Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Halfway There

Hard to believe but today marks the halfway point in my 30 By 30 quest. You can read the original post here, but I figured now was as good a time as any to take a step back and do a little pontificating on being 29 1/2.

There's the obvious fear currently compounded by my joblessness, but there's also a tremendous sense for reflection. This may be because of the excessive free time alone with my thoughts that has come along as a sometimes malevolent side kick of unemployment, but I think it also comes with reaching a milestone that our society has elevated as a great marker of adulthood.

More on all that when January 8, 2010 actually arrives. For now, I'd just like to scribble (or type) a few notes on my various accomplishments or procrastinations of the past 6 months.

1. Travel to a new place below the Mason Dixon Line (March 14, 2009)
I wrote quite a bit about my trip to New Orleans before and after the experience. Going to the Crescent City made a considerable impact on me in ways that I probably am still discovering and it also crystallized everything from my relationship with an old roommate to an entire semester of graduate studies. All this while nursing a broken heart!

Who knows when I'll have another chance to visit either New Orleans or anywhere else in the South? For now, I'm really glad it was where I kicked off an incredibly busy year of travel since the city's raucous nature and laid back attitude were clearly what I needed to get out of a funk and to tackle my own challenges.

11. Find a synagogue I enjoy for the high holidays
This one's black which means I haven't begun to work on it and if you read my post from Monday you'll have a better understanding as to why. For now it's easy to delay finding a spiritual home in a house of worship because I've already found the local options unsatisfactory and I have no idea where I'm headed geographically. The scary truth is Rosh Hashanah is only 2 1/2 months away and my ability to cross this off my list largely depends on some elements that are out of my control for a little while longer.

14. Make coffee tasty enough for others to drink/enjoy (Feb. 15, 2009)
People who know me are instantly acquainted with my boundless energy and I often remind them that I eschew caffiene for fear of how wired I'd be. I'm fine in the mornings without anything but an orange juice spritzer and food, but others complained of the absence of stronger fuel.

Finally, I bought non-instant coffee and dedicated myself to mastering the French press that had been sitting neglected on the countertops of at least three apartments. It took a few experiments with the water to tablespoons of coffee ratio, but I eventually figured it out. Now I joyfully push down on the filter and even imbibe a cup or two when no one else is home.

19. Earn $100 from Google AdSense ($25 as of late May)
I just checked on my balance today and I'm up to $29.01. It means I need to do some more clicking and so do you! Come on, I'm unemployed. Help a hustler out!

27. Get a new job - back on like Donkey Kong because I got laid off.
30. Master the art of doing nothing (I'm pretty sure this will be the hardest item on the list)
I put these two together from their original "Life" category because the immediacy of one has unmistakably proven just how hard the other will be to ever accomplish. Most people get laid off and take a few weeks to relax, travel or at least sleep in. Not me. I launched a side business within days of getting notice and to date have earned nearly $800.

While I do manage to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, it's often preceeded by me running around like crazy for 15-16 hours between errands, job applications, coffee dates, blogging, networking events, project for my Concierge Service business, working out, gardening, dancing, cooking, get the picture.

There are times I toy with the idea of simply putting #30 out of my mind and just embracing my frenetic nature for what it is. Then I stop long enough to realize how tired I am and recommit. Out of all my endeavors, it is ironically the art of doing nothing that eludes me most and where I need the most help.

Unemployment has helped me learn to prioritize and to allow myself to periodically say no, but it has also given me a host of new responsibilities for which I am accountable to no one but myself. It's freeing and frightening all at the same time. Here's hoping I'm able to overcome both the fear and to eliminate the cause by the time I do turn 30.

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