How to Keep On Smiling When Jobless and Middle-Aged

How to Keep On Smiling When Jobless and Middle-Aged

It feels impossible to keep on smiling when you find yourself middle-aged, jobless, and married with children. Despite these circumstances, you probably have never had a better opportunity to be grateful...

Tags: gratitude, jobless, married, keep on smiling


It’s the middle of the month, and I’m afraid to log on to my online bank account. For the first time in nearly 17 years, I won’t see the routine deposit I depend upon to boost my account balance.

I am unsure how I will pay monthly bills covered by that deposit. I don’t know how I will pay my mortgage this month, which has heightened my awareness of public service announcements about foreclosure.

Today, I must find a way to pay thousands of dollars for a new air conditioning condenser. When I bought my house in the Deep South 8 years ago, I knew it was only a matter of time before 1 of its 2 air conditioning systems failed. Today, I’m replacing the 2nd of the two. I just replaced the other system last month!

How is it possible to keep on smiling?

How can I possibly be grateful when it seems everything is conspiring to wipe me out financially?

The truth is that this situation makes it possible for me to be grateful in a way I’ve never yet experienced.

Past Provision

I now know why the world believes all Americans are rich.

I never felt rich.

All my life, however, I have never worried about “basic” necessities. Funny enough, now I understand they’re the only ones that matter. I am grateful for:

1. Food and Water

As I sit down to eat, I have a new appreciation for the food on my plate. I have never gone hungry my entire life.

I have been telling myself for years that I should say a prayer each meal, but I always forget in my rush to satisfy my hunger. Suddenly, I see the true source of my food clearly – it's God. Now it’s easy to remember to pray at dinner time.

2. Health

I just completed a video exercise program. It lasted over 2 months and required exercising 6 days a week. I never thought I could commit to that much exercise.

I thank God for the physical ability to complete the program. I do not battle any chronic disease to stop me from exercising. I do not have the additional worry of costly medical treatment.

Without health, I would surely be ruined on a much wider level than just financial. I now look forward to my next exercise video.

3. Shelter

I remember I was once out on the town for a typical night of fun with friends. We went to a comedy club and had plans to go hang out at a billiard hall afterwards.

It was a rainy night. The comedy club was fairly empty that night, but our group had a good time.

When we left the club we were greeted with a shocking sight – the street had been transformed into a river and its banks were rising onto half the parking lot! Many cars had already succumbed to the flood waters – leaving only their roofs visible.

A tropical storm had continued dumping outrageous amounts of water over the city while were laughing our butts off inside the comedy club.

We waited a couple of hours for the rain to stop, but conditions only got worse.

I don’t recall how it happened, but somehow our group waded through 3 feet of water at 3 o'clock that morning.

We followed a stranger to her tiny apartment blocks away. She gave us a place to sleep (the floor) and by morning, the waters had receded enough to drive home.

I’m amazed when I think about how I was given shelter from the continuing rains and place to rest that chaotic night.

I have received important provisions all my life with little thought.

Becoming more aware of how these have been provided restores my confidence that God has always been with me. There is no reason to believe He won’t continue to provide for me now.

It’s a reminder of faith.

Your Turn

What’s going on in your own life that you’d rather not experience? Write down 3 things you find you are more grateful for now than ever before because of that experience. Carry them with you.

When you find yourself lamenting over your experience, redirect your thinking to the 3 things you’ve written down. Make this moment work for you!

Conclusion

It is not fun to not know where my next paycheck will come from. It could easily become a sickening thought when considering the house, car, spouse, and kids that paycheck needs to support.

But I know that we all encounter life events we’d rather not experience. Instead of focusing on the negative feelings these experiences bring, these moments may be the keys to unlocking our ability to be truly grateful. They allow us to see our gifts in a new light.

Inspire your friends, too:

 
 
 
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