Tag Archives: work

molten brain puddles

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My Christmas tree is still up.
I kid you not.

I’ve been working a job and a half, thereby eliminating any sort of “day off”, and when I have a free night, or part of a day, I can’t help myself – I chill.

Tonight the thing that sounded best, after reheating pasta from last week for dinner, was a spot of reading and a nice little split of Cabernet Sauvignon.

The book is pretty light reading and not anywhere as engaging as Eat Pray Love (as one of the many review snippets at the front of it alluded to), but it’s still fodder for my imagination that feeds my own aspirations of a visit to the grande dame of cities, and eventually perhaps the rest of the country.

The weather has been behaving these last few days. Sundown was spectacular this evening, and we’ve been graced with light since Saturday. It certainly makes the length of my work days more bearable when I at least get to see some sunlight (even if it’s interrupted by a bus ride nap).

The winter has felt long. We’ve had lots of rain even though the rainfall has (supposedly) been below “normal”. I think that sounds funny, especially when rivers of rain flow down the street more briskly than the Santa Ana flows most of the time.

Those are the days that I wish I was back in Orange County.

The air is always fresh here, though, and the layer of moss on everything that remains in place for any length of time is even (mostly) charming.

It’s a matter of negotiating the less appealing aspects with some finely tuned biochemical assistance. Like sublingual vitamin d drops, for instance.

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Last week I viewed from the top of our tower some local film crews setting and shooting scenes. My guess is it’s Once Upon A Time, still shooting their NYC scenes.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen more filming since I’ve been in Vancouver than I ever did while I was in California.

Well… that’s all she wrote (at least for tonight).

Bonne nuit, mes chouettes.

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the anatomy of scarcity

View from Sun Tower

(view of Vancouver from the Sun Tower)

Scarcity. What a compelling topic. It’s been part of my way of life for as long as I can remember, all the way back to childhood. Something was always missing and that feeling of “not enough” an inherent part of every one of my waking moments to a greater or lesser extent.

Now moreso, since I’ve been without work and have not found a replacement job to date.

I thought that somehow I could manage to shift from one industry to another by sheer force of will and transferable skills. Apparently thirty years in one area, despite there being an overlap in skill set and an accumulation of many other (applicable) skills throughout the course of these many years, is not sufficiently convincing enough for someone to hire me into untested areas. The only way I can make the shift is by getting more training and/or going it on my own somehow. Both, I suspect.

I thought all of this free time would enable me to be creative, that I would take advantage of it to get things done that I’ve always wanted to do.

I even warned a co-worker who had been laid-off a few weeks prior to me to stay focused on the gift of time rather than on the state of worry that being without a job invariably puts us into.

Turns out that money really does make the world go round and that I can’t do much without more of it, that worry over finances summarily blocks the places where my creativity lives and that on top of blocking creativity, it also seriously limits my cognitive ability to think outside the box… so creative thinking not just in creative terms but also in practical terms, is also stunted.

I’ve been reading Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir.  (If you feel moved to purchase the book, I would be immensely grateful if you use my link to purchase it.. it adds a few pennies into my Amazon Associates fund – thanks in advance.)

The book raises some interesting points on how scarcity in its various forms affects our ability to work through the lack, ostensibly affecting us in all areas of our lives not just the ones where the scarcity occurs. Essentially, if one is experiencing scarcity in one area, it is likely to diminish our cognitive ability to find a workable solution to resolve the lack. So lack perpetuates lack and degrades our ability to figure out a way in which to overcome it.

That’s huge, in my opinion. It also is very much in line with my own experiences, and speaks to the very large epidemic that is sweeping the poor and quickly declining middle classes. We are in a bind and seemingly incapable of coming up with viable solutions. How did the human race manage to survive for millions of years and yet become so paralyzed and incapable of finding a good resolution to its most pressing current issues?

These days basic survival is on my mind. Shelter. Food. Bus fare so that I can travel to interviews or temporary assignments. There is very little wiggle room and it is quickly diminishing to even less. I think it is difficult for those who are not faced with these issues to fully understand their implications.

The book promises to provide “simple suggestions that just might change the way you live”. While I am creeping through the first chapters – the writing style, though informative, is a little stilted – I hope that these suggestions will provide the change that will shift this life-long rut I’ve found myself in.

If you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts, both on the topic and the usefulness of the book.

Love,
Adriane xo

dreaming on…

The opening quote (from George Bernard Shaw) for a book I’m reading (“Body of Work” by Pamela Slim) says:

“Life isn’t about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.”

 

I’ve been on quite the journey since being laid off. I saw it coming, so it wasn’t a huge surprise, though one is never really prepared to let go the safety rope when the time comes. And I’ve spent quite a bit of time, over the years, mulling over what I wanted to do with this one and precious life but I’m still dumbfounded, some.

There is a difference between dreaming wildly about something and determining and implementing specific steps towards something.

So I’m at that discovery place…

The “What can I do that someone might value and be willing to pay me for?” place.

The “What is it that makes me shine from the inside out?” place.

The “Where can I find ways in which to share the shine?” and the “Where can I find the support network that will help me build the infrastructure to enable this freedom making dream to materialize?” place.

I find there is a lot of fear around this cutting lose of dreams and audacity. Not just mine but others’. People want you to stay realistic, practical – the same. Well there is a place for practicality, once the dream is determined… the steps to implement are practical ones, and finding leads and sources of income are practical… even the doing of the work for which one hopes to be paid is practical… but the visioning and the dreaming… that must remain something impractical, and MINE. Something incorruptible and MINE. I must take ownership of it in order to make it happen, and it will never be if I continue to let others influence what MY dream must look like.

And then there is the ridicule, the doubt… the removal of support from those who think that machete-ing my way through an untread upon path will surely result in failure, because.. look at me, I’M the unemployed one here.

And it’s tough, this place. This place of beginning and not knowing… not knowing the what I have to offer, its inherent value and how to go about offering it.

So I look like I’m at a standstill, engaging in creative things like journaling and painting and writing. It’s not that I’m just playing and wasting time. It is my honest attempt to unlock those very answers that I’m sure I’ll find the keys to when I’m engaged in something else.

In the meantime, I hope to find support, whether financial or otherwise, from the people that are close to me, those who care. I hope they will stand in solidarity with me, until I’ve cut through to clarity.

Work and life are changing. We are at the cusp of a new work paradigm. We have the power in our hands to craft our lives into something radically different. Our reach is wider spread than ever. The potential for success is greater now than it has ever been. Why are we so afraid to take that step? (And by “we” I mean me, but if you identify with this perhaps you as well.) Let’s talk. Comments are open, below. Add your voice to the discussion. Peace. xo