Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Idle Not-Even-Remotely Rich

Yeah, yeah, I know. No updates for ages. I've been pretty damn preoccupied with the whole "job going away" thing and I've been trying not to dwell on it too much. Or, should say, any more than I already have been. It's fairly all-consuming.

Anyway, as of yesterday afternoon I am unemployed. Signed my severance agreement, cleaned out my desk, and hit Bitter Hour with some friends (it's like Happy Hour, but the humor is far more angry and pointed). We attempted Melancholy Hour, but got tired of sighing forlornly every 30 seconds. I don't really do melancholy too well -- it's a bit too wistful and passive.

But yeah. Anyway, I am now among the idle rich. Well, except for the "rich" part. Not by a long shot. But we're OK for a while , and I've got a number of potential "things" moving through the pipeline. A couple of very interesting opportunties that will hopefully continue to move forward, as well as several other things a bit farther out on the horizon. Plus I have about 4 different recruiters shopping me around. The main worry I have is that they'll take more than a few weeks to gel up at this point. I really don't want to eat up all of my severance or touch our savings (meager as they are) if I can avoid it.

Plus, I've never been out of work. Well, not "never," but not anytime in most of my professional, post-college and -marriage life. The last time I didn't have a job was over 14 years ago. This is somewhat unnerving. I'm not really sure who I am when I'm not bringing home the bacon.

All in all, I'm doing OK I guess. I'm depressed, that's obvious, but not cripplingly so. The overall sensation is more akin to a sort of wry resignation and generalized disappointment. "So, this is how my career at NetBotz/APC ends: Not with a bang, but with a whimper." Seven years, the first half of which was fueled by the fervent hope of dot-com success, the second half of which was characterized by a steady succession of disillusionments and disappointments, with the final chapter consisting of 6 months of broken promises followed by the abrupt ending. Kind of a crumby story arc, but it's the one I got.

Mostly I'll miss the people I've worked with. Many of my favorites had already left, but we still had a solid group of folks who really enjoyed working with each other. That sensation was largely the reason I was still working for this joint the past couple of years -- I preferred working with people I liked over working in a job I enjoyed or for a company I admired or for a salary I deserved. I still would make that choice, so no regrets, really.

Tang Soo Do has been a source of peace and an outlet for stress through all of this. If I weren't already dealing with getting my injuries back under control (neck and back are nicely on the mend -- I 'd say I'm about 80% back to normal) I would probably have trained 5 nights a week for the past month, just to keep releasing the negative energy I've built up in a positive manner.

My technique is a bit shaky right now -- my kicks are off, and I'm not really sure why. I think a good part of it has to do with my confidence being kind of unsteady just now due to the job crap. That sense of instability tends to leak out into other unrelated areas of my life, and I find myself less trusting of my ability to do anything right. It's absurd, but there it is. But I'll work through it and get things back on track again. Once again, I get this sense of my dojang time reflecting my life in the "outside" -- a microcosm of sorts. Usually I feel like what I do in the dojang has a greater im pact on the rest of my life, but right now I get this feeling that the energy is flowing the other way, that the crap going on outside is pushing its way in and affecting my training.

And well, that's normal and fine I think. I passed treating Tang Soo Do as just a hobby a while back. It's something I want to do for the rest of my life, something that is already part of my life, not some separate pastime that offers momentary distraction from the rest of my life. Right now life is in a bit of upheaval, and it's reflected in my training and performance. As things settle down -- and they will -- then my the stability will realize itself in my training once again.

Gup testing is being held today, and for the first time since I began training I'm not testing. I'm on the first "wait" period, and won't we allowed to test for my red belt until September. And honestly, that's a good thing. With the whole job mess the added pressure I'd put on myself preparing for testing might have been too much, and if I didn't feel up to snuff on my technique I would have really put myself through the mill if I didn't feel like I hit my usual level of performance.

But Christine and the kids are all testing -- Trevor and Christine are going for their green belts, and Miranda goes for her next stripe on her belt (after which she waits six months, like I'm currently doing, to test for red belt). I'm going to suit up and offer to help with the test in whatever way they need. I might just be an uki for one of the testing folks who need a larger partner, or I might wind up just being the guy who brings the testing board water. Whatever -- I just like participating, and I know it's going to feel weird not getting on the mat to test for the first time. Regardless, I'm looking forward to getting there and focusing my energies on my family and friends.

Mood: A tad bit gloomy
Now Playing: Nina Simone, "Feeling Good: The Very Best of Nina Simone"


Walt said...

Think of this as a well deserved vacation. You deserve it.

Rich said...

Hang in there. Stay safe, sane, and patient.