Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Note-to-Self: Losing My Job Does Not Make Me a Loser

The hydrangeas in my backyard remind me of pom-poms.

What's a girl to do when she finds herself without a job?

For the first time in my professional career I've joined the ranks of the unemployed -- 13.9 million persons looking for work in the U.S., to be exact. (United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Situation Summary)

My biggest surprise, since learning that my position was eliminated, has been how deeply I've felt the loss of my job. For anybody out there who's never been laid off, believe me when I tell you, "It's an awfully humbling experience." You don't realize how much work becomes a part of your identity until it disappears.

Back to the question about what I've been up to the last couple of weeks:

Unemployment Arc by Days

  1-7: Ginormous pity-party (read, adopted a dwarf hamster, ate ice cream, read some more)
  8-9: Attended a wedding in New Jersey (had a blast with the hubs, worked on my wip, felt better)
   10: Decided to get my body moving, showed up for yoga class and kick-boxed instead :)
   11: Sore, but motivated, I exercised, again and took Tylenol all day
   12: NOW -- Sitting at McDonald's, sipping scalding coffee as I scour the internet for opportunities

Yes ... I'm much relieved and happy to report that I've crawled out of my hidey-hole.

A book I've been reading that's helped me put my circumstances into perspective is THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle. Rather than spend my energy wallowing and regretting something I had no control over, and worrying about the future, I've made a few promises to myself.

I promise to ...
  • Enjoy the rest of the summer with my family.
  • Keep my body moving; I'd forgotten how good it feels to exercise.
  • Seek personally enriching and rewarding work.
  • Write more.
  • Cut myself some slack.
  • Find a volunteer opportunity where I can be of service in the education non-profit sector.  

(Note-to-Self: Losing My Job Does Not Make Me a Loser)


"Accept — then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life."
Eckhart Tolle, THE POWER OF NOW

"Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgments, and definitions that blocks all true relationship." 
"The more you are able to honor and accept the Now, the more you are free of pain, of suffering -- and free of the egoic mind."
"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life."