I meet with a group of people from my job counseling firm every week. We update each other on our progress and discuss issues, setbacks, good news etc… Lately we’ve been practicing networking. There’s one lady who is recovering from an illness and I’ve met with her separately a few times. She does very well on her practice interviews but she feels very insecure. She provides good advice to everyone but tells us she wishes she can follow her own advice.
But … she lavishes praise over me for spending extra time with her and credits me with helping her a lot. She’s done this several times to our group. To be honest, I was just there to listen and prod her here and there. Yesterday we were working on practice networking meetings. When she gave her feedback to our group, she told everyone we were like dance partners moving in sync. She said she wished it had gone on longer than our 10 minute time limit because it felt so natural. The other 2 people looked at me. I looked at my notebook. She kept going on about how wonderful it felt and how strong of a connection we had. When one person asked a question about how we connected, she became like a mama bear defending “us”.
This is getting very awkward for me.
Here are 2 simple things that has make me feel better during this long job search.
- I make my bed in the morning.
- I wash and clear the sink of any dirty dishes and cutlery before I go to sleep.
I don’t remember where I first read about this. At the end of a long day when things haven’t gone your way, you need a good night sleep. It just feels better to get into a bed that’s been made. You don’t want the unmade and messy bed to remind you of chores you should have done. Making your bed in the morning is also a very simple way of crossing a task of your to do list.
When you wake up, you also don’t want to face a sink full of dirty dishes. It’s easier to get on with your day without first doing dishes. I just want my coffee and breakfast.
Now I have to admit, I don’t do this all the time. But I always come back to these 2 things and it seems to put me in the right frame of mind.
I was about to go to sleep when a car alarm went off. It kept on going so I went to the window to see which stupid car it was. It was some SUV parked across the street, the trunk was open. But no one showed up. After a couple of long minutes, it finally shut itself off. I was about to go back when I saw two nicely dressed women scampering around the corner. One of them squatted on the sidewalk to pee while the other tried to cover her.
Ugh. I just know I’ll have either a sleepless night or nightmares.
Sigh – the quality of my writing has reached a new depth.
There are days when I feel I know what I want out of life and what I need to do to re-invent my career. And then there are days when I don’t have a clue what to do with my life.
Life is a journey and its meaning will likely remain mysterious to me right to the last day of my existence.
Where can I get some wisdom. Is there still some old man that sits on top of a mountain? Perhaps I should look for a wise monk. Maybe the answer will be in some fortune cookie.
I have relatives coming next week. While they won’t be staying with me, I know they’ll be over frequently. So this has spurred another round of frantic cleaning. I did a bit more decluttering. There was a bag of old letters and cards that has been lingering in my bedroom for quite some time. Some of them date back to my university days. I didn’t know what to do with them before but today I was ruthless. I threw out most of them as they are from folks I don’t hear from or see anymore. There was a bag of stuff that spilled out of a book shelf. Most of it was old receipts but it took a couple of hours to sort and shred them. It even had my old credit cards, coffee cards, statements, lube, an old Japanese photo book of red light district and some magazines… it’s just bizzare what I kept.
I still want to get a new rug for the living room and a new futon cover. Both have seen better days although I plan to reuse the old rug underneath my desk.
I also cleaned my pantry which are 2 metal racks. I took everything off the racks, wiped down the racks, and cleaned everything before putting it back. As I look around the kitchen, I think I have to replace the microwave the sits on top of the stove. I won’t mind replacing the stove too although it still works. I had an electrician come in last week to look at my lights. I want to change my old track lighting to LED.
Eventually I want to get my bathroom renovated and put new carpet in my bedroom. I also want to repaint my unit and update the kitchen. The blinds are probably the last thing on my list. And maybe some new furniture.
The list of things I want to do with my condo is endless but my bank account isn’t.
I jammed my thumb some months ago and it still hasn’t fully recovered. I feel it when I’m trying to hold something heavy like a pot or a wok. I’ve tried pulling it on it to see if it would reseat itself but that didn’t work. My shoulder (mostly the left shoulder) screams in pain if I pull it back. I have no idea what I did to it. Maybe carrying a 15 lb knapsack doesn’t help. Then there is pain in the main joint of my second toe. It’s mostly my left foot but my right foot has it too. My podiatrist diagnosed it as capsulitis. I wear sensible shoes and use a cream to help reduce the pain. I already wear orthotics because of my flat feet. If this gets worse then I have to get injections. Ugh.
If you see someone with a big head, walking with a limp and his left arm dangling, please buy him a beer.
I’m getting old.
For someone without a job, I’m one of the lucky ones. Everyone I’ve met at my job counseling firm has a story.
I met a woman who was contemplating a career change to become a teacher. But she has 2 kids still in school. As part of her severance, her employer gave her 3 months of job counseling and time is closing fast. A few weeks later, I found out she lost her husband earlier this year. The dreams of becoming a teacher would be shelved for now.
There was another IT geek who wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. His hair and beard needed needed some serious trimming and unfortunately in this job market, physical impressions do count. It wasn’t until I checked his LinkedIn profile did I realize he was actually an IT architect. He’s got some decent credentials. He never spoke about his accomplishments or what he wanted to do next.
Another woman hinted that she has had clinical depression but said she’s pretty sure she doesn’t have it now. She just wants this job hunting to end. She used to cherish time away from work. Now the abundance of free time feels confining and she’s not sure what life has in store for her.
Then there was a guy who turned down a couple of job offers. It surprised me until he explained those job paid less than his previous role and it involved a lot of travel. He is the only child and is now facing elder care issues. We chat briefly and exchange contact info.
Another project manager has a young family. He doesn’t have a lot of Canadian experience and is willing to work in small cities where there might be less competition. I asked him if his family will move with him. He said no, he’ll find some place cheap to live and send money back to his family.
There are so many people here who could use a break. There just doesn’t seem to be enough well paying jobs to go around. Everyone has a story to tell.