Wednesday, April 22, 2009

OK So I Took Some Time Off

Some of you may have noticed, but I haven’t posted anything to this blog for a couple of weeks. I had just hit that wall we all run into at different times in our own internal timeline expectations. You know what I’m talking about? This internal clock that just keeps ticking through the times when you thought you’d be back to work long before this time ever hit. Anyway, so I took some time, a couple days at least, just for me. I didn’t do anything, eat anything, or talk to anyone, unless I really felt like it. I’m telling you, it really did wonders for my new occupation campaign. But on that note, aren’t there days when you’d really like to have that first drink at 2:00, the heck with tea and cookies. I was starting to think today was one of those days, and then I managed to fix my kitchen light. I have those long florescent light bulbs in my kitchen and I changed one the other day. Well it’s been flickering for days; sometimes dim and other times real bright. I was at the point of asking my super to come up and look at it, but not only am I feeling too cheap for that, I also felt it was kind of like one of those jokes. You know what I mean, how many whatever’s does it take to change a light bulb? Well I went to Target and bought new bulbs, came home and tried again and voila, everything is fine. Ahhhh, the little victories. Anyway, I do digress don’t I?

It may have appeared before in this blog how I am always amazed that people think I am handling things so well. But, you know, yesterday I “got” it. Finally, I gave myself credit for surviving relatively sane. However, before I get to that, you all need to believe that people are looking at you the very same way. We are all surviving. When you are home alone with your PC/Mac you may not feel that way, but it is all part of the process. Of course it also helps if you can appreciate, like I do, that it wasn’t always so happy times while working and at least now when you get frustrated, you can retire with tea and cookies to your comfy place to read a book, watch TV or whatever it is that makes you happy. That’s how I either keep my spirits up, or drag them up when they get really down.

You know, I started this posting yesterday, but realized I was having a real writers block. One of my original intentions for writing this blog was to recognize the humor, because there usually is always something to laugh about in every situation. Well in the last couple of months there didn’t seem to be anything to laugh about. Now, this all a perception mind you. I for one, can find something to laugh about in pretty much anything. Speaking of which, a friend of mine told me the best story about the day he was laid off as we drove home. I really wish he would share the story in comments. That was the hardest I’ve laughed in a very long time. And darlin, I wasn’t laughing at you, but more laughing with you at the irony of things that happen in our lives. I could so relate and I think you know that. This was an instance of good sympathetic influence. However, that being said, we all need to keep an eye on who is influencing us and in what way.

One of the ways we do survive or thrive in the process is to recognize and deal with appropriately, those negative influences that come and go through our lives and times. We can all succeed at focusing on the positive and diminishing the negative, but if there are people who we let close to us and who are really negative, this can have a very bad impact to our confidence, our hopes and ultimately to our future success. I’m not talking about the give and take of support in our various networks of friends and family. I’m talking about that person who always sends you or calls you with negative stories, never positive ones. The person who when you reach out to and say your in some need of support, says, no you're never that way, that you are always positive, and then changes the subject to talk about their problems. Listen to your own inner feelings. Do you think “uck” when you read one of the emails or feel that way after you get off the phone? Do you dread when you hear from them? Well it may be kind of cold of me, but in order to survive, we may need to distance ourselves from these vampires that suck the positive energy right out of you.

And, on a more positive note, the job boards may be thin and interviews even thinner, but people are using this difficult time to follow their dreams. That’s one heck of a segue isn’t it. Yesterday, at one of my network meetings, it struck me that a lot of us in a normal market would have simply moved on to another job, similar to the one we left when we were laid off. Because it is so darn difficult to get a job, we have to be more creative. There are only so many creative ways of searching for a job that you can come up with but, once you start thinking about what you would love to do, then the creativity can really kick in. In normal times, family members, friends etc. might respond with “stop wasting your time”. Now, since what you have most of is time, this type of creativity is encouraged and it can work. This colleague of mine was an IT maven and is now pursuing his dream in cooking and broadcasting and managing his daughter’s career. I am just in awe. Another person I met though another networking meeting, is pursuing her dream to make quilts as a business. Personally, I am spending some of my free time volunteering for my neighbor’s political campaign. I don’t know if it will lead anywhere, but I’ve always wanted to get involved in politics so we’ll see where it goes. I do believe these things can be a path that leads to another. More importantly, I think we all need to recognize that this awful recession may be an opportunity for us to explore things that for some reason we would never have given ourselves permission to pursue in the past.

To end, I’d like to add these links that I found on to articles we have an interest in:

Generation B, They Feel Your Losses

Stupid Interview Questions

You know, now that I have that negative influence out of my life, I am starting to find things to laugh about again. Isn’t that grand? I’ll leave it at that and perhaps next week I’ll be able to share some with you. The one I’m thinking about, you really had to be there to appreciate it.

Keep feeding the positive wolf and keep those hungry negative wolves at bay.


  1. Hey there! I just wanted to drop a note here, instead of e-mailing you through LinkedIn. Every time I read an article that constructively pertains to the unemployed world, I make a mental note to send it on. This time, I made a point to actually do it:

    I'm deep into my plan B as well. It's not an absolute dream, but it's interesting to me and should help me achieve other things that I think are important at this point in my life.

    I hope this counts as a "treat" for the positive wolf. Keep up the good work!

  2. Sorry I've been between computers (another problem...)

    The story mentioned above happened to me:

    The day I was laid off I arrived home with the news for my wife and settled in to the rest of my day feeling like a failure. Within 30 minutes, the door bell rang (which sent me diving into another room to hide) and at the door was an adorable 21 year old employee of the local liquor store which I frequent. She was at my home to deliver an expensive bottle of 18 year old Scotch from a (now former) co-worker. It was a very kind and classy thing he did and it honestly made my day (granted not tough given the day but still...)

    As my wife and I were discussing what a pleasant surprise it was, the door bell rang yet again. This time the same, adorable 21 year old employee from the local liquor store I frequent explained to me that as she was leaving my driveway, her car fell out of gear and crashed into my parked car.

    Can't make this stuff up