Thursday, February 19, 2009

unemployment disorientation

This is an odd time. It's been a month now since I lost my job. I have been all over the map, emotionally. Sometimes I am charged and excited about all the opportunities this open-ended time offers. Other times I'm overwhelmed, and want to curl up with a book. Blogging is a middle ground: It's somewhat justifiable -- at least I'm writing, accomplishing something -- and it's fun. But here's what I really think I should be doing:

--adding another solutions-oriented bullet to my resume
--making two new versions, theater and community development
--finishing making PDFs of my editing clips
--finishing my website -- and do I want to design my own, and not use the google version?
--making color copies of some of my clips
--writing some scenes I've been thinking about
--contacting everyone I know in the Valley with my new resume and telling them I'm on the market again
--mucking with my new computer --revising contacts, reorganizing my documents, learning inDesign, stuff like that.
And there's perpetual housework and grocery shopping and cooking dinner. Plus I'm only a few chapters into the book group book and we're meeting in two weeks.

My day is truncated by needing to get Lily at school. I look forward to her being at JFK next fall! I just had a great lunch with the parent of a current classmate, and I am coming to the conclusion that Bement is simply too old-fashioned for me and has different values. There's a lot there that I really like, but I believe in addressing difficult feelings and, with the help of trained adults, helping kids work them out. My goal is not for her to get into a private high school, and certainly not Deerfield Academy, Actually, at this point I would rather she not go there; from what I hear, the teachers and academics are great but the families who send their kids there are mostly about success defined by money and power. Why would anyone want their kid to go to boarding school, anyway? I want Lily to go to the Northampton High School. I am excited about that, in fact.

And see how easy it is for me to get distracted from my real purpose? It's so hard to stay in the moment with my life right now. Here are the good things about not working at Wondertime: Well, nothing about Wondertime, specifically. But the good parts about not working in general are:

--It's lovely to sit in a cafe typing on my new computer, with people laughing and talking nearby.

--I have more time for Lily. I pick her up every day and I am more present when we are home.

--I am going to the Y almost every morning these days. I am starting to run again, just 14-minute miles, and just for two to four minutes at a time; then I walk a minute or so. But I do this for a half hour and I feel better when I get off. I've been worried about hurting my hips and knees and ankles, but I'm following the advice of my chiropractor, who says to warm up and then stretch, and to stretch afterward. And I am seeing her regularly, and paying close attention to what hurts, and when, and what makes it feel better. I would love to be able to run a couple of miles several times a week. Maybe some day. Easy does it.

-- I have more time to see friends for coffees and lunches. Had one yesterday, and one today, and tomorrow I'm visiting my friend Helene in Brattleboro. Nice!

-- I started a writers' group with two other ex-pats from parts southerly, and we are all mothers as well as writers, and I really look forward to seeing them every week.

-- I have more time to meditate and do other spiritual things. And I am doing those things, because I've seen what I'm like if I don't. Yuck.

-- Freedom from the nine-to-five grind. It was wearing on me, and it hadn't even been two years since I was back in it. It is very stressful, that daily grind.

-- Developing new routines: meditate, the Y, the office to job hunt, a cafe to write, get Lily, home for dinner, etc.

Here's what I miss about Wondertime, and working in general:

-- The people. Hands down. The community, the feeling I got when I went into the office every day. Arguing over whether it's a comma or a semi-colon, and how wonderful it was to work with people who know how important the answer is.

-- The feeling of accomplishment at the end of a day, week, issue.

-- working with writers, from looking at pitches to asking for pitches to assignment letters to working with the actual manuscripts. One of my last stories was going to be a spread about tree forts and the writer had answered all my questions and we were working collaboratively on making this a small but useful and fun piece, not to mention attractive. It's a pity, and very hard to stop that creative process cold, in the middle.

-- The nine-to-five grind. Or in my case, the eight-to-four. I really, really, really, need structure, and I miss it more than I can say. I miss getting in the office, turning on my computer, getting tea, maybe eating breakfast if I hadn't already had it, seeing folks drift in, getting things accomplished.

--Lily's enjoyment of my office. When she came in she'd check out the free table in the basement, get herself a hot chocolate, play with the Playmobile hospital, then curl up with a book or some drawing paper. She liked it there.

-- Offering leftover toys and games to non-profits who really needed them for the kids they serviced.

--The money. Oh yeah, the money.

-- The security, such as it was. I had a job in these uncertain times,

--Being able to say I worked for Wondertime, a fabulous magazine that I was very proud of and that most people really liked. Having this as part of my identity, part of the structure to my life. I wasn't my job, but it was a big part of who I was.

1 comment:

  1. What a transition, but I love how you capture the good, the bad and the in-between. I do think blogging is good for you both as a writer and to sort out the journey and to "pin down" the journey, if you know what I mean. Yeah for the running! Wouldn't it be funny if we both got so into it, we'd actually exchange running-type tips???? I have no idea what those would be, but I love the idea of knowing them one day! wish I could join you for one of those coffees... k xoxo


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.