Jon and I after I completed the certification tasks
March 21, 2010
Gosh, it's been a week. I was trying to post more often, but last week was crazy. As I mentioned, I was taking a SCUBA-certification class (so I can dive with Jon and his friends up to 60 ft.). The class was Monday-Thursday nights, and Saturday and Sunday from 8-noon.
I was scared. All week. To the point of being ill. I barely ate last week. Lost 5 pounds. But I did it. I got in the pool, went under the water, and didn't freak out too badly. There were a couple of moments that I was a little uneasy, but it got better each time.
Saturday morning was the first ocean dive. To 25 feet. Doesn't sound like much but I had psyched myself out bad for it. I mean, I was so ill that I didn't eat at all on Friday except for like 6 pieces of shrimp...We were at a birthday party Friday night and I didn't eat a single cupcake! Couldn't.
The dive turned out to be more labor-intensive than I expected. (Imagine walking in the sand, which I am not good at already, with approximately 25 lb on your back and another 21 strapped to your waist.) We swam from shore to the dive site (and back).
When it was time to go down under the water, I did. And it was like nothing I ever expected.
Instead of being scary, it was beautiful and serene and quiet. And there was peace.
I wasn't afraid to fill my mask with water - twice - to prove that I knew what to do if it flooded accidentally. I wasn't afraid to take off my gear and sit on it at the surface, to prove that I could get out of it if I was stuck and needed to get freed. I wasn't even afraid to take off my weight belt - the bane of my existence in the pool exercises - and put it back on securely without losing it to the sea or holding onto something or someone.
It was an amazing day.
Then Sunday, the last day of class, we dove in the ocean again. I held a starfish and a sea urchin. I saw turtles swim by, unaffected by my presence and my awe. I posed for pictures with my friend and dive buddy, Ken, and even a picture with my husband. (A big thanks to Ken for dealing with my nervousness and my questions, and helping me find the calm to get it done. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect dive buddy!)
It was a surreal moment - one I'd never ever dreamed for myself. To perform the tasks calmly, to survive in the sea for a short time, and feel that peace.
Ken(R) and me at the bottom - March 21, 2010
I never knew what I was missing until I let myself experience it. It is an unexpected accomplishment that I am so grateful to have completed.
And, last week I was contacted by my manager at work, to tell me that there had been some complaints about my involuntary layoff and that they wanted me to stay until May 31. This doesn't change anything else - I will still get severance at the end, I will still get the other benefits. I just get a regular paycheck for 2 more months.
I didn't think I would be happy about this - after all, I had made peace with the layoff and was actually ok knowing the end date was soon. But knowing that someone fought for me to stay a little longer means the world to me. It feels great to know that someone took a stand and pushed for me to have a short reprieve. I know who started the campaign for my extension, and I am forever grateful.
When the announcement came in early 2009 that my team would be moved to Iowa and we'd be displaced, I prayed and prayed that I could stay until summer 2010 so that it would coincide with our move, and so that we could get our affairs in order and be as prepared as possible for the chapter that comes next.
This extension gets me to that goal.
I am amazed constantly by the power of prayer. I don't mean to be a worrywart. I guess it's always been easier and safer for me to feel disappointed than to feel hopeful. But I am always redeemed. God hears my prayers and even when I don't hear the answer, it is there. I have learned over the last few months to chill out a little and relax. When I relax, I can hear the answer and feel better about what it means. A little chill is all I can manage right now, but it seems to be helping. (Baby steps, right? I mean, it took 38 1/2 years to build up this level of worrying. It won't just stop overnight.)
God is great! Thank You, God, for looking out for me and for helping me this past week. I don't feel like I say it enough, how proud I am to have a relationship with You and how grateful I am that You love me and care about me. Thank You!
And thanks to you - friends, family, readers. I am grateful for each of you!
Happy Tuesday (and LOST day!)