Employment Guilt: I Got A Job But What About The Others?

long-term unemployed

Last week I marked the one-month anniversary of the day I started my new job. I'm noticing that, like riding a bike, the routine of working full-time is beginning to feel almost comfortable again.

It was tough at first, but I'm getting used to it. Although I very much dislike the fact that I have less free time for my boyfriend and my dog and exercising, I enjoy so many other things about working.

It is so interesting and satisfying to learn new things every day.

I like contributing my knowledge, skills, experience and efforts productively again.

I love that my group health and dental insurance take effect next week.

I'm pleased with the fact that I met my goal of finding a new job by Christmas.

I feel better about myself.

Although I wouldn't describe this job as my "dream job," I like it and I like the people I've met. It grows on me a little bit more every day.

More:Is It A Mistake To Turn Down A Job Offer If You're Unemployed?

As 2013 begins, I feel more positive about a new year than I have in a long time. Yet even though I'm gradually building a new life, why are my emotions so mixed?

For one thing, I can't stop thinking about all my (former) fellow long-term unemployed people. I still read at least one sad, discouraged story nearly every day. I know that things haven't changed much at all for us baby boomers. For so many of us, they're still so bad.

I wish there was something I could do about this.

As one year ends and a new one begins, it's difficult to predict what kind of year 2013 will be for any of us. Jobs are still so scarce and the economy is still so fragile. The country seems unsettled and fearful, and the world is volatile and dangerous.

On a more existential level, we'll all become a year older and that's a sobering reminder that we're only granted a finite amount of time here. I'm so glad to be working again, yet I feel so uncertain about what lies ahead, not just for me personally, but for my loved ones and friends and country.

Is it just me? Is it my stage in life? Or am I just feeling what most of us are feeling these days?

All we can do is resolve to stay strong, determined and hopeful and to be open and creative when new opportunities and challenges come our way in 2013.

I wish us all a very healthy, peaceful, rewarding and joy-filled new year.

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