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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Biding My Time

So this was the post I intended to post yesterday before my melt-down.  Oh, the irony.  I still think it’s mostly true, and yesterday’s post just illustrates that this entire situation is a process, and I just need to take each day as it comes.

The most surprising aspect about my currently unemployed situation is that I’m not nearly as anxious about it as I would expect.

There certainly have been anxious moments, particularly right after my unemployed status became official and all I could think about was finding a job.  There was one complete melt-down, after a complete unhelpful ‘pep talk’ from a mentor followed by two job rejections in the span of literally five minutes.  Then I finally took to the kitchen floor and sobbed.  There have been days when all I can do is stare blankly at my computer, desperately searching my brain for new ideas on where to look for jobs.

These spells are few and far between, and have been pretty brief.  For the most part, I’m my usual cheerful self.  I’m not freaked out by the situation.  I really believe that something is going to work out, just not as fast as I want it to.

I credit this mindset to several factors.  First, there’s my belief that it’s not worth worrying over things beyond my control. This is an extremely helpful life philosophy, because it applies to almost every situation I’ve encountered.  As long as I do my best, I don’t (usually) sweat the results.  In this case, I know I’m networking and applying to numerous jobs.  I’m doing what I can, so there’s no point in causing stress- which, by the way, isn’t good for your health anyway.

Second, there’s my ability to feel sad without dwelling.  When my moments of despair set in, I allow myself to dwell a bit.  I owe it to myself- this is an unexpected and frankly upsetting life development.  It’s a part of the ‘grieving’ process after all, I need to allow my body to process things as it needs to. And when I do that, I find these moods pass pretty quickly and I’m back to myself.

Third, I’ve been really good about keeping up my exercise routine.  I’m going into this a bit more later, but while I haven’t been as good as when I have a work routine to keep me on track, I’ve still been pretty consistent and I think this has helped my body stay in balance.  Plus we all know exercise is a major stress reliever.

Fourth, I’ve taken the long view.  I’m not thrilled with being stuck at home all day.  Sometimes I beat myself up for not doing something useful with my time.  What that something useful might be, I don’t know, which is obviously the problem.  But there are a lot of people I know who would be productive somehow- getting uber involved with a volunteer group, starting some adventure they always wanted, or trying out some new job ideas.  But frankly, I’m not that kind of person with innovative ideas.  I have done some volunteer stuff, but I’m hesitant to get really involved and then just cut back drastically and suddenly when I FINALLY get a job.  Plus, a lot of stuff that you think you’d do if you didn’t have to work involve money. Seriously- think about it carefully.  Since I’m an extreme pragmatist when it comes to money- just ask my husband- I feel my job is more to avoid spending unnecessarily than anything.

But I figure that I’ll never have another time in my life with no responsibilities, aside from those to my husband and dogs.  So I’ve decided to just enjoy that while I can.  Most days I take long walks with my big dog.  I’ve been reading a lot, and admittedly watching more TV than I’d like.  I cook, and have tried out different fitness classes at the gym.  Most days I still get up early with my husband, but when I’m really sleepy I allow myself to sleep in because I can.  The only thing I regret is not getting involved in the presidential campaign- I really should have done that.  Oh well, it’s in the past now.

So I’m not super stir-crazy.  I’m not that frustrated with my inability to buy stuff- I’m not terribly into shopping anyway.

The only things that I do find extremely frustrating is the inability to make plans.  My best example is New Years Eve.  We’ve been invited to a bit of a soiree with some good friends of ours, but it carries a bit of a price tag.  If I were working, there’d be no hesitation.  But since I’m not, we’re not sure.  We can’t make any vacation plans until I finally line something up.  It looks like a house is still far off in the future, and there’s lots of restaurants we’d love to try but just can’t.  I miss DOING things because of no money.  Yes there are a lot of great things we can do for free, but there are also things that we can’t.  That may seem whiny and first-world problemish, but that’s what bothers me the most about my situation.

All in all, I think that’s a good place to be in.  I’m young, and still have a long career ahead of me.  A few months now will seem like nothing in the long run.

Right?

Scratch that

So everything I posted about everything being fine even though I’m unemployed?

Today is a bad day.  I was feeling anxious all morning, and finally just cried.  Pretty hard too, and the worst part is that I was driving! I made it back home fine, and actually ended up getting a grip relatively soon afterwards.  Why my body couldn’t wait until I got back to the apartment, who knows but that’s how it went down.

I just really want some sign that I’m making progress, but I haven’t had any call backs or interviews.  So I’m a bit of an emotional wreck today.

