Sunday, June 26, 2011


"Unemployment isn't working." ~ Anon.

Yes, it's true. Sigh!

For the first time in a very, very long time, Bear isn't working. Bear is unemployed.

Of course, I'm retired, and drawing several pensions. I'm not facing the hard times most people face when their work ends.  But that's not the point.

I've been writing (with some friends) a regular column for a Canadian newspaper for about ten years. I was told last week, just before I submitted my latest piece, that the paper is making changes, and there is no space for us because of the changes. So our contract is ended, at least for the time being, after my last column. Sic transit gloria mundi.

There really was a shock to the whole thing. One day I had a job; later in the day, I didn't.

I can begin to feel what others have felt with such news.

Ironically, I was the one who ended up comforting our editor. She genuinely felt badly about letting us go. She hated the idea of talking to us about the situation. I said I would break the news to my colleagues, and we might come back to her with something. She called me "kind" for doing that. But that's just Bear being Bear. You know that.

Just because I'm retired, there's no reason why I have to give up everything in the wording world; the working world.

I suppose I could go on looking for work. The little bit of income (pocket change, really) was useful. It would mean more research, queries to editors, etc.

Or I could be content just to do my volunteer work with several different ethics committees (about one meeting a month, on average). And, of course, keeping up with my blogs. There will be two of those starting sometime in July.

Honestly, I've done enough of working. I have other goals to accomplish with my beloved J. That's what I really want to do. Other things come after that.

Lawrence Peter Berra put it succinctly: "It ain't over 'til it's over."

Guess what, Yogi. It's over!


Also brought to you by the letter U:
• understanding
• ubiquitous
• unsettled
• ultra
• unlimited

And in the New Phonetic alphabet: U for me.


The Blog Fodder said...

Sic transit gloria mundi, 'cause the rent is due on Tuesday (MAD magazine c 1964)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Enjoy the prospect of a new phase of your life beginning! Altho it's always hard to let go of the familiar routine.

Rubye Jack said...

I find not working refreshing--no bosses to contend with, no getting up at 5am and riding trains, lots of free quiet time, time to sort messes out. But, I'm sorry you guys lost your job as I am sure your contribution was of value and that extra money certainly does help.
You and your wife can discover new things and new ways.

Rob-bear said...

® BR: Not sure I understand. You can be so enigmatic at times.

® Karen: Thanks. It's not a big deal, but it's, well . . . it's just different, having no visible means of employment. Not to worry; it's just "different."

Brenda Susan said...

It is painful to be told you are not needed enough, even when they are nice about it. I am sorry you had to go through this. I am sure you will find what you need inside you to "bear" with this unexpected change my friend. You have my prayers, may new ideas and fresh writing inspiration come from this time.

The Bipolar Diva said...

A new, more exciting chapter is about to open up I feel!

Jean said...

Where I live I am surrounded by retired people (I hope to be one of them myself soon) and the ones that do best seem to be the ones with commitments - whether it be volunteer work or just low-paid part-time work. I think it's the concept of doing something that matters to someone else and not letting them down.
There is a tendency to take things like this very personally and feel you are worthless and on the scrap-heap but it's just part of the bottom line syndrome - we can't include/employ everything/everyone so something/someone has to go. I'm sorry it was you but now you have the chance to find something else to do!

Wendy said...

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” ~Charles Darwin.

I've also got the feeling that it ain't over 'til it's over.

Follow your dreams!

Brightest blessings to you, Bear and J xxx

Anonymous said...

It's hard to accept not working, even, as you said, you don't really need to. It gives us a sense of self worth.
I'm sure if you put feelers out there, you'd get writing contracts rapidly.
Good luck.

ain't for city gals said...

Honestly, I never got much satisfaction from going to a "real" job favorite day is Monday! Like you said I can only think how devastating it would be to someone who had no idea it was coming and at the end of the day did not have a way to make a living.

Frances said...

Hey there Bear. I have just gotten home after over 12 hours on my feet at work. Retirement looks lovely from this vantage point, but of course, there are so many other points of view.

Gloria Monday...that's the Pun. I used to read my brother's Mad mag.

I bet that you and your other journalist pals will find great ways to apply your talents.


Amanda Summer said...

i'm sorry about the loss of the job, dear bear. this also happened to my husband a year ago. i am in greece now and everyone here gets paychecks only for a few months, then nothing for the rest of the year. how do they make do? i asked. economize, was the answer. make food last. they don't go to the movies. bad times for people economically.

i am happy to read what you wrote at the end of your post, about knowing what goals you want to accomplish. sounds like you have your priorities in solid order.

take care, dear bear. sending blessings from the goddesses here in greece.


Nancy said...

So sorry, Bear. It is a sign of the times, for sure. But you never know what is right around the corner. It pays to follow your heart and do those things that bring you peace and happiness. They often lead to unexpected places.

Rob-bear said...

® Linda: Not working feels more comfortable as I get accustomed to it. Maybe I'll write other things. I'm sorry we may not be writing our columns, because I think we were doing something useful and important.
Also, J and I are having a grand time.
Ironically, I still get up at 6:00 a.m. some days. The human Ethics Committee meetings start at 7:30 a.m., and run for an hour and a half to two hours. This, I do to myself, as a volunteer. You would think Bear is smart enough to avoid this situation. But, no. As Christopher Robin would say, "Silly old Bear."
I appreciate your supportive words.

® Brenda Susan: I am, indeed, "Bearing up" in this new condition. This presents new opportunities, and I intend to pursue some. Thanks.

® Diva: More exciting chapter? Well, that's at least possible; really, though I think probable is the better word. Thanks.

® Jean: Yes, commitments, to others — my colleagues and the people/animals on whose behalf I work. Thanks, Jean. Great point.

Lins' lleisio said...

One door closes, another will open. That's the way of the world. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities and grab them. They are there for the taking.

"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."
Max Ehrmann - Desiderata

Rob-bear said...

® Wendy: Thanks. One thing I have been, and am, is adaptable, flexible. There is a saying, "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape." Bear is not out of shape.
And you're right: it ain't over. Not by a long shot. We're just starting chapter two, or three, or whatever it is.

® Dedine: Thanks for your understanding. As for putting feelers out, I have this urge not to push things too hard. Pushing the river just doesn't seem right.

® afcg: Thanks. Your favourite day of the week is Monday? I'd like to hear more about that!

® Frances: Oh dear; 12 hours on your feet. Bear winces.
Perhaps the quote "Unemployment isn't working" comes from MAD as well. Thanks.

® Amanda: Thanks for your cheery note from strife-torn Greece. We're hearing about the anti-austerity riots over here.
Good grief! People are only getting paid for a few months now; what will happen when things become even more austere? I don't think it will work. But then, unemployment isn't working, so there you go. It's sure no way to run a country.
Sorry to learn of your husband's "misadventure." Very frustrating, indeed. Hope he, and you, are doing well.
I'm sure I'll have more to tell in the future.
I appreciate your invoking the blessings of the Greek goddesses. Bears need all the help they can get.

Anonymous said...

I hate change. Change is never good....even when it IS, it's still CHANGE. And hillbelle's like to know what each day will bring even if it's misery. Hey, I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same, huh. I would NEVER go back to working and having to give explanations and get permission for every move I make!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

...and U for me too, Bear. It sounds like you are at a crossroads with some well-thought options. I think that you are like that and so glad that you are at a good point now.

May you and J have some exciting times ahead. You never know what door will open next...


About Last Weekend said...

Ibet just as you write this another newspaper will ask you to write a column. Have to say you achieve more than most people with a job! I can't believe you're starting up two more blogs - your energy is incredible!