Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Approaches to Self

Have you ever been shocked when you hear new information? Information that conflicts with your current belief system? I have.  Quite often, throughout my life, someone has presented me with a new way of doing things and I find myself rejecting their suggestion.

For many of us the tendency to immediately discard new information is a given, knowing that the status quo is the best way.  I have doubted the credibility of the information given me and I have even doubted the individual who is telling me about it.  My mind has quite often been closed. Has yours?

While in my twenties I was desperate for a cure for my ailing stomach among other complaints including fatigue.  I had been to several doctors with no results.  In fact, they told me, in the most tactful way possible, that there really was nothing wrong with me; it was all in my head.

I was lucky enough to be acquainted with a co-worker who had experienced something similar to me.  She told me about how she regained her perfect health.  Because I was desperate, my mind was open to any and all solutions around me.  As a result I discovered Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture. I embarked on a whole new world of preventative medicine, completely in conflict with any MD advice I had ever taken.  The results were absolutely astonishing!  And the beauty of it was, there were no negative side effects. Today. no matter what physical or mental issues arise, I turn to my Chinese herbalist. 

Keeping an open mind is the way to learn new things, expand our experience and provide ourselves the opportunity to gain knowledge and enrich our lives. In addition it can just be plain fun.

With today's economy creating a high level of unemployment, it is imperative that we keep our minds open; open to new ideas, open to new ways of doing things, open to suggestions from everything and everyone around us.  Closing down our minds and continuing down the same path that we have in the past may not be the solution.  It may cause us to remain in the same symptomatic state with undesired results. Let's not wait until we are desperate to open ourselves up to new ways of making a living.  In fact, let's take a look at doing things from the exact opposite angle.  Challenge yourself this week.  Put your profession up in front of the mirror and open your mind to what is reflected back to you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Be True to You

I realize that being unemployed causes a storm within me not unlike a tornado; so much unpredictable energy swirling around with no particular direction in mind.  How good can that be for me or anyone in my midst?  Though I have found ways to keep busy and entertain myself, my brain is on overtime with no particular project driving it.  I suppose this could be a grand discovery about myself.  I need mental stimulation.

Not everyone was born to take part in the same occupation.  Companies and family units need unique differences in their participants in order to function successfully.  Your talents are just that; yours.  Keep them in mind and note your passions while job hunting.  You know what makes your heart sing.  No one else really does.  Well meaning friends may advise you of job openings here and there and even pressure you to apply because you need a job or because they see a benefit that is attractive to them. Rather than try to fit yourself into an open position that you see advertised, determine what YOU would do best at, what drives you, what excites you and determine how a position can serve you.  By serving yourself in the best way possible, you will be able to give back to the company you work for, tenfold what he has given you.  Smart employers know this.  Rather than just taking a position, any position, determine what kind of person you are, what talents and unique abilities you possess and what you love doing, and relay that to the company you'd like to be employed by. Companies that just want warm bodies are missing an important element to remaining successful and keeping employees long term. Smart companies hire individuals and place them where their talents are best utilized.

Make sure you are true to yourself during your job search.  Be who you are, go after what you want and set the panic over finances on the back burner. True up and by knowing yourself be certain you're going after what you need to avoid becoming a misdirected storm.  All will work out better than you could ever have imagined.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Is This What They Call "Self Employment?"

Can you recall the last job you held?  Can you recall being overwhelmed, feeling overworked and daydreaming about being home, lounging around, scavenging the frig and just doing whatever the heck you wanted to do?  Did you ever wish that you would get fired so you could take off on a road trip and play in the mountains and go fishing?  I did. I used to dream in desperation.

But today I've had about all I can take of being unemployed.  There's something to be said for feeling as though one has a purpose; even if that purpose isn't your life dream at the moment.

I have found that the chrome on the faucets does not get any brighter if I polish longer, my teeth can only feel so clean no matter how long I floss and I can only stay interested in baking french pastries for a short period of time.  Guess what?  The time for all of them is over.

