Monday, August 8, 2011


Laundry day. Our sheets keep collecting blue fuzz-- it's the combination of our new towels plus either a too high or a too low thread count.

The teaching certificate program I was going to do didn't fill, so now it's not happening, which was surprisingly a relief to me. Now I can get a real job without worrying about class times conflicting or having to observe at a school during the day.

I set out for Panera this morning armed with that discovery and ready to get myself a job, but no one answered their phones and the lunch crowd was too loud and really I was too late to spend time working at Panera because the lunch rush is way too distracting. It's better to get there at 8.

The result: a rather grumpy afternoon spent reading Jacob Have I Loved in my underwear while washing sheets and lights. Food seems boring. I did call all the places I applied, poking around, asking questions. Why don't you want me? That's the real question.

The program not filling is an answer, for which I am supremely grateful. Whenever I talked about the program to other people, I never sounded like I was sure that I was going to do it, and I guess I really wasn't sure about it. I never treated it like something that was really going to happen at the end of August. I told everyone during my last semester of college that I was going to take a year off and I didn't want to go back to school right away. Little did I know how hard it would be for me to take a year off. What did I picture myself doing? Sitting around happily crocheting scarves and painting and cooking and reading and "being a good wife." I should have known I would be bored out of my mind. All of us do-ers who can't sit still-- time off is like a slow death. Reading all day isn't good enough. It's not a justifiable use of time. I can't bring myself to apply to Starbucks or Bed Bath and Beyond because I think about speaking Spanish with eight year olds and playing and doing craft projects and everything I want to be doing that doesn't involve stocking blenders or blending frappucinos.

I'm not in a bleak situation. It just feels that way. Somehow all the hope of the morning got squashed even though nothing has changed and options are still wide open and there are still jobs to be had in this booming city and writing projects for me to do and friends coming over tonight for pizza. Sometimes being melancholy just sucks. Emotions suck. Boredom sucks. Not being Jeff Smith or someone who can just walk outside and create their own destiny with only raw charm and initiative sucks, too.

One thing I did learn yesterday that I desperately needed to hear was about reliance. At our church small group, the pastor told a story about our reliance on God. If God is a pillar, are we clinging to him with our whole bodies wrapped around the pillar, or are we standing off to the side with our fingers barely touching it. I am being brought to a place where there's nothing to do except cling to the pillar. Even if I had enough charm or initiative, I wouldn't be worthy of relying on myself. I am not a safe bet for myself because I do not have the power to weave things together. I need that pillar to show me the way. That is the lesson in the midst of whatever this season is.


  1. Ha! Love the line "Not being Jeff Smith..." Shout out to Jeff!

  2. Dear Sarah, you probably don't remember me from Wheaton or don't even know that I read your blog, but I have to tell you that I love this post! I know the exact feeling you are having. I am also a do-er. And every time I've been out of work or had a few weeks off have been hard for me. Right now I'm waiting for grad school to start, and let me tell you, this waiting seems oh-so eternal. When we first got married I couldn't find a job, and it was easy to take out all the frustration and rejection on myself, or on my marriage, or on my wonderful friends. My advice from this side of that experience is the following: RELAX. First of all, God is in charge, and even if you don't like the way he's leading (or seemingly not leading), you can't change that fact, so it's easier to just trust that He has the best for you. Secondly, the people who are giving out jobs don't hate you, it just seems like it. Keep your chin up and don't let yourself get discouraged. It's all a really good learning experience even if it isn't any fun. Finally, try your best to enjoy your time off. Think of all the things you've never had time to do or wish you could do someday. Dream crazy dreams because they might actually lead somewhere. My only practical advice, that I myself need to follow more often, is this: Wake up every morning, shower and get dressed, eat a piece of fruit, and decide to do one good thing that day. That way, if you accomplish one small thing (like doing the laundry), you will be successful. Getting a job doesn't happen in one day, so set small goals, and eventually you will be in a less-bleak situation, at least mentally and emotionally. I hope this doesn't sound too preachy, if so, I'm just preaching to myself. Someday soon you will be very busy and wish you could have this free-time back, at least, that's what I keep telling myself. BTW, your wedding pictures were beautiful. Yes, I am a facebook stalker. :) Wishing you a quick recovery from the boredom blues,
    Andrea Woodard

  3. Andrea, everything you said is right. Thank you for taking the time to type it all up- I appreciate it. And of course I remember you from Wheaton. I will try to relax and keep my chin up. Thanks so much for the good word.