jump to a better reality.

Robin said...

It sounds to me like everything happened just like it was supposed to here. You hated your job, but you got out at the right time. You got a job you liked at a time when most people are unemployed. The meditating is giving you balance, focus, and perspective. Things are good with your girls. And you got the lesson and walked down a different street. So happy for you. You really have been missed. Can't tell you happy I am that you're back.

Phoenix said...

I feel so incredibly blessed (and grateful) to be reading this post. Oh, Purple Cow, how I missed your posts, and your brilliant thoughts, and thank you so much for "filling us in." I'm so happy that you a) got out of the job you hated and b) found another job that for the moment is making you happy. (can we ask for anything more?) And honestly, I happen to think that what you're doing with the spiritual meditation is the REAL type of praying and church praying leaves something to be desired most days, if you know what I mean.

That poem always effects me because it's so damn true. We spend so much of our lives avoiding change and falling into the same patterns and repeating the cycle and then blaming ourselves. I really can't wait until I'm on Change #5 but then everything has to happen in its own time.

I'm so glad you're back. So happy, and so completely grateful :)

Purple Cow said...

A few leaps forward, some back, others to the side... that's the dance of life, Sharon.

Robin, strange thing is that in this country it is hard to find a job, but well worth the risk sometimes. Getting sacked was the best thing that could have happened!

Phoenix, sometimes we feel more comfortable falling in the hole rather than taking a different turn...

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

Hey Mary . . . you're back! YES!! I've been away too . . trying to get my crazy life back in order and trying to live again. Found you on my reader . . This is a good fine! Lots of love, Sandy:O)

p.s. Sounds like life has been good to you:O)

Toyin O. said...

Sounds like life has been good to you.

Bringing Pretty Back said...

I have been thinking of you as I watch the news about Greece. I am SO happy you landed on your feet!!! THREE cheeers for you!!!!!
What a wonderful new job! YOU EARNED IT AND DESERVE IT!
Please keep us posted on all that is going on with you!
Hugs
& Have a PRETTY day!
Kristin

Gene Pool Diva said...

Perspective, narrative and voice. Please tell me your book is nearing publication.
Wonderful blog.

michael- said...

Haven't heard from you in a while PC. Everything ok in your world... Just thinking about you.

m-