I think we create our lives with our thoughts.  I got what I wanted.  Time off.  I took it, I dealt with it, I enjoyed it.  It's time to dream up a new life.  Maybe I should just crawl back into bed and fall asleep so I can get to dreaming.  But the fact of the matter is, I have had so much sleep in the last several months, I am certain I have reversed the aging process!  I must look like I'm 29 again.  I just know it. I bet you've been sleeping a lot too. C'mon! We all have.

This just goes to show that sometimes what we dream of having is not exactly what we want or need, long term.  It does, however, give us time to reflect when we have time off from the grind. My reflection has shown me that though I do not want to re-create the position I last held, I do want to create something.  Now, well-
rested, it is time to narrow down exactly what that is.

Let's quit moping and move toward becoming 'self-employed.'  Let's create the job we want for ourselves.  We know what it is...let's just fine tune it today.  God knows, we have time!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

OUCH! If I'm in Pain, Do I Have to Look for a Job?

I don't know about you but when I'm in pain, I just want to lay still and growl.  As a result my job hunting got put on the back burner today and I scampered out of the house to the local massage practitioner's.  SOMEBODY needs business so I thought I'd do my part by patronizing her office.

Getting a massage has a beautiful way of clearing out the old junk.  Junk from the past, junk from the job you hated and junk that your ex said to you.  It all gets brought up and rubbed around and flushed out.  It's simply a lovely, therapeutic and totally human experience. I left her office purring.

I feel better this afternoon.  And I don't feel a darn bit guilty for taking the day off.  Looking for a job is just a big pain in the neck and it was time mine got a good rub.

Be kind to yourself today.  Don't worry if you didn't land a job this week.  Take care of you first and the rest of the world will follow suit.  You will find the job you want or create the one you've been dreaming of.  The important thing is to listen to your heart, your body and that funny little man inside your head that screams at you constantly, over the sound of the blaring music you listen to in the car.  He's telling you what you were born to do. You're just not listening.  Schedule a massage and be silent for an hour.  You deserve time off, even if you are unemployed.  And so does the little man in your head.  Kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Unemployment and Addiction - What Are You Hooked On?

I haven't told you before this but I think it is time you knew.  I am a member of my own little recovery club.  CA.  No, not California, Cola-Anonymous.  Yes, I am an addict.  I would stand up right now and announce it to the group but the group is me, and of course my dog.  But as you know, she loves me no matter what, the little enabler!

For quite some time I was on the wagon, doing well, drinking water and herbal tea, feeling like a million bucks.  Then one day I decided to have one, just one cola.  It was all down hill from there.  I have battled this addiction both while employed and when I am not working.  If it is in front of me, I will drink it.  If it is not, I choose water.  It's not like I tear the house apart seeking anything that remotely looks like it to ingest into my body.  Ahh...a left over remnant of a bottle of motor oil!  Let's water it down and meet the need.  NOT. There's just something about that tingly sensation and that cola flavor.  It just says a lip-smacking, ahhh.
So why has being unemployed quadrupled my little naughty sipping action from one can per week to two cans per day?  Habit.  I've developed a habit.  And that habit has evolved into an addiction.

Developing habits can have a positive or negative effect on us.  It simply depends on the habits we choose to develop.  Now in terms of myself, for instance, I have developed a nasty, nasty habit that has morphed into a daily addiction.  What do I or anyone else need to do in order to curb our addictions that do not enhance our lives?  Educate ourselves.

Last night I picked up a book on how to make a garden path out of stone and concrete.  The author stated, in step 8, that after applying the concrete between the stones, pour a can of cola over the stones to eat away any concrete residue that remained on them.  Concrete. My stomach. Concrete. My stomach! 

Today I read an article, as I sat sipping my concrete devouring cola, about how, besides leaching the magnesium, calcium and other valuable electrolytes from your body, the beverage acts exactly like heroine in your brain.  No wonder I like this stuff!  I always wanted to be a flower child!  Yeee-ikes!  It also explained my often erratic behavior about an hour and a half AFTER consuming the beverage.  I've caught myself on occasion, head spinning around on my shoulders, the whites of my eyes exposed, emitting alarming accusations from my scrunched up lips.  Now I know.  I was coming down; going through withdrawals.  And it has been my loved ones that have taken the beating as a result of my uncontrollable desire to feel bubbles bursting upon my tongue.

