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Change is Inevitable – Adapt, or Suffer.

by | Jun 12, 2009 | Miscellaneous

Every day is a different day, and everything changes by the moment. You have limited control over what happens second by second, but you always can influence your reaction.

Moving out on your own, finding out my mother has cancer, buying my first house, getting engaged, losing my job due to the economy, and getting married. Quite a lot of things are happening in my life. It’s all about how you deal with everything.

I moved out with my (then) girlfriend when her Mother and her stepfather split up. They had to sell the house, and her sister already found a spot close by where her and her mother would rent. It was a 2 bedroom apartment, for 3 people (the sister’s boyfriend). There was realistically no room for my girlfriend. I decided to take the next step with her and move out into our own apartment, which ended up being in the same 4 building complex, but in a separate building from her mother and sister. Money was tight but we made out well being thrifty and watching what we spent. After getting settled, we saved lots of money and enough for a down payment on a house.

As we were starting our search, my parents came for a visit. It was a nice visit, and as they were getting ready to go, my mother turned around and said, “Oh, by the way, I have cancer.” I was shocked, and my girlfriend was too. Everything was going well and on their way out they just -decided- to tell us. We had them sit down and tell us more, and she has multiple myeloma. They have known for 2 years but it was in Stage 1, so the doctors say that treatment does not outweigh the side effects, so they don’t normally treat at stage 1. She then told me that she’s now in stage 2.

Over the next few months, she went through a clinical trial with Princess Margret Hospital and the Mayo Clinic. Her treatment was successful and she was in 100% remission at the end of it. As a kicker to the cancer, she also went through a stem cell dialysis treatment, whereby they harvest your stem cells, give you a HIGH HIGH dose of chemo to kill off all your white blood cells and stem cells, wait until you have no immune system, and then re-insert some of the harvested stem cells, after being treated of course. This treatment was hard on my mother, she felt ill and nauseous for most of the time she was in the hospital. I was even turned away from visiting one time because it was so hard on her. Overall, the process was successful, and even a year after, she’s in remission.

While the treatment was going on, my girlfriend and I found and purchased our first house, after 3 months of searching and getting frustrated that all the good houses were getting taken for much higher than we thought. It needed some work….. A lot of TLC, but I’m handy, so it’s not that bad. It’s looking good now, but I’m still working on some things, like painting. About a year after we bought the house, I popped the question and poof – we now have a wedding to plan.  All I’m seeing is $$$$$$. It costs so much these days for weddings. It’s surprising too because the economy is doing badly, you’d think you’d be able to get services and products for a bit cheaper than when the economy was good….. Nope – quite the opposite. Many things have gone up in price. Our budget was $25,000, and at this point, I’m guessing it will push the $30,000 mark, without the honeymoon. So, we’ve been saving as much as we can for the wedding, and then one day at work, in the morning, my boss comes to me and another co-worker and says we have a meeting in the other building. We got laid off. What’s going to happen now? I have the government’s employment insurance, but that will only last so long, and it’s not much, but it’s something. I was the breadwinner of the house. Now we’re living off of only my fiance’s salary.

The job search is not well. Any posted advertisement has easily 3,000 applicants. The chances of getting an interview is very slim to nil, and finding a job with a good salary is even harder. Building a good resume and cover letter is no longer enough to get the interview. A good networking base is what’s necessary in today’s job search. Tapping into networking is not as easy as many think. Sure it’s easy to tell everyone you know you’re looking for a job, and in what area, and what you’d like to do. Getting to the next level of networking is harder. It’s not just asking for referrals, it’s asking the referrals for referrals. The thought is that someone in your extended network will have the job for you. Getting to that someone is the challenge. It’s been 3 months that I’ve been out of a job and actively searching for jobs. I just re-designed my resume since was not getting any notice.

Change is happening every moment. You only have control over what you do after the change. Your control can make the difference between a bad change, and a good change. The change about my girlfriend was made into a positive. I moved out with her and it brought us closer together. The change with my Mother has made me realize that even though we may have a long time still, enjoying her company every time I see her is more precious to me now. The change with buying my first house has been a really good change. It’s made my life much better. I think the best change has been the one where I’ve found my best friend in life and we’re getting married. The only change in my life that’s not yet a positive is the job hunting. This will soon turn into a positive though, and it’s all of what you make it to be.

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