Sunday, August 15, 2010

Home for a year

It's been about a year since we returned to our home in Israel after 3 years in San Jose, California & though I'd like to say that it's great to be back, it's not that simple.

When we left the states we knew that we were both coming home without jobs but neither of us expected that after a year, Arthur would still be unemployed. This has been the most difficult and stressful part of our return,  financially and emotionally. You might think that after all we've been through, we could take a bought of joblessness in stride, carry on, keep our chins up, and any other cliches you can think of.  Unfortunately,  this is very far from reality. Those of you who've had the joy privilege misfortune of living with an unemployed male know that for many men, their entire self worth is tied up in their ability to support their family and be the breadwinner. So being unemployed raises many ugly questions with no easy answers. 

Stages of Unemployment Customizable T-Shirt shirt
Stages of Unemployment Customizable T-Shirt by OfficeGangsta

One of the most difficult aspects of unemployment is the terrible frustration that both Arthur and I feel. He has so much experience and so much to offer and yet the employment agencies and employers make you feel like if you're over 40, your life is over. And I don't know about Arthur but I also feel angry and a bit betrayed by this country that I love so much and chose to make my home. I have never thought that Israel is perfect but I feel like the country has turned its back on us. Maybe it's not a logical way to feel but feelings aren't logical. 

If anyone has any suggestions/offers, please check out Arthur's public profile on Linkedin and feel free to e-mail me via the contacts link above.

So while I can't say that it's great to be back I also can't say it's awful. I am grateful to have a job which although is not in librarianship as I had hoped does include a cast of many fine and entertaining characters. My new mission at work is to convince my boss to buy a coffee machine (working at Yahoo really spoiled me) and though the going is tough I'm convinced that in the end I will successfully badger bully persuade him to ante up.

Maor is doing very well and is enjoying the freedom of once again living on a yishuv. She likes her school (as much as it's possible to like school), her friends, and her dog.

Though I miss my "new" friends in California, I am happy to be back among "old" friends and family in Israel. I am particularly thankful that my beloved aunt, my father's sister, who was more like a grandmother to me, held on until we came home and gave us the opportunity to spend some Shabbatot, chagim, and celebrations together before she was called to gan eden. 

With the approach of Rosh Hashana I can only hope that this upcoming year holds good things for us, our family and friends, and all of Am Yisrael.


Anonymous said...

Dear Fern, I can know only a little of what you are feeling - and I think what helped us was that we had a big "what if" plan that had our back, so to speak. If the job situation had not turned around we could sell up and move ..maybe to Israel!! It kept us going like a dream of starting over again somewhere new. Unfortunately you had already done that and then got hit with the job crisis. I know how smart Arthur is and it is so ridiculous that there is this shelf life of 40 out there for no particular reason ..but it truly cannot last and it can all improve in an instant of that "yes" from a new and much better employer. Also -I have to say - I have not adjusted to you being gone, I still can't look at your old apartment and coffee is never the same without you. Chin up and Elul will bring only good things to your door.

Devorah said...

I sincerely wish you and your family to be sealed for a wonderful new year! There are many good things to come, and may we share in many brachas and simchas!

Baila said...

Fern, that was beautifully written. I also wish all the best for you, Arthur and Maor this year...and see you real soon! :-)