Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Unfamiliar Waters

Last week I went to work for a couple days over on Kauai. I was working for a pharmaceutical company in a specialty position selling therapies for Malignant Melanoma, Stage IV brain tumors, and Hepatitis C. It was my dream job. I lost my job on Friday.

I stayed at the beautiful Marriott resort in Lihue, and of course the first thing I did when I arrived was go check out the bay to see if I thought it was swim-able by myself. Sometimes swimming in Unfamiliar Waters by yourself can be creepy. You just never know what's living in the water you're swimming in... what little stingy things or big biting things may be lurking without your knowledge. Funny how I worry about that stuff significantly less when I'm swimming in water I know and am used to...

This water looked pretty calm to me. Definitely swim-able. And better yet, there were bouys out there. You can't really see them in this picture, but there was one about 500 meters out, and then another one about 250 meters past that. Bouys are great when you're swimming in the ocean because they give you a goal. The ocean is so vast... without a bouy you can feel like you're just swimming aimlessly...

That day I felt like I was swimming aimlessly... On Friday morning, I got an excrutiating call from my boss... and a representative from HR was also on the line. I had known that my company was going through a 'downsizing exercise', but I really thought my job was safe. My boss thought my job was safe. My teammates thought my job was safe. I'm the only one doing it in the state of Hawaii. What were they going to do? Just stop servicing the doctors and patients in Hawaii?

Turns out, that's exactly what the outside consultants that were hired by the higher-ups in the company decided to do. I. lost. my. job.

With my head still spinning on Friday morning, I headed out to that vast ocean. Cap and goggles on, I headed for the bouys. I definitely get my best thinking in when I'm exercising, so I knew this swim would help me clear my head. I've never not worked. What am I going to do now? What's Scott going to think? I'm having a baby in 3 1/2 months. Who's going to hire a woman who is 6 months pregnant? Am I meant to be a stay-at-home mom? How's that going to be? I was in Unfamiliar Waters.

I didn't get all the answers during that swim, but I did think a lot about goals. Looking up every fourth stroke to see if I was still on track to the bouy, I thought a lot about goals. When you've got one to aim for, you confidently take stroke after stroke, knowing that you're on the right track. Without the goals I used to have at work (get that next appointment with that busy office, get the Dr to agree to have his nurse call me when they have a new patient, get the nurses trained on how to dose the IV portion of the therapy...) I need to establish other goals. I'm just not sure right now what those other goals are?

Having finished my swim, feeling just a bit more clear for the moment, I sat on a chair in the sand and looked at my growing belly. In that moment, I felt a new bond with the baby that's being formed in there. I had an epiphany... "It's you and me, kid." Maybe I'll look back and think that this layoff was a great blessing for both of us, allowing me to stay home and raise my baby rather than handing him/her off to a nanny. And just then, for the first time, I *saw* the baby move in my uterus- the strongest kick yet that actually moved my skin. It was a totally unfamiliar sight, and I giggled.

1 comment:

hatfields-in-hawaii said...

I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason. I know, I know it sounds cheesy but it is true. Your realization of this is inspiring in such a time of change. -Ryan