I am unemployed.  Some day I will write about how that happened, but for now….

I won’t.

After more than 24 years working for the same company, suddenly I have to try to figure out the nuances of looking for a job.  Times have changed.  No longer do I grab the newspaper and look up the want ads.  Everything is online with most applications linking to some type of social network – LinkedIn, Facebook, Indeed.  The way of writing a resume has evolved, including the necessity of inserting words that recruiters and company HR will use as keywords when they search for possible candidates.  Networking is done through email and FB contacts.  The old fashioned way of networking still exists and may still be the best way to find a job, however.  It still comes down to who you know.  In that way, 24 years experience helps.

It also hurts.  I am in that age category that is avoided, likely the reason why the growing company who just fired me was so eager to show me the door.  My replacement will likely be a recent college graduate.  They are looking for someone with an engineering degree, to fit a job description that looks like it was written with me in mind.  I chuckled when I saw that.  My college degree is a ministry degree. 

I am replaceable, I know.  Just ask my wife.

We are on a budget, one of those “geez, we’re going to have to sell a kid soon” budgets. 

The challenge is to concentrate my efforts on productive job leads.  There is a whole lot of..ummm.. well.. stuff I would never consider doing that is available as employment.  Gone are the days where I can go back to being a gigolo to pay the bills.

Nick, our sheltie, has the worst breath in the world.  Miriam calls him Tijuana Breath (she and I have enough experience there to qualify that one, especially from the ‘toilet’ facilities we had on our trips there).  My typical day starts with my getting out of bed at 5 AM as I am accustomed, then I leave the house.  It helps me to feel like I am going to a job.  Last week I stayed away all morning because the kids on Spring break from school and home all day.  This week I come home when I know my family is gone and get busy.  Nick is my constant companion, a nice thing except for when Nick gets tired of waiting for me to pay attention to him, stands next to me and pants in my direction.  I think the hair that I have left is turning green and curly.

Several friends have encouraged me to make sure I make this a time to recuperate, take time each day for myself.  That does not mean hours of Call of Duty.  My lunches the last two days have been spent riding a bicycle.  Three out of the last four days have seen me on a bicycle. 

Maybe some one will hire me to ride a bicycle?

I got to see my son play, and win, his first singles match for the high school tennis team.

My days have been very busy, much more than I could have ever imagined, but without the constant deadlines that seemed to be ever present during my work days the last couple of decades.  Believe it or not, I miss those deadlines and the purpose they gave to me.  The time without them has provided an odd feeling peaceful rest, productive, giving me energy that I have not had for a while.  It’s not like I wasn’t energetic before now, but, well, it is different.

The tables have turned a bit too.  A week before I was terminated, Miriam was promoted to a supervisory role at the elementary school lunch room.  She starts work at 7:30 AM, comes home mid afternoon.  Suddenly she is going to sleep early, waking up early instead of staying up past midnight and sleeping past eight every morning.  Weird.  That means I can roam the house in my BVDs all day.

Not really.  Don’t lose sleep with that picture in your head.

I do have a job prospect.  I have found several opportunities.  This time of unemployment may not last long at all.  We’ll see.