I’ve been stuck on my couch ever since, slowly getting my act together. I’ve resisted the urge to make grilled cheese.  I had my healthy lunch, with two Dunkers, hehe. 

I’m working towards getting outside to take my big guy for a walk, and then BodyPump tonight. 

These kinds of days are ok.  I know that. For someone used to succeeding at career/school, this is of course upsetting.  But it’s not the end of the world, and certainly not the worst thing that ever happened to me.  So I’ll allow a good cry, but I’m not going to wallow.

If only crying didn’t leave you feeling so tired!

Most Likely to Succeed

I was voted most likely to succeed in high school.  I can’t help put think how ironic that is lately.

I don’t feel embarrassed about being unemployed. In this economy, it’s very common at all income and education levels. Plus, given the circumstances surrounding my situation as well as the bad timing for policy work in DC, there’s not much more I can do about the situation. Here’s a tip though- if you want to try an exercise in futility, try looking for a new politically-related job in DC during the height of election season.

But it is still surprising. It’s gone on long enough now that I’m wavering between waiting to find that fantastic job and just taking a generally satisfying one. There’s still that uber-ambitious girl from high school that wants a high-powered, incredibly challenging job. That was why I took my short-lived position. Then there is my practical side- the one that knows my husband and I can’t subsist on one income for long. That knows we want to start a family somewhat soon, and it’d be nice to have a job that allows balance. The side that also really enjoys having time to work-out, have a regular sleeping routine, cooking my meals, actually seeing my husband and friends, walking my dogs. That bodes in favor of a stable job that may be interesting but not necessarily high-flying.

At this point, I’m willing to take whichever comes first, assuming it pays ok. And I’m ok with that.

Wow, that girl in the superlatives picture from my high school yearbook would not understand that last statement at all! Luckily I don’t have my high school yearbook, my best friend has had it for years and we have no idea where it went. Even if I did, I’m still fine with perhaps not living up to those expectations from that time.

Out of the Blue

I’m back.

I know a six month (at least, probably longer) hiatus is no way to keep readers.  But I have my reasons for not blogging anymore.

First, I got a new job.  And then, on my first day, I more or less lost that job.  It’s not quite as clear-cut as it sounds, but that’s the short of it.  The job did sorta drag on for a bit, and while that was happening I had a very long commute- one hour and ten minutes each way by Metro- and a busy work day that zapped my energy for blogging at the end of the day. So I just wasn’t up for it.  Then, when the official unemployment set in, I was too fazed by that to really want to blog.

Second, I simply lost interest in blogging.  I realized I was putting too much pressure on myself to be ‘a blogger.’  I’m not a huge Internet person- I don’t have Facebook, and while I have a Twitter account I don’t really get the point.  I was exasperated by the advice to write almost daily to generate interest- what if I didn’t have anything to write about? I was striving to be like my favorite fitness bloggers- but it’s just not me. My initial goal was to connect with other like-minded people in DC, but I’m not extroverted enough or motivated enough to put in the effort that a lot of the really good and popular bloggers do to reach that goal.  I also never take pictures except when on vacation- and even then my husband has taken on that role- so it was awkward to start taking pictures of stuff I honestly am not all that interested in documenting, like my fitness outfits.  Please note this is not a knock on people who do those things, because I love a lot of those blogs and rely heavily on them.  But it stifles me far too much.

Very recently, I received some fabulous advice from a friend about what to do with all the time on my hands while I try to secure a job.  She said that I should think about what made me happy as a kid, and try to pursue those things again as they probably would make me feel fulfilled.  To give proper credit, this idea came from a book she read called ‘The Happiness Project,’ which I will certainly be reading soon.

Talk about an inspiring idea.  I had already reclaimed some of my childhood passions, such as reading American history (I march to the beat of my own drummer), but there were other things I could also rediscover.

Like writing.  I LOVED writing as a youngster.  I even wrote three terrible novels in high school.  I still love writing, and I do enjoy writing about my fitness ways.  It is a big part of my life, and I like putting it out there.

So I decided to restart the blog.  I’ll be doing it on my terms, which I should have done before.  It’ll remain mostly about working out, but there may be other musings in there.  There may be times I write a lot, and there maybe times I’ll disappear (although I’ll try not to disappear for six-plus months again).  I didn’t see any point in starting up a whole new blog while I had a perfectly good venue here.

There you have it.  For those who keep checking in with me, I hope you like what you see.  And if no one does anymore, that’s fine.  I’m really doing this for me in the end.