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Friday, March 12, 2010


Dominoes anyone?

Ever play dominoes? I used to when I was around 10. I didn’t actually “play”-just liked to line them up in a design and watch them fall. But it is a great lesson for today’s world.

Like watching the tiles fall, once things in life start to change there’s no stopping things on that line either.

In the last couple of years we’ve watched the economy fall. We’ve seen the fall out from that in things like people losing jobs, health care, homes, dignity and self-esteem-which is quite different than dignity.

At least in dominoes, once you’ve watched everything “go down”-you feel a little as if you’ve witnessed a little bit of engineering artwork happen. Not so with the world around us.

I remember being “crazy busy” (if I may borrow from one of my recent interviewees, Debbie Mandel) a couple of years back-working a “day job”, trying to get my free-lancing to pay me and get more avenues of publication, being a full time wife, mother and becoming a grandmother and suddenly screaming, if only in my head, STOP, I NEED TO STOP!!!

Then I got my wish-talk about being hit in the face with ice water. It was just like watching the dominoes! Just not very pretty.

At first, I didn’t mind the “cold” or the falling-I saw my employers crying and thought, why? I liked my co-workers, liked having a purposeful thing to do everyday, liked having a reliable paycheck, but upset? No, not really.

Then the “tiles” started really moving-had to get unemployment, had to get my pitiful retirement fund money rolled over to an IRA, had to sit down and work out a new budget, had to stop thinking that we could continue to help others out in monetary ways. If we wanted to put something aside for our own retirement, we were going to have some mighty big refiguring and sacrificing to do.

My first thought was-“I know what’s happening out there, given all the dynamics, I bet I won’t find a new day job for 6 months or so.”

What was I thinking? 6 months turned into 18. Unemployment is now on the 3rd extension and I’m in a cyber-support group for unemployed 50+ year olds. Except now my support includes a couple of early “30’s”, a couple “40’s” and some 60 year olds.

I have been able to increase my free lancing, but it sure hasn’t helped beef up our bank account. It’s so little, no one even sends out tax forms! In fact, when I lost my camera last month-that pretty much took my profits into the red.

I’d laugh, but it isn’t funny. Thankfully, we had an older (read this heavier and less useful) digital camera that we kept-I’ll be using that when I need to take pictures for a column I write.

In dominoes, once all the pieces fall you can pick them up, make a new design and start the process of watching what will now come next happen.

With life-it isn’t near as neat or fast.  

Luck of the Irish ideas

It's posting day here and over at my cooking column-need some ideas for St. Pat's day?

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