Redneck Summer

Appalachian_Trail_Heading_to_Double_Springs_Gap_From_Clingman's_Dome

My job hunt continues, and it’s a tedious slog  — another application to submit, another interview to prepare for, another rejection email.   For inspiration I’ve been reading blogs written by people thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, which can also be a tedious slog, contending with bad weather, equipment issues, and sore feet.  It’s still amazing to me that it’s possible to blog without electricity and while transporting all of your belongings by foot.

This talk of the outdoors leads me to the silver lining of not having a job: I don’t have a job!  As in IT’S SUMMER!  The kids are at the perfect age – old enough to be able to do things, and young enough that they still want to hang out with mom.    We’re doing a mid-week camping trip to the beach next week (before it gets too stinkin’ hot to sleep in a tent around here), and have more trips planned.

I even ordered some inner tubes so we can spend some time floating down local streams, many of which are at least partially navigable for most of the summer.  The husband said something to the effect of “how redneck are you planning to get, anyway?”   Maybe I should get a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon for good measure.  What I really want are kayaks, but that’s another project entirely.

tubing

It promises to be a fun summer, as we have plenty of places to go and things to see within an easy drive.   Easy on the pocketbook, too, since we don’t mind sleeping in a tent.

And yes, I am still looking for a job.  Really, I am!

I is for Indecision

One of the most frustrating parts about being unemployed is how difficult it is to make decisions about other parts of your life since you are in a holding pattern. This post should really be entitled “U for Uncertainty”, but I need an “I” post, so here it is.

In my case, one of the things starting to get worrisome is summer plans.  There are a lot of great summer camps in my area for kids, and if I were working, we’d probably have most of the summer schedule already picked out.  We have signed up for a few weeks at programs they’ll love, and that fill up fast.   However, I can’t justify or afford spending $500 a week or more to keep them occupied all day while I’m not working.   And if I’m not working by then, I make a pretty good camp counselor myself, and wouldn’t mind taking the kids on a low-budget camping road trip adventure instead.   If do end up finding a job close to the end of school, I fear that many of the good programs will be filled, and they’ll receive a daily 9-6 prison sentence milling around in the hot sun at a camp they hate.   

Of course the ideal situation would be that I have a job lined up and guaranteed to start right after Labor Day, but since I’m not a teacher, I’m not holding my breath on that one.   Plus, I‘ve kinda been there before.  Last fall I was told I had a job, then that it was delayed until January due to a hiring freeze.  In December a different person took over the department and decided not to hire for that position.  So no job after three months on hold.  I’m not holding any grudges, except against myself for not looking for a job last fall as a back-up option.   Another lesson learned. 

Still, the uncertainty (which leads to Indecision) is a challenge to face.   Still, I know that many job-seekers are facing far more difficult decisions that they also can’t make.   If you are in this situation, best of luck with not deciding.  It usually does work out in the end, even though the solution may not be apparent right now.  We just have to wait it out; it will work out, eventually.