Why I’m Job Hunting

This is me on a work trip to Washington DC. I stopped in to see Thomas Jefferson’s library.

My very first paid job was as a babysitter. On my 10th birthday. But a lot of my childhood stories are downers, so let’s not dwell.

The point is I’m a worker.  I earned BANK as a babysitter. In middle school, I had my own business making hand lettered signs. In high school, I ate at least twice my hourly wage in KFC biscuits (which I can never EVER eat again). As a junior in high school, I got a job working with kids at a Summer Day Camp and that pretty much started what would become a career working with people and communities.

Those Who Call Me Mama

I am also a mom.

But I have never been a stay-at-home mom until these last couple of years with Little Sir. And that was not so much by choice as because my position was eliminated while I was on maternity leave. And who woulda’ thunk that would coincide with the worst job-seeking climate of my life time?

So amidst having a baby, sending another off to college, a marriage collapsing, a beloved aunt dying and all sorts of other adventures, I’ve been job hunting. And it has been terrible. And humbling. And just plain hard.

But I keep at it because I like working. I like having a career. Even the thoughts of being able to make a living as a writer (which are really about the same as thoughts of winning the lottery), I have wanted to work. I like the part of my brain it uses.

It’s not that I’m not busy. I have two volunteer jobs, a toddler, pets, writing projects and so it goes. But me not working does weird things to me:

I become obsessed by odd things: Little Sir just got a Caillou video. This was the first time I’d seen this character. Why is he bald? He’s four! He also whines a lot. And makes grumpy faces. I’m very worried about this kid (who is not real). I do like the puppets. I’m thinking I need to brush my dog’s teeth. Why are there so many wrong people on the internet?

It turned out okay, but I’d rather have a paycheck.


I get confused about who I am (not): I start thinking  I am Martha Stewart and attempt projects I have no talent or money or even significant interest in attempting. I am not a baker, sewer or gardener be. Well, I do like to garden, but I live in a forest with ravenous deer so gardening is like some sort of masochist activity here. I better get a job soon because just today I got the idea I could build a pond…

I want to be too helpful: If the broccoli looks if-y at the grocery store, I don’t just move on to the green beans. I want to discuss it with the produce manager. I fill out ALL the comment cards. If you’re rude or provide great service, I want to discuss it with you. At length. Do not ask me for advice because I will not have a brief answer. In fact, you don’t want to make eye contact for too long or I’ll assume you’re just being shy.

It seems the job market is picking up. And that is a very very good thing. I know the produce guy at Safeway will be glad.