Going with my mother to their old house on Gregan Place in Saint Louis, Missouri while she painted the house. It was probably the early 1960s.
"Am I better off than I was four years ago?" This question has come up several times over the past week or two.
I just finished watching Barack Obama’s acceptance speech. Like most politicians, he is truly a likable, charismatic man. He says all the right things about creating jobs and putting people back to work. He just hasn’t explained how he’s going to create opportunities for overqualified, 50 something boomers like me and millions like me to get back to work.* I don’t expect entitlements. I don’t expect special treatment. What I DO expect is the opportunity to get back to work before I’m too old to be employed. I’ve waited since the stroke of 50 in 2008 – that magic age that apparently makes one irrelevant the second it gets here. I’ve worked hard for 30 years of my life and am willing to work hard for a few more decades. The only thing that really matters to me is the quality of life I can live, the level of self-respect I can muster, and my ability to contribute to the well-being of my family.
Some people tell me that it’s just a state of mind…that I should visualize how I would like things to be and to just put it out there and let the Laws of the Universe take over. Sounds good…but I’m not quite sure how to explain this reasoning to the bill collectors; how to make them understand that I’m visualizing them getting paid…that they just have to wait for the Laws of the Universe to get back to me with a plan.
After sending out hundreds of applications over the past 10 months to dozens and dozens of companies and keeping an open-mind and a positive outlook throughout the process, the Laws of the Universe still haven’t let me in on their secret mojo.
"Am I better off than I was four years ago?" Absolutely not. At 54, I’m thinking about becoming a really good lawyer so I can interpret those Laws.
*As a sidebar, I’ve also applied at Home Depot and Lowes. Their response to my application: “I’m not qualified.” SERIOUSLY?