Keep Swimming

4 Mar

Being unemployed during a long Minnesota winter has not been without challenge. I really never thought that I would be unemployed and it really is one of the most difficult things that I have been through in my life. It is really isolating, and it is hard to maintain a sense of purpose when you don’t have the routine of going to work and feeling productive. I especially miss the camaraderie of co-workers, and the feeling that we were all working toward a common goal. When you are unemployed, sometimes you feel like you are going through the struggle all alone. Mondays can be especially hard when everyone is going back to work and you are trying to find a reason why you should get out of your pajamas.

The days go by, and the weeks, and then months. You feel no closer to your goal and you aren’t sure if it is ever going to happen. It seems as if politicians have stopped caring about the unemployed, and you wonder if everyone else has to. You often get questions that seem to imply that if you would just work harder you would have a job. Human resources staff can make you feel like a felon, and you wonder if anyone really understands what it is like,  being unemployed. You start to question whether or not your education was really worth it, and whether or not you have made the right decisions in pursuing the field that you are in. Uncertainty breeds fear which can be paralyzing in trying to chart a path forward. Which direction do you take? What else should you be doing?

Don’t give in to the fear and uncertainty. Fight it.  There will be tough days, but it is so important to find something that gives you meaning and purpose during this time of transition. Find your inspiration in giving back to your community.  Use your skills volunteering with a local organization. Read books that you have always wanted to read, but didn’t have time to. Is is easy to find this inspiration during this difficult time? No it isn’t. I get it. It is sometimes so difficult to get one thing done when you have the whole day in front of you. But, you’ve got to do it. You have got to find the inspiration to live a purposeful life. Allow yourself to dream about the life that you want, and believe it.

It is not going to be an easy path to get there, and the scariest part is not knowing when you will get there. Just stay on the path and keep walking, or swimming as the case may be.  I have a visual of this time being like swimming in a choppy ocean (or lake for us Minnesotans) on a dark, stormy night. You can’t see where you are going, but you know that you aren’t too far from the shore. The waves are tossing you around and the current keeps pulling you farther out into the ocean. But, you keep swimming. Keep swimming and you will find the shore.  Keep swimming.

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2 Responses to “Keep Swimming”

  1. Me March 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi! I found your blog link on linkedin. This post really sums up how I’m feeling right now, especially- “It is sometimes so difficult to get one thing done when you have the whole day in front of you”- is so true! I thought I must be the only person with seemingly nothing to do all day, and yet struggling to get the things I need to do done.

    Great blog, and thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Lisa M. March 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      Thanks for your comment! Yes, I definetely get more done when I am busy. Volunteering, having networking coffees, and building time for learning into my schedule has helped me to stay more focused. But, some days are a really challenge, especially after an extended job search!

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