30 December 2015

End of Year Reflections

[Apologies for the silence around here lately. In addition to work and holiday stuff, I got an early Christmas present last week: a cold. It's mostly gone now, but it definitely kept me from tending to some of the things I wanted to be doing.]

Christmas is over and we're counting down the last few days of the year. At this time we naturally become reflective on the months that have passed. While this has not been what I would call a banner year (that fourth Super Bowl championship banner aside), there has definitely been progress.

I started 2015, as I did '14 and '13, without a job. I was well beyond disappointment and frustration with my situation, and was starting to think it would be necessary to return to dreaded retail in order to sustain myself. A former supervisor offered me a bit of freelance work, and then in April I was hired by a grocery-shopping service, but I got only three shifts during my first several weeks, so it became clear that option was not viable.

In May and early June, a couple of work-at-home temp assignments came my way. Both were relatively short in duration but put my skills to use. While I was working on the second of those, the agency offered me a three-month onsite assignment. I was hoping it might turn into a permanent job; it did not, but I was asked to stay for an additional month. Another assignment offer came soon after, which catches us up to today.

Working at home full-time is an odd experience. Depending on where one lives, it may or may not be possible to go out for lunch. In my case I've had to make the effort on weekends to plan ahead and have food on hand for daily lunches. The hours are a little awkward, and I'm busy pretty much all day, so I don't really have time to deal with little personal stuff like most office workers are able to.

Being home means I am also responsible for the dog's needs, which at this point are many and frequent. Before starting that temp gig in June, I was also home and taking care of her, but over the past six months or so, with age and increasing frailty, she's come to need us more than ever. When she appears, roughly every couple of hours, I have to stop whatever I'm doing and take her out, or feed her, or both. Handling it all has been challenging, but at the same time I'm glad that I am able to be here for her.

So my life is feeling somewhat circumscribed at the moment. I have episodes of several TV shows on the DVR that I have not found time to watch. And that isn't going to get any easier, as I have agreed to take another freelance assignment in order to make up for what my main job is (not) paying me. Everything is very stressful, and that's not something I'm used to dealing with.

But as I have said to a couple of people, I have to look at this year as a net positive. These are steps that I need to take as I work to restore my circumstances to what they were before I was laid off. I enjoyed my work and was able to live satisfactorily and comfortably from it. There seem to be more jobs now, and anecdotally I think that people my age and older are doing a little bit better than they were a couple of years ago. Obviously I will continue to blog, but let's check back in at the end of next December and see where things are...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hang in there! We had a border collie that lived to the ripe old age of 15... and as he got on in years there were definitely some demands (and costs), but looking back I would not change a single thing about how we handled the situation.