Blogging Therapy…

I keep trying to write a post.  This is my third attempt –  two in the trash so far – probably another one to follow it.

I’ve something I want to write about  – an almost cathartic need…I start but then get all tied up in my head and find it hard to actually make any sense.  And if I do manage to ‘get it all out’, will I be brave enough to click the ‘Publish’ button – putting some of this down on ‘virtual paper’ – and sharing it – isn’t comfortable – or easy.  I honestly think it’s better out than in though…

Oh well…here goes…

I’m seriously fed up of not being able to find work.  My last job finished at the end of July last year, and I’m getting absolutely nowhere.  I didn’t choose to stop working – I’m not starting a family or retiring.

We need me to work.  We need the money I bring in. I’ve got to find work.  Our blessing at the moment is Mike’s current contract which is covering all our outgoings.

A little voice inside my head keeps wittering on at me – I’ve spent over 20 years of my working life wishing I didn’t have to or need to work.  I’d tell myself if I wasn’t working I’d have time to do things I never had time or energy to do.  Keep the house looking nice – you know, dust…vacuum all those difficult places in the sofas…bottom the bathroom or the kitchen…clean the oven… I’d cook great meals – you know, the ones that take hours to prepare, and have to be kept an eye on while they’re cooking.  Bake complicated cakes.  Draw or paint.  Make my Christmas cards and birthday cards in advance.  Decorate around the house.  Do more crafts.  You know… give Martha Stewart a run for her money.

Instead, I spend hours each day looking at job boards, applying, chasing up and getting nowhere, being disappointed.  I’m always checking my mail, and my phone,  hoping that one of the many agencies to whom I’ve sent one of my many applications might contact me about it.  They hardly ever do.  Or hoping they might ring to give me a progress update.  It hardly ever happens.   I always have to chase them, and be made to feel a royal pain in the ass for bothering them. I carry my phone/PDA with me everywhere – and I mean everywhere – and check it constantly.  It’s bordering on obsessive behaviour.

I can’t relax – it’s like I’m permanently on ‘hot stand-by’.   I don’t know how long I’m going to be ‘free’ for.   I’m looking for either contract work or permanent – I could apply for a contract role today, get an interview tomorrow and start the following Monday.  I can’t commit to anything that takes days rather than hours. I could have a handful of days until I start work – or it could continue as it has over the past months and continue to stretch into more months.

In the first couple of months  I really got back into reading.  I devoured books, reading whole series in a matter of days.  I spent days playing a Playstation game I loved all the way through!  I spent some time in the garden just listening to the birds and  watching the seasons change.  I cooked.  I baked.  I did housework with a smile on my face and  a nice warm fuzzy feeling.  I even sketched a bit!   It was early days – I wasn’t stressed about finding something straight away – we had our Rainy Day money to cover a situation just like this when contracts didn’t come in back to back.  It actually worked to my advantage in October/November, as I needed rest and recuperate from having my appendix out after emergency surgery.  I would probably have had any contract I was in terminated.

December came – we thoroughly enjoyed our  trip to New York, and then there was Christmas of course.

January came and went, with much of the same – checking job boards, applying, following up, filing them away when they didn’t progress.

And here we are now in February.   I’m still no closer to finding work, and to make matters worse, apathy is definitely getting its hooks into me.  I’m finding I have little or no enthusiasm about anything.   I’ve got lots of things I could do around the house (like a rather large redecorating job) but I can’t be bothered.  The novelty has worn off the cooking and the cleaning although I’ve kept some structure to my weeks – Mondays I do laundry, Fridays I vacuum.  Either Tuesdays or Thursdays I do the food shopping.  At the back of my mind there’s the constant hope that I’ll get another contract with a fast turnaround sorted out, which stops me from mentally committing to anything ‘big’.  I find myself getting frustrated at the thought of all the time that’s passed during which I’ve  not done things.   I could have done have redecorated the entire ground floor of our house (or at least the spare bedroom!).  Martha Stewart has definitely been at zero risk from me so far.

I have good days where I bake, or prepare a great meal we only used to have on weekends (when I had more time), or I get absorbed in putting together a particularly meaty blog post that takes me most of a day (including researching, editing and formatting), or I get the urge to pick up a sketchbook and have a go at drawing something – those days really fly and I feel I’ve achieved something.  On really good days I tackle the bigger housework tasks around the house!  I definitely get that warm, fuzzy, domestic-goddess or creative-goddess feeling on those days!  After one of those days, I tell myself I should do this more often!

