Thankful Thursday 30 April 2020

Last Thursday in April, what a month it has been! I’m happy to announce that I completed NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) 2020, my first time doing so since 2017! I’m quite proud of myself. I’m going to edit some poems, write a handful more, and submit them to chapbook contests. Huzzah! I’m thankful for the quarantine in that regard. Here’s the item: See Something New.

I want to fill you in a little more about last night’s post. While Philadelphia is a cultural city, I never felt like I fully belonged here. I don’t really support the sports team and get a lot of flack about it. Not only that, but there aren’t many creative jobs here. Sure, you get a lot of freelance stuff and you might have ad agencies here or there, but they sound like glorified fraternities (I made this post on today:

The more I look at that ad agency job, the more I don’t want to apply. As someone who doesn’t drink and is kosher and gluten-free, I don’t want the perks of happy hour and free meals because I will not participate! I would rather have a company that has awesome health benefits, and international offices I can relocate to. Tuition too, but that’s not high on the list as benefits and transferring.

How come most entry level jobs tout the happy hours and meal perks? Is this all that young 20-somethings care only about? Maybe it’s because I was always taught, “it’s better to have good benefits, good benefits take care of you for life”? I graduated at a non-traditional age; 24.5 from undergrad and I know I wasn’t looking at these jobs back then. In fact, I avoided these types of jobs. I see these entry level perks mostly with writing jobs. I guess that’s how I wound up at my current employer – it’s 40 hours/week, no happy hour and meal perks. I get benefits and a 401K, as well as 15% transit discount.

I guess I’ll never be a full-time writer in an agency. Maybe I’ll just work traditional employment and write on the side.

Am I picky? Mayhaps, but if I spent most of my time at work and if employers can be picky about who they hire, I’m essentially hiring them too. I might go to bars for performances, I don’t drink, but I feel uncomfortable of mixing business and pleasure. I wouldn’t do it and that’s why I looked for “traditional” employment.)

I got into contact with someone on City-Data who is a seasoned reporter; once this quarantine ends, we might meet up for coffee and chat. He knows I’m interested and we’ve been chatting about my interests. He said, “Philadelphia is a great city to get started in, but once you grow and want more accolades and money, you’ll have to move on.” Career wise, Philadelphia isn’t it in the long run. Short term, yes, until I build up my financial footing. However, I know going forward, I’m going to look for more “traditional” type employment, employment that doesn’t boast happy hours and free food, but important things like health care, 401K, transit, growth and offices elsewhere. Those are the things that are important to me. I’m thankful for Sandy and I’m thankful he has been listening.

I’m also thankful for someone else from City-Data. He’s known as Elijah and I’ll use that name here on my blog. He’s a local and last week he touched base with me. He sent me a link to his synagogue, so I could get involved in Zoom services. Last week I went on and I saw that I needed to be invited. I was about to message him, but he messaged me first about the invite policy. Great minds think a like! He gave me a call later that night to chat and we chatted for a good half an hour, he’s a great guy and a great help. He was going to e-mail his congregation and I have to follow up. I’ll do that tomorrow; I’m thankful that he has been so helpful and I’m thankful that he trusts me enough to recommend me to his congregation. Hopefully I can join and be part of another community. (I see why they invite people now: Protecting Against Zoom Bombing. The communities I belong to are  many of the things I do like about here.)

I’ve been noticing small acts of kindness during this quarantine. We might have to be physically distant, but we are not socially distant. I’ve actually been talking to more people since this quarantine started 6 weeks ago. On my walks, I’ve been talking to more neighbours and more to people I see along my route. Now we wave and chat (from 6 feet of course) every time we see one another. It’s really nice. It’s also really nice to see how this brought family together too, I see a lot of families sitting outside and chatting with one another since we are restricted with traveling. I gave one of my neighbours, they have two young daughters, candy a few weeks ago. On Tuesday, the four year old told me she threw some invites into our backyard.  I got home, saw the invites and picked them up. My four year old neighbour invited me to her recital next January. Such kindness in the face of COVID 19.



I’m thankful for the few days of nice weather, even though today is stormy. I’m grateful it’s supposed to be sunny on Saturday, that’s the day of my virtual 5k walk through Prevention. I ordered a shirt, but it wasn’t going to be shipped in time, so they sent me a refund and a print-out bib number (so thankful for that honesty and thankful they sent me a bib free of charge). I’ll wear another race shirt and pin the bib number to it. I’m going to walk to Costco, then back home. That’ll be 5k right there. Then I’ll log the number. I’m excited for this.

The flowers are in bloom too! Nan’s favourite flower, Lily of the Valley, just popped up too. Spring is here and so is the joy! I’m thankful for friends and family too.

What are you thankful for?

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Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

One thought on “Thankful Thursday 30 April 2020”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    Happy TT day to you, dear friend! Congratulations on completing the NaPoWriMo challenge for the first time in three years. Thanks for helping me understand the issues you have had over the years with the Philly area. I never gave sports teams a thought, and I think you are correct about those ad agency positions. I would steer clear of shops that boast about perks like happy hour drinks and meals. The last thing someone like you needs is a work environment that is essentially a 20-something boys’ club. I hope you can get precisely what you are looking for in the realm of traditional employment with traditional benefits.

    Elija’s kind offer for you to join his congregation and take part in the synagogue’s Zoom services was the kind of thing I was thinking about when I mentioned how nice people in Philly have been to you. I am very happy to know that you are encountering your share of kindness during this extended quarantine, including the invite to a recital tossed into your yard by your little neighbor girl. I’m glad it brought joy to you to see the Nan’s favorite type of flower in bloom – Lily of the Valley.

    Have a safe and happy evening, dear friend JM!


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