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The Answer

Author’s Note: No scientific evidence or cold hard statistics here folks, just an answer based on my experience. 

What Happened? 

I suddenly became a widow at an age society considers to be “young.”

I did not see Joe’s death coming. The night before he was vibrant, energetic, and having fun figuring out which TV and TV cart to use for the DVD player I brought his and his roommate. He was looking forward to getting through rehab and coming home so he could walk Rommie.

The next morning he was gone.

What My Doctor Said

The odds of my becoming ill and dying within two years were great.

She did not say how great and I was too shocked and chicken to ask. Try living with that thought in the back of your head. Sometimes it makes its way to the front of your head and you have to work on pushing it back.

An example of this is me not finding a job and thinking:

“Well, guess the reason I am not getting interview or job offers is because I will be dead by the second anniversary.”

Grief messes with your mind.

Year One

The First Year:

  • I wandered aimlessly without desire or motivation. I sat on the couch or laid in bed on weekends to “store up” energy to drag my sorry behind into work the next week.
  • I knew who Michele and Joe were but now it was just Michele. Who was I no that I was single again?
  • The only reason I got out of bed each morning was to let Rommie (golden retriever daughter) outside as I did not want to lie in bed smelling pee and poo.
  • Ther was a fair amount of paperwork I had to do in order to get everything transferred into my name and get debts paid off or reduced so I could handle the monthly bills.
  • Just because I made it through the first year, did not mean I had made it 100% through lmy grief journey and was completely whole again.

Year Two

The Second Year:

  • My Mind became clouded with grief from losing my job.
  • My mind was still somewhat foggy from losing Joe.
  • I had to figure out who I was as a person and a professional.
  • I had some desire and motivation but not the amount I wanted or needed.
  • Had another 12 months to deal with the fact odds were against my making it to the second anniversary.

The Answer

Based on what I went through, the answer to how long do you wait before telling a grieving employee –

“I’m sorry, but we need you to perform at the level this job requires or we’ll have to let you go.

is Two (2) years. 

Undoubtedly you have either choked on your cinnamon roll or spit coffee out your nose at the thought of dealing with a grieving widow for two years.

The Next Step

Now that you know my answer, work with her in developing a plan to bring her back up to speed. If you work with her I doubt it will take 2 years for her performance to be at the level you need.

Coming tomorrow – Ideas for developing a plan. 

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Weekend Wisdom: To Anaceron In Heav’n

Time for the history buff in me to emerge.

I was always curious about the song To Anacreon In Heaven (British drinking song) so I decided to research and publish the lyrics this weekend. You already know the tune but more about that tomorrow.

Anacreon was an ancient Greek lyric poet. ( born c. 582 BCE – died c. 485) Unfortunately, very little of his work remains. According to Wikipedia Anacreon was known for his drinking songs and erotic poems.

Lyric poetry are words or poem that is sung to music. You can find out more here.

Here are the lyrics of To Anacreon In Heaven. Courtesy of POTW.org (Poem of the Week)

                                              1
          To ANACREON in Heav’n, where he sat in full Glee,
          A few Sons of Harmony sent a Petition,
          That He their Inspirer and Patron wou’d be;
          When this Answer arriv’d from the JOLLY OLD GRECIAN
                        “Voice, Fiddle, and Flute,
                        “No longer be mute,
         “I’ll lend you my Name and inspire you to boot,
         “And, besides, I’ll instruct you like me, to intwine
         “The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’s Vine.

                                                    2
          The news through OLYMPUS immediately flew;
          When OLD THUNDER pretended to give himself Airs_
          If these Mortals are suffer’d their Scheme to pursue,
          The Devil a Goddess will stay above Stairs.
                            “Hark! already they cry,
                            “In Transports of Joy
         “Away to the Sons of ANACREON we’ll fly,
         “And there, with good Fellows, we’ll learn to intwine
         “The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

                                                    3
         “The YELLOW-HAIR’D GOD and his nine fusty Maids
         “From HELICON’S Banks will incontinent flee,
         “IDALIA will boast but of tenantless Shades,
         “And the bi-forked Hill a mere Desart will be
                      “My Thunder, no fear on’t,
                      “Shall soon do it’s Errand,
         “And, dam’me! I’ll swinge the Ringleaders I warrant,
         “I’ll trim the young Dogs, for thus daring to twine
         “The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

