Life served a big slice of Limbo Pie recently. No (paying) job. Pro bono work to help a friend’s new consulting business. Claiming weekly unemployment benefits. Trying this Blog. Lots of these things I have not ever dealt with or even TRIED until these past couple months.
I don’t know how I was in such a state of cluelessness or denial that I’d find a new (paying) job so quickly. But I did vow to myself, way back in late July, that I’d be ‘working by September.’ A bit optimistic perhaps, especially in these economic times!
Buuuut, I did in fact land a new job in September – literally right after Labor Day. And right now it’s a Labor of Love. Perhaps I should have been more specific with my wish! I’m actually very flattered to have been asked to help out this former colleague and friend of mine with his new business. We’re even going to be speaking on a panel at a local college to a class on resume writing and interviewing techniques. I’m really looking forward to the experience – and I was honored to be asked to join him.
And my calendar page is about ready to flip…it’s almost October and officially autumn now. Ripe blackberries. Tall sunflowers. Gorgeous dahlias in bloom. Long shadows at high noon. The sunshine now fools me when I open the windows in the morning – a rush of crispy, cold air blows inside instead of warmth. It’s time to swap out the summer annuals on the deck for some cabbage, kale and winter pansies. Time to air out the cozy sweaters, scarves and gloves from the storage trunks and get them ready.
I’ve always enjoyed the rhythm of four truly distinct seasons here in the Pacific Northwest. And there’s something very sensual about changing seasons. Summer to Fall is like that brief moment on a roller coaster where you hang motionless, at the top (or in the seasons’ case at the Equinox) a split second before whooshing into something completely different. I can’t control the whoosh of the change of the seasons but I hold on tight to every last bit of summer!
Today autumn strutted her stuff all loud and boisterous with colder temperatures, the universal hum and click of furnaces roaring back to life, angry black skies and loads of rain.
My Uncle recently visited here from out of town. Over lunch he talked about a favorite outdoor concert venue he and my Aunt enjoy – kind of like the Hollywood Bowl where everyone brings their own lawn chairs, food, even candelabras if so inclined – to just hang out and enjoy whatever music is happening that night. As he so aptly put it, “Sometimes it’s Pink Floyd and sometimes it’s Bach.” Ahhh…kinda sounds like the choices in my iPod too! And maybe life as well…sometimes things are all over the place and scattered wide.
For now, I’m enjoying doing my usual activities at times I never could when I was working 40+ hours a week. I went to the gym at 11:00am on a Thursday and didn’t have to battle it out for a treadmill or for space in the stretching area. I had a hair coloring appointment in the early afternoon on a Tuesday [my colorist jokes she’ll know when I’m officially back at work when I book a more typical Saturday appointment with her!] I’m typically getting up at 9:00am rather than 6:30am. And I forget which day of the week it is when I do, plus wake up to a much quieter Inbox and phone.
I also think about past life choices I made that went nowhere…kind of like those sneaky cul de sacs I wrote about earlier when I was walking around my new neighborhood. I didn’t know these choices were Dead Ends until I started down their paths. Nope, there was no warning signage. I didn’t know the “permanent” job with a nice bonus and stock options would dry up sooner than some of my prior “short term” contract jobs. I didn’t know (or, more admittedly, temporarily forgot after many years) that going on certain medication makes me gain weight overnight. I still battle that weight nearly two years later after quitting those meds. I didn’t know the great guy I started dating would seem so right at yet at the same time be so distant and hard a relationship to cultivate due to so many things. I looked deep into his eyes and thought, felt, there was something there. But business travel and other non-travel baggage meant building something together was nearly impossible.
And then I stop and wonder why I think all of these things have to be boxed up and labeled as Dead Ends. They themselves may not have panned out, but they eventually led to where I am right now. And why do I have to label my life as “in limbo” just because I’m not working a traditional job? Why not just let this phase be known as my current life without having to qualify it as having underlying tones of dormancy or uncertainty?
Yes, THIS is where I’m supposed to be…right now…in late September 2009.