Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Navigating Treacherous Waters

I wrote some time earlier about keeping a clear mind when the world is in turmoil around you. This morning at work, I found out that my last day would be the at the end of the month. Our company sales are down around 50%, and the company simply can't maintain the current headcount. About 1/3 of our office would get the same message by the end of the day.

The unemployment rate in Michigan is the highest in the country. Jobs are hard to find, but I only need to find one of them. Companies are hiring ... selectively. Employers are looking for specific skills and experience; I need to make the match.

I've heard plenty of people say when laid off that they want to take it easy for a while. I don't think that's a very good strategy. What I do think is a reasonable strategy is to turn over every stone to see what's under it, and to try and first find something that's going to pay my bills, and then when the economy improves, find something that I'll want to do for hopefully a long time.

I do want to take the opportunity to work on my diet, practice more, read and work on my Japanese language studies, but my main task is to find another job. Having some time off should make the Lenten Challenge a little easier.

At least it's starting to get warmer outside and I won't be cooped up in the house. From time to time, I'll let you know how it's going.


Anonymous said...

Hi Rick,

Sorry to hear about your job situation... hope you find another soon, and that you keep doing all the good things you are like this blog...


Rick Matz said...

Thanks. It was interesting this morning. I usually get up at 6 am, wake my kids at 6:30 and get in the shower, then we all leave for work/school at around 7. This morning I watched them leave and I anticipated practicing for a while before I ambled into the office (I'm not in any hurry these days).

While practicing my form, I noticed that I kept feeling an urge to hurry up, so I could get to work, where in reality, I literally had all the time I wanted.

This is going to take some getting used to.

Krista de Castella said...

Hey Rick,

Work situation sucks. But it's good to hear that you're staying positive about it all.

At least you'll have more time for blogging right?



Rick Matz said...

At least it will be easier to keep up with the Lenten Challenge.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about this setback. But your game plan sounds excellent. Hit the ground running, secure your base while looking for opportunity out of crisis. Don't waste a day, but stay calm and resolute. Someone will be smart indeed to give you a chance to join their team.

IMO, don't be afraid to put avocations aside until you get survival-related matters in hand. You've been training for many years, now's the time to fight.

Rick Matz said...

I believe that we make our own lives, and I'm looking forward; not backwards.


Erik the Strange said...


The dojo image on the top left of my blog represents the clarity while the world is full of turmoil.

I know switching work is stressful, but usually I congratulate people when they get laid off. You will get a chance to play a whole new game for a while.

Best wishes

Rick Matz said...

Thanks. I am looking forward to taking the opportunity for a reset. I like beginnings. You get a chance to create yourself anew.

Michele said...

Sorry to hear about your job. It does sound like you have a good strategy. I know how difficult this is because my husband had been out of work. He started a new job three weeks ago. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

In regards to the Lenten Challenge, I am doing ok. I know I missed a few days. I find Saturdays to be my biggest challenge.

Rick Matz said...

I'm finding it much easier to keep up with the Lenten Challenge!

Anonymous said...

All the best Rick. In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. (Albert Einstein).

Zen said...

Hope you down luck
turns to good.

Rick Matz said...

Thank you Shang Lee, thank you, Zen.


Michael P. Garofalo said...


I hope you and your family can manage in these difficult times. Sorry to hear about your loss of employment.

My wife and I work four different part-time jobs to make ends meet. Unemployment is up to 13% in our rural area. Difficult times for many people.

Hopefully, Cook Ding will keep on cooking.

Mike Garofalo

Rick Matz said...

Thanks for you kind thoughts. I'm still cooking!