Were you glued to the nearest television for the last 22 hours watching from the edge of your seat as the 33 miners were rescued? Me too. It was a beautiful event to behold. I’m still on a high. As a wife, my heart rejoiced as its broken state was mended. As a daughter, I was relieved as I set eyes on nearly lost fathers. As a sister, I couldn’t stop smiling with the jovial spirits that emerged from that darkness. As a human, I was proud of the people who worked tirelessly to make it happen. And knowing that I rejoiced, sighed, smiled and cried with the rest of world, was truly a wonderful feeling. I shed a tear for each and every one of them, weeping openly in parts, although I’ve never met any of them. I’m sure you understand.
It was a story I followed from the beginning. There were a few days that I recall being frustrated because the ‘updated’ reports had no new information from the day before. It was a nerve-racking time. I followed the reports and watched the videos and thought to myself, could I do it? Could you?
Many reports from the best psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists (and even psychos) said the men found strength in each other. They were able to support each other throughout the ordeal physically, socially, emotionally, medically and spiritually. There was safety and strength in numbers. Additionally, by keeping a scheduled routine through having ‘work’ and delegated tasks, set meal and sleeping times, the miners kept a sense of normalcy. All these factors contributed to them staying sane, safe and stable. And I dare add, hopeful and (yes) happy.
Sometimes in this period of unemployment, we feel as though like the Chilean miners, we’re trapped in a dark mine waiting for someone unseen and sometimes unheard to come save us. The difference is however, we don’t wake daily to see 32 others around us, which makes it easy for us to think we’re here alone. We’re not. Not only are there other ‘miners’ with us, there are an estimated 15 million unemployed globally as of September this year, with predictions to reach 25 million by December 2010. And in addition to our fellow unemployed partners, we have family and friends who wait eagerly to ‘rescue’ us however they can. The trick is, we have to allow ourselves to be rescued.
Before the minors could be rescued a few things had to happen. First someone had to know they needed rescuing. Then they had to know exactly where they needed to be rescued from. And once the rescue plan was in place the miners themselves had to be in the right physical and emotional state of readiness for the rescue to be successful. We have to do that too.
Know That I Need
If no-one knows you need to be rescued and like the miners you can’t necessarily save yourself, then let’s face it, you’re pretty much screwed. So while it seems obvious, you’re going to have to tell someone to help you. Sending off a few applications is a good start, then tell your friend and family to keep their ears to the ground and mouths by the ears of their friends. Get the word out that you’re looking for a job. But the help you need won’t only be in the job-hunting. Additionally, and most importantly, you’re just going to need some good old fashioned love.
If you always wear a brave face, no-one will try to cheer you up. You may tend to feel that no-one cares when in fact many people care a great deal, but they don’t want to weigh you down with emotions if they think you’re doing fine. So if you’re feeling low, say so. Need ice-cream and can’t afford it, tell a friend. Have Mum buy you new shoes and let Dad fix you up a steak when you’re tired of corned-beef. (I am so leaving hints here). Just knowing they can help makes the ones helping feel better too, so let them. You are not in the mine alone.
Know What I Need
Where are you weak? And when? For me where I need help is in company, or I’ll wallow in isolation. I don’t mind being alone and enjoy my own company (I’m hilarious) but if I spend too many ‘me’ hours I get pretty down and once I’m there I can find it hard to re-socialize for days after. (It’s better when other people laugh with me).
When? Well I’m a morning person. I usually more perked up than my coffee from the word ‘go’, so with caffeine and sugar added I can accomplish a good deal by noon. (With a grin on too). I do well until about 3.00 in the afternoon and then I crash for 3-4 hours. No kidding. No exaggeration. Typically this is my low time and the time I most hate being alone. To compensate, this is the time frame I schedule to hang out with my family and friends. But when that’s not possible, this will be my blog, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter time, where I can still feel like I’m having some kind of social interaction. Failing that, I just sleep through it. (Well it’s not like I have to work, ha!).
Know what will help you get through the day and put your rescue plan in place. Because once you take each day at a time, before you know it you’ve survived the week and then in no time, you’ve survived the month. And in order to be ready for rescue, first we have to survive.
Be Ready for Rescue
Keep a sense of normalcy. Set your alarm and wake at the regular time (or a new slightly delayed ‘regular’ time, it’s your right), shower and dress and start doing something. Keep a schedule. Have set meal and sleep times and keep writing ‘to do’ lists. If nothing else, write the list of things you need to do. This does wonders to help you feel you’re doing something during this time when you seemingly have nothing to do. It doesn’t have to be rocket science, it can be ‘water plants’, ‘watch Passport 246’ or ‘call Mum’, but when you cross it off your list, it’s a minor victory. All the little wins make for a very productive week. And a good week makes for a happier you.
Did you jog, stretch, dance, skip or hula hoop today? Your emotional state is linked to your physical state, so cheer yourself up and keep moving. The miners danced, you can too. What you do is not nearly as important as how long you do it for. I’m not a certified personal trainer so I won’t advise you on this in detail, other than to tell you, have fun with whatever you’re doing. That way you’ll stick to it and you’re more likely to do more of it. And by the way, I’m challenging you to hula hoop longer than I do, (yes you) but we can discuss that later.
Finally, (this is the really hard one) you have to stay positive. Didn’t you choke back an emotional tear when the miners sang the Chilean anthem and even cracked jokes? That sure motivated me. Family and friends can motivate too, so stay surrounded by positive people. An unemployment support group is great, but an over-caffeinated friend hyped on the last episode ANTM is better. I had lunch today with a wonderful friend and by the time dessert rolled around I was grinning and smiling and ready to conquer the world (again). Be ready for your rescue. I’m ready for mine. When your next job rolls around be ready to give it all you’ve got in every way. There are 10 other people who can do your job, (so they say) but you are the only one who can do it with your spirit.
One last thing. (I know I said finally before, but this is really it). It’s not part of the rescue effort but it will help make the world a better place. When you do land your next big job (and you will), remember to say thank you to all the people who rescued you. The ones who came down the chamber and waited in the mine, the ones who pulled the ropes, or just held your hand, those who hugged you when you needed it or gave you a meal, who helped you to your feet and shed a tear or two with you. All the people who directly and indirectly lead you to that better place where the sun shines, when it finally stops raining, remember to say thank you.
It still rains for me, but it won’t always. My rescue plan is in effect and I’m looking forward to coming up from the mine. You should know if you’re reading this, even now, you are part of my rescue. And to you, all of you, I’d like to say thanks. Thanks. And cheers! Here’s looking forward to sunshine. See you in the sun.
Reference: Global unemployment statistics – BBC News
Note: ANTM – America’s Next Top Model