Here we are again, back at my in-laws' place in southwestern Florida. This week has been a roller-coaster ride, not only for us but for all those closest to us. It was supposed to be a vacation, one which started last Sunday, but everything got all muddled up around the middle of last week.

It started with a telephone interview for a job I very much wanted. The interview went very well, and they asked me to come to Bethesda for an in-person interview. Had it happened, that interview would have taken place yesterday. Instead, I spent yesterday (and the day before yesterday, as well as today) driving my way back down the coast from our vacation in upstate New York. The organization wanted someone to start far sooner than I could have managed to relocate my family from Florida and the majority of our stuff from storage in New York. One potential new beginning, ended.

Fast forward, then, to Sunday night. We were due to leave central New York the following morning, making a quick stop in western New York before beginning the trek south. This is where the real turmoil began. I don't know why it was so much harder to say goodbye this time. Perhaps it's that my son (now 2 1/4 years old) is so much more verbal than he was when we last visited, and was so vocal about his goodbyes and how much he missed his grandma after we parted ways. Or perhaps it's that his grandma (my mother), broke down sooner than usual - while she was still in my arms, sharing a farewell hug. Whatever the cause, I was a wreck, and I was convinced that I simply could not return to Florida. Hours later, after he held me as I sobbed, my husband had agreed to contact his former employer in western New York, and ask for his old job back - the job he hated, the job we had agreed was going to be an absolute last resort. But, my emotionally-charged self insisted, perhaps after 7 months, we were at the stage of "last resort."

Before we left our motel room the next morning, my husband had the name of someone to talk to in a different department from the one he left. It was in a whole different building, and I was convinced it would be better. This would be the new beginning we've been needing. Why, then, did all signs seem to be pointing against it? We turned onto the Thruway, and my eye caught the sign in the other direction, saying, "Wrong Way." My stomach felt queasy all morning and afternoon, and when he called me from the office building, the words, "So I appear to have a job," did not fill me with elation. Nor were they particularly enthusiastic in tone.

Yet it wasn't until hours later - after visiting with a friend and suffering a near-panic-attack when my husband told me it was snowing outside, and after utterly failing to find anything remotely within our price range for apartments - that I finally said to him, "I don't want this." All day, I kept shaking my head, seemingly at random. In truth, I was reacting to the myriad thoughts flitting through my head. Desperate though I am to get on our feet again, this was another false start.

Now, this evening, we've arrived back to our temporary home, armed with to-do lists and with goals firmly in our minds. Somewhere, there is a new beginning waiting for us. Sometime, and I hope it will be soon, we will open the right door, and we'll start to get our lives under our own control again.
This is one crazy-assed road I've been on for the past 24 hours. Last night was mostly composed of sobbing on the floor of the motel room, cuddling with O, letting him hold me as I sobbed uncontrollably, and saying lots of, "I can't do this!" In the end, we agreed that he would call his former employer (pre-Xerox) and ask what opportunities might be available. He did that this morning, got a name for someone in a department that was hiring, and met with him. He was offered a job.

We made a snap decision, and started telling people that we were moving back here. While talking to Beth, though, I became more and more aware that ... this doesn't feel right. This isn't where either of us wants to be, the job isn't one he wants to take, and we're just FINALLY starting to see results in FL. Plus, there's a job fair in Tampa next month, so that holds more potential, too.

If all this wasn't enough... the job would barely pay more than O makes on unemployment (about 1/2 what he made at Xerox), and living anyplace that wouldn't require at least a 30-45 minute commute would cost more than we could afford or be in neighborhoods we feel safe in. Plus, he was miserable there. Not so much in the second department he was in, but he still wasn't himself.

We aren't saying no to the job. Not yet. But we're no longer jumping at it. We are going to go ahead with our plans to drive back down to Florida, and make our decision by the end of the week. We're scared, both of us. We're scared to take it and be stuck right where we were before L was born, or worse. And we're scared that if he doesn't take it, nothing else will come along. (I'm more scared of that than he is. He has a really positive outlook, based on the fact that things were starting to look up for us, before we took this vacation.)

I REALLY need a vacation from this vacation. I'm actually looking forward to the 3 days in the car on the way back because it will be more relaxing than what the end of this vacation has been.

(Comments disabled because there are ALREADY too many conflicting thoughts in my head, and O and I just need to figure this all out for ourselves.)
dmsj: (working)
( Mar. 19th, 2010 08:17 pm)
E-mail received today, re: my aforementioned interview )

Logistics got in the way again. Following the schedule she would need, I would be in Maryland until Friday, drive for two days back to Florida... to then pack everything up and be moved to Maryland by the following Tuesday. That's just not possible.

