Every messaging system on my devices has its own noise.
As I climbed downstairs to make coffee, I heard the high-pitched ping of Facebook Messenger from the phone which I carry everywhere in my house ever since that grim, hysterical sojourn on the floor of the basement. I glance down at the red LG3 and see a line of text from Paula Caplan, a former client turned friend who has flown to Israel.
In a few exchanges we establish that she has overcome the sudden blow of being laid off from her job in Florida after seventeen years, and has embraced a new life practicing her religion and living among other devout Jews. I have come home, she messages. Don’t get me wrong, I was devastated when I lost my job. I felt like used Kleenex, thrown away because they didn’t need me anymore. I told her I understood, all too well, the concept of feeling as though you have been tossed aside for a younger, easier, better version.
But she’s taking a chance; a genuine leap of faith. Closed door, open window, I reply.
She tells me Happy Purim and signs off, just about the time that my kettle starts to steam.
Yesterday a friend quizzed me on my level of hopefulness. He had read an article in the Wall Street Journal about the physical effects of being a hopeful person. My score showed that I’m high-normal. I didn’t score at the very top. I couldn’t commit to absolute belief in the potential accomplishment of my dreams, or unfailing ability to seek support from others. I got 12 out of 15. I can live with that.
It’s the twenty-fourth day of the twenty-seventh month of My Year Without Complaining. I’m hoping for the best. I haven’t yet experienced the worst, but I’ve fallen fairly low over the last two years. I’m on the uphill climb. I rest each time I reach a plateau. But then, I start climbing again. Life continues.