Keep On Keeping On
By: Gina Lobito
(5 min read)
As some of you might know, I offer bodywork at a chiropractic office a few days a week. While I am driving, my mind will have a stream of thoughts and insights. I remember when I used to take long drives on the highway, so I could just think. I don’t do that much anymore and miss it. I miss the sound of the road, music on the radio, and the evening lights when I would drive at night. When it was a hot summer evening, I would roll the windows down because I loved to feel the warm summer air and wind blow through my hair. It was like flying without lifting off the ground.
Something about the car’s rhythm and methodic motion brings me to a moment of presence within myself. The drive becomes meditative in a way. This morning, I happened to notice I was thinking about money. While the song, Once in a Lifetime, by Talking Heads, played on the radio, I happened to focus on the lyric, “You may ask yourself how did I get here?” I thought, what a fitting question.
“HOW DID I GET HERE?” captured my thought as I was thinking about how little money I have flowing into my life at the moment. I began to let that define my present moment. I noticed I was thinking about money, not from a place of lack, but rather from a place of identifying my success. I quickly interrupted my thought by taking a look at the year and all things I have experienced and accomplished.
You see, I left my law enforcement career a little over a year ago. In fact, one year ago, on my birthday, September 15th. I was on stress leave, filed a worker’s compensation claim, and soon after, I quit because I could not be in that career anymore. Literally, my body was screaming at me. I knew it was over the day I drove into work, and as I got closer to the building, my heart began pounding against my chest, and my breath shortened. I was experiencing a panic attack. For whatever reason, I mustered up the ability to put on my uniform vest, zip up my shirt, check my radio battery, turn it on, and place it in a holster on my belt. Then I started to cry. I could not walk out of the women’s locker room. The tears would not stop, and my body would not move one step further. There I stood, in front of the bathroom sink, holding on, breathing, crying, and rinsing my face with cold water.
Fortunately, a co-worker that I trusted happened to walk in, stopped, and asked if I was okay. I said, “No.” I asked her to get the captain for me and send her in. There was no way I was walking across the hallway to the captain’s office. That was the last time I put on my uniform. I packed my personal belongings, went home, and left my uniforms and jacket in my locker. I never went back. After 14 ½ years of service as a Records Specialist and Community Service Officer, I left almost as if I had never lived it. I was just done, the career had lost purpose for me, and to stay was too much of a sacrifice for my health.
While Law Enforcement can be a rewarding and purposeful path in life, it can also be a thankless profession, filled with double standards, politics, unrealistic expectations from internal management, unrealistic expectations from citizens, and “checking off the box” to satisfy a citizen complaint at the expense of employees doing their job and enforcing the rules and laws they agreed to uphold. Depending on the way an employee leaves the career, sadly, also determines the way their career is acknowledged within the department. If you retire or leave in “good standing,” it’s filled with praise, perhaps a little party, but if you leave due to stress, medical, or even misconduct of some kind, the department is filled with judgment, criticism and failure, to acknowledge what the employee contributed over the years. Sadly, I fell in the latter category.
So, “How Did I Get Here?” was staring at me on the screen from my car radio… I doubted my success in life, as If I meant to have reached some arbitrary goal or standard in life. So, I continued driving, realizing my flow of income was trickling in though my savings had been dwindling, my health was on an upswing after six months of sleeping, hikes in nature, a therapist, and a psychiatrist who wanted to give me a prescription after our first meeting. I said a giant NO to that. She did not see my progress over the prior two months. Yes, that’s how long it took me to get an appointment, let alone find someone to take Worker’s Compensation claims. That system is a joke and stressful, too. If your injury is in the category of Mental Health, well, how does one really quantify the years of compounding “stuff.” That’s perhaps another blog.
During the first six months after quitting, I did not have the ability to work because it was too stressful. Any amount of stimulus was too much, with the exception of my dog, Gus. Do not underestimate the power and love of pets. He truly saved me in so many ways. Gus kept me moving, providing me comfort, and when I wanted to throw in the towel, he gave me a reason to “keep on keeping on.”
I decided to focus on my successes over the last year and began by compiling a list. I surprised myself. Here’s what I have accomplished:
- Left a career that was no longer purposeful.
- Chose to “keep on keeping on.”
- Mental, Emotional and Physical Wellness work became the primary focus of my life and is still on track.
- Became a published author. (You can purchase the book, The Four-Fold Formula for All Things Wellness, by going to my website: https://soulinspiredreflections.com/books/ )
- Blog Writer for All Things Wellness https://allthingswellness.com/author-guest-bloggers/
- Created a Podcast called “Ascension; A Humble Awakening of the Heart” created through The Transformation Network. You can listen to the Podcast on YouTube. Feel free to access it through my website: https://soulinspiredreflections.com/media/ )
- Created a New Website and Logo (Big thank you to Dr. Pat Bacilli, Jesica Henderson, and the rest of the production team at The Transformation Network).
- Started working at a Holistic Chiropractic Office that allows me to bring Gus with me when I see clients.
I thought about all these accomplishments and realized, WOW! I have been quite productive and successful this year. I cannot necessarily quantify my success monetarily, but I do know I stayed true to my heart. In my opinion, that’s priceless. I found myself in the darkness among the shadows. I always moved into the light and remembered to keep my heart open.
I will say that this year I have been extremely successful. Heck, I even have some lovely new acquaintances and friends. The best part is that we all want to celebrate each other’s successes.
I will leave you with this, “Keep on Keeping on.” (https://youtu.be/eGgmUXXCOVU)
All Things Wellness, LLC
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