Thursday, April 30, 2009
Unemployment isn’t a surprise anymore. When I wake up in the morning there is no longer a five second breather before a sinking stomach reminds me how life has changed. Now the alarm sounds, reality is intact and my eyes open aware of my current status. Since February, my goal, in addition to figuring out what is next, has been to establish a routine that works. To that end, as anyone reading knows, I’ve been walking and writing and spending time in the library and am fairly adjusted to the ice ball that winter threw at me. Last week however, my new schedule was disrupted when several rainy days curtailed the walking. A trip to visit cousins while our daughter was on school vacation meant no visit to the library; and I appreciate how easy it is to get off track with new routines, because this week hasn’t been much better.
On my second Monday volunteering for the seniors, I returned home to write this blog. Four o’clock found me pacing around the house opening cupboards and peering out windows as if looking for something. Realizing that I hadn’t walked in several days I yanked out my sneakers, hollered to my daughter that I was leaving, and marched out the door to power-walk two miles, tying my shabby fleece around my waist half way through. Tuesday’s calendar entry included a visit to the outplacement office, and I returned home with the idea to write for the day’s blog. When my daughter stepped off the bus we celebrated our short dose of unexpected summer weather by driving to a neighboring beach. Salt wind, wave spray, bare skin and even tattoos were a welcome supplement to the Nantasket boardwalk but again, the day involved no exercise for me. As for yesterday, well, I searched job boards, sent out a resume and went out for my networking lunch having not touched Middle Passages; I pressed “publish” in time to organize dinner; the sun set before I got my sneakers on.
So when sunshine and the screech of a blue-jay through barely cracked windows woke me before the alarm this morning, I flung off the covers grinning with the knowledge that there was nothing penciled in my planner, and a walk before a trip to the library would fill the morning’s agenda. Breakfast served, daughter delivered to school, house picked up, emails checked, a job feeler sent, and I shoved my feet into my sneakers; tramping under the white lace sleeves of flowering Bradford Pears that dress our downtown, past the ducks paddling on the pond at the Common, the patch of daffodils swaying at the Parish House, along side weighted branches of forsythia choked with yellow blooms. Circling back on the sidewalk by the brick library, I marched beside erupting purple rhododendrons, thighs cramping on the slow incline overlooking the massive rock formations that swell like small mountains in the middle of Little Harbor.
I may have missed some walks, but it only takes one to realize that those aching mornings of February when I woke in a panic, unclear as to how to spend my time have faded to memory. The cold winter weeks in which I floated around the frigid house, nose running and a plaid wool scarf wrapped around my neck have been retired like the down jacket I shoved to the back of my closet. When I lost my job during the coldest month of winter, the general sentiment seemed to be that my life would improve in the spring. And it’s true. While I’m not much closer to a career decision, along with warm temperatures and new routines seeps a trickle of optimism and possibility.
The bummer about the good weather though, is that it makes it more difficult to come up with excuses. I love our library, but now that this post is done, I’m on my way home to clean the back windows.