Identity Crisis during Snowpocalypse 2014

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I had a dream my purse was stolen.  It was an awful dream where I realized I had no money, no phone, no driver’s license, no keys.  No one knew who I was and I couldn’t call for help. I was no one.

This dream happened after three days of being unable to leave the house after a snowstorm blanketed Wichita with 8.5 inches of snow, and the city was slow to clear the roads making road travel impossible. So I wasn’t able to go to my volunteer job at the Red Cross. My husband went to work leaving me alone with the cats for hours on end.

I was really bothered by this dream….until I forgot about it. Then this article in the WSJ showed up inexplicably and I remembered the dream: After Divorce or Job Loss Comes the Good Identity Crisis – WSJ.com.

I am relieved to know that my ongoing mood swings, negativity or irritability, and inexplicable emotions could be that I’m still reeling from losing my dream job when we moved. And mostly my resentment towards housework.

moo mouseI didn’t realize that my whole conception of my value as a person hinged on what I do to occupy my waking hours.

I have tried to be crafty on Etsy. And I’m trying to be a “blogger.” I’ve expanded my cooking repertoire and my kitchen confidence has indeed grown.  I have researched countless trivia to keep my mind active.

But for me this doesn’t really cut it compared the daily routine of having meaningful work to fulfill your life’s purpose.

I’m currently trying to embrace that I’m a Highly Sensitive Person as well as an Introvert (Just read Quiet by Susan Cain). I’ve been more selective of people I bring into my life to shield myself as recommended by HSP experts and Cain. So my friendships are limited currently.

It doesn’t take much analysis to see that loss of my social network has probably contributed to feelings of isolation and loneliness, especially during a blizzard. What confounds me at least is my continued anxiety about not having a job and the stress of not liking Wichita. I’m not sure why I still haven’t acclimated, but this WSJ article does shed some light on why I’m still out of sorts.

If you have tips or experiences to share about moving or relocating difficulties, I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment below!

FREE design essentials course from lynda.com

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ideas for color scheme in living roomIt is very important to keep your skills sharp while continuing to learn new skills. Also for the trailing spouse, having a movable career or at least transferable skills is important. To this end, I just watched this highly educational graphic design essentials course that is FREE from lynda.com until January 24, 2014.

Some things I learned:

– Gone are the design tips from the 80s, where everything must be centered and matching.  Offset, simplify, and use “analogous colors” from the color wheel to make your layout modern and interesting.

-When designing a layout and using a picture, pixelize the picture in order to identify main color themes in the picture.  Then you can use these colors to coordinate the text color or background color.

-Think outside of rectangles and boxes when setup a layout.  Uneven edges sometimes can give “life” to your layouts.

Watch the Online Video Course Before & After: Things Every Designer Should Know.

UPDATE: Trailing Spouses Lose Benefits in Kansas

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Most of the traffic to my site is about unemployment benefits for trailing spouses.  I realized today that Kansas law changed in 2012 so that non-military spouses who quit their jobs to relocate for their spouse’s job are NOT entitled to unemployment benefits.

Read more here:  2011 Senate Bill 77 http://www.kscpa.org/about/news/37-unemployment_bill_sb_77_passes_the_senate_2_15

Disagreement on the use of “trailing spouse”

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Is “trailing spouse” a pejorative or offensive term?

Another blogger, whose husband has a job that relocates them periodically, has taken a strong position on the term “trailing spouse.” You can read her blog post here.

She doesn’t appreciate or identify with the “trailing spouse” description since she’s doesn’t feel like it is accurate:  She and her husband choose to continue to be nomadic.  She doesn’t feel like she’s trailing behind anyone.

It seems to me that she takes offense at the term since its not feminist.  However her particulars are the same as many expats or trailing spouses; yet she has been able to retain her career while others have not.  She doesn’t feel disempowered like many of us do; her career options do not seem to have dissolved due to regional differences in economics, market specializations, or politics. Therein lies the difference, I think.

Trailing spouse isn’t a great term and its use has been challenged by users on the web. What other terms would you use to describe the situation of a person who must [reluctantly] leave behind their career so that their spouse can pursue their own career?

Let me know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net