Tag Archives: Teaneck

resume


resume, verb, begin to do or pursue (something) again after a pause or interruption

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On Thursday last week, I woke up with the goal in mind of updating and writing my resumé– the shock of being laid off still quite fresh and the need to just keep moving pressing upon me. I went to my favorite coffee shop with my laptop, ordered the biggest cappuccino I could, and got to working. Writing your resumé is somewhat of a boring and mundane task, if not an exercise in ego inflation. A good resumé makes you look like a rock star as much as possible – even though most of us pore over spreadsheets and run unproductive meetings as a main part of our jobs.

Resumé with an accent on the e is a summary – a curriculum vitae. Remove the accent, and you get a much more interesting word – one which is still apropos to being unemployed. The act of writing your resume is done in an effort to resume your working life – either as a fresh start, or because you’ve been laid off. The other way to look at resume in respect to losing a job, is to see it as resuming your actual life again – like the life we have beyond the eight hours that we toil, gossip, move numbers around on spreadsheets, etc.

For the past few days, I have resumed many things that are essential to who I am – and that I had lost without realizing. I have resumed exercising and moving – which so many of us let go because the pressure and strain of our jobs makes it hard to fit in. I have also resumed daydreaming – having ideas. Just having the time to sit, have a thought and take it to the next place.

I’ve resumed cooking and enjoying food – instead of it just being something I have to do to live. I’ve resumed seeing people I love – meeting with friends and laughing. I have also resumed breathing – really breathing – consciously – in through the nose, out through the mouth – intentionally. I’ve resumed listening to and enjoying music all day, and all different kinds. Listening to NPR and This American Life again – letting the stories and news give me ideas, making me think and use my brain.

I have also resumed reminiscing. The only other time in my life that I was let go from a job was when I was 16 years old and the famous town ice cream shop fired me. I remember feeling the same way I do now back then – although working at 16 was mostly so I could buy my clothes and go out with friends – it wasn’t a livelihood like it is now – and I ended up within a week or so working for the kosher burger joint down the block. It was called Fliegels – and although it wasn’t the cool place to work in the way my ice cream scooping and waitressing gig was, I ended up working there until I graduated from high school.

As I remember, the ice cream shop job was brutal. I worked late and had to clean the kitchen…and they made us split our tips with the non-waitressing staff – which I always thought was unfair. I went home filthy every night, covered in dried ice cream and grease from cooking sandwiches on the grille. The customers were often rude and demanding – sometimes sexually harassing as well. My dad came to pick me up at midnight most evenings – and I’d go home and finally get to my homework in the wee hours before school the next day – completely exhausted and working too hard for a 16-year-old.

Despite the not so great situation with ice cream shop, getting the job at Fliegels initially felt like a step down. It was a takeout place – no waitressing or staff of teenagers. I manned the counter next to a giant, revolving wheel of shawarma – which was a foreign food to me. Most of the time, I worked alone, ran the register which spit the orders into the back where a Mexican immigrant prepared them. I had to wear a long skirt that went to my ankles and cover my hair and I learned a few words for things in Hebrew. Once a week, a rabbi came and worked in the basement blessing all of the food – and I began appreciating a totally different world of food and culture. One that was filled with shawarma, hummus, tahini, tabbouleh, falafel…much more interesting than ice cream sundaes and cream cheese sandwiches. The people were nicer – especially my Mexican partner who prepared the food in the back. Working at Fliegels wasn’t as flashy or as cool as my former job, but I was able to resume being a curious and well adjusted 16-year-old. I didn’t work late hours, was treated well and learned about Middle Eastern and Israeli food, some Hebrew and Jewish culture. The day I graduated from high school the owners asked me to come pick up my last paycheck. I had gotten a job as a camp counselor for a Girl Scout Camp in the Catskills for the summer so my stint there was over. When I got there that day, they paid me double what I had earned and sent me off with hugs and thanks.