Job hunting from out-of-state is hard. :/

Right now, I'm leaning towards continuing work on our own business plan while also searching for work in FL itself. I think that will be easier to manage. I don't want to close any doors, obviously, but that is my current feeling.
dmsj: (run)
( Feb. 11th, 2010 02:23 pm)
We're still carless. The theory was that it was probably the serpentine belt. It was... and also the two parts next to it. So instead of a $35 easy-fix, it's a $300+ complicated fix that requires parts no one in town has. Remind me not to buy another Subaru/other foreign car next time around. :P Earliest it'll be ready is tomorrow, if they can get the parts by then.

In the meantime, though I'm honestly not missing it very much. I am absolutely WIPED out today. All the recent stress has caught up to me in the form of a head-cold and major ass-kicking fatigue. On the plus side, I've gotten a lot of job-hunting done (thanks mostly to Oliver, who's helped me find most of the things to which I've applied, and helped me to optimize my job search engines).

I did have to cancel my doctor's appointment, which is annoying. And I'd really like to be able to get to the library for some new DVDs (both for us and for Liam), but today I'm pretty content to just sit on the couch and use my computer or read.

If the car is gone all weekend, though, I expect I'll change my tune. :P
dmsj: (working)
( Jan. 25th, 2010 11:49 am)
Alright, I'm getting desperate. O lost his job in July - 6 months ago. We moved to FL in August. In the past 5 months, I've had a 3-week temp assignment. And nothing else. No interviews, nothing. O has had not even a bite, either. We need a new plan. I want to move back to NY. O would rather end up in the DC area. The Boston area is also a consideration. These are the areas we're now concentrating on, all but completely abandoning the FL idea entirely because it is just not panning out.

What I am asking of my readers is this: boost our signal, please. If you know anyone in NY (specifically upstate, ideally Albany or Ithaca areas) or the DC/MD/VA areas who might be in the market for an part-time office assistant/writer/editor (any or all of the above, and full-time will be considered, for the right position) and/or a jack-of-all-trades IT guy who specializes in web design, social media marketing, and UNIX administration... send them our way, please.

Feel free to repost this, ideally with a link back to this post, or copy it into an e-mail to send out to everyone you know, or whatever you need to do to get the word out.

A couple of you have already responded to similar request I put out via e-mail, and I thank you wholeheartedly for your help. But the further we can spread the word, the more likely it is that the message will reach the right ears and eyes.

dmsj: (working)
( Dec. 8th, 2009 01:27 pm)
At this point, we're not moving to CA. O got an automated e-mail last night, telling him he didn't get the job he'd interviewed for. He found 2 others on their site this morning (and I found one as well, but mine is in their DC-area office, so obviously we couldn't both accept offers), and e-mailed his friend again.

It seems like we're spending an awful lot of time at square one. :P From here, though, we just redouble our efforts in the DC-area, the RTP area, and here in FL until something eventually pans out. It will, sooner or later.
I'm not sure the "one year in Florida" plan is actually going to come to fruition. We've both changed our focus a little since coming back from NY and me starting this temp. job and such. It started with a resume-request from one of O's friends, for a position in Palo Alto, CA. This is the same company he was considering during the summer, but we ruled it out because of location. Now, however, we're starting to wonder if we need to change location because let's face it - things have not been all that promising for us here in Florida. We'd both been hoping this possible position was in the company's DC-area office, but it turned out to also be in CA.

However, the company does have a similar (though not identical) position in their DC office. This realization got some wheels turning for both of us, and we're both feeling like maybe that area is the way to go. If anywhere is going to have a decent job market at all, it's going to be that area first. And we have friends there. And the seasons, while much milder than NY, still change there. And it's closer to NY. And there are long-term opportunities there in fields we both desperately want to get into.

And it's not on the west coast, which is looking to be our other major option. If we have to do that, we will. But neither of us want to, particularly. (The thought of it still makes me want to cry; I'm just afraid of closing any doors right now.)

I am posting this as a desperate plea for prayers/positive thoughts/etc. Please keep us in your thoughts in the coming weeks as we try to put this new plan in motion. Please pray that this works out for us in the way we are hoping. I am praying as hard as I can, myself.
dmsj: (twolumps_scream)
( Nov. 19th, 2009 07:52 am)
I left the keys in the ignition last night, and not fully turned off. The car won't start this morning. Waiting for Geico's roadside assistance folks to come help. Great impression to make during my first week of work, no?

dmsj: (Default)
( Oct. 27th, 2009 08:36 pm)
Is anyone here any good at resume-writing/tweaking/etc., and willing to help me out with mine? I'm thinking it needs some extra pizazz in order to make it stand out. It definitely needs something, since I've been looking for 2 months and haven't even had a single interview.