I have ‘in-between’ days where I can’t sit still but can’t seem to settle to anything.  I pace.  I look out the window.  I fuss the cats.  It’s these days when for my ‘little voice’ might get through and I’ll give myself a good kick in the backside and do some of the housework I keep avoiding / putting off, making an in-between day a slightly ‘better’ day.

And then I have bad days –  I sit in front of the TV either watching dreadful daytime programmes but not really listening, or blindly surfing the ‘net, wasting away the hours when I’m home alone.   I can’t drum up the motivation, enthusiasm or just plain interest to do ANYTHING.  AT ALL.   Apart from keeping checking those job sites…checking my phone…  I don’t WANT to read.  I don’t WANT to bake, or do the ironing, or clean the cooker, or sit in the garden, or listen to music.   I. JUST. CAN’T. BE. BOTHERED.

Oh and then of course there’s good old guilt.  Guilt over not doing things that would make the house look lovely for when Mike gets in from work – a big ‘thank you’ from me to him for ‘bringing home the bacon’ so to speak – he works so hard bless!.  Guilt over not using the time more effectively.

And mild panic of course…what if I can’t find another job.   If I have to apply for jobs that I’m seen as being over qualified for, will I actually be able to convince them to employ me?

And little voice’s half cousin says ‘Don’t panic – it’ll happen…law of averages and all that….Make the best use you can of this gift of ‘free time’ because once you do get back into work, you’ll be wishing you had some again!’

Right then….where’s that sketch book…and paint roller…and cookery book…and vacuum cleaner…

All bloggers appreciate comments – good or bad – so please feel free to make a comment in the ‘Reply’ box below!

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4 Comments on “Blogging Therapy…”

  1. workingonthemindbodyandspirit says:

    Oh boy, do I know how you feel. The first month I went without a job, I felt like I was going to go crazy. Everyone said,”Enjoy it, you never know when you’ll have the opportunity again,” two years later: No one is still saying that. My situation is a little different being that I got sick and couldn’t work, but I still understand what your saying. There is no “enjoying it” when you’re worried about money and just plain bored. Great post! You made me feel not so alone!
    ~ Gina 🙂

    • Hi Gina – thanks for the comment, it’s really appreciated! One of the reasons I wanted to throw this out into the Blogosphere was to show anyone with similar experiences they’re not alone – others are going through it, and you’re last bit makes me feel it was worthwhile taking the risk and bearing a small part of my soul. Thank you again! 🙂
      Take care
      Jacquie

  2. speesh says:

    I was kinda in your position, when I gave up my job in Leeds and moved over here to (Aarhus) Denmark. The difference was, of course, that I did it voluntarily. I had a shed-load of money from selling the house, I reckoned it would last me about six years, if I was sensible. My (now) wife was in work, but we couldn’t have lived on her wages. I was 18 months at the language school, before I stopped, because I had got a job. It was a cleaning job, that developed into something much more. I became a service leader, with jobs, clients, a car and stress (!). In England, I had worked 20+ years in Advertising.
    Personally, I would rule nothing out. Anything you can get, will help. Not the least, to make sure your CV doesn’t have any huge ‘holes’ and you keep in touch with the world of work. Over here, they always stress networks; use your networks – it’s no doubt the same with you. I got my first job here from someone I knew at the Sprogcenter (language school), a Polish girl I talked into getting me in on a job she was leaving. I didn’t know the first thing about cleaning, but figured I could do it if I got a chance. I now work in the (huge) hospital system here in Aarhus, as a ‘replacement’ in the service system. We work over all departments in three hospitals. I’ve never been happier.
    Do things you’re interested in, do voluntary work, work in a supermarket, do things you like doing, talk to people and see what happens. Anything is better than nothing and you never know. I figured, if I worked in cleaning, there was a reasonable chance I could impress one of the clients enough for THEM to give me a job. It worked. I stuck my neck out, took a chance and talked myself into a new job. And I can tell you, a job interview, in Danish, with two Danes and a Norwegian the other side of the desk…phew! 😉
    And as for being over qualified; leave stuff off your CV, if that’s a worry. I did.
    Then, admit that this isn’t the best time to be job-hunting and that your lack of success isn’t your fault. You shouldn’t get stressed over something you can’t control. You always find what you’re looking for after you’ve stopped looking.
    Anyway, good luck!

    • Thanks for the comment 🙂 (Funnily enough, we live in Leeds too!)

      That was quite a life change you went through – and as for that interview – crikey! Well done!!!

      I definitely like the ‘you always find what you’re looking for after you’ve stopped looking’…

      You’ve given me lots of food for thought – thanks again 🙂

      Jacquie


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