Top 10 Things that I learned during the #FedShutdown2013.

While I was only furloughed for 16 days during the #FedShutdown2013, it felt like
months! I tell you the truth, I had a few revelations about myself and the people around me during this time. I am grateful for the experience, even though it came with a price that may be high for some. I grew up...even if just a little bit. 

These are a few things that I learned from the experience: 

10. Even with the recent madness of the #FedShutdown2013, I still live in the greatest country in the world. I have been following the current events from around the world and...well...even while laid off (aka furloughed)...I live at a level that more than half of the people in the world can't even imagine. This whole thing has been tough, but that is by American standards. 
Let's keep this thing in perspective.

9. I can live on less money than I originally believed. While it wasn't comfortable, I managed to get by on a fraction of my normal funds. I didn't go hungry or experience lack. I need to tighten up my financial ship.

8. #ToffeeLouise is the best dog in the world! She has hung in here with me through this whole ordeal. When I was lamenting and fighting the depression of being out of work...she would snuggle up next to me and make sure that I was OK. When I was up and happy...which didn't happen until two days before the #FedShutdown2013 ended...she was ready to play and hang out.

7. The old saying, "you have a good government job" has lost a little bit of its shine. The security suggested by this longer exists. No matter how you put it, the seemingly constant threat of "shutdowns", "furloughs" and "layoffs" is unsettling to even the most flexible folks.

6. I work with some really great people...and I missed seeing them during the #FedShutdown2013. I will remember to tell them how much I appreciate them, their service, and their friendship when I get a chance. People need to know that they are appreciated. 

5. The work that I do is "essential", whether the higher ups think so or not. I do work that is "essential" to young women living with breast cancer in this country. I am honored to do it and I will give it my matter what THEY say. 

4. I actually love my job. I have repented for the years of murmuring and complaining about the politics and bureaucracy of it all. That is part of the ain't about to change. I am gifted with the skills and abilities to navigate the bureaucratic waters...and still get to my destination or purpose. Its what I do.

3. I have a whole lot of people who love me! I can't tell you the number of folks who called to check in on me, offered to feed me, and pay my bills if I needed help. They cheered me up when I was down and forgave me for being a little ornery. They were vigilant with the watch over me to make sure that I was OK. It has been really awesome. I am grateful for them.

2. God takes care of me. He just does. Sometimes I forget this and get caught up in the chatter and worries common to our society and culture. But I remember Him and am back on track. 

1. While my job is to be a servant to the American public, this is what I do. It is not however, who I am, nor is it my ultimate purpose in life. I was suffering from a bit of 'mission creep' when it comes to this. I was trying to make my public service job be my life's purpose, even my ministry. It was just easier this way. I didn't have to spend time wondering about what I was supposed to be doing with my life and how in the heck I would get there. So, I accepted my job's mission as my own life's purpose. Needless to say, that I was distraught when THEY shut us down. I took it very personally. I felt like someone had shut ME down; like my purpose and mission had been stopped by and external it didn't matter. But, the problem wasn't was ME. I was the one out of error. I get it now. It won't happen again. Back on track. I will fulfill my mission on this earth...make no mistake about it.

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