A Month, By The Numbers

A month has flown by.  A dozen times I’ve sat at my laptop thinking about writing about losing my job.  I’ve been nervous about what to say.  Not to mention a little conscious about who might be reading this blog of mine (especially now that potential employer eyes may be prying).  But it happened nonetheless.  

After some motivation late in the week by a few people whose opinions I value, I think it’s important to acknowledge a few things, if only for historical purposes as I document another stage of life:

  • A month ago, I parted ways with my former company of six years.
  • My department was eliminated entirely from the business line — myself and 13 others.  Nothing personal; just business, as they say.
  • I am now jobless.  To spell it out plainly.  And officially on the hunt.

Although it was a little tough to swallow the whole “I’ve lost my job” thing, I’ve seen the opportunities this time off has afforded me.  I’d go so far as to be thankful for a reason to find more rewarding employment.  Lots of possibilities.  But I’m not without uneasiness.  Part of me has been glad to be around the house doing things I have been putting off because I hadn’t had the spare time.  The other part of me knows that this type of change breeds a familiar anxiety.  The kind where I can’t sleep and where I can’t stop trying to check things off my to-do list.  It’s in that vein I give you a short update of just what I’ve been occupying my time with these past few weeks, by the numbers.

5 – hours on a train I spent to see my friends Elisa, Matt, baby Jack, and Jillian in Chicago just a few hours after I was told I no longer had employment.

2 – hours on the way to Chicago I spent crying over my lost job.  (As I think anyone would do, silently sobbing while listening to Ray Lamontagne…right? Who’s with me?)  After that, I recovered pretty quickly with minimal self pity tears.  This was me, drowning my sorrows in a 312:

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1 – Day of walking and shopping in the city with my girlfriends it took to make me snap back to reality.  Life ain’t so bad for a smart, experienced job seeker with a plan.

7 – hours I spent on the way home to St. Louis talking to my new friend Alice, who was so kind and sweet, and who made me feel so much better about how I wasn’t going to work like normal that Monday.  It’s the change in routine that has really thrown me.

12 – roses I came home to from my sweet husband.  Barf, I know.  But it really meant a lot that he did a few special things to welcome me back after an emotional weekend.  They were my own roller coaster emotions, but my gals forgave me for a few stray tears here and there and Brian certainly did too.  I felt very loved.

2 – sides of our dual-sided fireplace painted black.  (Photos to come in separate post detailing the before and afters of these many projects.)

1 – side of said fireplace going to be repainted back to white at first opportunity.  I admit when I’m wrong.  And I was wrong on that one.

2 – times I’ve edited my About Me section on this blog in the last few weeks.

2 – more times I’ll probably change it around because it’s not the message or tone I’m trying to convey.

180+ – hours spent reading and researching about my online presence (whatever that means), investigating and learning about how to make myself stand out in a job market, and HOW to blog because it honestly feels like I’ve forgotten how.  Examples of this includes:  Perceived Perfection Online, Finding Your Voice, and this little exercise for sharing online.  It’s so stupid, but I fret over what to write way more than I actually write.  I’m going to be better about it.  The old tactics won’t cut it.

4 – blustery but wonderful trail rides with Chance in the past few weeks.

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1 – night my little brother came to St. Louis and stayed the night with his big sis.

1 – Christmas tree we made him go with us to pick out and trim.

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14 – kisses he received from Remy as we woke him up on Saturday morning to help put up…

11 – strands of Christmas lights hung with Brian.  Big day for Colt!

12 – bulbs that needed to be replaced on our Charlie Brown-looking house right now.

64 – Christmas and December birthday gifts lovingly chosen and bought.

18 – days I have to wrap these gifts.

4 – miles hiked in Johnson Shut-Ins on one of the last nice days of fall with my pal Rachel.

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18 – glass hurricanes I cleaned and inventoried prior to decorating for Christmas.

7 – collections I organized and sorted in our storage area in the basement.  Salt & pepper shakers, vintage cameras, vase fillers, etc.  I collect a lot.

3 – sections of shelves we now have completely organized into Keepsakes, Decor, and Kitchen.  A’thank you.

3.5 – hours it took Brian and I to blow in attic insulation ourselves with this neat AttiCat machine.  Lifting the bags into the machine sort of felt like I was doing a CrossFit workout, but instead I was actually accomplishing something.

12 – bags of insulation were used.  Time will tell if our furnace actually runs less to offset the…

250 – dollars it took to do it ourselves instead of hiring someone.

35 – minutes I spent trying to get decent Foo Fighter tickets to no avail.

3 – hours Garth Brooks played in concert on Friday night, in spectacular fashion.  So worth it.  One of the best shows I’ve seen all year.

7 – tubs of my keepsake toys and books my mom wants me to bring home to Rock Forest from her basement.

7 – tubs I want because they are dear to me but don’t have room for.  So that’s still on my list.

8 – types of veggies in my wildly popular crudité platter at Schaeffer Thanksgiving.

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9 – times I’ve watched or listened to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on HBO Family because daytime television sucks.

2 – rows of ivy lining our front walk, trimmed  and maintained for the winter.

2 – planted arborvitae plants to stand at either side of our front door.

2 – loads of leaves that have been taken off our property in the past month.

66 – Christmas cards I sent this year, by December 2.  Booyah!

6 – dog toys my pal Jenny and I made for our puppy Christmas gifts, as seen in the lower left-hand part of this picture as Harper guards his antler.

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2 – times I’ve seen Mockingjay since it premiered, not to mention the two prep nights of watching the Hunger Games, and Catching Fire for the full experience.

1 – Christmas ornament Remy has broken with her tail.

4 – steps I stumbled up half-jogging, and slid into the rainy, muddy grass with Remy yesterday.

10 – minutes it made me laugh.

6 – dinners in late November, early December with friends, enjoying the holiday spirit and company of good people.

4 – more dinners at least to share with different friends by New Year’s in that same spirit.

2 – trips planned to Higginsville  in November and December.  Brian went deer hunting in November and it was adorable.  Christmas with my whole Williams side for the first time in years should be quite a treat itself.  I’m looking very forward to it.

Surely I’m forgetting some things. But you’ll hear from me again quite soon.  Got some advice to share…