Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The “Loss List” vs “Possibility List” – the “Tomorrow List” – the “What if I tried this? List”

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The “Loss List” vs “Possibility List” – the “Tomorrow List” – the “What if I tried this? List”
It is the strangest feeling to work through. 

I quit the job on the committee and I feel like crap.  I worked on and for this committee for 14 years and now that I said I will not be serving in the leadership role any longer – I wish I hadn’t resigned.  Yet I am delighted to be able to be freer now!

I have had these feelings before. I remember. 

The last major time was in July 2008. I had stopped working after all the years as a minister.  I was out of the place that had nearly driven me mad, a place that I wished I could have escaped from a million times, a place that I tried to run from… but never could.  Even with all its wonderful blessings and the great people – I couldn’t wait until I was done.

When I was done – I nearly died. And you as a regular reader of this Blog know some of that feeling I was working through – if you read between the lines of what was written.  No doubt about that.

This feeling also happened in 1985 as I climbed aboard the huge aircraft to bring me back to Canada. Hong Kong and Asia had been our home for five years. We had intended to live there the rest of our lives in that part of the world… at least that was the intention of five years earlier… but the situation that we walked into was not one of building up – but rather one of getting ready to close up shop as far as the Canadians were concerned.  So we were told.

The sinking feeling of not knowing what was coming next seemed to completely smother the possibilities of the future.

I am sure that you have felt these feelings as well.

I have stepped aside from a task that someone else can do – and may even do better than I have done the work. They may develop new ideas and opportunities that I couldn’t even dream of.

In some cases as I look back at what I have quit – many times it has become better than I could ever imagine it would.

But why do I struggle with these changes?

I found a good posting on a Web Site that makes me see why – or at least see a little better what I was and am going through.

It is entitled “Tools to Move On” – and you can read all that they published here

This stuff is good to help me and others as they move on.

My mom needs to read this or think about it.  She has struggled with these issues often – but has not moved on.  How do you help a 91 year old?

But some day my turn will come and I will need to move on like she did… and with my past history of not giving up the roles and rights that I had enjoyed – how will I give up at that time?  Maybe it won’t be any better than it was for her…  but I would like to think that I will be better prepared.

The Web Site of “Tools to move on” suggest four steps that we go through (or could potentially go through)
1. To accept the reality of the loss and admit that something has been lost
2. To work through the pain of grief
3. To adjust to the new environment or situation
4. To emotionally relocate, make new attachments and move on with life
(Note each of these four points has an explanation it.)

The web site offers some good reflection for me… quote…

Different reactions for different folk

The intensity of feelings is not always related to the size of a loss. Some of us take longer to get over a loss and accept a new reality than others. The death of a loved spouse or a child might seem an enormous loss, while losses that occur when we move would seem much less serious. Sometimes the grief reaction is in proportion to the apparent degree of a loss, other times it seems not to be. For example, one hospital counselor reported that a patient who had lost the tip of a finger in an accident was much more upset than a man who had lost both legs though cancer. Sometimes people who move from far away to a completely new culture and language expect things to be very different and the process of change turns out to be relatively smooth. On the other hand it is not unusual that someone who moves to a place they thought they knew well, have a real struggle to settle down.
There could be many reasons for this. Firstly people react differently because they are different culturally and temperamentally. Secondly it is helpful to be prepared for a loss and sometimes we are not. Thirdly we may be re-experiencing the feelings from other losses and moves which get reawakened by the present situation. Fourthly a person who is already going through a life change such as adolescence, menopause or the death of a family member might not have many resources left to deal with yet another change. When we move, we may not immediately realize that loss is involved. For example: leaving a job behind has many consequences whether or not you liked that job:
·         loss of time structure
·         loss of colleagues who know you well
·         loss of status, position and respect
·         loss of personal income and independence
·         loss of familiar and well known surroundings

Imagine – I feel a sense of loss from resigning from a volunteer role that I have served in for 14 years – which at times has driven me crazy – and at other times has been a huge success!

Imagine that feels the same as the loss of my job in 2008 !!!?!

But there it is – the Loss List – that I know so well.
·         loss of time structure
·         loss of colleagues who know you well
·         loss of status, position and respect
·         loss of personal income and independence
·         loss of familiar and well known surroundings

BUT what about the “Possibility List” – the “Tomorrow List” – the “What if I tried this? List”.

When I gave it some more thought – these three Lists made much more sense.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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