I can't afford to pay much, if anything, but I could really use some help. (Feel free to send other folks my way, if you know someone.)
There are possibilities all around right now. The most promising is some freelancing work that O has lined up, which could turn into a long-term situation and/or even a partnership. Keep your fingers crossed on that!

I am also hopefully going to be taking on the job of volunteer editor for the church newsletter. I'll be meeting with the administrator on Sunday (unless she e-mails back and wants to get together outside of church some other time) to discuss it. Sure, it's volunteer, but it's experience and it looks good on the resume, and it'll be fun!

I also applied for a job I desperately want, last night. So please keep me in your thoughts in that regard as well!

This may or may not be the light at the end of the tunnel, but there is definitely plenty of hope and excitement in the air around here. :)
I met with another temp. agency today. She doesn't have anything immediately, but chose to bring me in anyway because she only has 2 or 3 other people in my specific geographical area, and apparently folks in this area don't like to drive. So there are at least possibilities. Yes, it's temp work (if anything comes up), but it's SOMEthing. I need that bit of encouragement because in the past week I've had THREE of the jobs I'd applied to get canceled. As O said earlier, welcome to a recession. But still, frustrating. So having a temp agency at least want to get me into their system is definitely a better direction.
Wow am I tired. I hadn't been sleeping well for several nights in a row, but that's been better for the last two nights. Even still, I woke up this morning feeling like I could just roll over, close my eyes, and sleep for another several hours (and it was 9:00 at this point!). And actually, I'm the only one of the three of us who did sleep reasonably well last night. As such, it's a pretty low-key morning around here. Liam's watching an extra helping of Sesame Street this morning, while O and I hang out at our computers. We've both found a number of jobs to apply to today, though. Keep your fingers crossed for us, as we've each found at least one that is absolutely PERFECT.

Next weekend we're going to Gainesville. There's an info session for the MBA program at University of Florida. I'm going to go to that, and we'll visit with our friends who live up there. And their new baby girl!

Alright, off to deal with a StinkBug.
My Bethy commented earlier that I've been pensive today. There are 25 minutes of "today" left, and I'm not done yet. I've spent the last half hour or so crying on, and then talking to, O about The Future. About where we want to be, what we want to be doing, and how to get there. Because that is really what everything is all about right now.

If I had my absolute ideal job, I would be doing copywriting/editing for a not-for-profit group dedicated to a cause I believe in - GLBT issues, environmental issues, AIDS or cancer research, breastfeeding awareness, etc. Life is not necessarily all about ideals, though, so I've stated other, related options, as my goals. I want to be a writer and/or I want to work for a nonprofit. (I would also accept working in the education field, though not directly as an educator of any kind.) And I've always thought that the "writer" part came first, but ... I'm not sure that it really does. After all, I can be a writer without being paid to do it. I am a writer without being paid to do it. :P

Now to move forward, finding places where these jobs are more easily found, and figuring out how to get there. Moving forward with my own goals in mind, not with a head full of "shoulds" and "what ifs."
I deleted my other post because, well... this one is going to be a clarification of what led to that. The big thing here is this: I keep finding jobs that require qualifications I don't have. And when I find those, I think, "I wish I had X, Y, or Z." But ... getting X, Y, or Z takes too long to be practical, in a lot of cases. I'd been researching the HIM/HIT programs in the area, thinking it would at /most/ take me a year to complete, hopefully less. And that would open up new doors to me that my current qualifications do not. Unfortunately, it seems like that is likely to take at least a year and a half to two years. Plus I wouldn't qualify for in-state tuition rates until I was almost done with the program, if I started this term (which is, of course, looking less and less likely). So while it's not totally ruled out, it's going on the back-burner (with so many other options and half-options) because I can't justify the time and money expenditure for something I'm not truly passionate about.

The MBA is still a possibility, though I'm not sure if I'll be able to do it full-time. It may be a matter of "wait and see," which is hard right now because so much is up in the air. My big hesitation with the MBA is financial as well. It's even /more/ of a time and money commitment, so I'm hesitant to do it unless I'm REALLY sure it's what I want.

Part of me wonders if I'm just trying to find any excuse to go back to school. And if it's about /that/, rather than really, truly furthering my career ... then no, it doesn't make any sense.