I'm second guessing my ability to make good decisions for myself today.  I believe I need to take a turn for the better and provide myself more education that will assist me in making positive changes for my body, my self and my career.

Since I would like to change the direction of my career, I believe I need to change the direction of my behavior.  Are you addicted to something that isn't good for you?  A career that makes you sick, by chance?  Are you looking for work in that same career because you know nothing else?

I'm going to start at the beginning.  And in the beginning, there was (and still is) water.  We are made up of, what is it, 85% water?  Either way, we're not made up of cola, cola doesn't make our bodies operate better, it makes our brains think we are on heroine and it certainly doesn't make us better at our jobs.  So why take on a habit that doesn't serve us, our families or the friends that we love? If your stomach is burning and if you find that your head spins at the end of your workday, or at the very thought of becoming re-employed in the same career, think it over.  Won't you join me in going back to the beginning, pouring a nice cool, refreshing glass of water and together taking a look at who we were before our bad habits took over?  Bottoms up!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Wonder if My Dog Knows I'm Unemployed......???

Do you ever notice how dogs always know when it's time to get up, time to leave the house and what time the mailman will come by on any given day?  My dog, Isis,  never wakes me these days.  She just waits patiently until I open my eyes.  At that moment I can hear her tail tapping.  I raise up just enough to get a glimpse of her and there she is, happy as a lark, thrilled to see that I didn't die in my sleep.  She must know that I don't have a job. And the beauty of it is, I don't think she cares. 

Today I grabbed the car keys and invited Isis along on a trip to the store. We ended up on a drive along a country road that ended at a nursery where I purchased bulbs to plant. I'm going to pretend that the reason I purchased them is for a symbolism of seed ideas, planted now, erupting into beautiful displays under the warming rays of next year's spring. God knows it may be next year's growing season before I have a job so why not gather ideas, plant them, allow them to winter over and by spring they will all come to fruition?

My lovely dog stayed by my side. She trusts, without a doubt,  that soon I will work through all my get ready to get readies and be either employed by a company once again or gainfully self-employed.  Either way, she's happy.  She is fed twice a day and gets to chase balls, chew sticks and jump into the air and snap up flying bugs.  What more could a dog want?  They don't need to plan because they have mastered the art of living in the moment.  And I, during this time, am practicing doing the same.

Living in the moment is a gift that many of us have lost along our life path.  Dogs can remind us how exhilarating it can be. In observing my dog, I witness that the simplest of  pleasures create an all over bodily reaction from her. Just me walking into the same room celebrates that I've oversold my quota by 150%.  She's so appreciative that I simply live. No job has made me feel this good.

Let's take a lesson from our dogs and be thankful that during these times we have them by our side.  And if you aren't fortunate enough to own a dog of your own, may I suggest you walk one that belongs to someone else while you are jobless?  It will simply warm your heart. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Does One Have to Look for a Job if it's Sunny Out?

Living in Seattle has its benefits. Sunny days are grand excuses to throw all responsibility aside and dash outside to play! The sun has been beckoning to me all morning but I stuck to the promise I made myself and enthusiastically scanned about the internet for employment. There are some new and interesting positions out there so let's not give up. Better yet, let's find new ways of networking this week as well as new ideas for supporting ourselves.

Since I have a newly found interest in the domestic scene with the kitchen being my favorite haunt, my attention has been directed to the food industry. Why not combine the skills I have with marketing some tasty new product? And you? I'm certain you are well aware of your abilities because if you're job seeking as I am, you have tweaked your resume' so many times you can recite it backwards. So take a look at what you have to offer and what your PASSIONS are! We are born to create the life we want so let's look at what we love, not what pays the bills. Pour your love into your new profession like batter into a cake pan and let's see what comes out of the oven.

Do you ever wonder how some people get so successful? Is it luck? I don't think so. They are the few that have followed their passions without succumbing to the fear that often wells up when we're on the road to our dreams. Pay attention to how you feel. If you feel good, you're probably on the right track. If you feel fearful, think about how you'd feel if fear was not in the picture. I believe I feel pretty darn good right now so with that said I'm going to embark on a new recipe. The Manhattan Clam Chowder, by the way, was exquisite!

