Friday, July 24, 2009


I got on the treadmill at the hotel the other day and set the time for 45 minutes. My pace wasn't easy, but it wasn't really hard either. I threw a hand towel over the display and turned on the ridiculously over-size flat screen television at the front of the gym. I flipped channels idly, finding nothing compelling enough to hold my attention for more than a few minutes.

Feeling strong, I picked up the pace, and was rewarded with a feeling I don't get often enough. The one that says I could run forever. That feeling came along with the completely emotional one of "and I wish I could just stay on this treadmill forever". Okay, to those of you who don't run, that sounds crazy, but no, I wasn't losing my grip on the last threads of sanity, it was just that running makes everything simple and uncomplicated. One foot in front of the other, breathe, when it gets hard, slow down, when you feel good, speed up, thirsty, drink. Simple.

Life lately, has gotten complicated.

A week earlier, after working very late on a Tuesday night, I was invited to a mandatory teleconference mid-afternoon on Wednesday. I called into find out I was one of 300 people at company ABC, who were being "released" thank you for all your years of service, come in tomorrow and drop off your company belongings, and have a nice day. I took that job 3 years ago, unsure I would like it, and was as surprised as those around me to find that I enjoyed it more than I expected, and along the way made some amazing friends. The kind of friends that remember good anniversaries and sad ones, and throw puppy showers when you bring your new 8 week old four-footed friend home.

Oh, I know, I shouldn't have been so surprised. I'm just one more of thousands of good people finding themselves adding websites like career builder to their Internet favorites folder, talking to recruiters, and hoping that a friend of a friend of a friend really will deliver your resume to the 'right hands' and the 'right hands' will dial the phone and ask you to come in for an interview. I was though, surprised, I mean. Stunned even. I can remember now staring at the contents of the open refrigerator and thinking that I should wait to eat until I was really hungry, because soon, I was going to run out of food. So. Melodramatic. Just where does that stuff come from? Company ABC gave me a severance package, although not huge, it's something, and I certainly realize the gift that 2 months is. Yet, that day, on the treadmill, I still wanted to run forever, just deal with the cadence of my footsteps, and not the rest of what I was thinking and feeling since losing my job. Logically, I know I did nothing wrong, emotionally, it feels somewhat humiliating.

Plainly, it just sucks.

I've done all the right things, filed for unemployment, and of course, I'm actively looking, talking and seeking work. I have my first interview today, and I'm not feeling too bad about it, a little unsteady, but I suppose given the way of the world these days, unsteady is probably the new black.

So, I'll wear my new black to my interview today and see where it takes me.