Wednesday, November 25, 2009

City Lights

So how’s life as an imminently unemployed person, you may ask?

OK, I’ll tell you. Twist my arm.

So far, things have been more or less OK. I’ve been going into the office almost every day, but I’ve been working much shorter days. I’ve been handing over my job duties -- the few that will be preserved -- and applying for new jobs. It’s been good to have a place to go each day where I can focus and see colleagues, and it also helps that I can continue to get a hot lunch in the company cafeteria, since I’m not much of a cook.

I’ve been striving to preserve my routines. I go to the gym, I do photography, I visit Dave on the weekends. Keeping my life stable as much as possible seems to be a good idea. I’ve had some very fun days just being out and about.

I do get depressed, though. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced true depression before, but maybe this is it -- a feeling of dread, a lack of desire. I have to make myself get moving sometimes. Occasionally I have a social outing and I can tell I’m not being much fun, but I just don’t have it in me, and I can only hope my friends appreciate my circumstances.

I haven’t been sitting much, but I plan to work on that. The negative feelings seem to come when I start thinking “what if,” and I need to stay away from “what if” and stay rooted in the present -- in the “what is.”

I am looking forward to this weekend. I’m not working today, and I plan to head out to New Jersey in the afternoon, after maybe doing some photography in the morning.

On Monday I took my new camera out at night and I got some terrific shots, like the one above. This camera captures city lights really well!

(Photo: Buildings lining the east side of Madison Square Park, including the New York Life building at left and the old Metropolitan Life tower at right.)


  1. The timing of that gift of a camera could not have been better. The night photo is pure art. I do hope your next job has a component of photography in it.

    Have you thought of applying to a place like National Geographic, where good photos are part of their business?

  2. The photo is spectacular! Oh man I am SO jonesin' for a good camera.

    Thanks for this honest accounting of the first steps into your new life. confusion, dread, and worry are all part of the last dregs of the old way, always, for everyone, at least everyone I know.

    You are a very healthy minded, level headed man. I'm sure there will be phases of indecision, fuzziness, a sense that there is nothing under foot, but I know that this whole experience is leading you to a much more fulfilling life (not that your old life was terrible or anything, but your job wasn't exactly challenging you, you know??)

    I believe in you. I do. And I've got a pretty good eye, Steve. I see people. I see you and I see you triumphing, while gaining depth and wisdom.

    Believe me!

  3. Meh! Employment is overrated! What you need is an old bathrobe, a smelly green wing-back chair, a bag of Pecan Sandies, a happy-face tumbler filled with chocolate milk, and a 'Charlie's Angels' marathon on channel 44!

    Now that's "sitting"! WOOHOO!

  4. Do you do bow (prostrations) in your Zen tradition? I ask because when I've found myself in a place where sitting seems counterproductive (i.e. I just sit there and FRET), I've found it helpful to do another, more physical kind of practice. Chanting is good, and bows are great: the physical exertion of UP and DOWN makes it difficult (for me) to obsess about the same old stuff over & over, and then there's the powerful effect of getting your blood pumping, etc.

  5. Just think of all the ways you save cash--

    1. Haircuts --some people pay a lot of money for cuts and coloring.

    2. Buddhists eat well but don't stuff themselves, they don't drink booze --not on a daily basis anyway!! --so you save there.

    3. Walking and snapping pics.. who needs spin classes and machines? Fresh and and exercise is free. Also a good waking meditation will cut way back on any scary or bad feelings.

  6. Dennis Loves You. Dennis suggests you do as he has done--live off the kindness of others.

  7. Enjoy yourself for a bit. It never hurts to mess with the idiots that dumped you.

  8. you're so right about the "what if" moments, I can identify with that.

    but its not easy to evade them sometimes. Take it easy with yourself though Steve, give yourself time -its a big adjustment to make, no matter how much good you can see in it.

    the new camera is clearly working out pretty well