The very good thing about finding your very own sense of happiness and contentment ... is that once you have known that sensation, you fight hard to regain it if you lose it.
Moving to our New City was a pivotal point in my life. It was a time that suddenly my blinders came off and I knew that I had to walk away from a destructive cycle that I had been living. I knew it without a doubt. It was as if someone whispered in my ear, "Look at what this is doing to your children!" And I listened.
In the process of saving my children, I saved myself.
A sense of peace, harmony and safety enveloped our lives and our home. Life wasn't perfect, but oh! The feeling inside the walls that we called home was divine. My heart was happy. My Oldest Son (9 years old at the time) finally started acting like the child that he was. My Middle Son knew no other life. We were a family. We were together. We were ... good.
There came a time when that harmony was in jeopardy. I tiptoed through the house and our life. The anxiety was back. The fist in my chest. Our house was not a home anymore. I had to make some tough choices. I had to grab the oxygen mask and save myself so that I could save my children...
I can recognize the same feelings within me when I ended a relationship. Something was off. Something was pulling me away from the person that I knew that I could and should be. Familiar feelings in a different situation set off alarms within.
Instinctively, I had to reset the 'norm' and find my contentment within myself and within our home.
Looking back now, I can see this same need to 'reset' within my work world. The very last day that I worked at the financial institution that I had worked at since we moved here, the anxiety levels were running high. I was working one day a week and it was a challenge to keep up with the weekly memos, emails and changes. But that particular Saturday? There was a barrage of new products and expectations headed my way. "I can't do this ..." was my last conscious thought when I walked out of the door that day.
Two days later, I was in the hospital recovering from emergency hernia surgery. This granted me up to six to eight weeks of sick time. Which I took. Then I requested a one-year leave of absence from work. Which was granted. When the year was over, I handed in my resignation. I never did return to work after that fateful day when my anxiety levels rose to new heights.
I have been treading water within my work-world ever since.
I tried changing my career path. I kept looking for that 'normal' that I used to know. The calmness. The serenity. The peace of mind.
I have quit a handful of jobs throughout that time. I started over just as many times. Each time, fighting to find 'my happy'.
I am so glad that I knew what I was fighting for. Because now that I have this contentment back at the core of my heart and soul, I recognize the feeling. This was worth the fight.
We are fortunate when we have known that sense of peace and security. It gives us something to strive for. We recognize the feelings when life starts to feel the way that we once knew.
What about those who have not known this feeling? What happens to those who have had a rocky start to life and do not have a sense of what this feels like? How do they know what they are fighting for? Would they recognize it when they saw it? Or would they feel the fear that this feeling would be snatched away??
When you know what you are fighting for, you know when you have 'arrived'. I am grateful that I recognized when it was time to walk away. I am even more grateful to recognize when I found my way back to the place where I feel at peace again.