I heard someone refer to a woman as a displaced homemaker and it got me thinking. Is that me? I looked it up and this is the definition: In general, a man or woman who (1) is at least 30-35 years old, (2) is unemployed and has not worked as an employee for a substantial number of years but has worked in his or her home providing unpaid services for familymembers, (3) has been dependent on the income of another family member but is no longer being supported by that income, (4) has been receiving public welfare assistance for having dependent children, (5) is underemployed and finding it difficult to upgradeemployment.
All except number four applies to my situation but the reality is that I have worked as a part time employee at many establishments during that period of “unemployment” helping to put food on the table etc. Unfortunetly for me it doesn’t look great on a resume. Human Resources are set up in very intricate ways with point systems and methods that weed out “undesirables” quickly. With my work history I fall under that category. So what do I do? Well…my first course of action is to return to the familiar and Fort Collins where networking will be not as daunting, hopefully. Next, I registered at Workforce and will make an apppointment for an assessment. I also need to explore housing options, transportation issues (close enough to ride a bike or walk) and reconnect with my old network of friends. This is not my favorite part. I don’t want to appear like a victim but yet I need to use all the resources I have to find employment. Asking for help is not my strong suit but pride is a luxury I can’t afford. I think I’d rather start with a government agency, easier because I can be anonymous.
I cling to the notion that my energy went to providing for the needs of my family. There were a lot of emotional needs to meet and I made them a priority, unlike the way I was raised. It was important for me to see that through, my kids didn’t beg me to bring them into the world, it was my choice. I didn’t have a lot of energy left for building a career although I did take a college course each semester while “at home” for a decade or so. Still… not enough in today’s market. I am a bright, articulate woman with a lot to offer. That’s not enough either. When I feel like this I have to put one foot in front of the other until these emotions pass, praying is essential. I am more than a job or a statistic or label. Time to get creative? What will that look like? Feelings of not measuring up are a reality in this journey but fear has been thankfully removed. One of my favorite friends used to say “What are they going to do? Take away my birthday?!! It might help my resume.
I am now reading “The Exotic Marigold Hotel” by Deborah Maggach. It has been contributing to my malaise I’m afraid. Things like retirement, healthcare and the economy are as bleak in Great Britain as they are here and have stirred my pot. In this story the discarded, aging members of society are just arriving to the seductive pull of a better life in India. In their desperation they have been misled. Supposedly that is where the humour comes in but I haven’t seen much so far. I’m waiting. Hoping. Praying for some.
We meet for the second and last book club tonight to discuss “The Birth Order Book”. We decided it only seemed right to end it at Shari’s Restaurant for free pie night. T and I have given up eating desserts but my niece can get away with it, and there is still the wine. I’d rather eat dessert. Hooya!
I’ll close with some of my favorite reminders of how good life IS… My kids, my niece, trees, tea pots, books, libraries, book clubs, pets, fabric, linens, the ocean, the beach, good food, old friends, making friends, email, facebook, blogging…you get the picture.