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Field of Flowers — And Glimpse of Better Future

After my job was eliminated in April 2007, I thought my life was over.

I'm taking this opportunity, at the start of 2013, to tell some of my story here on the blog. Many of you have suggested that I write a book, and in these blog posts, I'm hoping to work out pieces that could become that book.

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I grew up in New London, CT. Peter grew up in Ashaway, RI. After three life-altering events  in 2006-2007, Peter and I decided to move from our home in New York back to the area that, at that point, we called home.

So I searched and searched and finally found a job as editor of a paper in Rhode Island. We bought a house in Ledyard, packed up seven dogs, four cats and an inordinate amount of stuff and moved.

My job was had been eliminated in April 2007; I was hired in August. That's four months. Never in my two decades in newspapers had I thought I'd have to look for four months before I found a job. In the past, once I decided it was time to move on, I usually had an interview in three days, and a job offer a week or so later - if it even took that long.

Now, I realize, four months was nothing. Friends of mine whose newspaper jobs were eliminated after mine have spent years looking for a job. But at the time, it felt like an eternity.

And in that eternity, it felt like my life was over.

For years, for decades, I had defined myself through my work, and, honestly, through excellence in my work. As much as I knew that I hadn't been fired, that the elimination of my job had nothing to do with the quality of my work, as much as I knew that, it was still impossible to truly believe it.

So in those months, I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself. And I spent a lot of time painting. I made a lot of paintings. I started with pets, then found plein-air painting - and I fell in love with it.

To this day, there's little in life that makes me happier than standing in a gorgeous landscape, feeling the sun (or wind or snow) on my face, smelling the air and working to capture all of that on canvas.

As I painted through the spring, and painted through the summer, I healed. I began to realize that I could get through my life without my mother, though it would never be as sweet. I began to realize that I was more than my job.

And I began to get glimpses of a better future.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Carrie Jacobson January 11, 2013 at 11:15 AM
No, I didn't know that. They are all rescues, and so, carbon footprint or not, we have given them a loving home and they have given us tons of laughter and love.
Lisa Saunders January 11, 2013 at 11:30 AM
We are our my beagle/basset hound's third owners. He's been with us now for six years and I have to say his pesky antics have given me a reason to smile again (our daugther passed away seven years ago). Not sure the size of his carbon footprint, but he's leaving a big print on my heart! As a freelance writer working from home, he's great company. You can see him helping me work at: http://mysticseafarerstrail.blogspot.com/2012/12/bailey-resting-after-walking-mytsic.html
Carrie Jacobson January 11, 2013 at 11:43 AM
Oh, he is adorable! And worth the carbon footprint. Your book looks really interesting, too, and I am sure Bailey is a huge help.
Lisa Beth January 11, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Life is what you make of it, I don't think anyone should let any one thing define them. We are more than that. I'm glad you found painting to ease your mind and soothe your soul. Personally I'm a novelist, books for sale on Amazon/Kindle/Nook/Smashwords, all well reviewed (end shameless plug! LOL) and a secretary, a web designer, a wife, a mother, a wannabe gardener but I don't have much success there. Never be afraid to try something new! Thanks for your post, I enjoyed it.
Carrie Jacobson January 14, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Thanks, LB - What's either your name or a title of the book? Love to take a look...

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