The Blessings of Adversity

Like many, I have had many obstacles of adversity to overcome. Or so it has seemed…

Highlights of my adversity have involved the following:

Growing up an only child of an explosive alcoholic, who never became sober although he quit drinking when I was 11.

Having a special needs child right (this was a negative solely because of my selfish thinking — one immediate lesson…).

Being surprised by my wife telling me she wanted a divorce.

And, currently, being unemployed after a restructuring at work.

I can easily let all of these event wear me down. And, at times, they still do like a sucker punch.

And the sucker punching is hitting more often now with more time on my hands to think.

I dig myself out of the abyss by remembering the adversity I have survived and how each event ultimately has been a blessing.

My childhood made me a better parent and person, including strong patience and tolerance.

My special needs son taught me strength and bravery, and how to be an effective advocate on his behalf when he needs my help.

My divorce taught me life can start again from complete devastation. This was my hardest lesson. But I found true love again, marrying a stronger and more beautiful person (not physical beauty alone, but as a whole from her confidence, serendipity, and intelligence).

Now I reach a new chapter — unemployment and professional redefinition.

I absolutely loved my last job. I loved the mission of the business and the people with whom I worked. I held the executive position for nearly 12 years and truly believed I made a difference each day.

Even with the freshness of this new adversity, I can find the blessings.

I have had more time with spend with family.

I have caught up with friend and colleagues over coffee or lunch.

I recognize I would hate working for the new administration because I simply disagree with the changes they want to make.

I have the opportunity to consider options and take new risks. This has lead to taking classes and learning new skills and honing current skills.

I have worked hard to keep my sanity without work and have learned the following:

Create and keep a schedule. It is far to easy to sleep in and dwell.

Partner with your partner. I am fortunate to have such a strong spouse. She is helping me network and also keeping me motivated and providing inspiration support.

I am read and studying like crazy, pushing boundaries and challenging myself.

I try to stay active even when networking slows down.

Journaling and writing is therapeutic and insightful.

Help others (I am preparing a presentation on resumes and job hunting for mid-January).

Seek therapy. I am a huge fan of therapy and blessed to have an incredible therapist I have visited since the divorce.

Stay positive. This can be the most difficult. But the reality is, just with my divorce, I thought life was over with the dramatic and surprise change, but the change became the most positive event in my life.

So now I pursue the second most positive in my life: a new career that will redefine me for the better. I am not sure what that new career will be yet, but I strive to remain positive and apply lessons learned from life so far.en