Unemployment

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Marching on

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Hey, remember when I used to post every morning, Monday through Friday – and not at all on the weekends?  Well, listen up, my little parakeets: those days are over.

I don’t know what days are upon us.  But the fact of the matter is that my life is different.  I don’t know where it’s heading, but I can feel change a brewin’ – and I don’t think that the posting will happen as predictably (i.e. every weekday morning by 11am).  But don’t panic, and don’t cry – I do enough of that for the lot of us – I could never quit blogging.  I’m just saying that sometimes, I might post a lot.  And sometimes, I might have a couple of quiet days.  And sometimes, I might post late at night.  And sometimes, I might post on a lunch break.

That is, if I get a job someday, and thus have something called a “lunch break.”

Speaking of, I do have a little job lined up for this week.  I’m helping a former co-worker get his new financial company up and running, which translates to “preparing paperwork,” which translates to “data entry.”  I am grateful for a little bit of income, especially while I am crossing my fingers for some other things to work out.

By the way, many of you have checked in with me lately and asked about how I’m doing financially during this time of unemployment.  Let me say this: it’s very wise to have an emergency fund.  Very, very wise.  Start saving.

But also, if that fund isn’t very big, it’s really cool to see the ways that God provides for your needs.  Some of you have been a part of that – you know who you are, even if I don’t.  And so it seems strange to say this on this blog, rather than privately, but this is the only way I know how to communicate to you: thank you.  From the bottom of my heart.  I am humbled, and so incredibly grateful.

Now, it’s off to my new temp job.  The Temptress lives again.

But also, before I sign off, guess what: yesterday, I did two things for the first time.  I ran 11.2 miles.  And then I went to Waffle House.

A new day

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

“If you had no job, you could be so productive!”

This is basically the biggest lie since “There are no cats in America.”

I believed it. I fell for it. I spent my working days fantasizing about all that I could get done if I didn’t have a job: reading, writing, exercising, cooking, cleaning, organizing – in general, getting it DONE, and becoming the woman that I’ve always dreamed of being.

But there is a problem: when one has nothing on her schedule, no time constraints, no responsibilities – not to mention, no income – then it’s hard to do ANYTHING. Laziness begets laziness. In theory, I now have all the time in the world to do things – and so it’s no big loss if I don’t do it now. So I don’t really do anything at all. Except make cookies. And check our mailbox everyday at 2pm.

My mind, completely un-stimulated, has been a dry well. I have had nothing to write about – no creativity whatsoever. PZC says that his best writing is done when he’s supposed to be doing something else – and I agree with him. When I sit down with the grand expectation and intention of writing, and I have no time constraints, and no deadlines, and nothing to prod my brain, then I usually wind up with nothing but a blank page.

Last night, Julie and Mel came upstairs to find me in the child’s pose on my bedroom floor, silent and depressed. All of our friends had gone home after our St. Paddy’s Day barbeque, and I was feeling so sad I could hardly stand it. Why? Why does sadness sometimes hit me out of nowhere, like an Atlantic swell?

They got down on the floor with me, and scratched my back, and made me laugh, and then we all talked about our lives, our hopes, our disappointments. In the end, because I have the best roommates in the universe, we prayed together.

It’s a new day. I am grateful to wake up in it. And I am hopeful for what it might contain.

The plan (or lack thereof)

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

First things first.
Did anyone else notice that they said “hootenanny” last night during “Lost”?  My name was said on national television!  I AM SO TOTALLY FAMOUS!!!

Next things next.
Last night as I was dying my hair, it hit me: I am a responsible and intelligent girl, not one to slack and make bad financial decisions… and maybe it was the ammonia, but… I don’t think I’m going to get a job for a while.

Since I ended my tenure as the Temptress, I have felt a burden lifted – a heavy weight that I didn’t recognize was there, since I was too busy convincing myself to be grateful for a job at all.  But once I walked out of those heavy glass doors, box of possessions in hand, I felt it: I could breathe.

For the last two weeks, I have felt so light, so buoyant, so UNLIKE 2008 ANNIE.  I am realizing that over the past year, I had been so entrenched in the daily grind that I had lost the part of me that I rather like – the part that says things like, “Tell me about your day,” and “How are you doing?” and “I’d love to get together!” and “Yes, 10am sounds perfect,” and “Sure, let’s drive to Pennsylvania.”  Instead, there were a lot of grunts and frowns and silences.

There were also a lot of Facebook video wall posts, which was always a little bit awkward the next day.

Anyhoodles.

Obviously, I cannot and will not stay jobless forever.  I’m too high-maintenance, and I know it.  One of these days, I’m going to snap, and scream, “Give me Aveda!  NO MORE SUAVE!”  But until then, I will be engaging in a season of Survivor: Nashville.  I am allowing my spirit to take a deep breath, living much more simply, and finding creative solutions to my financial problems (and yes indeed, of course, there are problems).

I’m going to take advantage of this time and drive to Kansas City next week to help my family during a period of major transition.  I’m going to spend some days working on my EP.  I’m going to stretch something called my IT band, which I didn’t even know I had – until it got terribly inflamed and rendered me semi-crippled.  I’m going to continue applying for jobs.  And I’m going to hope and pray that the right position will come along at the right time.

