While busy doing nothing …

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Recently, I met a friend for the weekend. She drove south, and I drove north. We enjoyed staying in a hotel, surrounded by silence. Of course to my friend and I, silence means there are no kids bickering with each other, no gripes about what was made for dinner, and no whines when bedtime is announced. Our silence may have been broken by the television or our own dialogue, but we had control of the volume, the intensity, and the on/off button. Parental paradise.

While together, my friend and I enjoyed eating dinner out at a restaurant. You know – a restaurant. A restaurant is a place where one can order food to eat without having to make it. Even better, a restaurant is a place where they bring the food to your table, and they clean up the mess when you are finished eating. It is amazing! (I don’t get out much.)

During dinner the first night, my friend and I were listening to the conversations of the tables near us. Hmmm…. we were not listening to the tables, as tables do not talk; rather, we were listening to the conversations of the people sitting at tables near us. Yes, that’s it.

As I was saying, my friend was listening to the couple beside us, and I was listening to the family across from us. The family across from us was talking about jobs; seems the teenage son wanted a job. Specifically, he told his Mom he wanted to work at Chick-fil-A (a fast food restaurant chain). She scoffed at him. Then he mentioned that his friend Kate worked at Chick-fil-A and she really liked it. His mother responded, “She works? I thought you said her parents were rich?” He responded, “They are rich.” Then she said, “Well, why does she work?”

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Stop the press. I interrupt this post to ask the question: Is the overall perception that if one is rich one does not have to work? Is the fact that one has to work to get rich overlooked?

I’m not implying that everyone who works becomes rich; by the same token, if you do not work, you will not get rich.

And this word ‘rich’, what does this word ‘rich’ mean? Merriam-Webster’s first definition of ‘rich’ is “having abundant possessions and especially material wealth.” Going further, the definition of ‘wealth’ includes “abundant supply”. That said, I am rich in dust and dog hair. Woo hoo! I’m rich!! Should I quit my two jobs now?

I’m not looking to get into a debate on wealth, poverty and politics. I just wanted to share my sadness in the Mom’s comment. I am saddened that her son wanted to work – he wanted to do something – and she scoffed at the thought, poking fun at a supposed ‘rich’ kid for working.

Currently the United States is facing high unemployment numbers. We’ve been facing these high numbers for over a year now. I empathize with anyone who has been unemployed for a prolonged period of time. I imagine, for some, the longer you are unemployed the less motivated you are to find work; instead, you find yourself in a mood altering rut. Been there. Done that.

If you are finding yourself in the rut of unemployment, I genuinely hope you are able to find employment soon. And, I encourage you to get out and change up your day/routine. I imagine that prolonged unemployment makes one more susceptible to depression, and depression is a horrible beast to slaughter. Don’t just keep your foot on the gas, letting the wheels spin uncontrollably, making the rut deeper. Change up your routine. It will get better.

#

In other news, my friend and I did not overhear any good conversations on our second night out for dinner. She was annoyed at the loud banter of guys behind us, and I was mesmerized by the eyes of the guy across from us. But, we couldn’t hear any conversations. We plan on getting together again soon. You know, so we can eavesdrop hang out together.

One more thing, my friend and I also played a couple of games of Scrabble. At the start of one game, I laid down the first tiles, and it was wonderful. My word? My word was ‘limited’. Count the letters, folks. Seven! Seven letters! Yep, I used all my letters right out of the gate. I forget the total number of points I scored with that word. It was probably around 123 or maybe closer to 23.

Me and my friend (Self-timers on cameras are so handy!)

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24 thoughts on “While busy doing nothing …

    • Thanks Nancy, I appreciate your comment. Though I’m not sure I am always spot-…. wait a second, you’re right. I am always spot-on! (smile)
      I hope you have a fantastic weekend with your friend. I am so thankful my friend and I make a point to get together.

  1. I loved every bit of this post, Lenore. The time spent with your friend? Priceless! And your advice for anyone that is unemployed is perfect. Depression will sneak up on you and it’s easy to fall into a rut while you’re looking for work. Hard to stay positive sometimes (I’ve been there, done that as well, unfortunately)

    And way to go on the 123 points! Yes, I’m sure it was closer to that number. 😀

    • Thanks, Darla. My friend and I are already planning our next weekend trip – well, we are planning to plan another one. This is the second time we’ve met at this hotel. It’s a great halfway point.

      As the weeks and months pass for those unemployed, I can imagine the feeling of worthlessness that tries to creep in their head. Makes me sad. And, when you battle that feeling of worthlessness, it is hard to motivate yourself to get out and find something. I felt bad for the kid, too. Here he is motivated – but his parents don’t support his motivation.

      Thanks for your vote of confidence on my Scrabble word and the points I received. 🙂

  2. jacquelincangro

    A much needed and well deserved break. It’s nice to be able to get away even for a night to recharge the batteries. Even better when you can catch up with an old friend.
    I can see how being unemployed for an extended period would take its toll on someone’s emotional and mental well being. I work with an outside vendor who is in the process of laying off 350 people and my heart goes out to them.

