Limbo

Have you ever felt like you were in limbo? I rarely have. But I am feeling like that right now. I hate it!

I’ve always been one to have a goal. To have something, at least in the back of my mind, to work towards.

Up until fairly recently, that goal was to become ‘a ships captain and sail around the world (and get paid for it)’. I FINALLY achieved that goal in December of 2011. I earned my Master AGT (any gross tons) from the US Coast Guard. I was so happy, so thrilled, so stunned, to have FINALLY earned what I had worked so long and so hard for.

But, since then, I have been a little bit lost. I had been trying so long and so hard to reach that goal, that I hadn’t really figured out ‘what next?’

I’m still in that phase. Trying to figure out ‘what now?’. I was OK with that until I got laid off. Having work always kept me occupied. I never had to think about what was next. Working, and then busy as hell when I was home. I was able to travel, take courses, work on projects, etc. All because I knew I only had a month or so at home to get everything done that I needed to do.

Now, I am out of work. There is NO work in my field. I doubt there will be any until the price of oil goes back up to at least $70-80 per barrel. Hundreds of thousands of people have been laid off already in the oilfield and there are still more layoffs in the news every day. 🙁

According to the people who think they know about this kind of thing, it could take another 2-3 years for the price to go back up to the point companies start hiring again. Some ‘experts’ think oil could go back up to $100 next year. Some people think it never will due to alternative energy increasing in efficiency and affordability (I think it will be decades before that happens).

So, I am in limbo. I am HOPING to get some work over the holidays. All of my usual sources have dried up. I have ONE recruiter still telling me he’s got something coming up, but nothing definite yet. Christmas is less than a week away. I’m losing hope, but still not ready to throw in the towel yet.

So….. what am I going to do?

I WISH I could just say the hell with it all and ‘retire’! I WISH. But, if I plan to live more than 10 years, then I just can’t see how I could possibly survive for any time past that. Those 10 years would have to be spent living somewhere with a MUCH lower cost of living then the USA. I’m not objecting to that at all, in fact I would LOVE to move NOW to one of those places. The problem with that is that they won’t let me until I’m retired and/or have a ton of money!

Since I don’t know how long I might live, and hopefully it’ll be more than 10 years, I need to figure out some OTHER way to earn a living. I have all kinds of ideas. I’ve already tried a few: vending machines, rental property, investing in the stock market, painting, writing, photography, blogging. Not one of them has made anywhere near enough money for me to consider concentrating on just that one. The rental property comes close, but I’m still at the point where I need to subsidize them with regular work. 🙁

I found a temporary job ashore through an old friend. It pays about 1/5 of what I normally make. It’s not every day. It won’t start up again til the end of January. It won’t pay the bills. But it pays 2-3 times more than any OTHER job I’m likely to find here. It helps.

I’m considering taking the TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course. No, it won’t be enough to pay the bills either, but at least it will allow me to move somewhere less expensive to live. I think I might actually enjoy teaching and it might turn into something really interesting. The biggest problem with that is my fear/expectation that I would have to dress/act in a ‘professional manner’. UGH! I hate the thought of that!

So, while I sit around the house, hoping to get a call for a ‘real’ job, I try to work on my other (hopefully someday money-earning) projects. My writing, photography, blogging. Problem with that is I’m getting so depressed with the situation around here that I don’t feel like doing ANYTHING.

All the things I’d normally be doing in my time off, like sailing, going out to see friends, going to the zoo, going to do things in Houston, traveling, are either too expensive or I put them off cause I just don’t feel like getting out of the house. I’m getting super lazy, doing less and less every day. I didn’t even take my daily walk yesterday (I did today).

I really hate being in this situation, this limbo. If I knew for sure I could get regular work, and when, I could make some kind of decision. Knowing I would be leaving soon would motivate me to get off my ass and get some of these projects around the house done.

If I knew for sure there was no work (not still hoping to get some), I might decide to take the enforced time off to take the TEFL course. Or just take the time to concentrate on fixing this blog (the total disaster of moving it still needs to be fixed). Or work on photography. Or writing. Or painting.

Or, I might look harder at some of those sailboats looking for crew. That would be a cool adventure! I only wish they paid something, but there are always so many people out there willing to go for just the experience, or even to pay themselves! I know I would make a good crew on any passage. Too bad I don’t have the money now to put in for costs, or pay for transportation. 🙁

So, limbo. I wish I knew something to do to motivate myself (other than having a job pop up).

6 thoughts on “Limbo

  1. Wow! Sounds like things aren’t going well at all. Sorry to hear that. Wish I had some good advice for a solution, but I really don’t. The price we’re paying for the cheapest gas in years is good folks like you are now out of work. Hope you find something soon that will get you back out on the ocean! Meanwhile, all I can suggest is that you considering doing volunteer work for a cause that means something to you. Doing that has always helped me through tough times, and makes the good times even better. Wishing you joy for the holidays, and a much better year to come!

    • Thanks Penny, I know most are happy with the low price of gas (I am too!), but so many are employed in the oil patch all over the country. It really hurts when the price goes this low. Already a half million out of work and still lay offs happening.
      I’ve thought of that (volunteering), but I don’t know how to support myself while doing that. They have a ship called the Mercy Ship, they sail around the world (Africa mostly) and help poor people with doctors and nurses. They do operations on deformities, etc and help a lot of people. But it’s all volunteer and I would have to come up with enough cash to travel to the ship, and pay room and board while I’m there. Stay for minimum 3 months and possibly passing up on good work? I don’t think I can do that right now. Maybe when I’m retired and have SS coming in? I am seriously considering the TEFL course. I could go to Mexico and would only HAVE to stay for about a month (for the class). After it’s over, I could re-assess and if it still looks so bleak for real work, I could take a 3 month contract and see where things go from there. Only thing now is I’m still HOPING to get work in the next week or so! Also, I really HATE the idea of having to dress ‘formally’ (not even sneakers!). That is a BIG deal, I hate being uncomfortable. I suppose I can suck it up for a month to get the certificate and then just try and stick to tutoring after that where I can be myself instead acting like a ‘professional’.
      I hope you’re doing well. Have you been traveling much? I was following your blog, but I haven’t seen it lately. I don’t know if it got lost when I moved my blog or what happened.
      Good to hear from you, Merry Christmas!

  2. What an awful situation to be in 🙁 The teaching angle was something I was going to suggest and is definitely a good qualification to have. It can open many doors. Plus, if you were to teach adults, it would be a more relaxed environment. Could you combine everything and teach sailing skills? I hope something turns up soon for you and you can enjoy Christmas without worrying too much.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments Haylee. I feel so down. I thought about what you suggest (teaching sailing), but so far I haven’t been able to find anywhere that’s looking that would take me on.
      I’m going to Christmas at my best friends tomorrow, so that should be fun. Her daughter has been laid off too (she’s a book keeper). Oil patch dies, everything around gets sucked in. 🙁

      • I thought I sent a reply to this yesterday but it doesn’t seem to have gone through. I basically said that hopefully you and your friend’s daughter may be able to brainstorm some ideas together seeing as you’re in the same boat (no pun intended!). I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas Day and let’s hope the new year brings with it a positive turn around very soon.

        • Thanks Haylee, glad you were persistent. 🙂
          My friends been picking up a little work from her brother (at least he’s still working).
          We all had a good Christmas day. Chowed down on lasagna, ceasar salad, garlic cheese bread + turkey!
          And the desserts were really good. 🙂

Comments appreciated here