Every day, in some way or another, I am looking for work. I have had long-term unemployment before, twice. How long term? Is three years long enough? And I've had that twice. Yeah. It stinks. You start to really, really question your value, and not just in the work arena. It messes with your vision of yourself as a contributor to society, as a person of value.
I don't blame all of my weight gain on this but it did not help, by any means. I know I packed on a good 80 or so the first time I had a three-year furlough, and probably another 60 for the second three-year furlough. As for the other 60, eh, who knows? It all happened over the course of two or so decades so it was slices of pizza and bags of papadum chips and real ice cream and of course not working out. Everyone who's reading this knows the drill.
And so I am trying my darnedest to not let that happen a third time. It is not just because of my health although that is a piece of it. It is also because of, let's face it, our finances. We are doing fine but another shock to the retirement fund is not advisable.
Hence I am beating the bushes. I have been to one networking party and today I had a networking call, actually there were two as I managed to finagle a second one with someone I really wanted to talk to. Tomorrow is a networking meeting. Then Wednesday is another networking party (same folks from the first one I went to), then another meeting on Friday. Next week is a job fair, a night at Mass. Innovation and four or five more networking meetings.
Plus there are another five people to call but that will be after surgery. I am tapped. I can't even think about any more meetings or phone calls. Between that and everything I'm trying to watch on Twitter, etc., I'm feeling a sense of losing control. I know I'm doing a lot but it is awfully tiring. Of course some of this is the almost three hours I spent shoveling snow for the past two days. But I'm also just getting a bit wiped by having to be on, and perky. I can do perky and I can explain what I want to do, yet again, to yet another person. That's all fine. And I can also tell I'm online too much, and that's fatiguing me as well.
Hence -- and now that I have made it to the top Spark trophy anyway, a new regimen is in place (some of this is shamelessly stolen from Lab Lover):
* Unsubscribe from any spark mails I don't really read. I don't need the points any more, so who cares?
* Answer blogs whenever I want to, not just two and then be done because that's all I get points for in a day. Answer one. Or none. Or seven.
* No more adding to topics if I have nothing to really say, again, just to get points. Man, I was greedy in the points department, eh? :) Answer topics, or not, as desired and for no other reason.
* No more reading articles that don't interest me, same reason as above.
* Leave teams where I'm not active.
* Continue using the food and exercise trackers. Continue tracking other goals. Continue checking in. Continue contributing to teams as desired.
I do plenty of other things online -- SparkPeople isn't my only source of long-time online syndrome. But it is a piece of it, and a piece I can take care of, probably more readily than other areas (e. g. I can't exactly cut back on moderating my site).
Again, I am rambling, I know. There are really two points to this blog entry. One, I am going to reprioritize as much as I can in order to maximize my chances of finding a job. And, two, some of that means less sparking. For me, though, it will be separating the wheat from the chaff, to only do what I need to, and want to, and no longer be a slave to the points. It feels kind of liberating to write that.
In the meantime, enjoy The Alan Parsons Project.