What Has Been Lost

Good morning Boomers!

For many in our generation, the last several years have been very difficult.  Lost jobs, drastic income reductions, plummeting home values, the list goes on and on.

Nearly every Baby Boomer knows someone who was, or is in the unemployment line.  Many for far longer than they ever imagined, ever wanted, despite what some of our elected officials believe about the unemployed.

But this morning I read an article that talked about some of the other things lost by many of the unemployed.  Things like laughter and joy.  Things like hopes and dreams.  Things like plans for the future.

Being unemployed is tough.  Being unemployed for a long time is brutal.  Over time, your self-esteem may drop.  Your confidence may begin to wane.  Your belief in your own abilities can become shaky.

Often the lives of the desperately unemployed become filled only with the mechanics of job seeking.  The endless hours spent looking and applying.  The constant resume rewriting and tweaking.  The untold calls to friends, relatives, mere acquaintances who may know someone who knows someone….

As the days, the weeks, the months drag on the mental stress and strain begin to take their toll.  This is a mission, perhaps a war, and it becomes your life.  Find a job.  Find a job.  Find a job.

Apply for one, interview for one, perhaps interview again.  Follow up.  Wait.  Wait some more.  Then you finally hear that you were not the selected candidate.  Or you don’t hear anything at all – ever. 

You begin anew.  The cycle goes on and on and on. The longer it lasts, the more confidence you lose, the less able you feel, perhaps the more guilt ridden you become.  You feel like you are letting your family down.  They rely on you to contribute and you haven’t done that for quite a while.

Often your own family or your friends can add to the feelings of inadequacy.  Even when not meant to be hurtful, the clumsy or inconsiderate comments made by loved ones are often the knives that sink the deepest. 

So take care of yourselves.  Don’t let the process become your life.  Spend some time doing things for yourself.  Take a class.  Learn a new skill.  Revisit that old hobby that you haven’t had time for in years.  Take a walk.  Listen to some music.  And don’t stop making plans for your future.

We humans have always planned for the future.  Sometimes He says “Ha!” and we find ourselves taking a major detour from our plans.  Unemployment is a detour on your path.  It has caused a delay.  It has pushed you back, made you start over, perhaps sent you in a new direction.

The road may be bumpy, the travel much slower.  But the view that is different can be the most interesting, the most memorable, the most enriching if we take the time to see it, to appreciate it, even to enjoy it.      

So take the time to laugh, to love, to find joy wherever you can while on this life detour.  Enjoy your family and your friends.  Stay social.  Stay informed.  Stay involved.  And make plans for the future.

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One Response to “What Has Been Lost”

  1. LoveBeingRetired Says:

    You are so right that the on going job hunt dance can be tedious and attack our self confidence. It is important to do something other than just job hunt – something for yourself. Whether that be to improve yourself or your skills or just to pursue something that you are passionate about. If you end up out of work for a year, how much better to look back and see that during that time you accomplished something for yourself. Also helps in your interview discussions to have something to share regarding that hole in your work career. Good luck to us all!

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