    • 350 people, Jacquelin? Wow. That is awful. I hope they can turn around and find something (anything) pretty quickly.
      I did enjoy the weekend recharge. The kids enjoy seeing ‘refreshed’ Moms return, too. 🙂

    • Thanks, Deb. We gals with experience need to stick together! (Not THAT kind of experience…. ha!)
      Here’s to the value of dust and dog hair going up in the world. You figure, the value can’t drop anymore, can it? 🙂

  3. First of all, I love knowing that you used the self-timer. Too many people have their outstretched arm in their picture (seriously – I have a couple of friends who have NEVER had anyone else take their Facebook profile picture. Seems kinda pitiful to me).

    Where was I? Oh yeah – eavesdropping in public is one of my favorite things to do. That surprised you, right? Yeah, it surprises you.

    • Psst… I have to tell you something, but it is a secret. Lean in closer…. shhhhh, don’t tell anyone. Ready? Okay… um, i don’t care for pictures that are taken by the person with their hand stretched out. i also don’t care for pictures taken in bathrooms or in front of mirrors. shhhhh…. i don’t want to offend anyone, so let’s just keep that between us, OK? K. Thanks.

      YOU LIKE TO EAVESDROP?? REALLY? Dang girl – you could have told me to sit down before you shared such surprising and shocking news.

  4. What a great idea…get out of Dodge for a while. Enjoy the friendship face to face, someone you can link up with and pick up from where you left off. Sounds de-vine.
    And good advice for those in depression…there’s a lot of it especially among our unemployed…change the routine. Doesn’t take money, just ingenuity and the support of those who love you around. The “just” may make it sound easy…and perhaps insensitive, but with the understanding of family and friends, it probably can make things better.
    Yes, I love your thoughts “exactly” …how they come into your head…where they lead and where they go. Wonderful picture!

    • I know, Georgette. I wondered about using the word ‘just’ because I didn’t want to appear insensitive. Having battled depression and taking medication to keep the depression at bay, I know what it is like to be told “just get up!” and not being able to “just” do anything.

      Still, I was speaking more towards the circumstantially depressed, if that makes any sense. Those that are in a rut due to unemployment and not so much a mental illness. And rather than spinning one’s wheels in the same track of mud, ‘just’ change it up and find traction elsewhere.

      And my friend said the same thing you did, she loves how we can ‘pickup from where we left off’.

      Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it!

  5. Lenore, I love the picture. I am glad you got away and got recharged. Your advice for the unemployed (and possibly depressed) was good. Just as I don’t believe I can really tell depression to take a hike like I wrote about in a recent blog – I can take steps to get a handle on my life. make some positive changes, and monitor progress. I understood what you were saying about situational depression – and mental illness.

    • Thank you, K8. Both depression and unemployment are tough things to experience. I did not want to come across as making either one seem trivial or easy. I am glad you understood what I was saying.

      My friend chuckled when I told her I wanted to take a picture. It was early in the morning, and we had been watching stories about 9/11. We weren’t feeling very celebratory. I just started doing a fake laugh, in hopes we could generate a decent smile. I think it worked. (I also think I should start wearing makeup – but no, that won’t happen.)

      Thanks again, K8.

  6. What a great idea, split the distance and spend some time together where someone else takes care of meals, etc. You may be onto something… That was a sad comment by that mother. One would think she’d be delighted her son wanted a job. Must have been from another planet. Did you see a UFO parked outside? Also, good advice on getting out and changing up the routine if out of work. My hubby went through that a few years back. He’s now been with the same company 20 years, following that harrowing time.

    • I couldn’t believe what the Mom said, Patti. I hope her son pursues his employment desires. I don’t believe that is a quest someone else should discourage.
      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Welcome to my own personal crazy. Trips to meet my friend are necessary to keep the family life happy. (smile)

  7. Well, I plan on winning the lottery, so. You know.
    Not to worry, though… when I’m Oprah-rich I’ll have a studio filled with any/all the materials / supplies I could ever want, and I’ll be in there ‘working’ constantly. Until nap-time, anyway.
    🙂

  8. Wow! I remember a day, (although barely, I’m not that old!) when parents wanted to instill the desire to work in their children, regardless of their economic circumstances. The Bible says that if a man doesn’t work he doesn’t eat. It doesn’t say the poor man who doesn’t work doesn’t eat. Thus insinuating that it is a virtue to work whether rich or poor, and one of the greatest pleasures is to enjoy the work of your hands…Glad you had a good time!

    • Exactly, Kimmie! I couldn’t believe the Mom’s response. Funny thing about God – if you put for an effort, He will meet you halfway. All you have to do is try. Well, this is my opinion, anyway.
      Thanks for visiting, Kimmie!

  9. I wish I had your self-timer skills! I guess I’m slow, because I’m always left with photos of my elbow 🙂 Love your take on time with good friends. Life’s not nearly as brilliant without them.

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting, Tori!
      I am so grateful for the fact that my friendship has lasted for so long in spite of the miles between us. My life is definitely more brilliant with my friends, I agree.
      Keep in mind – with regards to the timer – we had 10 seconds, and we were in a hotel room. Moving from the camera to the couch was done within 5 seconds or less. (smile)

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