Note: This is a blog entry that stems from a conversation I had with myself in my head while eating Grapenuts cereal in my underwear this morning, so it might only make sense to me or to others who eat Grapenuts cereal in their underwear after not working for a few months. And No, I'm not nuts.
This morning I came to the some what jarring realization that I've been out of work for exactly six months today. Crazy. Based on everything that is going on with the economy and how marketing jobs have been hit hard, I knew when I got laid off, there was a good chance it would be for an extended period of time and six months even seemed possible, but I am surprised how quickly it has come and how up in the air everything still seems.
However, I'm optimistic that good things are on the career (and noncareer) horizon. And by no means do I regret this time off. Although, it is mentally tough at times. It has been a great opportunity to take a time out and reflect on my own life, observe others in the world around me and most importantly relax (as much as one can relax in this situation).
Like most people, so much of how I define myself has been very closely intertwind with what I do for a job and I'm sure it will be again. And when a job goes away, you definitely loose a big chunk of who you believe you are. But with that loss, you also gain the time and the ability to look at yourself in an entirely different light. You get to see yourself with many of the layers of everyday life (daily grind) stripped away. The daily and all too often excuse of I don't have time to do this or do that are no longer valid. If I end up not working out one day, it's because I didn't want to, not because I didn't have time. If I end up not running an errand that Tonja asked of me, it's because I didn't want to or something else became more important (to me) on that particular day. Basically, you become a lot more honest with yourself, and in that regard I think I'm learning something important about who I am and what my motivations are. And in the end I think this will make me a more productive and effective person, not only in my next job, but life in general.
This down time will end soon. My schedule will be returning to hecticness, with our upcoming move, wedding planning and continued career evolutions. And I will likely welcome this return of "normalcy". But, I'm thankful for what I have now and what I've learned about myself over the last six months. And what I'm sure to learn about myself over the coming months and with each coming challenge. Onward we go.
Photo Credit: Ernie Button http://www.erniebutton.com/