                                                    4
          APOLLO rose up; and said, “Pr’ythee ne’er quarrel,
         “Good King of the Gods with my Vot’ries below:
         “Your Thunder is useless_then, shewing his Laurel,
          Cry’d. “Sic evitabile fulmen, you know!
                      “Then over each Head
                      “My Laurels I’ll spread
         “So my Sons from your Crackers no Mischief shall dread,
         “Whilst snug in their Club-Room, they Jovially twine
         “The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

                                                    5
          Next MOMUS got up, with his risible Phiz,
          And swore with APOLLO he’d cheerfull join_
         “The full Tide of Harmony still shall be his,
         “But the Song, and the Catch, & the Laugh shall bemine
                     “Then, JOVE, be not jealous
                      Of these honest Fellows,
          Cry’d JOVE, “We relent, since the Truth you now tell us;
         “And swear, by OLD STYX, that they long shall entwine
         “The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

                                                    6
          Ye Sons of ANACREON, then, join Hand in Hand;
          Preserve Unanimity, Friendship, and Love!
         ‘Tis your’s to support what’s so happily plann’d;
          You’ve the Sanction of Gods, and the FIAT of JOVE.
                          While thus we agree
                          Our Toast let it be.
          May our Club flourish happy, united and free!
          And long may the Sons of ANACREON intwine
          The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

Courtesy of POTW.org

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, co-facilitating a grief support group, and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Wrap up Of My Draw The Circle 40 Day Prayer Challenge

It’s mind-boggling what can happen in 40 days.

When I embarked on this prayer journey that is (April 30,2020) based on Mark Batterson’s book, Draw the Circle, A 40 Day Prayer Challenge, it was for the leaders and my fellow residents here in Ohio. It was to pray for our Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Director of Health to get rid of their fear, draw close to God through a relationship with Jesus, and to have the Holy Spirit work mightily and powerfully in their lives as they work to jump start Ohio’s economy.

All was going well. I would get up early to read my devotion, write notes in my spiral notebook, and write a prayer for reopening based on that day’s devotion.

Then George Floyd was murdered.

The protests began and turned into riots and looting.

Now I pray not only for excellent leadership in regards to the reopening but also leadership regarding controlling and eliminating the riots and looting.

This prayer challenge has had the greatest impact on me of all the ones I’ve done because it has caused me to think and ponder the most. Praying for leaders who are using fear to control and destroy people’s lives and businesses is not easy. Although I will admit Ohio could be like New York, Washington, or California and still be shut down. At least we have been slowly opening up our economy during my prayer challenge.

A lot of sentences jumped out at me this time that never did before. Here are just a few:

  • When we pray, we are building a monument to God, a memorial to Him. And those prayers never go unanswered. (Day 19; pg 109
  • Goliath held an entire army captive through fear. (Day 14; pg 84)
  • Going back to places of spiritual significance should be part of our spiritual rhythm. Day 38, pg 210
  • Love isn’t repetitive; love is creative. Day 29; pg 161

May you ponder one of more of these today.

While doing this challenge I got a 5 Subject spiral notebook and took notes while reading the devotions. The I wrote out my prayers for our Governor, Lt. Governor and Health Director based on that day’s devotion. I also got creative with using highlighter, watercolor pens, and stickers both in my notebook and in my book because that’s just who I am.

A new Draw the Circle book is necessary as I have marked this copy up so much, I am not sure anything new would jump out at me if I use it again.

And use it again I will because I will be praying through this book starting on Thursday, September 24th, 2020 – 40 days before the November 3rd election. An election that will determine the fate of this country. An election between keeping this country as founded or rioting and looting the Constitution and become more of what you see now – government control of our lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I will be praying for this country in the meantime but will use this book as a guide for my prayers starting in September. I will pray circles around this country because it is exceptional and pray it is God’s will to keep it that way.

Because…

Prayer is the difference between you fighting for God and God fighting for you.

Mark Batterson
Draw the Circle, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge
pg 89

And we need Him fighting for us.

Will you join me starting September 24th?

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, co-facilitating a grief support group, and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

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