As each year passes, the various “firsts” in my life have more meaning. I remember my first day of riding a school bus to Kindergarten – the beginning of a learning journey that continues to this day.
The first date I had with my wife definitely changed my life for the better. While my wife and I look back on the date and laugh, we also remember that two weeks after the date I asked my wife to marry me and surprisingly, she said yes!
The birthdays of both of our children conjure up fond memories of waiting for their arrival into the world and the continuous joy they have provided to us ever since. I was fortunate enough to cut both of their umbilical chords and be the first to hold them.
There are so many more firsts in my life, which hold significant meaning.
Tonight, I look back on yet another important first that occurred yesterday.
After dropping off my company vehicle on Friday, I found myself in a position in which I’m not accustomed. For the past fifteen years, I have not had one day where I was not employed. During this time, the organizations I worked for enjoyed tremendous success and benefited from the marketing expertise I brought to the table.
Yesterday was the first day in a highly successful career in marketing that I was not part of an organizational team.
The day, however, was filled with the endless opportunity to help others and stay engaged. I was fortunate enough to participate in the Dacula Lions Club first service project – a food drive with proceeds being sent to The Quinn House, Gwinnett County’s sole homeless shelter. The Dacula Lions Club members came together with eighty bags of food that were used to feed needy families throughout the county. I was filled with a sense of achievement and pride to be able to play a small part. Our first service project, taking place on my first day of being unemployed.
I refused to retreat inward in a sense of worry, for I know that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ provides for my needs, as well as for the needs of my family.
Like many before and after me, I stayed in the game and stayed engaged. It is this attitude that will ensure my time of unemployment is minimized and will help to propel the next organization I’m a part of above its expectations.
I stand with many of my friends who have lost their jobs, yet will never lose their hope. Patti Womack serves as a wonderful example. Patti is a dear friend of mine who lives in Phoenix, Arizona and is currently looking for a new position in project management. Her spirit of giving and sense of commitment have not been diminished, as she gives of herself to Packages from Home – a non-profit organization that provides provisions, letters and reminders from home to military heroes serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. You may learn more about Packages from Home by visiting http://www.packagesfromhome.org/.
Unemployment is a temporary condition. Providing hope, inspiration and compassion to others should be a lifelong commitment that does not end.
I salute Patti Womack and others like her who stay engaged. Temporary unemployment does not stand in their way and it does not stand in my way as I go forward with my journey of serving the needs of others.