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Mr. Muffin Top is back…change is afoot.

Well, I’ve grown another muffin-top, which is reminiscent of the one that I grew during unemployment, thanks to the help of the stress hormone cortisol designed to help you run from the saber tooth tiger. Unfortunately, as evolved as we are as humans, our hormones can’t delineate between running from a saber tooth tiger and general life stress – if not released from the body, cortisol builds up and causes all sorts of health problems like weight gain and trouble sleeping. Guess it’s time I sneak into the zoo and play cat and mouse with one of the tigers so I can sleep again and reduce the size of my muffin top.

Or, I guess a less exciting option, might be to just do some digging into what’s bugging you. The only problem is mustering energy to do the self-work. Let’s face it, running from a tiger would take about 20 seconds of energy, then problem solved. Challenge over. Tiger wins. (Unless of course you survive, in which case you have an uphill recovery battle ahead of you so let’s pretend you’re dead.) But self-work? That’s going to take a whole lot longer than 20 seconds and require a hell of a lot more stamina. Guess I’d better start an I.V. drip of caffeine, put pen to paper, and start digging because the tiger route sounds less appealing and change needs to happen.

Yeah, I know, not the most positive uplifting post, but I’m a human so bear with me while I work out the kinks.

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Life Lessons From Grandma Gale

This week is my birthday. I’ll be turning 43 and if my life expectancy is anything like both of my grandmothers, I’ll live well into my 90s and possibly into my 100s. I joke regularly with friends, announcing that “this bitch is gonna last forever, so watch out!”

A hundred years. That means I have 57 more years to go, if I share the same lifespan as both my grandmothers. 57 years…

During the funeral planning process for my grandmother Gale, I was tasked with helping my mother write the eulogy. Writing a eulogy brings introspection into one’s own life. How will I be remembered? What role did I play in my life and in the lives of others? Will I just be remembered as the quick-witted, clever and creative funny girl? Or will people know the other side of me? What are my contributions on this earth? Am I living my most authentic life? What have I done with my life thus far?

My late grandmother on her 80th birthday wrote the following as she was pondering that last question. She said, “So my life has been filled with lots of love so far. I wake up each morning looking forward to see what life will offer me and enjoying what God has given me.”

This from a woman whose early childhood was filled with tragedy. She lost two of her siblings at a young age in a very horrific way. The first event was a car vs. train accident that killed her youngest brother Edwin and the second was a spark from a fire that ignited the dress of her youngest sister, Emily Ruth, burning her to death. My grandmother was babysitting that day and she carried the weight of her sister’s death her entire life. She even seemed to relive these tragedies on her deathbed during her morphine-induced trip, exclaiming “It wasn’t my fault!”

Yet, “I wake up each morning looking forward to see what life will offer me and enjoying what God has given me.”

Wow…powerful stuff.

So Keri, what have you done with your life thus far? How do you want to live your remaining years on the earth? There’s quite possibly 57 of them left, so how do you want to be remembered? What’s going to bring you fulfillment and carry you happily into your golden years? What do you need to do each day to make this happen?

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House pants neglect

I think my house pants are depressed. All this networking in W. Seattle with the other pink-slips has been fantastic – don’t get me wrong – it’s forcing socialization, adding structure to my day and giving me an opportunity to meet some really interesting and talented people.  But, I am a little concerned because last night I found 3 pairs of house pants hiding under my bed, curled up in a ball next to an empty container of chocolate pudding. I know my cats don’t normally drag my clothes under my bed – they could very well be responsible for the pudding container – but not the pants. Could my house pants be feeling neglected? 

I didn’t realize until last night just how much time I’ve spent OUT of my house pants this past week. Before the networking group started, I’d share an entire day with the same pair of house pants, or maybe two days! We’d wake up together, drink coffee together, job-search online together, watch Ellen together. Then at some point during the day, I might consider swapping my level 1-2 house pants for level 3-4 depending on what errands were on my list that day. But I rarely put jeans on or showered.

This week however, I’ve showered every single day, have worn jeans AND dress pants (despite the fact they had ants in them, I had no choice). I’ve been up before 8am…what the hell is happening to my LOL lifestyle? According to one of my pink-slip pals, “my actions are not keeping with the LOL principals and procedures” and that “I am setting a bad example for LOLs everywhere!” Oh dear. I hate to disappoint people and certainly don’t want my house pants to run out on me, so  this weekend I will spend some quality time with them. I might even fill up on Easter candy and give some attention to the muffin top, even though his position was eliminated earlier this week.

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Identity crisis

When you are laid off, you feel like a big loser and you start to have an identity crisis cuz you were “this”: 

“I am a creative marketing and PR pro with entrepreneurial instincts and proven ability to ramp up quickly and deliver results in a dynamic and ambiguous environment.”

And now you’re becoming a twisted version of your former self that looks a little like this:

“Maybe I am just a no talent ass clown of a loser?”

“HEY! Listen up – don’t talk about yourself like that! You were given a gift of time, remember? Now use this time to find the perfect career for you and make yourself happy!” 

“Who is that talking???? OMG – I totally have a split personality disorder! When did that develop? Is that why they gave me the pink-slip because my ‘otherside’ came out at the office?”

“No…that’s not what’s going on, silly. I am your inner critic, don’t freak out and start searching WedMD. You got as far as you could at Microsoft doing ‘that’ and while you were good at ‘that,’ you weren’t fulfilled. So why don’t you explore writing?”

“Oh, thank god! Ok, how about I start a blog? Yes! I will start a blog that will be about…hmm…living life as a laid off person…and it will make people laugh! Yes! God – I am SO brilliant and someone will take notice and want to hire me because I am fucking funny! Oh dear…”

“What?”

“The stats on my blog are down. Damn-it. People don’t like me. Oh wait!!! They are up to 120 visitors today! Oh wait, now they are down to 12. God you loser, where’s that bag of Cadbury Mini-Eggs?!? Wait, look at that!! 164 visitors from that posting on forcing socialization! Gosh, you are SO clever….you are MONEY baby!”

Somehow, this blog is shaping my new identity and I think my mood seems to be mirroring my blog stats. For the unemployed person who’s new to blogging and deprived of human contact, visitors to my blog equate to friends. 

Blog stats|Mood indicator

Blog stats|Mood indicator

Yes, we (the pink-slipped, jobless and hopeless) tend to get a little pathetic and that’s why I started writing this blog. I’ve noticed that my stats (friends) increase considerably when I post a story that’s self-deprecating in nature and void of anything really important. I know I am not the go-to blog for anything of great value and I am ok with that, as long as you keep coming back because you are slightly amused. And, all I ask of my “friends” in return is that if you are slightly amused by my blog, PLEASE SHARE MY BLOG WITH FRIENDS so I can have more friends. I am lonely and bored and every single day I am working for you! I keep a notepad handy so that when something slightly entertaining pops into my head or crosses my path, I write it down so I can share this useless and possibly funny story with you, my friends, for FREE!

So, it’s time to give back to me – the jobless who’s getting very sick of spending all this time with herself. I need volunteers to co-manage my new campaign – the “help Keri find the perfect job” campaign! Anyone? Anyone? If  you are interested in volunteering, please email me at lol.seattle.kr [at] gmail [dot] com. More to come on the campaign later…

If you don’t want to help that’s fine too. Just be forewarned that one day you may hear a knock on your door and when you open it I will be there – unshowered, wearing house pants exploring the contents of my navel, gorging myself on chocolate and fiddling with my new friend, Mr. Muffin Top. Then, we’ll talk 😉

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