Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Here we go again...

Yep, as I feared, my job is no more.  However, a week later, what I realize is how very toxic that job had become and how much better I feel now that it's gone.  Considering the poor economy and all, knowing that I feel much better being unemployed says a lot about the workplace I was in.

Fortunately, I should be getting unemployment benefits, but I hope I won't need them or at least not for very long.  Who knew you could apply for unemployment online these days?  Maybe it's a sign of getting older, but I can't help feeling slightly amazed at how much technology has changed the way we do things.  Not that I miss combing through the Jobs section of the newspaper! 

Next Tuesday M starts Second Grade.  When she started Kindergarten, I hadn't found a job yet, so I was among the parents standing outside the school each day waiting for the kids to file in and out.  I've been in the PTA, and go to the school events, and am on recognition-level aquaintance with many of the parents.  So here we go again.  Each class at M's school has a designated spot around the school to line up and be dismissed from.  I will find out where our spot is on Monday night, when we get the pleasure of showing up with our bulging bags of school supplies and find out who M's teacher will be.

It takes a lot of self-discipline to get up each day and stay with a routine and keep plugging away without the structure of a work schedule.  It took six solid months to find my last job.  I am hoping it won't take that long this time.  Fingers crossed!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Creeping up on the Big Five Oh

For as long as I can remember, my birthday has felt like New Years. It was always the end of summer, right before school started, smack dab in the middle of last-minute vacations and the scurry to get prepared for a new school year. It has been a time to assess where I am and where I’m going, to take a look at what needs to be done to prepare for the long winter ahead, and to clear out the worn out and no longer needed from my life.

This year I will turn 50. I am grateful that before that happens, I managed to clear several important milestones. I bought a townhouse and got a dog, I got my degree and have no student loan debt, I turned my finances around and am now working on building back up my emergency fund and my retirement funds, and I have a job… for now.

That’s not going all that well, but I’m doing what I can to hang in there.

My daughter is the light and joy of my life, and she’s a great kid. The situation with her biological father is worrisome, but the older M gets, the less I fear his antics. I keep remembering what it was like when I attempted taking him to couple’s counseling for M’s sake, and the therapist pointing out that he was Passive Aggressive. I think it will always work against him in the end.

I’ve recently had the opportunity to catch up with some old friends, and I am continually moved by how lucky I am to have the friends that I have and how important my friends have been in my life. I am so fortunate to have friends scattered across the country, and from so many times in my life. They give me a sense of continuity and context that I wouldn’t otherwise have. They help remind me of who I am and how I’ve changed, but also how the essential core of me has remained the same.

I have a couple of friends that I’ve been seeing less of. I am increasingly aware of how precious my time is, and where I’m spending my energy. It’s important to me that my actions are in line with my intentions.

As well, there are the mundane housekeeping tasks. I just had four new tires put on my ten year old Rav. I had my eyes examined and ordered new glasses and contacts. I finally bought M’s school supplies and we’ve bought her some new clothes. I need to have my chimney cleaned and inspected, and I need to order some firewood delivered. All of these things have taken a chunk of change, and I’ve made each purchase thoughtfully, making sure I’m not being frivolous. (see job worry, above)

Thankfully, I am in wonderful good health and reasonable fitness. Yoga and walking the dog help a lot. I eat well and I have really good genes. I can look forward to skiing again this winter, if I can afford it, but if not there is still snowshoeing. I have every reason to believe I have many more decades ahead of me, in the tradition of my ancestors. I am approaching 50 with my head up, my shoulders back, and my stride still strong.