I've been wanting to start a new blog for a while now, but I wanted to go over the separation agreement from my last employer to see if I agreed not to badmouth them. In the meantime, I'll just refrain from discussing them.
I've been out of work since April 2008, and a lot has changed since then. My last job was extremely stressful, and I felt that it wore out my coping mechanisms. I would have weeping fits that lasted hours, both when I had the job and after. I've been medicated for depression since 1997, but it seems that my mood disorder has progressed. In non-medical terms, I'm reticent about meeting the world. I don't leave the house much. I freeze when the phone rings. When I do meet it, whether leaving the apartment or talking on the phone, it feels fine, but getting over that threshold is a killer.
Of course, I always thought I'd make a great retired person, so it's not half-bad. I enjoy TV, especially movies, and the internet, and I've been making jewelry for about seven or eight years. But I always hoped my retirement would be in some place more rural than Brooklyn, and would involve a garden and a big space for all kinds of crafting and arts.
My darling husband is also unemployed, and not only needs to find a job, he needs to switch industries, since the garment center in New York is in its death throes. But he's been in it for some 30 years and is very uncomfortable about making a switch -- can't really see how his experience would transfer to any other industry, and always balks about taking a class or classes to learn something new.
The worst part about staying mostly indoors is that I don't get much exercise, though once I'm out, I walk and walk until I'm sore for two days after. I've always been a big walker. In fact, I recently bought a new MP3 player (on eBay) so I could listen to music on long walks.
I have been thinking about taking up ukulele. But maybe I'll just go back to banjo, since I already have one, managed to retain my banjo tablature books so they were not lost in The Great Storage Disaster. This apt. was so small that we had to put a lot of things in storage we couldn't really afford, and so we lost all our vinyl, all my journals, my baseball cards, my postcard collection, my mother's wedding dress, a lot of my books and papers and clipping, and so on. Because I figured out that if we couldn't afford a bigger apartment, we also couldn't afford an extra $130 a month for storage, I made sure to label certain cartons to keep at home. That way, I still have my bottle cap collection, my banjo, my music books, my jewelry-making stuff, my family photos, and some other essentials.
The banjo brings up a lot of old baggage for me, but I've reconnected with an old friend who is totally immersed in old-timey stringband music, and maybe I can re-catch it from him. I've joined Facebook, so I expect there'll be all kinds of reconnecting going on, and it's scary and exciting at the same time.
Note: I tweet at @northofconey.