A blog by Lori Lyons

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hope and Despair

It's a fine line between Hope and Despair.

I know because I've been walking it for the past month, since the day I was told in a 3-minute meeting that my job, my career, my life as I know it was over.

Since then I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. Some days I'm up, exhilarated even. Thrilled at the prospects before me.

Some days I'm down, feeling the after-the-drop pit in my stomach acutely and wanting nothing more than to throw up on somebody's shoes.

Mostly, I just wonder, "What in the hell am I going to do now?"

On the "Up" days, I imagine myself doing all sorts of things we all imagine doing if we ever get around to it --  develop killer abs, become a gourmet cook, craft like Martha Stewart.

Some days I'm thrilled at the prospects of a life of freedom, with no clock to punch, and imagine how productive I might be able to be. I can be a blogger, launch my genealogy page, find a publisher for  my two children's books, write the book on how to  have a great relationship with your husband's ex wife. No, really.

Or, I could just move to the beach. 

Perhaps even write my own 50 Shades of something.

Or just paint my house.

That's all fine and good, but I also have to earn a living. So, I imagine myself as a freelancer, writing wonderful feature stories on fabulous people from all walks of life; blogging here daily on life and family and love and adoption and baseball (but not necessarily in that order) and having people flock to it to read my words.

But mostly I imagine doing what I really love to do -- spending Friday nights in the press box, even ones with mosquitoes and wasps and banana spiders, writing gripping accounts of thrilling games (and boring ones) like I did for more than 20 years. And I will.

But then there are the "down" days, when I remember that I have a hefty mortgage and a car note and bills to pay and no job come October, and no severance after about May. And that I have to find a "real" job that will pay that mortgage and car note and those bills. And I try to figure out how to write a resume that will catch the attention of an employer who is looking for some 20-something kid right out of college who doesn't need a big salary because they don't have a mortgage yet, and not some 50-year old woman with a husband and a kid and a mortgage and a car note, who has worked only one job in the last 26 years. Me.

And what in the hell else do I want to do, anyway?

And those are the days I think I'll just go jump off the Hale Boggs Bridge come October 1st. But then I remember that the newspaper has just laid off 201 of us -- including ME, the crime writer -- and some cub reporter from NOLA will have to fight all that traffic to get all the way out here to the burbs  to cover it and, why should I ruin their day? And they'll probably just misspell my name or something. And, well, that's just messed up.

So then I just pretend I'm Scarlett O'Hara and don't think about it. I'll think about it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.

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