Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Step In The Right Direction

For the first time in a long, long time, somebody is in the ranks of the employed. A local diner was in need of a waitress, my housemate saw the ad and applied yesterday, and got hired. She starts tomorrow.
I have had three significant interruptions in employment in my working life--and the total time I spent out of work was a little over a year. To go over five years without a job is nearly unfathomable to me. So, so much has happened to her in those years that it is literally starting over; the person that lost their job in late 2011 because the establishment they were working in was destroyed in the Great Flood around here is as dead and gone as Helen Keller.
There were a few questions asked of me, privately, by my friends about my being happy about this, and honestly that puzzled me. First of all, why wouldn't I be? Even if we had cut ties completely, I am not vindictive; I would be happy for her under most circumstances. Second, if she is going to move out on her own at some point, she is going to need to be able to support herself, and that means a job. And third, after all the issues we had last week, we seem to have reached an accommodation that is working. Regardless of our "official" status, we are sharing the same living space, and we spent the overwhelming majority of our time around one another. Some of the things that were causing tension have improved. Some of them have not, and are not likely to be. But stepping back seems to have eased a lot of the tensions here. I'm really not getting caught up in what it is or isn't right now. The fact of life is that for the near future, she is here, and regardless of some of the causes of the tension, I do know that she is not looking to leave here. I know that, for my part, regardless of what I was not happy about, I like having her around. Eventually, I came back to the conclusion that it is ultimately easier and better for my soul to just be the best man I can be, to not worry about what is and isn't or what she is doing, and let whatever is going to happen happen.  And I have always subscribed to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The last several days, it hasn't been broke, and life around here has much more closely resembled the life I was hoping for a few weeks ago. Go figure.
And the days are filling up with things to do. I am busy at work all week, and got a rousing seal of approval for the first six weeks from my supervisor yesterday. Between the new job, the resumption of visitation with her daughter, and her groups, she is becoming a lot more busy than she was, and that is always a good thing for people in what is essentially early recovery.
But this is perhaps the most significant development of all, even more than the income she will have. It is incredibly important for people that have suffered through active addiction to get a chance to positively contribute to society again. In the United States of America, with its cultural emphasis on gainful employment and the opportunities afforded by such, rejoining the workforce at an "honest" job is psychologically about the biggest boost one can get. It was fantastic around here last night, seeing how happy she was. I am looking forward to that continuing.

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