That’s what I’m having. One of those weeks.
Nothing in particular is wrong – at least, nothing that wasn’t wrong last week or last month. But for some reason, I’m having a tough time dealing with life right now.
Here it is: I need a job. I can’t find a job. That’s nothing new; I’ve been searching for positions and sending off resumes and cover letters for a long, long time now.
Perhaps the difference is that now, having finally exhausted my unemployment insurance (and Congress being currently unwilling to approve another extension for mainly political reasons), and my savings, I have no income at all. Zilch. Nada.
No, we’re not starving. We haven’t lost our house and somehow, we’ll keep the bills paid, living very carefully on Mr Wren’s retirement income. But it’s tough, gang. I’ve never before been in a position where I couldn’t take on part of our monthly living expenses. I’ve worked since I was 15 years old. While there have been a couple of times over the years when I’ve had a short hiatus between jobs, I’ve always been able to find a new one within a reasonable amount of time. Until now, I’ve never had a completely empty wallet. Unless I ask Mr Wren for it, I haven’t even any pin money.
Crud. And there are no jobs. Not even jobs I once considered just for teen-agers and retired ladies looking to fill a little free time and make some pin money are available. You know the ones. Fast food. Gift shops. Gas stations. All of them paying minimum wages with no benefits, mostly part-time.
Around here, for every one of those type of jobs that come available, there are 200 applicants. And most of them are not 54-year-old ex-newspaper editors who are considered way overqualified and yes, too old.
So, around here we’re tightening our belts another several notches ( a couple of them new, punched into the leather with an ice-pick). Belt-tightening I can do. We’ve never been rich; we’ve always had to be mindful with our money. But even in those tough old days, I always knew I had another paycheck coming before too long. This time I don’t.
After close to three years of looking, it’s become very clear that there isn’t a new job out there for me, this time.
I’ve done some free-lancing here and there, when I can find it. It pays almost nothing. I’ll keep looking for more of that sort of work – at least it keeps my brain sharp and my writing skills honed – but it’s barely worth the effort.
I’m deeply grateful that I’m able to get my medical care through the VA. I shudder to think what position we’d be in right now without it.
I’m about to drive down the mountain and pop in at the temporary agency I’m registered with. I’ll remind them, once again, that “here I am! I’m available at a moment’s notice!” They’re always very friendly and assure me that as soon as something comes along, they’ll call. But they haven’t yet (it’s been almost a year). And I know they’ve got a huge list of hopeful, unemployed office workers already, all of us clamoring, even begging, for work. I’m not at the top of that list.
Don’t worry. I’ll snap out of my funk. I have before. The difference is this time, I’m feeling less hopeful. But outside the sun is shining, the weather is beautiful and everything is blooming. There’s a bird trilling in one of the trees nearby. My family is well and my wee beasties make me smile. I just need an attitude adjustment.
And a job.