A foolish risk?  Perhaps.  Worth it?  I hope.

In the meantime, you should see my hair.  It is dyed.  It is fabulous.  It is foxy.  It is… exactly the color it was before.

But BETTER.

Welcome to the JAM House

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Do you have any idea how much I appreciate you, my dear readers? You’re a bunch of little sweeties.

In the past couple of days, I have gotten so many amazing, caring, encouraging messages from so many of you – via blog comment, Facebook message, voicemail, email, text, or booty slap (okay, that’s just my roommate Julie). I am overwhelmed. Thank you for your words. Thank you for your support. Thank you for passing along job leads and treating me to wine and assuring me that I will not wind up homeless.

I’ve been a busy little bee, applying for jobs and researching companies and updating my resume. It’s actually been very fun. I was able to go running yesterday afternoon, and walked 6 miles through the woods in Percy Warner Park today. I’ve relished the quiet time in my sweats, and feel peaceful and hopeful and content.

Perhaps it is foolish for me to be hopeful right now. There are currently 50,000 people out of work in Nashville, and I know of individuals who remain jobless for months and months and months. But I am choosing to believe that there is not just some random position for me, but that there is an awesome fit.

It feels like it’s time.

But until then, this is where I’m spending my days. How could I complain?


JAM House from Annie Parsons on Vimeo.

Yes, I realize that this video isn’t all that exciting, but it’s mostly for our parents – hello parentals! Bedroom #1 is Mel’s, bedroom #2 is Julie’s, and I reside in the Princess Tower upstairs. Things to notice: the washcloths on the staircase that are soaking up a red wine spill, the file cabinet built into my bedroom wall, and the grill on the deck covered with a camouflage tarp (not that you could see it?).

A new season

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

I am sitting in my pajamas in our gigantic den, basking in the sunlight that is shining through the windows.  I have coffee.  My feet are in my old wool socks, and I can hear the whir of the washing machine in the basement.  I have done the dishes, started the laundry, put the mail in the mailbox, and am about to get going on some serious job applications.

I think that I might love being unemployed.

But let’s be real.  There’s always the money thing.  I am broke as a joke.

So on Saturday, the Running Club gave me the inspiration to attempt going an entire week – 7 whole days – without spending a single penny.  In preparation, I took out my car and gassed it up (with the $20 bill my mom sent me in a Valentine’s Day card – thanks Mom!), picked up my prescription at Wal-Mart ($4 for the generic drugs), and went home to hunker down.

Actually, I didn’t “hunker down.”  I told PZC that I was “girding up my loins”… after which I had to ask him
a)    What are loins? and
b)    Do I have them?

I wrote checks for the bills that are due (including my rent, and a monstrosity of a heating bill… what on EARTH, February?), and organized my pantry, taking stock of the food that I have.  If my cupboard is any indication, it appears that this week, I will be eating diced tomatoes, raisins, and a small packet of peanuts from my last Southwest flight.

Good thing we had a housewarming party on Friday night, and have tons of leftover beer!  If Yuengling doesn’t count as sustenance, I don’t know what does.

Truly, this will be an experiment of epic proportions.  I cannot remember a time that I went an entire week without spending any money.  But I am confident that I can do it – and I am going to do it with panache.

– – – – – – – –

By the way…

I am still not scared.  I know that I will survive this season of unemployment, however long it lasts.  I am hopeful that this is the beginning of something good – and although I do not believe that “everything happens for a reason,” I want to believe that “nothing is ever wasted.”

Including those Southwest peanuts.

Allowing myself one day to wallow

Friday, February 20th, 2009

After being sent home at 1:30 yesterday afternoon, I put on my sweats and made a cheesecake. Then I fell asleep around 5:30, not waking up until 9pm. I felt like hell and looked like death, all sweaty and splotchy-faced. Then I took 3 doses of nighttime cold medicine and slept from 11pm until 10am.

When I woke up this morning, I made some coffee and walked around the house, looking at things. “Oh, look. There are my books. And there is the coffee table. I will start the dishwasher. It is sunny outside. The floor is dirty.” Then I went to Wal-Mart and bought some paper plates and plastic forks, and came home and made this sign:

cimg1176

Yes, I free-handed those fancy recycle arrows. I clearly have time on my hands.

We are having our long-awaited housewarming party tonight, and so I’ve been busy preparing for 100 people to descend. Mostly, that means walking around and looking at things and thinking thoughts.

It’s been sort of a pathetic day.

And so, I, Annie, hereby swear that, until I find a job again, I will:
– Wake up at a decent hour every day.
– Take showers, even though I might not need to.
– Diligently search for work.
– Keep on blogging. A girl needs SOME kind of purpose to her days.
– Do whatever it takes to pay my rent, even if it means taking a job at an extermination company. I probably won’t work for a sewage company, though. I have to draw the line somewhere.
– Hope and hope and hope, and not get mad at everyone who has income, and smile every day, even when I feel like kicking The Man in the balls.

Um. Happy weekend, jolly readers.