A Month of Unemployment is Good for the Soul

At some soon-future time I’ll add pictures from this past weekend in the VA mountains around Meadows of Dan, elevation 3100′ and a full 12 degrees cooler than the swelter brother Steve and I returned to in Charlotte.

A buddy of his gave us tickets to 13th annual FloydFest, and beyond an optimally sunny Saturday afternoon filled with nothing but A-1 tunes, there was a generous sprinkling of sweet/curvaceous ladies whose ‘thong & something gauzy’ garbs simplicity was in tune with a 100% genuine aura of Good Will. On Sunday we hiked about three miles worth of the Blue Ridge, saw a trio of deer and a 30′ free-stack fireplace from a Works Program camp when they built the Parkway. I even attempted fishing in his front yard pond.

Putting my idyllic and mentally relaxing time– especially two evenings of good friends and food-drink aplenty– in what seems a realistic perspective, it felt GREAT to have a whole weekend off to completely enjoy all that transpired. While its changed my economics on a weekly basis, whenever I finally get unemployment, the $232/week will be about $50 less than that MSER outfit paid me for 35 hrs. of my life. That’s just part of current facts, as is 14 weeks max of UI, down from 26 last year. I got away from a situation where flunky management and money were so difficult to deal with, to being able to invest days and keyboard time in search for situations where my professional skills, detailed in LinkedIn profile, should eventually become my next Real Job.

After 30 days, I’m not stroking myself to say I’m not missing that previous set-up at all.

The personal-professional writing I’ve diverted prime time hours of my day into isn’t difficult to measure at all; I’ve got the discipline that puts writing in Number 1 position, without denying that finding a recruiter who cares about finding me a contract situation where I can prove/improve my administrative-organizational abilities is a strong 1-A. ┬áIt doesn’t make me a slacker that I choose timing for bike rides that have strengthened left leg-knee vs. the cumulative daily grind of walking and selling for maybe 7 hours; I’m in solidly better shape, tanned and feeling physically confident. The difference between guy hiking a music festival and the Blue Ridge is appreciated by the drudge who wondered if he was athletically dead when his jump shot went away with knee integrity and just working.

When, as will always happen, I had a period of disappointment over a phone call or series of leads going nowhere this month, I gave thanks it was a relatively new stress. “I don’t have kids in school, a mortgage, or even a car payment,” is simpler economics than dramatic negatives and choices many people have faced for lots longer times in this country. Israel and Hamas and civilian deaths at over 1200, with constant deadly fears EVERY DAY OF THEIR LIVES, isn’t in any balance I really have to be concerned about. (I’ll cop to ‘7 Habits of Highly Successful People’ on that– look to the 5% of things you CAN affect in your life vs. worry)

I just passed my first month of unemployment. I know its a numbers game, yet just like with the fundraising company I worked for before moving to Charlotte 19 years ago, its my job to track down those whom I need to speak with. I’m projecting myself online in relevant discussion groups, I’m feeling as strong as I have in maybe a year or more, and I have *two* recruiters who know enough about my resume-me to count. I’ve even got the first 12,600 words for next book cranking.

Looking forward to what August brings, including getting at least 3 readings/book events for ‘CARDS & CONSEQUENCES: Return of Marlena the Magnificent’. Goals baby, make it happen!

Glenn S.

The Dad Project


Having finally gotten the picture from cell phone to here: The Dad Project is a pegboard homage, using many of his hand tools obviously. The top section is suspended by hook-eyelet from a simple bar resting on nails; the middle also rests on nails. Of course, the blue level, as two of my brothers astutely noticed; his father’s hammer actually,a beautiful saw, that 3-section 19″ piece of folding measure he used as much as anything, a coil of oooooold electrical cord. Lower left is picture of Dad showing 3 nephews how to make pens; upper left is a shadowy little square that’s the mantlepiece in front room in Tampa, the last thing he ever did.

I pulled 3 pieces of wood fairly randomly from his scrap barrel in the garage at the time of his funeral, Groundhog Day, 2013, and decided I’d put together something like that memorable portion of his Work Area– thats what we always called it. This is exactly what I wanted it to look like.

Well, except for the saw thing; its there now though. With a sanding block, too.
Glenn Shorkey, second son of Waldo & Ernel.