How To Survive Downsizing By Planting A Garden

Have you ever lost a job? I did. Yesterday.

Have you ever planted a garden? I will. Today.

Yesterday was the last day for most of our Corporate Training Department, including me. Today, I am going to spend some much deserved time outside considering my options. I know there is no place I’d rather be, and the whole ‘gardening as a business’ option is up for consideration. It’s an option that I never took seriously enough to quit a job that I liked. A job that helped pay the bills nicely.

What words of wisdom have others imparted upon me in the last few weeks? I think the most thought-provoking has been this much quoted quote and its variations…

When God closes a door, He opens a window.

– or –

Sometimes it feels like God slams a door and pushes you out the window.

– or –

When God closes a door, and the window is not an option, crawl through the heating vent.

– or –

When God closes a door and a window, perhaps he has given you a chainsaw.

– or in my case –

When God closes a door, maybe he wants you to work in the garden.

I have a lot of thinking to do, because it’s true that I have many doors, windows, heating vents, a husband with a chain saw, and even a garden to consider when I look at the opportunities ahead.

Do I want another Corporate Trainer job? I’ve certainly enjoyed this one, and I have enjoyed helping so many people get the skills to succeed at their jobs. We have fun in class and they learn. This is good.

Do I want to do Contract Training and Course Development? I enjoyed that in the past, and loved giving 110% during an implementation, then having time between projects.

Do I consider this the shove from God to pursue garden writing, garden speaking, and working closely with garden centers to keep them viable in today’s marketplace? Of course, this is the one I want, but can I afford that? It’s a big risk. But if not now, when?

I’ll continue thinking about it today while I’m outside. Even there, opportunities come and go. I had planted many tulips and daffodils on the berm, but eventually they were choked out by the ivy. I’ve learned my lesson. Ivy wins. Now I’ll plant bulbs again, on a side of the berm that doesn’t have ivy.

Life is like that too. I’ll look at what I’ve learned and decide what to do next. Like the bulbs, it may take a while for me to bloom in my new location, but bloom I will.

The sun has come back out. I can take a hint. Yes, God, I’m going outside now. Let’s see what other hints you have for me while I’m planting your flowers.

4 comments to How To Survive Downsizing By Planting A Garden

  • My condolences! I’m no stranger to the anxiety of potential layoffs, though I’ve been extremely lucky about being able to move on before the ax fell in a couple of cases.

    You sound like you’re handling the trauma pretty well. I also find getting my hands in the dirt to be extremely therapeutic when I am suffering from work-related stress. Actually, I’m at the point in life where I am planning to leave a job I find just too stressful. Luckily my kids are out of college and my spouse is earning a good living, so that provides a lot more freedom to maneuver.

  • Cathy Hosek

    Praying for you, my friend!

  • Dan List

    They’ve just given you the keys to the rest of your life. Take advantage of a fresh start to spend more time with your passions. I know flowers to be one of yours. Perhaps there is a way to make money doing what you like most, gardening and teaching.

    I think the words of Satchel Paige are appropriate at this time: “Don’t look back–something might be gaining on you.”

  • Lise

    Let your garden bloom into your next career path. Remember the cliche that makes our heart’s sing… Do what you love and the money will follow!

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