Enjoy the sunshine and throw together your own recipe today. Let's see what you're made of!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Staying Fit & Vinegar - Exciting Current Events on the Home Front

Staying true to myself, I have taken the entire weekend off from my job search. It feels good to have a break.

I did make that chocolate cake, by the way, and though I over-cooked it a bit, it was more than edible. More calories immersed into my ever expanding body. The problem is I cannot afford a gym membership while unemployed. So what does one do to stay fit? Again realizing that I am a creative genius, I decided to wash the windows. "Wax on, wax off." My arms received the work out equivalent to the gym and my windows evolved into sparkling gems. What better way to see into one's future than through crystal clear glass?

I have found the bottled window cleaners, I have purchased in the past, leave a film. Therefore I, being the determined domestic goddess that I am evolving into, threw together a recipe of one part vinegar to about 8 parts water. A winning combination! How to remove film from your windows: Wash with vinegar solution and wipe dry with a paper towel. Sparkling clean! This is very exciting to me because I don't know about the rest of you but washing windows has never been a very high priority because frankly, I just wouldn't take the time. I realize it is not a new scientific discovery for many of you but for me using vinegar and water is a great discovery. And since I am stuck in the house with the daily challenge of how to feel productive, it excites me beyond belief.

Today I have accomplished a rather strenuous workout for the arms while creating a whole new outlook on my world. A clean one.

Meanwhile, the Manhattan Clam Chowder (my latest mouth watering creation) has been cooking on the stove. I concocted this from glancing at a recipe I found online and following it, for the most part. I have to say, removing the lid and seeing the array of colors and textures has left me quite impressed with myself and my culinary abilities! Maybe I should open a small cafe. It seems I enjoy this whole cooking thing.

I hope that your Sunday has been as productive and happy as mine. Who could ask for better weather for a fall day? Tomorrow morning it will be back to the grind of job searching and brainstorming. Coming from a fresh perspective, I'm actually looking forward to it. I hope you are too.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Do the Unemployed Get Saturday Off?

Another day another dollar....out the door. Do the unemployed get to take Saturday off? If so, does that mean I am not unemployed on Saturday? With that being the case I suppose I am employed then. But just for two days. What do I do for a living on the weekend? Errrr...this is going nowhere. I'm still, yes, you guessed it, an unemployed loser. I feel that way today. Do you ever feel that way? I mean, I guess one can feel like a loser even if they're employed but today having no job gives me a good reason to feel that way. Or not.

Loser is a state of mind. Come on, you know you have felt it. And honestly, that's all it is; a feeling. We're not losers. We just aren't employed by someone else. And who gives them the right to employ us and have that much control over how we feel about ourselves? Why don't we think about how we can employ others and run their self-esteem all to hell and back. Up the roller coaster, down the roller coaster, around and around and around! There! How did you like that? You, you employer you! My state of mind is off the track today; derailed like a train out of control. Let's not let this situation create a storm in our brains. Let's stay on track and remind ourselves just how valuable we are not only to a company but to our families and ourselves, not to mention, our dogs!

What do you say we take the day off from being unemployed. Frankly, I'm ready for it. This job can be very taxing! Let's pretend we are successful at the occupation of our dreams. That's where it all begins you know. And what a better thing to do on our day off than dream up our new life and look forward to it. Happy Saturday!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Think Pink

The volunteer opportunities that I found yesterday didn't strike my fancy. I mean, after all, shouldn't I do something I really WANT to do if I am going to volunteer my time? Selflessness is not my cup of tea right now. How pathetic am I? I should be ashamed but honestly, I just want to indulge in my world of make believe: I believe I am a princess.

This morning as I woke, the pink clouds in the sky beckoned to me as I laid in bed doing the usual snorts and yawns of dawn. The intensity of their color glowed like the pictures in the bible my mother used to study when I was a child.

