Furlough Confessions - It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want to

“It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you” (Lesley Gore)

I am one of the 800,000 workers affected by the government shutdown. In my quest to find meaning in the situation, I decided to blog about it. Writing has always been therapeutic for me; the way I make sense of my world. For various reasons my blog has been silent for nearly two years as I quietly processed what was happening around me. I’m thinking now is the perfect time to reclaim my voice.

Well that didn’t take long… Monday was productive as was Tuesday. I was convinced I was going to make it through this furlough relatively unscathed. Then Wednesday came along and reality sucker punched me in the gut.

I’m not sure what triggered it. All I know is the gravity the situation hit me hard and suddenly. I thought about the fact that not only was I not going to be paid, but, as a contractor, I wasn’t going to see the money I lost once the shutdown was over. I thought about the financial obligations that would go unmet and it sapped my strength. So much so that I spent the entire day in pajamas. I didn’t answer the phone or texts. I stayed off social media. In fact I only got out of bed to get food or use the bathroom. I couldn’t even be bothered to change the channel on the television. Can I get a woot woot for SVU marathons on USA Network?

Normally I would beat myself up for having a pity party or I’d try really hard to shake it off, but this time I just couldn’t. So I went with it. When the tears came, I let them fall. When the fear came, I rode the wave. When the anger came, I sat with it. Whatever emotion came, I gave myself permission to feel it.

That, in a nutshell, was my first Wednesday as a furloughed worker. I’d like to think that will be my worst day, but I know that’s not the case. I don’t know what the days ahead hold for me, but I do know that whatever it is, I will give myself permission to feel what I feel, and when I’m ready, I will move on.

One thing I’m thankful for is my faith without which I would have more days like Wednesday than not. When the Wednesdays come, I hold on to this promise from Psalm 30:5b, “The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.” (The Message Bible). And those who know me know that laughing is my favorite!

Grace & Peace,