My life is in transition. I have gone from being a Software Engineer, working for the same company for 20 years, to being “43 years old and unemployed.”
During the first seventy-five days of my ninety-day notice, I have freaked out with various levels of intensity. My mind swirls with the chaos of not knowing what is next.
“What do I do now?”
“What do I want to do?”
“What is the right thing to do?”
“Do I have a passion to follow?”
“How will I provide for my family?”
“Can I even get a job in my field?”
“What will my daily routine be?”
I haven’t slept well for months. I have been constantly distracted. Though there are many jobs in my field to apply to, the response has been slow. I am plagued with the feeling that the odds are stacked against me.
To have any chance of finding some peace of mind, I must find my faith and trust that everything will work out. This does not come naturally to me. I grew up expecting the worst from people, places, and things.
The truth is, though, even when I was at my most pessimistic, everything worked out for me. Reflecting on my life, good people were on my side, circumstances fell into place, and I can see God’s hand on all of it.
Getting laid off sucks, but the timing could have been much worse. Corporate layoffs happen all the time. We have a strong network of friends and community, and we are more financially secure than we could be, making this situation a change and not a crisis. There are a lot of things happening at home right now and having more free time is helpful. I haven’t been satisfied with my job for a while. Making a change is a chance to do something I find more meaningful. We have really good people in our lives, loving and helping us.I do not know what will happen next, but when have I ever known the future?
When I stop and look I can see God’s loving influence on my life. When I stop trying to make things happen and just do my best with what I have to work with, I find my faith again. These things usually work out, just not always the way I expect it to.
Ethan Shore moved to Charlotte from California in 1998. He and his wife Jennifer have been members of Temple Beth El since 2005. They have two children, Rebekah and Daniel.