Summer’s end

It’s been a long summer.

We spent Labor Day at the park; one last hurrah before it turns colder. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

We spent Labor Day at the park; one last hurrah before it turns colder. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

For someone who doesn’t have a full-time job, I’ve been staying very busy.  Between my kids and grandkids, my mother, my boyfriend, and a couple of part-time jobs, I think I’m busier now than when I was a part of the normal workforce.

My search for work has not been in vain. After being laid off from Hibu at the end of April, I thought about doing freelance work and being my own boss. It didn’t take me long to see that while I am very good at what I do, there are parts of owning a business that I don’t particularly like.

I am not an organized person. I can be organized if I have to, but my personality is such that I can’t keep scheduled hours on my own. I am easily distracted by more important things like driving my son to the store, or stopping what I’m doing so I can help my mom.

My lack of organization was driving me crazy because I couldn’t get anything done. No matter what I did, I couldn’t stick to my work hours. There was always something “more important” to do.

I’m helping Jim Ecker (a former CR Gazette sports writer, now owner of Metro Sports Report) with his website a couple of nights a week, uploading stories and photos, as they come in. I still write for the Marion Times, and now I’m the news coordinator/writer for the Hiawatha Today, a new monthly publication. Times editor, Corey Munson, asked me to help them out. Of course I said yes. I don’t think I’ve ever turned down a new experience.

I like the flexibility the part-time jobs give me, but I miss the benefits and routine of a full-time job. And though, I’ve had several interviews, it seems they are always looking for someone with more experience or more time in the workforce.

I went to college, not only to fulfill a dream, but I also figured that once I had a degree, employers would be clamoring to hire me. However, getting a degree at 46 is different from getting a degree at 22. Technically, I only have two years work experience as a professional writer/editor, but a lifetime of experience in other areas. Doesn’t that count?

So I keep searching.

But really, I can’t complain. I can pay my bills and I’m doing what I need to do. I get to spend more time with my family and volunteer with several different groups. Maybe that was the plan all along.



Gotta give him credit for trying

OK, so politics are not my forte. I’ve accepted that. I try not to rant and rave in my editorials about how bad I think our government officials are, and try desperately not to become disillusioned with something that has been the norm for almost 240 years.

With that being said…..

Have you ever been to the US Debt Clock website? It provides information about some of the most interesting things. It shows the National Debt and the unofficial number of the unemployed in the United States; the number of people in the work force and how many people are on food stamps; how many people are retired and how many families there are in the US.

The site lets you go back to the years 2000, 2004, and 2008, and even makes projections for 2015. It’s interesting to see that the debt has only risen approximately $2 trillion in each of those four years, but skyrockets from 2008-2011 by  $5 trillion.

After seeing the numbers, the first question I had was, why did it go up so much in three years? What are we spending our money on? Does everything cost that much more today than it did three years ago? Who is in charge of the books?

I was also appalled by the number of the unemployed. The site gives an “official” number of the unemployed, but also has a number for “actual.” The numbers are astounding and it also makes me wonder why so many people are out of work. Is it because they really can’t find a job, or just choose not to work?

It’s ridiculous (and a bit sad) that not one person in our entire country can come up with a workable plan to stabilize our economy. I think some have tried, but trying to get the majority to agree on anything seems next to impossible.

Sorry Obama; You had good intentions but you had too many people against you from the beginning. Instead of helping you, they fought against you, making it that much more difficult to get anything done. It didn’t help matters that the House changed hands while you were in office.

I, for one, applaude you for trying.

America, I beg you; please think about who we are selecting to run our country. Let’s make it a law that our elected officials can’t make a career out of sitting behind their desks in Washington and make choices for the country according to their own agendas. We need to set the term limit for elected officials to only two, instead of the decades that some are trying to get away with.

We need to look past the false promises and fake personas that make up our elections and really take note of who our future leaders are and what they stand for. Let’s not choose someone because of their speech writer’s knack for stirring the emotions inside of us. Really dig deep and make these people accountable.

We have to. Our future depends on it. Our children and grandchildren’s future depends on it.

It worries me to see certain people talking about running for the presidency who don’t really have a clue about what America is about. I get the impression that they are doing it for the glory, the power, and the White House dishes. We need a president who can take America by the B*&#s and whip it back into shape!

The next election isn’t for another year and a half, but it’s already starting. If we choose to go with another president, I hope we choose wisely. I think if Obama had more support, he could have gotten a lot more done. But then, he still has time to turn this around.

The clock is ticking….