Sunday, November 20, 2011

When a slump is not a slump but just a break...

Originally posted on Live Journal: Suburban Eschatology Part Two (March 19, 2011 11:34 AM)

Note:  November 20, 2011, 6:55 PM
Been working on tweaking and changing some of the tools I use to post, and the new method makes it very easy to migrate posts from one blog to another.  Eventually, I would like to move everything over here from the old LJ blog, but that is not a huge priority right now.
However, working on the system for doing that, I did want to move a few over tonight.  I posted a couple on their original publication date and posted a few for tonight.
In the future, I will probably just sneak most of them in behind the current posts on their original date.
I will also be working on a couple years worth of posts that were pulled down off of Rubble when it was repurposed and never put up anywhere else, the new SE2 or the old.

So I have definitely been feeling like I've been in a bit of a slump this week. I've been stressed about this and that and I've been worried that I am falling behind on my plans in life. Of course, this is mostly just my own fears, but I have to be careful that I am not making excuses to go "hermit" again.

Today the sun is out, though, and I am feeling the call to get outside. After being stuck at my desk in my little office nook in my bedroom for the better part of the last week, it is time to get outside. Also, after a week of battling the slow internet at my place and my slow computer, I finally got those issues resolved a bit yesterday and was able to knock down a big, overdue project so I am feeling pretty accomplished this morning.

Overall, life is looking all right at this point. Today is looking really good. And, over all, I have little to complain about. This is why the feeling that I've been in a slump bothers me a little.

I think it has mostly been due to the fact that life has just been very crazy for the last six months or so. It has been full of major life changes, long periods out of town, major family health issues, and, I believe, that last week everything just caught up with me and I needed a bit of a break. But now I have had one and it is time to get back into the swing of things in life.

God willing, there are more changes on the horizon. A return to the workforce. Steady employment and pay... these are the next steps on the agenda. I need to get in and to take care of a medication issue first, one involving the health issues that took me out of the workforce two plus years ago, but that does not mean that it is not time to start getting my resume out there again. It is not an excuse to put off starting this process.

The work I accomplished this week, chained to my desk, was actually the first steps towards eventual employment. I spent a lot of time revamping my personal web life. Getting some things organized. I still have some work to accomplish here, I still need to update my portfolio and find a good corner of the web to hang that shingle, but that is actually work I look forward to.

Just sitting down and spending many hours this last week working on some of these things was actually a great start, getting me back in the habit of working at home. It was an important step in gearing up for what needs to be my full time job for a while, finding employment.

But there are other fears I need to conquer here, primarily the two years I have not been working. For most of that time, I would have qualified for Social Security Disability, but I was more focused on getting myself and my family healthy than on bureaucratic acrobatics. Being on SSDI might have helped me to explain the gap in my resume to potential future employers, but maybe it won't make a difference at all.

A year ago I prematurely started looking for work and I had some solid leads and interviews for a couple technical writing positions. At that point, due to the job market, no one even blinked at me being out of work since late 2008. But a year later? I am not so sure. Looking for work in the manufacturing sector doesn't hurt this explanation, that there was just no work to be found. But, in my case, that explanation has very little to do with the real reasons why I was out of work for so long, coping with and getting treatment for some severe health issues on my end and working with my family on some pretty heavy issues on the other end.

While in California, I started future tripping on the job hunt. I need to get back towards the faith I found then when dealing with these fears. I realized a couple months ago that my job hunt is in God's hands, not mine. I am responsible for making the effort and God is responsible for the result. I need to set aside my fears that hiring managers will not take my resume seriously, that the gap in my employment will derail any attempts to return to my field of expertise, that I will end up working in a job I hate, or that I will be forced to take some menial job "below" me somewhere just to pay my bills.

But, really, all of these fears are beyond my control. I am willing to take just about anything for work, whatever I can find. Of course, I hope to return to the field I left in 2008, but if I cannot, then I am fine with that (relatively). I just want to work. And I will not know anything about my current options until I start getting some resumes out there, until I start following up on some of the leads that I've been finding. The fear I am struggling with regarding what sort of job I will be able to get is going nowhere until I actually start looking for work.

And since the result of this effort is in God's hands, not mine, I can use faith to battle these fears as well. Sure, my brain goes straight to some hiring manager looking at my resume and laughing, but so what? I need to put myself out there to get anything. I look at it this way, I will end up in whatever job God sees fit to provide for me. If it is the next step ahead in the career I took a break from in 2008, then that is great. If it is stocking shelves in a warehouse, than I have to accept that too. I think of Moses and the Pharaoh, with the Pharaoh's heart being hardened by God against setting free the Israelites. When I've applied for the job I am meant to have, God will soften the hiring manager's heart and I will get the job, no matter what it is, whether I will like it or not. It will be what God intends for me at this point in my life.

But God can't do much if I am not getting my resume out there. So it is time to do my part.

This long digression is meant to provide some background on my worries about the possible, recent slump I've been going through. I've been concerned that I haven't started on the job hunt in any real way over the last couple of weeks, but this is not entirely true. Most of my time this week was spent leveling the ground for this project. Getting the site prepared. Next, it is time to start on the foundations, cleaning up my resume and getting my profiles on the job hunting sites freshened up. After that, only then is it time to start submitting resumes and really focusing on the search. It is a process, and I have started it.

So, my fears that I have been procrastinating and letting fear shut me down are really just that, only fears. This fear has made me feel a little uneasy the last couple weeks, but that was also due to some legitimate fatigue and a need to slow life down a bit. But it is good that I do have these fears, they help to keep me from making my fears a reality.

I just need to be honest with myself about what I am and am not doing with my time, and I need to understand what my capabilities are at the moment. I need to keep moving ahead, in a sane and sober fashion, and I need to make sure that my foundations are solid as I continue rebuilding my life.

Time to get out in the sun, that is enough of this for now.

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