It's also somewhat about control. I can't control the job market. I can't control how long it takes for O or myself to find gainful employment. Returning to school is something I /can/ do for myself, rather than being dependent upon so many outside factors. But again, that's not a good, solid reason, either. I know the MBA makes sense in a lot of ways, but it's very overwhelming, and I'm not sure whether or not I'm ready/willing to take it on at this juncture.

And part of me is afraid of getting stuck. I don't necessarily want to keep being "just" a SAHM anymore. If O finds work before I do, then I'm afraid of feeling trapped. Afraid of stagnating. Please don't read that as, "I don't want to spend time with my son." I do. I love him. But I need a change (ironic, considering the past two months).

... I think I'm having a mid-30s crisis. Where's my shiny new sports car? :P
Things are definitely better today. I'm less sick and miserable, we took a walk in the park (and let L run around on the playground) this morning, and then I got to talk to my mom, Gramma, and two aunts all at once by pure chance.

I know this is going to be a difficult transition, and there are going to be down points. But in the end, it's all going to work out. It always does.

At this point, we're both very much hoping we can make it work to stay here in FL. It's just easier than trying to relocate out of state /again/ and go up to NC. It means we can go ahead and renew licenses here, get FL plates on the car, etc. Not to mention, it means not taking all the stuff we drove down here with on another out-of-state drive! While I do like the idea of NC's slightly milder weather, and its potential in the IT field, etc. ... convenience wins. Again, assuming we can make it work (read: find job(s)).

I am, however, having some hesitation about the MBA idea, but I don't know how much of that is apprehension just due to the enormity of it, and how much is real doubt. In the immediate future, my plan is to go ahead and prepare for starting a program in 2010 - including taking some business classes wherever/whenever I can (going to look at MCC's online options today, seeing as they already have all of my information in their system from when I was a student there before), and beginning preparations for taking the GMAT. I'm sure that as I go about the process, I will be better able to sort out my feelings about it.

Time to finish my lunch and nap a Bug. Hope everyone is well! Drop me a line. I miss you all!
dmsj: (me)
( May. 26th, 2009 11:22 am)

On Friday at L's storytime, I started having random dizzy spells. I also had a random (they're usually cyclical migraines; this one was out of phase and less severe) headache that afternoon. The dizzies have continued ever since, making it impossible for me to drive to Massena or back over the weekend. I've made an appointment with my doctor for Thursday morning. In the meantime, I did a little research, and it sounds like it /could/ just be BPPV. But given that I have a family history of high blood pressure and diabetes (though my own personal history has been fine on both counts), I figure it's worth finding out for sure.


We were in Massena from Saturday evening through Monday morning, visiting my dad. We left after lunch on Saturday so it would be close to naptime for Buggie. Got there around 6:something that evening and had a little time to spend with him before bedtime. Spent Sunday with him as well, and had a cookout with the family (my aunt and her boyfriend, one of my cousins and her husband and son). Got to eat Dairy Queen ice cream and Glazier hot dogs. L was very well-behaved (and energetic, OMG!) and charmed everyone, as he always does. :)

O and my dad went out together to play pool while L and I went back to the hotel room for L's nap. I can't even begin to tell you how much this means to me, that they are comfortable enough together to spend time without me. Even on a weekend when the Mets (my Dad's team) were playing the Red Sox (O's team, if he were to actually care about baseball).

And seeing my dad with his grandson? I don't have words for that, either. Pictures will have to suffice. (The older pics at that link were from a few days last week, but most of them are from the weekend.) Oh, and he was QUITE pleased with the Mets shirt I'd picked up at consignment for L. :)

* L is a total book addict. He is constantly bringing us books to read to him. Unfortunately our downstairs book supply (the board books) gets very repetitive very quickly.

* I will be hopefully meeting someone this week to discuss employment possibilities with her local cloth diaper store.

* Tonight is my last non-dress rehearsal for this season of chorus. Next week we have dress rehearsals at the actual performance center, Tuesday and Thursday. I'm also thinking about not singing next season, but it depends on a number of factors. And even if I drop out for the season, I'll stay with my committees and the board.

Hopefully I can get to tonight's rehearsal, as I'm not sure I dare drive myself there.

* I also have two small-business (one website, one other) ideas floating around in my head that I need to figure out details for.

* I'm frustrated because I was doing really well with my new exercise initiative, and then I went away for 3 days, and am now unable to do much without making myself dizzy. I MAY be able to do some stepping on the Wii Fit, but my ST and yoga options are pretty much nil, and I don't dare go for a walk outside the house at all. :/

* My in-laws might host Christmas in FL this year. That would be pretty nifty, if a bit weird.

