I guess I had been on the lookout for a "regular job" for several years. It would have been great to have some benefits and a retirement plan. Something steady. At my age (pushing 60) and in this economy, there isn't much of a chance. But frankly, things are going pretty well at the moment. I enjoy working on the graphic design projects I'm doing as a free-lancer. My clients are my friends. I enjoy them as people, not as bosses. I work with other musicians on their CD's and with health care providers. Those are two areas that are important to me. The commute is nice, too: a flight of stairs.The bad part is it's hard to charge your friends much. So there have been a few years when I've been a non-profit and frankly I hate some of the business parts of it. As an introvert I don't like to be bugged or to bug others. For more work. Or money.
As far as actual jobs go, about five years ago I was really searching in earnest, as they say. I was looking in warmer states like Florida and was pretty close to a few design and advertising positions and a graphics position at a hospital. There were the telephone interviews. We talked money. I looked at house possibilities on-line and checked out various towns and their crime rates. And hurricane risks. When it finally came time to decide I realized I was probably ready but Kathy wasn't. She was helping with the business at the time. And she wasn't ready to move. We had some developing health issues just starting as well. So I called off any big moves. I still kept getting the emails from CareerBuilder and Monster. We decided I should I start looking at jobs I could commute to. I figured an hour would be the max for the right opportunity and we could decide if it was secure enough to move closer. I was a finalist for one job. But I was a Mac person and not PC. For another the pay was so low; and the drive so far; I turned it down.
Then a number of things happened. The biggest: Health care reform passed in Massachusetts. Kathy and I could stop paying $988 a month – and climbing – for coverage. We started making progress fixing our old 1860 house. We even received compliments on it from the town historian. We refinanced our killer ARM mortgage. Then we adopted a rescued basset hound named Roscoe. Pretty soon we became a foster home for other rescued bassets. At the moment we just have one, Marty. People in our small town actually started smiling at us. Some thought we were new in town. (We've been here over 20 years.) I'm certain it is because we always have at least one goofy looking dog with us.
My job search radius became smaller. And smaller. I got older and older. And more contented right where I was. The economy tanked. I realized that if we had moved I would be out of a job. We would be a statistic. I spent more time on my songwriting and other stuff like our greeting cards. I started deleting those daily job search emails with their ads for headhunters and resume reviews.
So things, as they say, happen for a reason. Or reasons. And despite my efforts to screw it up, things are looking up. Treading water is better than the alternative.