Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Getting over it"


Today, I took myself on a little date. First I worked out so I'd look nice for myself, I even showered and applied cosmetic products afterwards.

I went to see "Law Abiding Citizen". 1.5 hours of Gerald Butler kicking the asses of people who didn't do right by his family. While I can't condone the violence, I can't say I didn't enjoy living vicariously through the movie for a little while.

After the movie I went to dinner. Nothing fancy, but I understand I'm on a budget so I went Dutch. A burger and fries at Longhorn, and a beer bigger than my head.

During dinner though, I wrote in a journal. I'm not a big "journal-er". Growing up, I didn't have a lot of privacy, so putting thing down on paper wasn't the wisest plan let's just say. But lately I'm finding it helpful. Kind of like talking to myself, but I can go back later and re-read stuff, see what I was thinking, what I did, how I felt....

I was in a SUPER bad mood this morning. Weepy, angry, never-gonna-find-a-job-ever-again, the whole deal. So I'm writing in this journal that I bought at CVS to document something we were going to do about two months ago that went to sh*t, trying to figure out how to stop being so angry. I realized that I'm afraid to not worry, and to not spend every single minute obsessed over finding a new job, running out of money, worrying about God-knows-what. It's comfortable to worry. That's what I'm supposed to do, right? I lost my job. I have no money. I'm supposed to gnash my teeth and beat myself up. It's comfortable, that's how I'm used to behaving. And THIS time? This is the longest I've been without a job since I started working a hundred years ago, so surely I'm supposed to feel extra sh*tty. Mission accomplished then, because I. Feel. Like. Ass. (Sometimes)

Here's what I realized: I'm afraid if I stop worrying, and stop feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders, two things will happen: 1. The people who didn't do right by me will feel relieved, and think they're off the hook, and 2. Nothing good will happen to me because I didn't pay my dues by worrying enough. Like there's a quota.

ALL kinds of stuff is crazy about those two little sentences. The first one's easy: a. They don't care, and b. I very seldom care what people think. Why did I pick NOW of all times to start?

The second one's a little tougher. The best I can say right now is that sitting at home feeling bad and frantically searching for any shred of a job is not going to make a job magically appear. It's not going to make the recession over, it's not going to make companies hire more workers all of a sudden, and it's not going to help me keep an open mind. As my best friend brought up today, in a different context but it's still relevant, "Sometimes, the hardest thing to understand is that it is not always about you." or about me, whatever the gramatically correct way to say that is.

Normally I like to have a nice wrap-up. A sentence that ends with "So I......." But I don't have one today. There's no real answer right now. And to paraphrase Pema Chodron, this isn't something that has to be fixed. I just have to make friends with it. So I guess the first step is trying to cut myself a little slack. I'll cut a little tomorrow, a little more Saturday, and so on. I will also try to admit to myself that as much as I would like to, I cannot control everything.

Alright. This blog is interrupting my date. I have some Merlot, some fresh Mad Men episodes, and some chocolate cake. I'm going to resume my date now.

Thanks guys.


  1. When Bob Taft pulled my first lawyer job out from under me 11 years ago, I was crushed. I cried when I woke up and cried when I went to sleep. That's when Bob read up on Tantric breathing and would hold me while practicing the breathing on me, like I was a sick baby. It was an alien, intense time that ended only after I took the first shitty job that came up, and THAT mistake still haunts me now.


    I've been through some harrowing job changes since then and what I learned is what Bob Dobbs teaches all the time about the power of slack. When you stop giving a shit, things have a way of landing in your lap. Care. Less. Don't underestimate that.

    Of course, that's easy for me to say now, when everything must seem so immediately PRESSING. Like you said, it takes baby steps. A little slack tomorrow. A little more Sunday, etc.

    Like the kitty dangling from the tree branch says: Hang in there.

  2. Wow, Camevil, thank you for your comment. I don't know what tantric breathing is but it sounds like it was very helpful. I've been doing a lot of yoga. It's interesting, and sometimes shocking and scary, what pops into one's head during it.

    It's a struggle sometimes to keep from running out "there", wherever "there" is, and grabbing whatever job I can. Doing that would be a disaster. I mean, this is a rotten to the n-th degree time, but it is not going to last forever. I think "Care. Less." is wise advice. Much like "Stop Making Sense" :)