Posted by: Mark Nielsen | October 7, 2008

Lashed to the Mast, Looking for Work On This Ship of Fools


My little "Gorton's Fisherman" hangs on for dear life.

My little "Gorton's Fisherman" hangs on for dear life.

In this life, most people either get luck or love. As for me, I’ll take love.


Found myself thinking the above while reading an excellent book: Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo. I’m not sure I believe that saying one hundred percent, but it sure sounds good. Sounds like something one of the characters in my own novel might say — like something a person really could believe, down to their core.


I’ve been suffering from blog fatigue lately. Partly because I’m not sure what I believe, regarding many things. Lots on my mind, plenty happening, but I’ve internalized most of it. Chewing on it, maybe even digesting it partly before vomiting it back out on here. (Sorry so graphic…)


Plus I’ve had to up the ante on my jobsearch and the amount of time it requires. I could be delivering pizzas within a few weeks if something better doesn’t turn up. Looking for work in this climate is a test of faith… not so much in God, as in America. (Not that I ever had an abundance of faith in my country or its leadership. I’m nobody’s fool, at least not politically.)


Lastly, as might be expected, looking for work in any economic climate is a test of faith in oneself. With every coverletter, I reframe and reconsider how my skills and life experience might be brought to bear on this potential new role. With every job posting I skim — deciding more by instinct than any clear rationale whether it’s a yes, no, or maybe– I am forced to evaluate past choices and present values. It’s psychically exhausting, frankly.


Some might suggest “It’s just a job, not your life.” I agree, up to a point. But I want to take my life seriously, even the mundane or fun parts of it.  Some of the spiritual “men’s work” I’ve been doing lately is all about that. So like that old U.S. Army marketing/recruiting slogan once said: “It’s not just a job. It’s an adventure.”

Well, I’ve got my workboots on. Let the adventure begin.


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