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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Interesting reading - now updated

Not one of my paintings - not sure wosse it is
But I really identify with this one and often
as a profile pix for my personal Facebook.
I'm just quickly posting this here right now and will update this with my reflection later. I have to leave soon for a follow-up doctor appointment at the Free Clinic.

Update: My appointment went better than expected, despite the pixies hiding my son's car keys.  

My score on the Mental Health questionaire was drastically reduced form last month's visit; many answers moved from "all the time" (3 points each) to only "several days last month" (1 point each). I am crediting the steps I have taken on self-care. The "side effects" I have been are  side effects of my anti-depressant  - Dr. Space Case feels they are something new altogether, not connected to my meds. I took a little convincing; DSC was a previous primary care provider of mine - and I suffered until I replaced him. He always gave me the impression he spent his medical training years on too much of "the herb". Still - his reasoning today was sound and we decided to "stay the course of treatment. Dr Space Case  was very pleased with the proactive steps I have taken and credits them as much as the anti-depressent for my progress.

Anne Stokes' "Water Dragon"

When son picked me up, I shared with him the positive update and he suggested taking a rare hooky day in afternoon to celebrate. I didn't take much convincing. We headed home, filled out our ballots  (Oregon's voting day here) - dropped them off and headed for a river in a forest. Again - self-care - being near water is restorative for me. (I tease that I am a water fairy)   Couldn't afford gas to go to the ocean - but the valley here has plenty of creeks, rivers and waterfalls! And for Son - it is the trees that restore him.  All in all, it was a very good day.


My reflection on the above article  - and no, this wasn't the only article I read yesterday, just the only one my unreliable phone would let me post to the blog.  This article did resonate with me - because I too, llike Susan - thought I would be going right back into the work force - if not the state. I did not realize that the HR departments of the State will NOT hire someone who has been dismissed from State service - even for an unreasonable reason like I was (suspended driver's license). I did not know this would make any future State Work an impossibility. And, yes, I was applying again for the State. I have since found out different and, working with DHS HR, I am now eligible for other Departments and will be eligible for DHS/OHA in 3 years.

And yes - that desire for isolation is very strong not only because I feel "unworthy" but because I cannot pay my own way right now. I am an independant woman - and I am far from independant right now. 

While the stats seem right on target in the article - and I appreciate the emphasis on self-care - the suggestions for "filling" the period of unemployment is just not realistic for those who have already exhausted their savings cushion. I have no more charities to go to to assist in paying my living expenses, I can't afford school or the heavily-burdened school loans. I need income coming IN TODAY. 

I also read  and's. While this too has some great advice on self care - besides just the trite common ones - being on a religious site it is heavily towards the issues of unemployed men and briefly  refers to these issues also being unemployed women (usually obliquely pairing pix of business women with the written advice skewed towards men or "your man".. 

The writer especially put me off by alluding that more women in the workforce these days than men has contributed to the high unemployment rate we are expericening. Perhaps the author has failed to not the reality that women have ALWAYS needed to be in the workforce throughout history. Women without men to support them have had to support themselves. Mother's without partners also have had to work & work hard to feed the children. Many women throughout history has financially supported their husbands. And even "Stay-At Home" moms WORK - throughly unpaid or underpaid and under-appreicated. Not to mention those times of war when women took the place of men in factories and business when men were called away. And women have been long been a larger part of a human population numbers than men, so shouldn't that be parrelled in work population numbers. The article failed to note that those employed women were typically working for lesser pay than employed men, making it more cost-effective for companies only pro-fit driven.  

So, yeah - alluding to high unemployment being due to women working outside the home and "dis-placing "worthy" men - really pissed me off! I have needed to work since Sophomore year of high  school  - single, married, widowed - my family has always needed me to bring home a paycheck to survive. It's not selfish, it's not prideful - it was a fact of life. Listen - it is the big business & banks that caused the Great Recession - NOT me being a mere woman in the workforce. 

Also unrealistic was the amount of "rec time" the author suggested, and to limit the time spent in job search. If the income loss was the only income - what is the job-seeker to do, decide the family doesn't really need to eat, use paid utilities,  on their "rec day"? No. Will the Utility and landlord decide not to charge for services while the job seeker "searches" for him/herself? No. Work hours need to be "work hours"' - keep yourself on the productive schedule for you. Do recreation and hobbies on evening or weekend hours when employing offices are closed. Prove to prospective employers that you are willing to work, show up during business hours and prove you don't sit around all day goofing off. 

My happy discovery - many of these steps I already implemented - sticking to a schedule, making "office time" network/job search time, rewording self-talk into POSITIVE self-talk, recognizing distorted thinking, continue utillizing and refining professional skills
All in all - I gave this article a thumbs-down. And noted to myself, as a writer, once you demaen and devalue your reader, they will take away a bad opinion of your writing - even if you do include one or two nuggets of information they liked, or drew on similar experience thet are dealing with ...

My take-aways from these articles ...

1) I will volunteer more to keep my office skills current. I do already volunteer in the Salvation Army Food Pantry - but that really doesn't use any of my skills - just compassion. So I need to find a office that can use me.

2) I will sacrifice some "work-time" for some gardening time, reconnect with the Earth.

3) Recover hope that others WILL want to hire me. 

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