I seriously thought when I started “Letters From Away” that I would be able to update the content every day – something new every single day. I mean, how difficult could that be?
Pretty difficult lately, it seems.
It truly was my intention to update this blog daily with Maine news aggregation, commentary on Maine happenings – at least through the filter of newspaper websites, blogs and hearsay – and stories from my childhood growing up in Maine’s North Woods. There is plenty to write about.
Maine was in the middle of the same-sex marriage debate last year, its two U.S. senators are experiencing growing influence in Washington, the Maine Troop Greeters were the subject of a great documentary film, there were pretty exciting political races, and Maine continues to be a leader when it comes to alternative energy, especially land-based and offshore wind power generation and wave power generation. The scenic beauty – and the effort to keep it that way – also has given me fodder for this blog.
And that does not even touch on lobsters, lighthouses, moose, bears, mosquitoes, Moxie, weather, whoopie pies and Stephen King.
So, yeah, there has been plenty on which to write. Too much, in fact.
Two things have stood in the way lately – the continuing job search and the holidays.
Returning readers will remember that I have been a journalist for more than 22 years and that I was laid off in March 2009. I have been looking – so far unsuccessfully – for work ever since. I continue to search in the newspaper field, but from the start I also branched out to hunt for a job with nonprofits, green industries, government, and elsewhere.
Still nothing. Yet.
But I keep looking. And sending out cover letters and resumes and references and filling out applications. Even for jobs for which I am not exactly qualified and for jobs for which I am overly qualified.
Scanning dozens of job websites and bulletin boards takes time. Crafting cover letters and massaging resumes takes time. And with the way the congressional debate was going on the extension of unemployment benefits tied to the Bush-era tax credit, it seemed time really, really was running out. I felt the pressure to churn out more and more cover letters and resumes.
And that did not leave much time for blogging.
I still am not completely sure I qualify for the extension, so I have a despicable option in mind – cash out every piece of “retirement” funding I have left. Even at a 30 percent to 40 percent cut for taxes and fees, it might give me another couple of months for finding work. And there will be no retirement at all if I cannot find a job soon.
Holidays always jam up things a bit. I did not get presents for my family last years. There just was no money to spare.
There was even less money to spare this year, but I did not want to go without getting presents for my family for a second year in a row. That would be just too demoralizing for me. So I did what I normally do not do – I pulled out a credit card for my holiday purchases.
So there was time spent shopping for Christmas gifts. And there was time spent standing in lines that were longer than normal. And there was more time stuck in holiday traffic. And time spent wrapping gifts. And time spent standing in line at the post office to ship Christmas packages to Maine.
And around major holidays, job websites do not post jobs nearly as frequently as they do normally, which hampers the jobs search. It is a tale with twists and turns.
But the holidays soon will be a memory. And the job search should settle down to the same brain-numbing grind that it has been for nearly 22 months.
And hopefully I will be more diligent in updating this blog on a daily basis. Let’s make that my No. 1 resolution for 2011 – be a better blogger.
OK, make that 2011 resolution No. 2, because getting a meaningful, suitable job is the No. 1 resolution.
So, until the next time I see you in the blogosphere, see ya.