I think most people will confirm they are living continualy according to a string of plan Bs, dissatisfied. You’ll feel kind of guilty or disappointed. Its okay, though because its really a plan “A” to be adaptive. And you DO make it. Your finances may be screwed. Your relationships COULD be better.
But I bet you these things are OUT of your immediate control. Your finances are strapped because these are hard economic times. I know, because, well, I heard “It” was happening and didn’t believe it. I was laid off from the construction industry- one of the first to go South with the recession.
I was a proficient apprentice. Hard working. But I was not preppared to adapt to another vocation field being educated at a high school level. And that didn’t matter as people with masters degrees were “picking up spares” delivering pizzas, working at McDonald’s and grocery checking.
I didn’t even get THOSE jobs and so I felt… burned. The 80 year old addage that a hard worker with good references will always stay in the game. I applied to 200 places. Nothing. The last bad streak was 2002 where it took 30 aps and I got peanuts. A relative helped with bills, not understanding how hard I really WAS trying. I got into the IUPAT. 1½ years in, I was convinced I’d make journey and go another 20 years and retire.
Well no. I was served up and dashed. I got on unemployment. I did about 3 extensions. I did the verifiable 3 job searches a week. The malaise and disappointment and unemployment “payment guilt” made me apply for 10 jobs a day. Its all online now, which means your presence charm gets you no where.
So I did self employment a bit. Your taxes become 30x as complicated and it is necessary to propagate your own work. I went back to UE then after a short while, UE dropped me. We are in debt because of that. Plan B. Plan B. Plan B. And… more plan B.
I had an ap in for disability as well, but I was not sure of it. It did come through. So I make rent every month but as for the future, I’ll be lucky if THIS gets me through. I have tumors that keep me off ladders and walking. I have a swelling condition that has progressed to where I would have to call in sick 70% of the time. So Uncle Sam said, “Its your turn out.”
Payment guilt sets in because I think of the rest of you who do get up at 7am and do your 40 deserve to know that I feel I ought to earn that tax payer money too. I don’t simply feel entitled. I am due that money as if I am retired, by law, but my conscience says make sure.
So as a citizen with free time and ailments, I am limited. What I am about to tell you, I told my state senator who works in D.C. and he emailed me back and personally commended me for the use I make of my time! I help people locate jobs. I plug in electric carts in grocery stores every chance I get. I am an actualized citizen.
I report damaged stop signs and potential crimes. I pick up garbage. I smile at kids. I drive safely. I have jumper cables to help the stranded. I will talk to the homeless- I have the time, and so do they! And I get them coffee. I drive my wife to get our groceries. Shopping tires me, but I can do the heavy lifting. I can open the jar of sauerkrat!
I monitor my neighborhood like a cop but with ownership like I paid for it. I manage to speak to youth about video game history and what do they like at school. I get on the internet and find people who feel alone to make them realize I am on one side eating a baloney sandwich while they are on theirs sipping a coke. We are human. We can share our fear, knowledge and hope.
One thing I did not expound on yet with plan B is relationships.
Its the best. I saved the best for last! Well, how others behave is a matter of accepting a brevity of expression from another rather than “putting up with” the whole person. Geez, we already do that because everyone is WORK if you think about it. So if you commit to having you hair go grey and losing your time on someone, even if you have NO return, you are still better off because it is SO bad to be alone. If you feel comfortable being alone, well, I’m sorry for you because real dimension in life comes from relational trigonometry. You need at least two points of view spoken and heard to get depth out of life and have it be worth living.
The thing about relationships is to work on them, but if they get difficult let go, but don’t run or throw away. Gripping another person ironicly alienates you from them so let go but stay accessible, even if only by email. It proves you do not have a murderous or spiteful bone in your body but you are an entity. I am working on that myself at a very serious level with a distant relative that I love very much. But it mostly depends on them. I would lose $40,000 in a heartbeat just to be friends again. But it wasn’t me that walked away. And I love them very much.
So I hope you enjoyed this blog. I do put a lot of myself into it. I feel uneasy about it at times, but I also feel I have noone to pass things on to and I’m getting sicker. It sucks. But if you’ve ever felt really alone, ditched, forgotten, or taken for granted, you’ll get my writing. And I do appreciate your spirit!