Updates and Life in 2021……..So Far

As spring appears to be fast approaching and I get more anxious to get back on the road, I am also faced with the reality of how far behind I am on posts from my last trip. In the New Year there was just so much going on, that a blog post about fun adventures didn’t seem appropriate. Since then, time has gotten away from me while I have felt simultaneously overwhelmed and unproductive every day. Hopefully things are finally looking more positive for the year, but the start has not been great. I had a big scare the end of January when Bella had, what we finally determined, was a spider bite on her back paw. It took 3 weeks of vet visits, medication and daily cleaning and draining of the wound to finally get better. It unfortunately, also came with a cone, which she was not pleased about. Thankfully it has now completely healed and she is back to herself. The pictures are the progression from the first night I noticed a problem to when the abscess finally closed and healed. I know they are not pleasant to look at but I have found since our experience that most people would not know what to look for as signs of a spider bite so I’m sharing our experiences so if you ever see something like this, you know you need to get to a vet as soon as possible.

When she was finally getting better and back to herself we had to live through yet another historic event. A week of snowstorms and record low temperatures in Texas. In this event I do consider myself very lucky. I live close to the Texas medical center and must be on their power grid because I never lost power. I did loose water for a few days, but I had prepared and filled jugs and pitchers before the storm started. Even though I had power, so many friends and loved ones did not, and it was extremely hard to watch what was going on. For the days that most of the state was out of power I conserved my electricity by staying in my living room, which has French doors and only using my gas fireplace for heat. Surprisingly, Bella’s attitude towards snow changed. Initially, when it was still snowing she didn’t want to go out. But once the sun came out, she was ready to walk and explore……..and try to eat it all.

While these things have been stressful, what has taken up the majority of my time is looking for a job in this historic job market. I have been seriously looking since returning home from my last road trip last October. At this point I have probably applied for 300 jobs. ( I stopped counting at 217 for my sanity.) For a little reference, I have an engineering degree, an MBA and three high level professional certifications. As of the time of writing this, I have had ZERO interviews. I am not being picky, I am applying to every job that would pay my bills, but I am getting a mixture of feedback that in this job market, there’s not much I can do to remedy. In industries I have experience in, I am overqualified for every job they have open and in industries I don’t have experience in, I simultaneously not qualified for higher level jobs and overqualified for entry level. There aren’t even that many options for jobs to apply to. I am signed up for new job posting alerts on 6 sites. In a lot of cases I wake up to new jobs that were posted overnight and already have 200+ applicants. I am not alone in this either. I have several friends with similar qualifications who have experienced the same thing. I even have friends who have tried to do grocery and food delivery food jobs and there is such a long list of people trying to get on with these companies that they never even get shopping opportunities offered to them to take. I am not writing about this because I am looking for sympathy and please know I am still ok. But I am writing about it because I see every day that people are against extending unemployment and the federal supplement and say people are just being lazy and choosing to stay home. That “we” just need to stop being picky and “get a job.” I want people to understand that’s not what’s happening. We are trying to get a job, but there just are not enough jobs right now.

As I reflect on the last few months and turning 41 last week, I am feeling some relief thanks to the extension of unemployment benefits and previous life choices that have allowed me to be ok after 9 months not working. I am also feeling like it’s not only OK to start making taking care of myself a priority, it’s necessary. To that end, I am going to also make getting back to sharing the places and experiences me and Bella have had a priority because having a passion and creative outlet is always good for the soul. So I’m hoping every one is having a better 2021 so far and be on the look out for more adventures to come.

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