* Off to get things ready for naptime!
dmsj: (peace)
( May. 12th, 2009 05:01 pm)
Remember that interview I was all panicked about? It got canceled. Apparently (as the woman warned me might happen, since I was being interviewed so late in the process) they hired someone else before they got around to me.

On the one hand, it's a little disappointing because I'd been working out ways to make the schedule work, figuring out all the logistics in my head, etc. And, y'know, a steady (as opposed to my less-regular freelancing) paycheck would be nice.

But on the other, the job was definitely not ideal and I was definitely overqualified. It also may not have paid well enough to even justify taking it. So I don't feel like I've lost anything. Just that I haven't /gained/ anything, either.

Now, in light of my post-panic revelations, I have to decide what this means from here forward.

But right now I have a hungry Bug who wants me to make him some dinner.
dmsj: (mommying)
( May. 11th, 2009 12:51 pm)
Happy belated Mother's Day, first of all!

Mine was lovely. I received a new camera to replace the one that spontaneously died a few months back. I am absolutely in love with it.

Saturday, I spent the afternoon shopping with Mom, while Oliver took Liam back to our motel room for naptime. Liam made out like a bandit this weekend - 4 t-shirts (including a Mets shirt to dress him in when we go visit my dad!), a plaid button-down, 2 sets of PJs, and a pair of pants. Oliver got a few coins to add to his collection. And I got a pair of shoes (but mine are brown).

Sunday, we went to my aunt, uncle & Gramma's house for the day. Good family day - had lunch, chased Liam around, played a game during his nap, took some pictures, and headed back home. Got home much later than anticipated, but Liam was still in bed almost on time.

I really need to get back on the wagon in terms of diet and exercise. I haven't dared step on the scale or do a Body Test in a few weeks now, but this weekend was especially bad. We went out to dinner Friday night to celebrate O's citizenship. Then we were away over the weekend, so there were two more meals out on Saturday, and my aunt bought pie & ice cream for Sunday's dessert. Three different servings of ice cream in a 3 day period. Bad me. :P

Exercise-wise, I've just been lacking motivation. Part of it, I think, is that I'm bored with the Wii Fit exercises I was doing for tummy/arm stuff. But also it's just a matter of laziness and tiredness. If I don't sleep well for a few days, I have a hard time convincing myself to get off my butt and DO something. Especially if I wait until later in the day.

So I'm going to start walking every day that is feasible, and doing it in the morning around 9 or 10 - late enough that breakfast has digested, early enough to be back in time for Liam's lunch. Morning walks really help my energy levels for the whole rest of the day, so I just need to DO it. As for tummy/arm exercises, meh. I dunno what I want to do about that, but I'm definitely sick of being so floppy. And I know I've no one/nothing to blame but myself.

Job interview is Thursday. I found out this morning that the pay grade for that level of job is between $9.50 to $11.50ish as a starting wage. If they're willing to hire me towards the higher level, I will probably take it. If it's towards the bottom, I won't. It wouldn't even make any sense, once you factor in paying for child care. I put on my application, though, that I was looking for at least $12-15, so if they aren't willing to at least come close to that, I'll sort of wonder why they called me in the first place.

New batches of pictures on the family photo site. :)
dmsj: (mommying)
( May. 4th, 2009 09:22 am)
It's supposed to be 60s and sunny today, but I'm not sure if I can get out for a walk or not because Liam is still so very sneezy/snotty. If I do get out, I'll have to take a zillion tissues (and Purell) with me. But I'm not sure how he'll do during a walk. Most of the morning, he's been very clingy and sad. Right now he's watching PBS, and drinking diluted orange juice. He did just walk over to me and give me a big toothy grin, so maybe he'd be alright for a walk after all.

There are also no playgroup meetups that work for us this week, at all. I hadn't realized it until too late, but the trip to the zoo that I wanted to join in on is today. And I didn't keep the car. Plus, playgroup + sick kiddo doesn't seem like a good idea anyway. I think we'll even have to miss story time this week, since it's right in the middle of Oliver's citizenship thingie. :(

I do, however, want to get out consignment shopping sometime this week. I guess the plus side to not having any playgroup plans is that my schedule is more flexible as to which days I keep the car. (And this is why we wanted a 2nd car... but is that really a /need/? Not yet.)

Also feeling rather frustrated about the job search. Yes, I am being somewhat picky, and that doesn't help - particularly in this economy. OTOH, I would be just as frustrated and "trapped"-feeling if I took a job that /isn't/ what I'm actually looking for. So I just have to press on, keep looking, and keep a positive outlook that the right job will show up eventually.


dmsj: (Default)


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