I can recall waiting for her to put the book down so that I could turn the pages, seeking out the most enchanting pictures I could find. I wondered why back in bible days, as I would call it, everyone looked so beautiful and the sky had so many colors. Each page more lovely than the last, I would become lost in the opalescent wonderland. I'd glance at the gray text now and then but the thees and thous never held my interest for long. It was the visuals that took me on a journey and caught up in their beauty, I would make up my own bible story.

Today isn't much different. As the sun rose higher in the sky, the pink clouds became gray and a thick fog hovered on the horizon. I noticed the gray and took note of the fog but neither held my interest. I was too enamored with the memory of the beautiful pinks I had witnessed at sunrise. I made up a story about how my day would unfold and how I would feel. I saw sunshine and blue sky and bright, happy colors in my mind.

Sure enough I spent the morning cleaning the kitchen and unwrapping some colorful painted tiles; works of art I purchased earlier this year. I hung them up and watched the room come alive. I could have sat around feeling sorry for myself today. The clouds did give me permission. But I decided to take my life in my own hands and create what I want. As a result I feel pretty good. I don't have a job yet; one that makes me money. I am, however, discovering my passions; passions that have been lying dormant for quite some time.

Should I make the yummy chocolate cake I told you about a day or so ago? I DO have the ingredients now. I don't need more calories and I bet the rest of Unemployed America doesn't either. But tonight I would really like to be able to express myself and blurt out those words of Marie: Let Them Eat Cake!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Should I Actually LOOK for a Job Today?

It seems the same jobs are out there, advertised, day after day. All three of them. While I run a relaxing bath I am coming to the conclusion that I should probably take a more proactive approach to finding some income. What, pray tell, would that be, is the question. Should I 'walk and talk' with resume' in hand? It seems these days all that will bring on is a swift kick out the door and instructions to apply online. Should I come up with some new form of employment? Should I employ myself? If so, what would middle-aged, misplaced creative me do? Hmmmm....my brain appears to be fried from too much exposure to society's version of what's acceptable. What now?
I think I will let my mind run rampant and see what drops in for a visit: Pick apples in Eastern WA., pose nude for a painter, paint fences in the neighborhood, create a car wash that is giving to charity-mine! Stand by the freeway and hold a sign: Will work for YOU-I actually need LESS food, as you can see. Walk dogs, run errands, sweep porches, help others with their resume's, network. Go volunteer. Yup, that's a good way to make contacts. No immediate income but it might help some. One thing always leads to another. I'm going to scan the 'volunteers wanted' ads and see what I can do. More on this later........

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Unfocused Can We Become? I'm Just Wondering.....

So let's see here.......where HAS the day gone? I've contemplated my next move in terms of a job, read my email, intended on going to the grocery store to gather the ingredients for that fab cake I was dreaming about but...ended up at the nail salon. An hour of total bliss, my feet getting more attention than a hooker at a boyscout camp, I made believe I was Marie Antoinette; or at the very least, someone like her. Hedonism is my curse. I love to be pampered. Can't I do this for a living?
The truth is, I am not a focused person these days. In fact, I tend to meander around, taste testing everything that amuses or interests me. Mind you, these things change from moment to moment. To sum it all up, though I was Marie for a few choice moments today, I do not get to utter the words "Let them eat cake!" at the dinner table tonight. Instead it will be, yes it's true, I made it, "Let them eat chili." How I got from chocolate cake to chili I have no idea but trust me, it smells nifty. Oh I know, it was a moment of frugality that hit me, once again. Remember the maple syrup recipe? I considered what ingredients were in the kitchen, had a creative moment, and decided that chili was the logical choice rather than go to the store and spend yet more unemployed dollars. So there IS a method to my madness. It's just that I don't always know what it is.
What are you having for dinner? Hopefully you're being creative too because who knows where our next paycheck is coming from, right?

