Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Unemployment Update

Longtime readers of this blog (all three of you) may be aware that I lost my job back in early July, and blogging has been rather sparse since then. You may be asking how things are going. The short answer: not so good.

I've sent out some resumés for library jobs principally in the Charlotte, NC area, since I've got family there, and that's where I'd like to wind up. So far, I've gotten no invitations for an interview, although I did receive word that two of the positions I'd applied for had already been filled. One respondent said my qualifications appeared to be "stellar," which gave me some small encouragement.

In recent weeks, however, some health problems have flared up which may make it more difficult for me to work outside the home, especially if they persist. I already have a serious disability and some other health problems that make working more challenging than it would be otherwise. In view of that, after much prayer and deliberation, I've decided to apply for government disability benefits, at least as a temporary measure. I'm also mulling over the possibility of starting some type of small home-based business (freelance writing, copy editing, indexing, for example) to supplement what I might receive in benefits. There are provisions under the rules where I could work and earn a certain amount each month and still receive benefits. However, I've spoken with friends and family members who've run their own businesses, and both have advised me that working for yourself can be very stressful and demanding.

In short, there are no easy ways out of the current mess. Many, if not most, days I feel very depressed and discouraged, and I have to struggle to find the energy to get out of bed and keep going. Prayer helps a lot. I say the Rosary and the Tessera, the set of prayers associated with the Legion of Mary almost every day now, and I always feel better when I do. I am president of our praesidium, or local chapter of the Legion, and I wish I set a better example for our members.

Much has been made of the recent revelations that Mother Teresa suffered from years and even decades of spiritual darkness. She perceived absolutely no sign of God's presence in her own life and even wondered aloud if God was really there, yet urged those around her to seek and serve God. Some have said that this made her a hypocrite, but to me it just means she was human. Everything I've ever read about prayer cautions that there will be "dry times" when God seems to be absent or deaf to our prayers, but the same spiritual authorities (including Jesus himself in Lk. 18:1-7) urge us to keep praying and loving and serving God anyway. Somehow, I find it enormously comforting and encouraging that even someone as obviously holy as Mother Teresa went through such a profound period of spiritual darkness and dryness and yet remained faithful to what she knew God wanted her to do. The kind of darkness I'm going through now is nothing like what she experienced, but if Mother Teresa got through hers, I can get through mine. I'm in pretty good company.

2 comments:

LYL said...

I am saying a prayer for you, Niall. I only recently found out about what the Legion of Mary actually do (until then, it had just been a name). I must say, it sounds like a great association and if I weren't in the Disciples of Jesus Community already, I would probably join up.

I had a very dark time in hospital recently (and also in my early twenties) so I can totally relate to that.

I have also had very difficult years with regards to employment and study (before I was married), so I also relate to that. All I know is that, no matter what, God loves you dearly.

Perhaps doing a little work for yourself would be good for your sense of purpose in life, but with your health issues, having some back up would be important.

Another thing which might be worth looking into is the Siena Institute and its teaching on the charisms. If you haven't done so already, I'd recommend finding out which are your special spiritual gifts. This might also help you to do God's will in your life. When I get a bit more of a chance, I'll be trying to discern my gift/s myself.

God bless you.

K T Cat said...

Niall, I have been reading your blog for some time and I wish I knew what to say. I got into blogging after a personal catastrophe in my life and have managed to muddle my way through most of it and am now almost on the other side.

I could say that life will get better or that everyone has hard times or that you will learn from this experience, but they all seem hollow.

All I can say that I know to be the truth is that I truly care about what happens to you, I pray for you and that, spiritually, you're not alone.

Drop me an email any time if you'd like to share anything else. I don't have much to offer, but at least I can offer that.

In fact, why don't you do that? I've got lots of contacts and if I knew a little more about you and had your resume, I might be able to offer more concrete help.