Maggie has a prompt she started last month that she calls Tranquil Thursday. Each week she selects a topic and welcomes us to post a photo, poem, prose, thought, or memory related to the topic. She chose the word “tranquil” because she thinks a little peace is always welcome.
This is my first time responding to this prompt because my life has been anything but tranquil lately. But I’m starting to pull myself together and I thought I’d give this week’s prompt a shot.
Here are Maggie’s questions.
1. Can you recall a particularly chaotic or stressful time in your life? How did you manage the stress?
Oh yes. In 2006, when I was 60, the company I was working for had a significant reduction in force (RIF), and I was one of around 2,500 employees who was riffed. It was a good job and I was fairly highly compensated. I have no doubt that because of my age and my compensation, I was targeted. But trying to prove that would have been close to impossible.
The good news is that I received a very generous severance package. But still, being 60 and unemployed and looking for a six-figure salary seemed daunting. I was stressed out. I contacted some headhunters I’d worked with in the past, reached out to other companies in the same industry, and hit the proverbial pavement.
Fortunately, within two months I was able to secure a new job in a similar role and compensation.
2. Where is the one place in the world where all your troubles disappear – even if only for a moment?
It’s not so much a physical place as it is a state of mind. Wherever I am, I close my eyes and try to just clear my head. I wouldn’t call it meditating as much as just looking inward.
3. Do you like for other people to try and raise your spirits or do you prefer to deal with things on your own?
I suppose I’m pretty much of a loner in that regard.
4. What quote, song, book, or movie serves as an inspiration to you when things get tough?
Some combination of “it could be worse” and “this too shall pass.”
5. Does solitude quiet your mind or do you need to pump up the volume?
As I mentioned in my answer to number 3, I am more of a solitary man and quiet deliberation works best for me.