April ain’t for sissies

In spite of the flower picture, I’m not feeling flowery or all that delightful.

It’s also raining again. This isn’t out of the ordinary for April in Ohio, but since I’m salty and it isn’t taking too much to irritate me lately, I’m taking rain and thunder far too personally. In a word (or is it technically two words?) reader-friends: I’m big mad.

I’m entering week three of job searching since learning of my upcoming layoff. Some moments are manageable. Some suck. I go back and forth between reminding myself A.) It’s early in the job search and B.) There are jobs out there in my field, as well as some outside of my field I’m qualified for, so I’m definitely not up a creek without the paddle or the canoe. But … I’m still job searching, which is stressful in the best of times. Add into the fact that the news keeps going on about recessions and inflation and I’ve got a few (incredibly loved and well-meaning) anxious worriers in my life who are frankly driving me crazy, it’s been a lot.

There’s the added layer of feeling like I’m on a football field. I can see the goal posts just fine. I know I need to score. In my case, scoring involves getting moved to second round interviews and eventually a job offer. Ask a Manager has some brilliant posts about job searching – and really all things work-related – and there was a post from years ago about following up. Her advice to the letter writer is to submit the resume and after three weeks if they’ve heard nothing, assume they didn’t get selected and move on. Which is what I’ve been doing. But I’m also getting interviews. Radio silence would be bad enough, but getting to first round interviews and playing the waiting game is another level of agony. I’ve worked in the white-collar world long enough and have dealt with enough job searching to know that the job search will always be a bigger priority to me than the employer. So I know periods of no news aren’t inherently a good or bad thing. But man I just want that goal post to stay still.

So what have I been doing while I job search? Honestly, trying to keep it business as usual so I don’t turn into some salty asshole who carries her bitterness around like an albatross around my neck. Nobody wants to deal with one of those and when you’re salty, it shows.

I started off April getting a facial. I’ve been getting those every six-ish weeks for the past few years to keep my face in check and for the stress relief. It also helps my esthetician Athena is absolutely delightful and hilarious. I think spas are supposed to be relaxing, but when I get happy, I turn into a whoop-it-up storyteller. Penzone Salon and Spa happens to be one of my happy places, and Athena has learned so much about my work and family, as well as witnessed some tangents that include Mel Brooks quotes. That hour really is more about the social aspect than anything else. Glowy skin is just a nice bonus.

Then this past Sunday was the Choo Choo 9 miler. The last time I ran it was in 2018, and after four years of delays and cancellations, I decided I was tired of waiting. I had my discount code from a previous volunteer job and I was getting myself a comped entry. I didn’t care what the weather would be like on Sunday, if I’d be running in snow or a tornado or even 80 degrees and sunshine. I’m finally running. Choo Choo 9 miler was the first race of 2023, and I was finally doing something normal.

The race itself was downtown on the Scioto trail, an out and back course along the Scioto River heading towards Grandview Heights. I don’t usually run that trail, since it’s pretty wooded and I’m an exclusive lone wolf runner. Actually, now that I think about it, the last time I ran that trail was in autumn of 2019, so it’s been a long while. Initially I had an idea but was a little fuzzy as to where the trail was on my mental map of Columbus. Then we all hit the bridge and it came back to me.

I felt free, lighter again. I knew where I was, and best of all, I ran strong. It’s been a long time, but I’m finally running like I used to. I had that runner’s high and nothing else mattered.

My goal time was 1:30, which I figured would put me at a 10:00 minute/mile pace. I finished in 1:34, with roughly a 10:34 pace. Considering the trail also has hills I completely forgot about and I took walk breaks, I’m not unhappy with my time. If anything, I’m taking it as a sign my training is paying off and my 10:00 pace for my spring half marathons might be doable.

Then I came home and ordered Dominos. The sweet victory of pizza after a long run on a chilly day. Ahhhh.

So here I am Reader-friends. In between saltiness and disappointment I’m doing my damnedest to keep it moving, to keep the other areas of my life moving in a productive direction. It’s not pretty but it is working, and there’s only one way I can go. While I go there, I’m celebrating what is good. I have a roof over my head. I can afford to eat. My hair is long and thick. My skin looks okay (it’s a low bar there.) My butt is perky. And most importantly: Marina is back to normal after last month’s hiccup.

I have a feeling something is coming for me in April. At this rate I don’t want to guess if it’s going to be good or bad. Frankly, I’m afraid to. Either way, I can’t be a sissy about it. So forward into some unknown we go.

Yours in writing and life,


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