Monday, August 17, 2009

The Blessings of Do-Overs

When I began this little blog adventure, I mulled forever over a name. Probably as long as it took us to choose a name for Bobby following his birth. (Um, hello precious four-day-old baby boy. What is your name? The nurse won't let us leave the hospital without one.)

Figuring Jeff and I were starting a new life and blended-family together, then having a baby, "Back to Square One" seemed perfect. Then 2009 reared its head with a slew of various surprises -- some good, others not so good -- with the capper being let go from my writing gig with a local monthly magazine.

Good times, folks. Gooooooood times indeed.

Seems like many areas of my life have returned to the starting point: marriage, children, career... even running. Yep, put that on hold during pregnancy for precautionary reasons. Now, however, despite living a hectic daily schedule, I really want to get back in running shape again. If not merely for the sake of it, perhaps the best reason is because Jeff and I (and Lindy and Ryan) have a half-marathon staring at us next month.

It's like when you were a kid and got a bad roll in kickball -- "I want a do over," you'd say.

Only now as a grown-up, many things have happened. LIFE has happened. And I never really asked for any do-overs. But God, apparently, felt I needed/deserved a do-over or two.

And for that? I am so grateful.

While I have written about the family/baby do-over, this whole career do-over is, well... it's kicking my ass. I've done a layoff once. I even drove downtown to register for unemployment once. As fate would have it, I found a job (a.k.a., my DREAM job, with the best co-workers ever) before they even processed me in the system. That, my friends, is a job that was meant to be mine. Now, however, there was no "miracle job" waiting for me before unemployment processed me. In fact, I had to log onto the state website yesterday to submit my weekly voucher so I can receive benefits. Yes, I am officially IN the system.

In an effort to bring money into the house, I have also raided my own closet for clothes to take to consignment. Twice. I have surrendered designer bags to consignment. (Unlike one of my favorite writers, Jen Lancaster, who chose poorly in schlepping a Prada bag to the unemployment office. And I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't thinking of her book the entire time I was at said unemployment office. It was probably the lone thought that kept me from bursting into tears.) It may provide a few bucks now, but I may be screwed for work clothes if I do find a professional job. Unless they overlook employees wearing shorts, tanks and Adidas on a daily basis. And you DON'T work at a gym, the YMCA or a running store.

I have applied for many jobs in the past month. Want to know how many I've been called for? Zero. Why? I have no idea. Maybe I'm overqualified to be an administrative assistant. Or development officer. Or adjunct faculty at Ivy Tech. Maybe I'm underqualified. Maybe no one is interested in a writer with mad grammar skillz. Who knows. What I do know is that I. Am. Trying.

Granted, there are freelance writing projects on my desk, and I am thankful for that. (See? Starting the freelance business again. Another do-over!) But as much as I love to write about the local Parade of Homes, it ain't gonna pay the bills forever, you know?

I think my do-overs are a little sign from God. Maybe I need to take the hint with all these external jumps back to square one and look inside myself. The place where I am continually running a million miles an hour, trying to do what I can for everyone and (a lot of the time) feeling like I am no help at all or completely spinning my wheels, going nowhere. Maybe I need to slow down in my head. Take each day as it comes and stop worrying about tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next.

Maybe it's time I allow myself a do-over.


Lindy said...

Half??? Really, I may be doing the 4 miler...I suck, really.

This was a great post Rebecca. Very humble of you to share.

But since when did unemployment go all techy? When I was IN the system, I had to do everything by mail....hellooooo, can't afford the stamps!!!

Stacy said...

I agree with Lindy. This was a great post.

As for the half marathon, you GO girl!

Amy said...

See if there is a chapter of the Business Professional Exchange in your area. They are great for professionals who are job seeking.

Mike just started a new job on Monday after looking for one year. I don't say that to depress you, but to commiserate.

My prayers are with you.