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What’s in your wobbly trailer?

August 27th, 2013

A few weeks ago I punched my man card.  I hauled a trailer for about 9 hours (roundtrip).  I have plenty of friends who are experienced in this, and can even back a trailer into a parking space… but I’ve never really had the occasion to do it.

My first surprise was after picking up the trailer from Uhaul (what a horrendous experience), I drove home to load it up.  The entire trip home, with an empty trailer, was wobbly, creaky, noisy, bouncy. I was surprised and hoped the rest of the trip (the long drive) would be better.

Once we loaded it up, there was no wobble, bounce, or creak.  It was a nice, pleasant drive from then on.

I’ve thought about that since the trip and it kind of reminded me of when I lost my job.  I know, I know, I always bring it back to career stuff, right?

When I had a job I was confident.  I had a job title, business cards, a company credit card. I had purpose.

When I lost my job I lost the tangible things (business card, company card, paychecks), but worse, I lost my confidence. I felt I had no purpose.

My job search suffered.  It was “wobbly” because my trailer was empty.

Actually, it wasn’t really empty.  I had a supportive wife, great kids, loving family and community.  I had people who cared about me and watched out for me.  I had my health (which, unfortunately, I let decline during my intense job search), talents, friends.  I wasn’t poor, destitute, living in a shelter, under a bridge or out of my car.  I could tap into financial/food support systems from the government, the church and our family (not in that order).

But I felt empty. And I moved forward in my job search like my empty trailer wobbled down the highway.  I’m sure I was even creaky (and probably cranky).

If I could rewind to that dark, low time in my life, and be able to take a little of what I know now, I would completely reevaluate and understand, perhaps even “inventory” what I had in my trailer.

Yes, I had lost a lot, but I still had so much.  The family, support, mental and physical ability, potential, etc. should have been recognized, but it wasn’t.  I didn’t appreciate it.  I was desperate.  If I could counsel that old me I would help me see that my trailer was full, even overflowing, and that it didn’t need to wobble and creak.

I ask you: what is in your trailer?

 

5 Comments »

5 responses to “What’s in your wobbly trailer?”

  1. […] Tuesday’s post about driving with an empty trailer, and how that is like losing a job and not having a job title (and purpose, etc.)?  Read it […]

  2. Ellie Vargo says:

    Faith. We can all have that in our trailer. Simply believing in yourself and acknowledging that while you may not have control over your circumstances, you do have control over your attitude. Mindset makes such a difference! Focus on abundance and provision instead of scarcity and insecurity.

    There’s a graphic on my office wall: “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” We all have difficulties in life. What sets us apart is how we respond to them.

  3. Linsey says:

    Jason,

    Thanks for this amazing beautifully written post! I’ve passed it on to my ExecuNet groups and LinkedIn groups because it is so thoughtful and insightful – I’m just hoping it gets forwarded on to others who won’t have to get sucked into the dark void of negative thoughts. It’s so important to spend your energy focused on what you do want, and remember to keep thinking “things are always working out for me” even when we can’t see it happening daily. In hindsight, we are always where we are meant to be. And the more grateful we are, the more we have to be grateful for.

  4. Brilliant post, Jason. I’m going to share this with proper attribution, of course. Nicely done!

  5. Great article. Really rings true. When we lack that sense of purpose, things sure get wobbly and cranky!