Beginnings & Endings

I’ve started this blog entry at least three times between late April and today and never quite had the will to finish it. As my husband said when he called to tell me about his first layoff back in 2013 , “I have some good news and I have some bad news.” Good news first: I accepted a full-time job and started on my 50th birthday in mid-April. Because I like to think of this blog as a transparent look at the hiring process, I’ll share a bit about how it all came to be. I was contacted by a hiring manager at the company via LinkedIn in late February. At the time, I’d grown weary of people who reached out only to disappear as well as those who put me through the wringer with 90-minute interviews that left me wanting to shout, "I've been in long-term relationships with people who know less about me!” Then there was the place that wanted me to write a 4,000-word test article complete with an interactive map of the U.S. (No, thank you!)  So, initially, I was reluctant to respond to

A Long Overdue Italy Update & a Book Giveaway

Remember when I attended that writing conference in Italy in 2018 ? (I know, I barely do either. Sometimes I think about Paul Simon's " America " and hum, " Recanati seems like a dream to me now..." Not quite the same ring as Michigan, but  the same sentiment. Y ou get it.)  I've never recapped that trip, probably because it still  feels wildly self-indulgent—going alone, drinking amazing wine, talking about books for a week .  B ut I have an exciting update that's a direct result of attending so I wanted to share.  I started out in Rome, wandering through piazzas, admiring breathtaking architecture at every turn, getting lost despite having a map, courtesy of my hop-on, hop-off bus tour, sampling eggplant Parmesan ... ... nursing my minimal jet-lag with coffee and tiramisu.... The following day, my fellow attendees and I met and divided into small groups for  the drive from Rome to Recanti. I rode with two poets who already knew one another. One had pub

A New Job for Me? A New Job for You!

Photo by  Ian Taylor  on  Unsplash Lately, there's been a lot of talk about "The Great Rehire" as companies ramp up following last year's mass layoffs.  Initially, I was skeptical, but then I heard from two  recruiters in the same week. One had a great opportunity that I wasn't really qualified to pursue, so she said she'd be in touch if she found anything better suited to my skill set.  The other had an opening for a copywriter position at a young but rapidly-growing fintech firm. Though I've been fortunate to have plenty of freelance work to keep me busy, it's always exciting to consider the possibility of a corporate gig with paid time-off and benefits. (I still have no dental or vision coverage... hence this rather large font.) The HR rep and I had a great conversation, and after three subsequent 45-minute interviews with various executives, I found out this past week that I'm still in the running. (I joke that I've been in long-term relati

A Holiday Miracle (& Some Thoughts on Test Assignments)

  Photo by  Zuza Gałczyńska  on  Unsplash In what can only be described as a holiday miracle, my husband got a job. He started last Monday, and while it's significantly cut into his napping schedule, so far, so good.  During his seven-month search, we once again benefited from thoughtful friends who regularly checked in and offered to put him in touch with connections who were hiring, which is ultimately how he landed this role.  I joked with one of my freelance colleagues, who also sent generously took the time to send links to openings he spotted while skimming Facebook, "Let's hope he can ride this out until retirement!" (Cue the maniacal laughter: Who am I kidding? After all of our layoffs, we will be working until we draw our last breaths.)  While I'm thrilled he found something, getting to this point was no easy feat. He had multiple phone and video interviews, which included the always-odd, "What's your personal theme song?"  When he told me,

Baby's First Ghosting

  Photo by  Tandem X Visuals  on  Unsplash In the spirit of Halloween, I'd like to share the story of a man who vanished. He disappeared Labor Day weekend and still hasn’t been found.  It’s really my son’s tale to tell, so I asked his permission to share it here, and he said, “Sure, go ahead. I don’t think anybody reads your blog, right?” (Thanks, honey!) Anyway, here’s how it began:  My son, 18, was supposed to start college this fall but opted to take a gap year, recognizing that the on-campus experience would be vastly different from the one he'd imagined.  Like many of us during the pandemic, he’d fallen into bad patterns—indulging in excessive screen time, cooking frozen pizzas at midnight (occasionally neglecting to turn off the oven), and sleeping ’til noon. I let things slide for a bit—allowing him to enjoy some post-graduation downtime. But after weeks of me standing in his doorway at 11 a.m. bellowing, “Get out of bed!!” so he could do a mere 90 minutes


“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” ―  Anne Lamott,  Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life It's often said that at a certain age—49, if you believe this article —women become invisible. Having hit that number in April, I'm realizing there's definitely some truth to it.  But invisibility is not always a bad thing. For example, when I trip over a sidewalk and no one points and laughs, I call it a win. I can devour the chips and guacamole my son thinks he's effectively hidden in the back of the fridge, and I'm so unnoticeable, I won't even make the shortlist of suspects. So, there are definitely positives to going through life unseen. Recently, however, I discovered that, in addition to becoming invisible, I'm also completely forgettable. Here's how I found out... As I mentioned in my last post , I took myself out of t

Knowing When to Drop Out of the Interview Process

In March, we lost singer/songwriter Kenny Rogers. When the country crooner cashed in his chips amid the height of the pandemic, it prompted a few people to note that "The Gambler" really did know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. I recently found myself confronted with a situation that made me ponder the fine art of knowing when to bow out. It began when I was contacted via LinkedIn by a guy from a startup looking to fill a writer/editor/public relations role.  Initially, it sounded appealing.  (Subtext: When the monthly cost of healthcare coverage for a family of five is more than the average U.S. mortgage payment, you can convince yourself that almost anything sounds good.) And, with many of my other  gigs drying up , I agreed to an informal chat.  This casual conversation felt more like a grilling as the interviewer asked dozens of questions about my background (the answers to most of these were evident from my LinkedIn profile, but "whate