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There is Always Hope

Story ID:10659
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
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I wrote this back in November, 2014, after I was laid off.

There is Always Hope

Tomorrow will begin my second week without work. I already forget what day
of the week it is. Monday means nothing. There's no focal point to my days. Like a
clock, my work week sets my time.

It’s like I’m locked in a dark room. I can’t see the sunrise to start my day. I
don’t see it set in the evening to warn the day will end.

There’s no start or end of a work week. The alarm clock doesn’t blare and
tell me, “Get up! It’s time for work!” I smiled on Friday’s when I turn the alarm off
for the weekend. It’s off all the time now.

In the morning, I wake and lie there with my thoughts. Why get up? There’s no
reason to. There’s nothing but empty days in front of me. I search for work every day. I
guess this is my new job: professional job seeker. It keeps me busy, but the pay is

I want to hide from it all.

I miss the banter with my fantastic co-workers and worry about my future and
theirs. Many of them have become great friends: friends for life. They are a better reward for my
service than the pay I received. The banter we shared brought much laughter. They were the glue that held the team together to accomplish great things.

Looking back on that time, I realize I was depressed. I had no purpose.

Without a purpose, what are we? Without focus, we have no target to aim at.
Our minds wander. We amble through a dark forest without a compass. We’re lost.

Without steady pay, we worry about providing for our families. Bills still need
to be paid. Unemployment insurance doesn’t provide enough to cover it all. It adds stress
to make the depression worse. We spiral downward.

I lost interest in writing. I became a master of solitaire.

There were glimmers of hope: a phone call
from a recruiter, looking for someone
with my experience. We’d talk. They’d submit my name for a position. I’d never hear
from them again.

After eight months, I was called back to work. The downward spiral reversed.
I climbed back up.

There was always hope.

I maintained that hope.

Michael T. Smith