By now, my imaginary readers (their number is legion) are beginning to ask questions: “Waaaaaait a minute, didn’t you say this blog was about your search for work? HMMM?”

Me (head bent, kicking at phantom dirt clod): “Right. uh…”

I had big ideas and high hopes when I came back in June. I’d take a couple of weeks off to decompress from the demands of quitting a job and packing a two bedroom apartment within a six week window. (Although there was no doubt I would be doing this “someday” the  decision as to when was fairly abrupt.) Then, refreshed and relaxed, I’d start contacting people and agencies in my field, introducing myself and offering to meet to discuss what I might do to be of use, including volunteering my time as I began my search for full time employment. I would also consider what else I would like to do in my new and improved life- start a blog, work part time in a job that tapped into one of my other interests, volunteer as a literacy tutor, go back to school, whatever. And in the meantime, there was plenty to do around the man cave  house. I was sure I’d be working by August.

The R&R part of this plan was easy. Immediately after the 4th of July, I started sending my letters and resumes. Crickets. I made a few follow up calls. I trolled  internet employment sites and sent some more letters and resumes.  I started focusing on the house, and spent some time inventorying what needed work and determining what I could accomplish right away. And then it got hot. I mean, “I don’t remember it being this bad, who gets dressed in this weather?” hot. I began suffering aches and pains I’d never experienced. I didn’t sleep well. I was over-sensitive and emotional.  I was overwhelmed, and beginning to doubt myself. Somehow, my focus shifted from the positive: I am home. I can choose the course of my life from this point. I have time to do what I enjoy- read, paint, sew, putter around the house…to the negative: I’ll never find a job. No one wants to hire someone my age. There is nothing in my field. I have nothing to offer in another field. This house is falling apart and I will never make enough money to get it the way I want it. I became paralyzed by indecision- what should I do first? What if I pick the wrong thing?

I didn’t give up, exactly, I just slowed down. I have realized in retrospect that I  had unrealistic expectations of what I could manage, or at least of the time it would take. Even good changes carry stress; I knew that, but occasionally  suffer the delusion that I am exempt from certain unpleasant realities that apply to others. I have also realized that I couldn’t do what I wanted if I did not know what that was. Rather than continuing to blindly rush headlong at what I thought I should do, I started to circle around the idea of what I wanted to do. I also decided to order myself to just do something.

I have spent the last six months with my family, without having to buy plane tickets. I have become a tutor. I have finished a few projects around the house, started others, and planned even more. I have picked up a part time job that I think I will enjoy (more on that- maybe- as soon as I have digested my new employer’s policy on social media.) I have resumed my old habit of walking, both by myself and with my next door neighbor. And I have started this blog.

This blog is my job, to the extent that it helps me structure my time, and compels me to address what I am doing to identify and achieve my goals. It’s something of an ideal job, because it is fun, but it is clearly part time.  Next week, I attempt to identify the components of my ideal full time job.