Being jobless during Christmas is often tough and painful, but a jobless New Year’s Eve can make it all seem so much worse.
On top of the endless “silent night” of unanswered job applications there is the forced downsizing of holiday gifts for and dinners with loved ones and friends, as “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and the parties get reduced to virtually none.
Then there are all the bittersweet scenes, images and imaginings of more fortunate upbeat revelers toasting the booming stock market that’s left the jobless behind and contemplation of the coming year that you fear will too.
Finally, there’s the coup de grace[lessness]—the jobless New Year’s Eve. As the culmination of all that stress and perhaps worst of all are the gathering sweet poignant strains of “Auld Lang Syne” that now strain an unsuccessful job-seeker’s faith in time, which, increasingly, seems to open rather than heal wounds.
That’s how gloomy it can get—unless there’s another way of looking at it all, something akin to the fresh, hopeful and empowering perspectives Charles Dickens’ Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future ultimately offered Scrooge.
The Solace and Wisdom of the “Ghosts of New Year’s Eve”
Now, I’m no Dickens; but I think I can pick up where he left off and have a whack at what Ghosts of New Year’s Eve Past, Present and Future might be able to accomplish in a visit to a thoroughly demoralized , unexpectedly broke and job-seeking Scrooge just before the stroke of midnight:
Ghost of New Year’s Eve Past: [Rattling chains, entering from a mirror] “Woooo-oooo…Ebeneeeezer Scrooooge, yes, you’ve had a tough year—a very tough year. But you’ve almost certainly had better ones. That’s why this last one seems so bad—by comparison with some other, much better New Year’s Eves past. Don’t forget those.
Besides, past job markets, wealth and opportunities may be entirely gone; but you aren’t. Certainly, those past better years and you count for something—more than something, actually quite a lot.
If, however unimaginably, you believe you’ve never had even one happy New Year’s Eve, this one may seem bad only in comparison to the celebrations of envied real or imagined others. Well, if you want to play that game, play it fairly and be sure to include comparisons with those far worse off than you are or imagine yourself to be. That should help even the score.
Many, if not most job opportunities of some past New Year’s Eve, like that year itself, are gone forever. But your intangible resources are not—most especially and importantly, your will.
So, even if, because of accumulating pessimism, you are not feeling up to making any New Year’s resolutions, you must make at least one: to keep your will power and resolve intact and strong.”
Ghost of New Year’s Eve Present: [Whooshing through a closed window] “Boo [hoo]!…Sure, tonight it looks bad, Scrooge. You’ve got no job interview or offer this evening. But, you’re not supposed to—it’s New Year’s Eve. There may be an insanely busy shorthanded local tavern that needs an extra hand, but the job you want is something else, somewhere else—in a business that’s not open tonight.
Besides, if you really need a job, any job, wait until everything is open again, the day after tomorrow. There will be lot’s more opportunities then.
So, even though it’s not Thanksgiving, be grateful that you’re in a warm, dry place you call “home”, if you are, and even more grateful if there’s a warmhearted someone here with you. Ah, but you don’t even have a cat.
Others who are not so lucky tonight, if they have even one friend in the world, they should try to make contact. If you of they don’t, you should all try to make a new one. If you can’t, try to light whatever candle you have, to better see and dispel the darkness.”
Ghost of New Year’s Eve Future: [Appearing and hovering over the sofa] “Scrooooge….Ebenezer Scroooooge!…New Year’s Eve—past, present and future—is an arbitrary marker. ‘New Day’s Eve’ would serve just as well and probably more helpfully, to the extent that it requires taking stock, making resolutions and keeping them much more often.
Instead of dwelling on an entire past year or fearing the next one, mindfully—if not as gratefully as possible—focus on the day, even the hour or the minute.
Forget about having a ‘Happy New Year!’ Go for a ‘Happy No Year!’—i.e., a ‘Happy New Day!” instead. You won’t have to wait as long for a chance at the next one and will have 364 more chances than a single New Year’s Eve offers.
As for your future, I won’t be trite and preach the gospel of ‘a glass that is half-full’; nor should you brood over a ‘glass that is half-empty’.
Instead, just appreciate two things:
1. 1. You still have a glass.
2. 2. It isn’t broken…
…and neither are you.”
Note: See my “Merry Un-Christmas!’—Useful Office Applications of an Alice-in-Wonderland Tactic” as a companion article presented in the same spirit of alternative thinking about this holiday season.