Grey overcast skies; trees laid bare due to cold driving winds carrying flecks of snow and ice pellets that sting the skin on contact. Dry, dead leaves blown randomly about in the onset on winter’s unwelcome arrival. Sounds like the usual seasonal transition that Canadians face each year.

Whether you are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD); undergoing the winter blues; or experiencing cabin fever, atmospheric seasonal changes not only affect, but at times, can reflect the soul. Personally, my favourite season is Summer. Warm sunshine; no need for layers of clothing; everything is green, fresh and alive. One good thing about Winter though; you always have something to look forward to. New growth; the inevitable banishment of the cold; the warmth of new beginnings. Spring is always guaranteed to follow.

It has been two weeks exactly since being let go from what I considered to be the most satisfying job I have ever held. For 15 months, the routine of getting up early and commuting to work felt, well…just right. That feeling may have had something to do with the fact that prior to this past position, I had been out of full-time employment for almost 2 years. Instead of allowing d√©j√† vu to have sway over my bruised thought processes, I have purposed to acquire and maintain an attitude that allows for the expectancy of bigger and better things to come.

I do not want to risk belittling the circumstances surrounding the loss of a job. I have swallowed that bitter pill several times in my life. In fact, thinking back over the intervening twenty-seven years since graduating from university, I have changed jobs six times. Of those six transitions, three have been a result of being forcibly released from employment. I can at least take (small) comfort that being let go was not because of any inherent fault on my part. The corporate business decisions that resulted in my terminations, were based on the respective companies’ bottom line.

So bearing all of this in mind, one can reconcile at least one guarantee in life; change is constant. While at first blush, that constancy may promote seemingly contradictory feelings in the way we view the consequences of said change, it can be an opportunity to build upon that which has transpired.

Weathering the storms of life can be distressing at times, but these challenges can contain unexpected and inherent value. Just as distressed leather speaks of roughness and agitation, which allows it to be immediately recognized by its unique patina. It has an inherent characteristic that is readily sought after and prized, because of what it has been through; battered and worn, soft and supple, yet durable. Could it be that the seemingly repetitive trials we face throughout life, are opportunities to showcase our own characteristic patina; our testimony to our durability, forbearance and hope?

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

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