Wear a Hat, Gain Perspective

Perspective is a great thing.  Especially if you can maintain a healthy perspective, although that’s tough.  Deep down, we all know what’s truly important and that we need perspective to help us sort out all that life throws at us.

I learned the value of perspective years ago.  At that time Hubby was my boyfriend and we had only been dating a few months.  Both of us were working hard with demanding jobs, climbing the corporate ladder. Everything at work, at least for me, seemed to be of the utmost importance.  Aside from thinking about Hubby, work was always on my mind. 

Then I ended up in the emergency room and twelve hours later I was wheeled into the operating room.  My parents and Hubby waved good-bye while I tried to give a reassuring “thumbs up” as the nurses told them to stay in the waiting area.  Everything happened so fast that I was a bit in shock and wasn’t completely aware of the severity of the situation.  Or maybe we all just wanted to believe that things were better than they were. Without going into details, this was life-threatening surgery and as I signed the waivers the doctor tried to explain all the possible outcomes, including paralysis, loss of vision and even death. None of which seemed like good outcomes to me. 

Good news is that I came through fine. Although surgeons should never consider becoming hair stylists.  I woke up with a rather an odd new look that resembled that guy from Flock of Seagulls,  whose hair was half shaved, half long. Except my new look included surgical staples to add some “bling”.  Believe me when I say this is just not a look that anyone should have.

Recovering in the hospital, I gained a fresh perspective.  Suddenly, all issues at work had almost no meaning to me.  Seeing Hubby, family and friends, as well as my recovery, was my focus.  Work seemed so insignificant.

Fear crept in too, taking the place of work worries. Fear from what happened; fear that Hubby may decide this was too much to handle and walk away; fear of going out in public with my very visible – and very scary looking – scar.  Honestly, no amount of make-up can cover a scar that runs all over your head.   Yes, I did try and for the record, that was not a good idea. 

Turns out that Hubby was the least of my worries.  He earned “boyfriend of the century” status, visiting me before and after work.  One day he noticed that I had finally been allowed to bathe and was wearing clean PJ’s.  I started to cry because I didn’t get to wash what was left of my hair – and as a woman this was very important.  Hubby held my hand and said words I will never forget: “That’s okay; you look beautiful to me”.  It still gives me chills.

Hubby had gained perspective too.  He realized it was more important that I was alive than whether or not I had clean hair or even any hair at all.  Besides, he thought I looked cute in the many hats I acquired to wear while I grew out the nasty ‘80’s hair style.

So when Hubby and I faced lay-offs, we relied on perspective and remembered my hospital visit.  While work is important, it’s not usually life-threatening.  Now that we’re both bringing in money again, we try to maintain that same perspective. We don’t want to become so wrapped up in work issues that we lose sight of what’s really important.  After all, neither of us is in the medical profession; we’re not with the police or fire departments; we’re not in the military – so our jobs are not made up of life and death decisions.   

When you’re laid-off, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in negative feelings and the difficulty in finding a new job that we tend to lose perspective.  This is going to sound corny, but try to focus on the positive.  For me and Hubby, all it takes is seeing my hats in the closet. Yes, I saved them.  It’s a great reminder that, when things seem to get tough with the work situation, it’s really not so bad. 

Read more at my blog, www.talesoftheterminated.com

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