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What I Did on my Summer Vacation

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Vacation" started for me in April when I was laid off and unemployed for the first time in my life. At the time, it was a little disconcerting, but I was mentally prepared and actually kind of excited about the potential opportunity for a new challenge and maybe new direction. I was optimistic that I wouldn't be out of work for too long and could use the time off to get some domestic projects done.

As May came to a close, my optimism was gone. My reserves were dwindling and I had no prospects. I hadn't even managed to garner an interview. On top of that, I was making very little headway on all the things I'd wanted to accomplish with time available. I began to get depressed.

During June, depression started turning to panic. I did not make the cut on a couple of prospects and interviews. It was back to the drawing board and start thinking about what I needed to do to expand my search or reduce my expectations. A few horror stories of others in my field in the same boat going 6-12 months between job kept me up at night.

Through all this, my attention to fitness waxed and waned. Without a gym membership, I relied on calisthenics and running to stay in shape. Can't really say I managed my diet well but I had gotten back some running conditioning that I'd lost during the stress-filled months leading up to my layoff. In fact, I was running pretty well without any aches or problems. I just didn't have the stamina or speed I'd had during my peak back in January. Still, there were no issues with my hips or ankles, two areas that had plagued me and forced me to take some short breaks.

In the nick of time, a recruiter put me in touch with an engineering office looking for someone with my background and skillset, which led to a wonderful set of interviews last week, a follow-up tour to meet with customers and upper echelon management, and finally an offer...all in the course of a week. It was like seeing the sun after 3 months of rain and gloom.

I start August 1st, giving me this last week of personal time, during which I don't have to worry and can get some recreation in while tackling a few fun projects I'd been putting off:
* work on my old '90 BMW 325i
* clean the house out and sell off/donate a bunch of accumulated things
* work on the backyard landscaping
* repair the dings in my surfboards
* organize the boxes of old family photos for eventual digitizing
* fix the clothes dryer (stop the horrible squealing)
* clean the windows and screens

And I'm going to join a gym again. New employer subsidizes club fees, and I've been putting it off until finances felt secure again. Can't wait to get back in the pool and back to weight training. I'm probably going to target a new race goal again: Silver Strand half marathon in November. I had to put the luxury of race events on hold until the storm passed. My running is feeling good, so it's a good time to start working toward a goal.

I did a trail run yesterday through the foothills of Black Mountain. It was very hard, forcing me to walk/hike some of the steep grades. I'm kind of surprised to find my ankles sore due to the running mechanics of navigating rocks and odd, side-canted angles as compared to the routine flatness of pavement and asphalt. I'd like to that more often to try to toughen up the ankles and strengthen the quads/hips. It was hard, but fun.

Doubt I'll ever return to Sparking as much as I did in the past, but it's good to be back. Special thanks to HAPPY, CODEMAULER, BEEJAY, NBLNBL and, of course, my biggest supporter and life coach/task master, NEWJOAN for the encouragement, support, advice and prayers throughout this transition.

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(Oh, and kind of cool to have Mr. SparkGuy himself make an appearance on one of my blogs. Guess I have should put him back on my SparkFriend list.)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • THENEWJOAN
    Just got back to SP myself and read your posts. Congrats on the job (hee hee - alittle late and I've already said that), and to getting back into the shape up part. And PS. I love your pictures - especially the one of Buzz Lightbob. Very clever - has Bailey seen that? :) see ya at home.
    3490 days ago
  • CTINAARTISTA
    Way to hang in there!!! Good luck to you at your new job.
    3510 days ago
  • HAPPY92003
    WooHoo Congratulations on the new position:) Enjoy the rest of your "vacation":)
    3510 days ago
  • SCOUT1222
    Congratulations on the new job - nice to have that stress GONE.
    3511 days ago
  • DEUSMACHINA
    Nice work on the new job, Mister. Glad you've got a bit of time to enjoy the break before you start, rather than just stressing about not working!

    Good to hear the hips and ankles are working nicely for you, too. Don't know how you do trail running. I have done some barefoot running in the ugly shoes, though. Jolly good fun, might I add. Although I look like a right prat, but you can't have everything in this life. My big new ITB stretch still humming along nicely, and no issues surfacing. :D:D
    3511 days ago
  • CODEMAULER
    First off, congratulations!! The job news is simply terrific!

    Seeing you less is a small price to pay for you to return to what makes you happy!

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    3511 days ago
  • NBLNBL
    Congrats on the new job! Wishing you much success!

    Nancy
    aka NBLNBL
    3511 days ago
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