Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So many people have charged up (or sidled up) to ask me what, you know, I’m going to be doing, you know, WITH THE REST OF MY LIFE lately…that I’m beginning to develop something of a nervous tic on the subject.

Mind you, it’s not just me; pretty much our entire team is being dismantled. We’re talking about dozens of people who are…ahem…exploring other avenues right now.

“What are you doing? Who are you networking with? What are the job boards looking like where you’re looking? Thoughts? Opinions? Do you happen to know a guy who knows a guy who needs a {project manager, business analyst, requirements writer, QA analyst}?”

It’s kind of the topic of the day right now.

But still. I was asked this question, I kid you not, eight (8) times today. EIGHT. One person asked twice (so, obviously, the first answer didn’t work out for them).

The last person who asked it got this long, long moment of silence. And then he was all, “Oh, uh, sorry, was that, I didn’t mean, I mean, um…are you…er…okay…?”

Which made me laugh, because ohmygah, he sounded like a boyfriend who is suddenly afraid that what you’re not telling him is something like I’m pregnant.

I think what makes this a bit awkward for me is precisely the fact that everybody asking is so…completely engrossed in asking themselves the same question.

It’s a very large and important question. This is your life you’re talking about here. The question of what you’re going to do next when a job is coming to an abrupt end in a meh economy is something that should be carefully thought out, with as good a roadmap as you can reasonably get, and goals and maybe a ten-step order of events involved and all like that.

Which makes it a little hard for me to answer that question honestly…because honestly, the answer is kind of like this: Eh, I’m just going to wait and see what presents itself.

I’m not committing to much of anything. I’m not actively looking for a new gig, and I’m not actively avoiding one, either. I’m keeping my ears open, but I’m not putting out an aggressive “hire me!” campaign, either.

I’m just…open. To whatever is going to come along next.

See…something always does, is the thing.

And it’s just about always something good.

It would be good to keep on working where I am. I know this business and these systems really well – I’m a power lifter, and I like being that kind of worker.

It would also be good to switch things up and learn something new. I like learning new stuff, and let’s face it – nothing builds your skills faster than being shoved into something you haven’t done before and having to figure it out.

It would be good to take the summer off and come back at it after a six month sabbatical – I could focus on the garden and the Den, not have to deal with summertime daycare (ugh), and have us beautifully positioned for a transition back to me being unavailable a lot for a while.

It would be good financially to keep the paychecks coming. It would be good emotionally/spiritually for me to be home again.

See? It’s all good, really.

Or, it is if you choose to see it that way, maybe.

Because there are downsides to both, too; everything that is a “pro” of the one can also be seen as the “con” for the other, I suppose.

But…I don’t know. I can’t explain it.

I’m not particularly worried. I’m just…watchful. And waiting. And ready to pluck whatever manifests out of thin air – which I know it will – and just…enjoy it.

Which isn’t an answer I feel comfortable giving to people who aren’t able to be so…zen? dense? childish?

I really don’t know what to call it.

I certainly wouldn’t call it particularly smart; it’s not exactly a “take charge of your life” kind of attitude, for sure.

And I can’t explain how somebody like me – who is so big on lists and goals and execution plans and let’s break this down, let’s keep our eyes on the prize, let’s be ORGANIZED about the APPROACH, here! – can be so irritatingly laid back on something like this.

Which leaves me with little to say to someone asking that question except something lame like, “Oh, I haven’t fully decided yet…I’m just staying open to the possibilities, you know…” and then listen while they try to teach me how to network, how to lobby, how to go about getting the Next Big Thing going.

And all I can think is…I wish I knew how to teach you to pray not for any specific thing, but just for something good, for that thing you need most, whatever it may be.

With your chin up, and your eyes and hands open.

Blessings will fall around us, like cherry blossoms in a warm May breeze. But we won’t see them if our eyes are squeezed tight with effort, and we can’t catch them if our hands are cramped into fists.

I wish, how I wish, that was a thing I could teach to someone asking what to do by asking what I am going to do; but, the only thing closed harder than their eyes and hands are their ears at such a time.

Don’t give me philosophy, dammit, give me action

So I guess all I can do there, too, is wait…until the time comes when they open again. And hope it can be said in such a time, and such a place, that it can be heard.

And in the meantime, add to my own prayers a footnote…may blessings be, to all who seek…amen, amen, amen.


KatherineR said...

The sabbatical idea sounds great. Lots of hiring picks up in Aug-September.

Just don't be out more than 6 months or the recruiters look at the rust.

PBear said...

Such an excellent philosophy. Now to figure out how to stick with it in my own situation :-)

julia said...

Beautifully said.

Jane said...

I have been out of work since last May... on unemployment since Sept. I am "looking" the same way you are. I am using the time to read blogs, knit, and relax, with some volunteer work in there. But I feel the same way, it's good, and will continue to be good, if I find a job or not.
Thank you for sharing!

Marty52 said...

Brilliant post... we are just relocating to Colorado for my husband's job and Friday is my last day working till after we have moved. I'm hoping to find something more to my liking so this is a very timely bit of writing... thanks!

Steph B said...

Well said. God seems to be "stalking" me with this theme lately, apparently it's something I need to work on! Thanks Tama!

Layne Bushell said...

i think that is the best attitude you could have. it's a great reminder to be...just be!

17th stitch said...

I vote for having the summer off. It's a great to avoid the summer day-care jam, and of course I cannot wait to see what your garden and kitchen produce when you have a little more time.

Would you ever consider telecommuting to work? Like, for a company on the other coast?

Rena said...

You are absolutely right, Sis. Thanks for the reminder.

Although, if you had some time off, you and me could run away for a few days and do nothing but knit, or read, or stare at our toes... or chase Mickey at DLand. lol