THE HALFWAY POINT OF THE YEAR finds me contemplative most times around. Not only do I have the second six months on the calendar to ponder, or the last six to scrutinize, but my birthday precedes this dividing line by four days.
This birthday saw me enter the final year of my thirties. Jack Benny time. It was more of a diffuse zone than a day this time around, because I saw so many people over the course of the days surrounding it. I was convinced that my friends Jen and Steve would be thoroughly sick of me by the end of the weekend, as I saw them for three dinner dates in four days, including one they kindly hosted. Also saw a few folks I don't get the chance to hang with as often on my actual birthday, including one guy now (but possibly not for long) in North Carolina. The mighty Felix and his wife, Julia, were present for the third day of my unprecedented social activity, on a weekend that saw their own six-month anniversary as a married couple.
One common thread among my friends was discontent with the current job. At least four people I saw over the weekend, and a fifth living outside the area, are either contemplating an employment shift or have just completed one. I could make that five and a half, in that I plan to update my resume in case my shop gets the yen for another round of job relocations or layoffs. With the business downturn entering a new month and the stock market officially in bear territory, one never knows how an employer will defend itself against losses. This made it all the more interesting that some of my friends seek a change. As a defense against a market that punishes narrow skill sets, two other friends of mine have completed higher degrees or additional certification in their field.
Most of my friends are in the latter half of their 30s. Could they all be in the same contemplative mode as I am? Looking forward a couple of years, pondering a property purchase, a wedding, children, and figuring, at least get a job change settled first for greater satisfaction, security, or interest in the work?
As for me, with the passage of this birthday milestone, I have a very specific plan for one aspect of my life over the next 12 months. Not employment. See next post.