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The title of this post comes from more song lyrics. Same songwriter as usual. Well, him and a rabbi circa several thousand years ago. Telling the story of my life, again. The songwriter, not the rabbi. I could have worse biographers.

The whole line (from the song) is “The day is short, the task is great, and I am idle.” I’m not exactly idle. I think the problem is I feel like no matter what I do, nothing is being accomplished. It’s terrifying. I send out resumes when I can, which means when Chris is dealing with Avery. He’s been busy as well, so I haven’t had much of a chance. Avery is something of a trouble magnet. If your attention isn’t on her, she finds ways of destroying things. Yesterday while I was sorting laundry she found her bottle of baby lotion, opened it, turned it upside down and coated both herself and a three-foot circle of floor. Given this tendency, it’s hard to devote full attention to editing and sending resumes and cover letters, a task which takes just enough brain power to make it challenging. The last time I tried multi-tasking along those lines, I forgot to change the company name on one of the cover letters. Whoops.

I’m already coming from behind. I’ve always been good at my job, but the not having done it full-time for a decade thing is a bit of a no-go for a lot of places. I haven’t even had much luck with agencies. When the economy is tough, the agencies struggle as well. Even if I’m not worth what I was 10 years ago, who ultimately gets to decide my value? An agency? Me? Some as-yet unknown company? I got into it fairly hard core a couple of months ago with an agency rep who had a different sense of my value than I did. When I refused to agree with him, he got angry and told me that I really “wasn’t an executive assistant anymore.” It’s all I’ve done (job-wise) since 1997, but I suppose he had a right to his opinion. I chose to disagree. Vehemently. So now I am weeding through a ridiculous number of emails from job sites, some of which are on target and others which are clearly meant for someone else, with a different career history altogether. Badly written software, I suppose.

The truth is, I have no desire to be an executive assistant. I do, however, have a huge desire to keep Braeden’s life stable and dependable. Seeing him ripped from the only home he’s ever known and forced to go to a new school is as far from being on my list as it gets. If I could sell my organs to prevent that, I would. Anyone need a kidney?

Chris was painting furniture this morning (for money), and this afternoon he is off meeting someone in a production company a friend had an “in” with. It would be nice if something would come of it. I wish I had more faith. The truth is, that recent job he didn’t get seems like a very, very bad sign. If he can’t get a job doing precisely what he spent nearly 15 years doing – if that place, knowing his expertise, still isn’t willing to pay him what he’s worth – what hope does he have of finding what he needs elsewhere? I am terrified. Things seem to keep going downhill, and I don’t know how to fix anything. I really don’t. It feels like every time a bit of hope comes our way, the universe wraps its proverbial fist around us and slams us back to earth. Those moments of hope are great, and feel like flying, however briefly. Then WHAM! It’s the taste of dirt in my mouth and renewed feelings of despair.

So in the time between that paragraph and this, Chris returned. He stopped for groceries, and because his arms were full, tapped gently on the front door. It woke Avery, of course it did. So he changed clothes while I tried to deal with her, and then he dealt with her while I sent two resumes. The redundancy involved in the process makes me crazy. Upload your resume, and then please paste all of the exact same information into our online forms. Sigh. My more recent challenge has been references. When the majority of your job experience happened a decade ago, it’s not as easy as you might think. I have worked for people who loved me, but the company no longer exists and I wouldn’t begin to know where to find the person in question. Or the company is still there but the person I worked with is long gone. Nothing is easy.

Chris’ casual interview apparently went well. A drug test will follow at some point; no trouble there. Passing is no guarantee he will be chosen, but at least I know the test won’t disqualify him. More hope, however faint. Keep gazing at the sky… while still bracing for the landing.