<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Trying to emerge from my black hole
 

Trying to emerge from my black hole

August 22nd, 2016 at 08:21 am

So it is just over a month since I was laid off. I have basically spent the past month trying to absorb the shock and personal sense of devastation while focusing on the non-work domain, which I really let go in order to focus on the new job and career. I have also "gone through the motions" with regard to some basic steps in preparing for a job hunt, without my heart really into it yet. That needs to change.

I've spent a lot of time over the past month with the friend whose dog was diagnosed with cancer the same day I lost my job. The good news is that whatever is wrong with the dog is NOT cancer after all and he has improved but there is still something wrong that remains undiagnosed. But at least the threat of 4-6 months remaining lifespan has been removed. And we've watched the Democratic convention, the Olympics, and several DVD movies. It's been very good to have someone there for me, living alone as I do.

My biggest focus has been on my health, which I felt suffered during the time I was at my job. Not only did I gain back the weight I had lost during the year previous to starting at the job, but my exercise plan, which I started investing in last summer, got derailed by a foot injury the beginning of March. I had started a course of physical therapy, so I finished that out during July and then went back to the gym, which I have been continuing to go to twice a week (I have a one-year contract which will get me through October and then I can no longer afford this gym), plus this past week I started walking and even doing a bit of jogging again now that the injured foot is 99% healed.

I also started to follow an Intermittent Fasting (IF) eating plan. A friend of mine has been doing this for a year and has lost some weight. After talking with her I read a book on the topic by Dr. Bert Herring and then started in on the plan, while continuing to do some research on my own both on the plan and on myself. There are several versions of IF eating; the one that I am following is the idea of time-restriced feeding, in which you start by limiting the timing of your meals, so that each day is divided into an eating window and a fasting window. Dr. Herring recommonds a 5-hour eating window and 19 hours of fasting, while another popular protocol (LeanGains) suggests 8 hours of eating for men and 10 for women, with corresponding 16 to 14 hours of fasting. While my daily eating window has varied between 2 and 8 hours since I started this on August 1, my average has been about 6, usually from 2 pm to 8 pm. And I am down 4-6 pounds since starting (the scale is bobbling a bit this week), plus I lost some weight just from the shock of the job loss decreasing my appetite, so I am down about 10 pounds altogether. Another six will get me to where I was when I started the job, and I hope to continue on to see if I can finally take off the excess weight which has gradually crept on over the years.

So far I find doing this very sustainable. Surprisingly, eliminating breakfast has meant basically eliminating mid-morning hunger, and it's usually pretty easy to delay lunch until 2. I drink lots of water with lemon before breaking my fast plus one or two cups of black coffee as well. Then during the eating window I usually have two meals, with the largest one being the earlier of the two. Not only do I end up eating less but there is both a time savings from not having to prepare breakfast and will eventually be some money savings as well as I eat less.

Exercise is what Charles Duhigg, in his book "The Power of Habit," terms a keystone habit--one which, when adopted, tends to lead to one making other positive and beneficial changes in one's life. Hopefully that proves true.

In addition to work on the health front, I also have done some work on the home front--a bit of organizing inside the house and redoing the front garden patch with the extensive help of a retired neighbor.

I've also been attending the weekly meetings of the local networking group for unemployed professionals as well as joining their training committee, plus I went to a networking meeting of a group of business women that has led to some useful connections that I am still in the process of following up on, including the possibility of an interview. I also reconnected with a fairly new acquaintance in the business who was unemployed herself last year and who has connected me with another person in a similar position. Ironically, the possible job interview is for her old job. We will be getting together later this week. So--good progress in networking but I really need to work on updating my resume further and developing different versions of it for different jobs, as well as getting together my "exit story" and documenting the job stories I can use in answering behavioral interview questions. I'm not feeling ready for an interview yet.

Plus I need to start investing more in studying for the online CFP course I am enrolled in. So far I have attended virtually all of the live webinar classes but I have not invested much in going through the printed materials online.

I also have a lot more decluttering to do. I've got my living spaces livable, but that doesn't mean that my kitchen is optimized. Too many things I don't use and should get rid of. Plus, as always, too many books, too much clothing, and then there is the whole second bedroom, which has become a "storage room" rather than a guest room or study over the years.

Lots to do, and lots more people to contact.

I just need to get over myself and the feeling of shame and humiliation and keep on keeping on.

A little bit of fun first. My birthday is later this week and today, three friends are taking me to lunch and then we are hanging out at the swimming pool that one of those friends has.

8 Responses to “Trying to emerge from my black hole”

  1. laura Says:


    (hugs)

    That dark hole can really suck. I did a great job engaging in new living behaviors while I was away in California for two months (no caffeine, no sleeping pills, lots of R&R, hiking, paddle-boarding, kayaking, etc.)

    However, its now a crazy schedule, financial issues, trying to make some life choices (like getting a job now or just finishing up four classes I need for a career). I'm back to caffeine (though not as much) and the worry is causing me to wake up at night (though no sleeping pills) and I have to force myself to ride my bike five miles a day.

    I do identify with Alice Down the Rabbit Hole, though I'm really more like Laura Back to Reality Snap. Don't be too down on yourself with shame and humiliation, that's just counter productive! I've put down those emotional bags, but then was sort of like, "Well, what should I be carrying instead?"

    (hugs) You're not alone!

  2. My English Castle Says:

    Dido--Glad to see you back here. I think some job loss grief is natural. Wishing you birthday fun.

  3. Laura S. Says:

    Happy Birthday! I have a friend who does the IF and only eats between 11AM and 3PM. She lost 50 pounds. I have cut back, but I need a 12 hour window. Glad the networking is going well.

  4. CB in the City Says:

    It's okay to mourn the loss of your job, but please don't feel ashamed or humiliated. It was something that was out of your control. You have clearly put a lot of effort and dedication into your work. Circumstances intervened; it's regrettable, but not your fault. Hold your head high and look forward! (And yes, hugs, too!)

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    I'm sorry you are feeling so devastated over the job loss, but I totally understand it. I hope you find something soon. I hope everyone who is looking finds something soon.

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    happy early birthday!

    It isn't easy to lose a job, no matter the reasons why. giving yourself this time to mourn, reflect and start rejuvenating will probably help you when you're ready to dig in to the hunt once again. (apologizes for typos ... cats on lap, cat in front of computer screen ... tht don't get I can't see through them ...)

  7. VS_ozgirl Says:

    I can't even begin to imagine how you feel. You've done so well to get a degree and employment experience from it so don't feel embarrassed or humiliated. You've probably learnt so much. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and soon will be moving onwards and upwards. You can do this, you're just in the middle of derailment and can get back on track Smile.

  8. Dido Says:

    laura, That's admirable of you and good luck with your pursuit and thanks for the "not alone" bit.

    "English," Thank you!

    Laura S, Thanks for sharing the IF success story & wishes.

    CB, Thank you!

    Robin, Thanks, & good luck to your DH as well.

    Frugal Texan, Thanks. Lucky you: lap cats! Of my current two, one has never come into my lap and the other does maybe 3-4 times a year. I've only had one cat who came to cuddle every night--and not until she was well past middle age.

    VS, Thanks, yes, I did learn tons. Trying to get past the emotions to get back on track.

Leave a Reply

(Note: If you were logged in, we could automatically fill in these fields for you.)
*
Will not be published.
   

* Please spell out the number 9.  [ Why? ]

vB Code: You can use these tags: [b] [i] [u] [url] [email]