Daydreams-Nature's Preservatives for Sanity

I'm not sure I was created with sound mind. In fact, some would beg to differ if another labeled me 'normal.' Either way, my daydreams have prevented me, on many occasion, from throwing myself from a 5 story building.
As I sit here now, comfortable, the dog at my feet, my hair in a towel with the cool morning air coming through the door, I recall my days at a well known national company. Sitting in corporate Monday morning meetings, breathing in the foul odor of desperate pleas from management masked as demands and quotas, was enough to send me off into my own personal little happy place. "What? You made your quota? We were just kidding. It's actually three times the number you just achieved."
The muscles in my eyes would suddenly become immobile and I would take on the persona of a deer in the headlights. Frozen in time, my breathing shallow, I could feel the cells in my body dying off at an alarming rate. My soul screaming for oxygen, I would tell myself to just make it through this day, no this hour, wait! The next 60 seconds. Saved only by the heavy sigh of my blond partner in crime sitting next to me, my neck would make a sudden jerk toward the window and I would become fixated on the mountains off in the distance. I would imagine myself, all alone, in a fire lookout tower, bathed in silence. The chipmunks were bustling about, devouring the scattered crumbs I had tossed on the ground for them and the humming birds were buzzing around the feeder. My daily friend, a lone mountain goat. Fresh, crisp mountain air!
Throughout my dazed dreaming I would catch the mumblings of said blond friend; something about a Paris apartment and a pink poodle. She was off wandering in another of her French stupors while I roamed the mountainside. Now and again we'd come back to an accepted form of consciousness just long enough to comment on some presenter's fashion infraction or the observance of the CEO's Botox gone bad.
What else did I dream of while sitting amidst the company sheep? Ahhh...sitting in front of my computer, feeling the morning breeze, my dog at my feet; writing. Here I am! A dream come true! What do my daydreams entail now? I find myself not relying on them much. When I do succumb to them , it is not for an escape but just a fun place to visit. A place to create something new I would like to bring into my life. Most of all, I am thankful that when I needed them most, they preserved what sanity I had left.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Up Late

Maybe this blog should be: How I waste time while unemployed

I seem to have become obsessed with cooking. Actually, I have discovered how much I have missed having no agenda in place. It provides my imagination room to roam about and touch on things I haven't thought of for quite some time; cooking being one subject of interest.

Today I recalled the exquisite chocolate cake with banana filling that was often a gift from, an appraiser, a business contact of mine, while living in Wenatchee, WA. I embarked on an internet hunt for a recipe that might come somewhere close to what this cake provided: scrumptious party in the mouth! I landed on something that looks close. I will modify it a bit and see what I come up with.

Hopefully the bean recipes, being so full of fiber, will offset the calories of this tasty treat.

Now on to something productive. Tony Robbins. Yes, that's it. I am waiting on an auction for some Tony Robbins CD's. I don't know about you but I find this man to be incredibly motivating! Years ago I was in a slump and a friend of mine handed me a cassette tape to listen to. One tape and I was on my way and I don't think I stopped for a good 5 years. He just knows how to light a fire under me. So, because I have become a tad too bit relaxed for my own good, Tony is my answer. I will keep you updated as to my progress, if any can be had at this middle-aged time in my life. I have to say, I quite like where I am at. Unfortunately, my finances won't support this life style forever.

Saving Money

While cruising the bean recipes I stumbled on a Homemade Maple Syrup Recipe. Wow...what a way to save money....check out her math calcs. We must be frugal. Or at least take on the challenge of seeing just how cheap we can live. Maple syrup it is!


September 15th 2009

Today: I embarked on a trip to the organic market to gain more knowledge in legumes and beans. From what I have been reading, I have found they are a fabulous contribution to heart health, providing protein, fiber and magnesium along with potassium to our diets. Well, can't hurt to have some nutrition added to my life. I mean, I need all the brain power I can muster right now, right? Searching for a job is hard work. And stressful at that. I never feel so inept as when I read the job classifieds. There are so many things I can't (don't) do! What exactly do I do anyway?
How many people have reviewed this job? 974? Eee...wonder how many applied...let's see. Out of the 974, let's say 5% applied...that leaves me in competition with 40+ some other people........for ONE position. Whelp! Think positive. That's it. I will think positive.

On another note entirely...........
I have found that rolling out of bed at a relaxed pace has given me a new found appreciation for being alive. Better yet, laying there, petting the dog, reading a book on self empowerment, watching the day grow light makes me feel all warm and fuzzy; it's a lovely experience.