October 25, 2010


I survived another long day at Macy's. I am not sure why Sundays are so bad, but they are. It is possibly because the shifts are all 8-hours, so you know that "you're it," you are the one who will open AND close. It is a mental thing, where your mind tells you the day is longer than it really is -- oh well!

Yesterday was pretty bad. First off, it was the day AFTER our one day sale event. This means there are tons of returns, and tons of "go-backs." Secondly, the department looks trashed, so a fair portion of the day needs to be assigned to "recovery." This simply means that you must go and recover the "look" of the store before you close. We do recovery every night, but typically it comes down to refolding the jeans, making sure the hangers are even, etc. The day after recovery is much harder, requiring more than one person to go and touch every piece of clothing in the entire department.

My day was full, and I spent nearly 2 and half hours standing at the registering ringing customers. They never stopped coming, and finally at 5:30, another gal from the next department came over so I could go on break. Thankfully, she normally works in my department, so she stayed with me until closing and helped me put all the clothing away.

I made my goal, which was high for the day (938), and ended up clocking out at 204% (or 104% over my goal). This won't matter much because I will get half that back in returns, so it may end up a wash or a little over goal.

My feet held up, and except for the constant twinge in my hip (due to some strain from the previous week), I did OK. I was glad when my shift was over, and I was so ready to head home. As I left the building, my Mom called to say that she had made stew and there was plenty left over. I headed over to my parents house, and I got to sit down and eat a nice hot meal (thanks, Mom!) Then I went home (my son and DH had already eaten), and had my evening cup of coffee. I had planned on finishing school work, but as usual, I found myself falling asleep so I ended up just going to bed early. Macy's does that to me -- makes me fall asleep right after work. Its not just me either -- most of the ladies tell me the same thing. It has to do with standing on your feet all day long. Your body simply cannot handle the 'day in and day out' stress of standing up-- so you just fall asleep (and go into "recovery mode" -- God has thought of everything, hasn't He?)

It is funny (curious) how this word is used at Macy's. Retail uses other words that way, out of their normal context, and you just accept them. Macy's speaks of "loyalty" too, but not in employee or even customer loyalty, but rather as in selling credit. They lump customer service into selling, which is related, but in my opinion is completely different.

Recovery, n. plural: the regaining of or possibility of regaining something lost or taken away.

There are other meanings for this word, but this is the one I am using today. I have experienced recovery in my life, and in many ways, I am in "recovery mode" each day. We all recover from something lost, be it a good nights sleep or a cold or other illness (like my strained hip muscle).

In my case, I have lost something, yes; but moreso, I have had something taken away from me. Two years ago, I began a quest to discover myself. I started down a path of spiritual enlightenment, hoping to find a deeper relationship with God, and thereby, finding transformation from the person I was (and who I didn't like), and the person I wanted to be (or hoped to be). I never expected that to find that person, to become that person, I would have to suffer through the loss and the removal of almost everything stable in my life.

Stability in the small things gives us that sense that everything is right or OK. We have balance when our life is in check, when things are as they should be, and when we can rest in the knowledge that what was will be again (the sense of trusting the dailiness, knowing tomorrow will be much the same, and that no extra worry or concern is needed -- these things will be because they have always been). As I moved through this transition period in my life, my stability was removed. That which had always been (my husband) was gone; that which was going to be there tomorrow (his fidelity to me and our family) was lost. I found myself stranded on an island where things were not as they had always been, and where there was no assurance that things would ever be the same again.

I swayed back and forth for a long time, trying to find my balance. It was the most difficult thing I have ever experienced. Finally, I had to let things be, I had to let them go, and I had to stop trying to hold everything in my hand. You know how you grab a bunch of items off the floor, only to start dropping one or two as you scramble to put them away. Each time you get them all in your arms, one falls out. You reach to pick that one up, and another falls out. It is the same way when we try and control something that is too much for us, too big, or simply too unknown. We scramble around trying to hold everything, until we finally accept that we can only hold one or two things. We have to leave the rest on the floor.

I had to leave a number of things laying on the floor. It was hard for me because I have always been the one to keep everything neat and tidy. I don't like messes laying about -- I pick them up, I put things away. Yet, this time, I couldn't hold them all, so I had to walk away and leave them be. Wonderful for me -- God took over the moment I left them be. As soon as I walked away and said "Lord, I cannot care for these things anymore," He stepped in and picked them up for me. He carried them for a time, and then slowly, He put them away. Some things He allowed me time to see, to still remember; and other things, He simply just took from me.

It was difficult at first, but I got used to Him doing this, and now all these months later, I am far more content with what I have, than with all that I lost.

Recovery for me is now complete. I have gone through the entire process:
  • Denial and Isolation
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

I am whole, and I am healed. I am ready to begin my life as a new person. I have a new identify, a new self-esteem, and a new outlook (hopes, prosperity, plans and a future). I am secure, I am safe, and I am satisfied (contented, at peace) with the changes that have taken place as well as my new direction. All of this has been a work of God, all of this has been because of His great Care and Compassion, and all of this has been to accomplish His work in my life (for me to learn how to be more like Jesus, to live my life fully devoted to Him, and to trust Him as my sole guide and helper). I am ready to go where ever God leads me, and I am ready to do whatever work He has in mind for me. I have gone, I will go, and I am going -- action, it is faith in action -- to go where God leads, and to trust Him to lead you to where He wants you to be.

Dear Lord,

I am giving you thanks today for your great work of recovery in my life. I am praising you for healing my heart, restoring my broken spirit, and recovering my identity. I know who I am, I know who you are, and I know what I must do. I am whole, no longer broken; I am resilient, able to bend without breaking. You have done this for me and I give you all the Glory, and all the testimony. You are so Good to me.

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