Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Best of Times or Worst of Times

“Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.” – Art Buchwald

Calgary’s unemployment rate reached 7.9% in February, the highest it has been in 20 years. For many workers in Calgary, these are the worst of times. Many have moved to other cities where the unemployment rate is lower and many are still looking for that elusive job in Calgary. How does one stay healthy when they are not working, but working hard at finding that next job? Some friends and I put our heads together and came up with this list. Although there is some overlap, they are categorized into two groups: practical supports and spiritual supports.
Practical supports:
·      Evaluate and eliminate excessive debt – it may be time to downsize your home or get rid of that collector car
·      Track your finances – determine where your money goes
·      Don’t be afraid to find professional counseling – a counselor will have good advice on how to stay emotionally healthy
·      Stay connected through networking – friendships, former colleagues, the guy at that coffee-shop close to your former job
·      Have some fun – find a way to continue to pursue your hobbies
·      Keep a daily routine – get up at the same time every day, eat three meals a day
·      Create a job search plan – then work that plan
·      Volunteer:  help others while helping yourself
·      Exercise – for fun or for competition, stay fit.

Spiritual supports:
·      Daily Bible reading – it should go without saying but it does not
·      Daily prayer – again, it should go without saying, but it does not
·      Weekly longer prayer time – pray daily but then find those longer times once a week
·      Weekly prayer partner – pray with someone else
·      Monthly prayer partner who is outside of your regular networks of people – someone with whom you can be really honest
·      Monthly coach/spiritual director conversation
·      Annual or twice per year solitude retreat
·      Meditate upon Bible passages
·      Meditate upon nature
·      Read in theology
·      Read practical leadership material
·      Read the news
·      Read popular literature and popular culture material
·      Look for mystery and wonder in life
·      Expect miracles

I would love to have someone write and tell me what their experience has been in following some or all of these ideas. Best of times, or worst of times, right now is the only time we have.

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