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Yesterday, January 20, 2009, was a day of hope and pride for our nation; it was also the day I was laid off from my job. I became just another unemployment statistic in this economic nightmare. Ironically, a few weeks ago, while feeling unfulfilled with work, I made an active decision to go back to school and get my Master’s Degree. I am 99% sure that my employer did not know I was seeking out bigger opportunities to start next fall and I can be pretty certain they aren’t mind readers, either. I was just a number, just a percentage of the cut, so the company could save money and stay true to its mission.

Am I pissed? Not at all! This frees up the time I need in order to work on my application as well as this blog I’ve been dying to start, Jewtah.com. A blog about being Jewish AND living in Park City, Utah…awesome, no?!?

Not having a real job also lets me try my hand at being a “ski bum.” When you suddenly become unemployed in a mountain town, you learn how to add the “bum” to “ski-”. I also have more time to read, hike, walk the doggies (Frank and Belle), hang with my newbie husband (he’s finishing his Master’s and then starting his PhD…oy vey!), and I will get to snowboard every day. Bring on the snow!

Is it kind of funny that I was laid off on January 20? Hell yes. The same day that President Obama was sworn into office and my eyes welled up as he spoke about hope and adversity, I learned what he truly meant. After the tears of losing my job dried, I could not wipe the smile from my face. I love this new beginning. Obama said, “But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.” I didn’t realize how much it would apply to the remaking of Paula. If I have figured out correctly what Obama is trying to say, it’s that losing my job is like a bad breakup. I knew it had to happen sooner or later, but I wanted to be the one to call it quits!

I guess the toughest part of losing my job is that I could have done more…NOT! I was a solid employee – worked hard, proactive, team player, adhered to the rules, well-educated, as well as cultured (hey, I’m from New York and I’m Jewish – that’s culture for Utah) and I’m a good person. I cared about the people I worked with and the projects I worked on. So that is the only sad part of this story. That’s the one part that Obama did not get right in his speech. We aren’t measured by our strengths and our work ethic, at least not in a time of crisis. Sometimes we’re just a number, so don’t take it personally.

I’m lucky. I have never been in a better position to lose my job. I have a wonderful family, incredible friends and I’m a smart cookie. Last week, Plan A was to go back to school. Now it has become my plan A+. I live in an amazing town and now I have the time to really enjoy it.

The message here is that we’re all going to be okay. Oh, and if you need any public relations work or help with writing, I’m your gal.

Thanks to my friends and family who sent the emails, phone calls and Facebook messages letting me know that you care and aren’t worried in the least about me. You know ME.

 

Cheers to the start of a crazy, new adventure!

 

 

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