I think for the past four years, my last job was a lot like working at that ice cream shop. I felt a part of something fun, flashy, iconic and important – but I was going home dejected and worn out for many reasons. As I resume my job search – and the next chapter of my life – I hope to find my Fliegels again. I’m 41 and not 16, but the things that make me tick are not all that much different…and I definitely prefer a good plate of falafel, hummus and tahini over a banana split any day.

 

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locomotion


locomotion n. movement, motion, moving

chariots-of-fire-w1280

About a week ago my one year old took a dive into the bottom of my bed frame and opened a quarter inch gash in his forehead. Being new parents, we took our blood covered toddler to the ER immediately, where they closed his wound with 2 stitches – all the while, my son trying to continue the sprint he started at home around the empty emergency room. Later in the day, as I went for a jog to clear my head a little bit, it occurred to me that locomotion – specifically running – has been an ever evolving practice in my life.

One of the first things my mother said when my son started walking is that I never walked as a toddler – that I only ran. So it seems my son has inherited this trait from me. He walked for a few weeks and then quickly gained speed and now it seems he only runs. When I was about 4, I was put out into the yard because, understandably, my mother had had enough. I ran, played tag with neighbors, rode my big wheels and usually returned to the house at dinner time covered entirely in hardened filth. My parents bought me roller skates – the great old kind with the key – and I taught myself to roller skate on the gravelly concrete, knocking the wind out of myself quite a few times but keeping myself busy for hours. I was always moving.

When I was in the first grade, my school’s CYO started a track team and my parents were very enthusiastic about getting me signed up. My father had run the Steeplechase in high school and was tall and lanky and loved to run. After or before practices in Votee Park he would race me and I still crack up thinking about the time he lost his footing and fell flat on his face. Saturdays were always my track meet days as a kid. My mom would pack up a picnic lunch and lawn chairs and we would head to a day long track meet with other St. Anastasia Blue Knights. Back in those days there was no stigma about little girls and body weight. We were put into heats based on our weight, and since I was rather portly, I ran against older, faster girls. I placed a few times, but it was just fun to run as fast as I could for 50 or 200 yards. Although, the relays were the most fun. For an 8 year old, learning how to pass the baton mid sprint was learning the true meaning of team work.

In high school, I was a sprinter at a very competitive sprinting high school. Running became more of a worry on my mind, juggling a part time job and school work. Like so many things as I grew older, running became much more complicated. I had to make certain splits to qualify for the invitationals on the weekend and to be in scoring heats for inter mural competition. The girls that sprinted at my high school were thoroughbreds – the best in the state, even the country. I was always in their dust. I used to have nightmares the night before meets thinking about the starter pistol and the blocks that could add whole seconds to your time if you tripped up. Perhaps it was this complicated mind game that led me to injury and not competing. Nonetheless, my sprinting days ended in high school, but the way I would run as an adult began.

I attended Providence College – a division 1 distance running school and I am pretty sure everyone ran – in between beers and keg stands. Providence was a great, hilly city for running and I remember my long runs to the East Side near RISD and Brown. Running became a way to get out of my head. Where sprinting and competing once caused me stress, going out on the road and not worrying about time or distance was heaven. After a few weeks of conditioning and getting used to a slower, natural gait, running became my haven during some difficult times. It still is to this day.

When I was young, I wore shorts and a t shirt – nothing wicking. My sneakers were the fanciest thing I owned. I remember my first pair of New Balances and how great they felt when they were so new and bouncy. I used to have a bright yellow Sony Sports Walkman loaded up with a mix tape of music that I had recorded off of the radio. These days my 34 year old body needs a lot of gear to get up to a 5K distance a few times a week. I don head to toe wicking layers under a wicking, thermal fleece that has 3 zip up pockets – one for my Iphone, one for tissues, and one for my wicking gloves, which inevitably end up coming off mid run. I wear a head band, ear buds and if it’s sunny, sunglasses. I top it off with an occasional knee brace or compression cuff for my groin..all so I can be comfortable while running…a sad imitation of what once came naturally.

My son’s running has earned him 2 stitches in his forehead…a fitting entrance to a life of locomotion.

I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way.

I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way.

And where does the power come from to see the race to its end? From within.

– Eric Liddell, Chariots of Fire

 

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