#2 daughter and I went to the mall yesterday.

A little background may be required. First, I needed to buy something for job interviews and client visits, not to mention the possible workshops. I was thinking of it in terms of the fact that I had gained weight this spring, but my daughter informed me that since I hadn’t had a new jacket, in any size, homemade or storebought, for nearly a year, I just needed to buy a jacket.

I’ve been saving my tutoring fees for this purpose. I’ve had it in my mind to go to some nice little dress shop where I could put myself into the hands of a competent saleswoman and walk out with a useful jacket, but we don’t have any stores that like here any more, so it meant going to the mall. The mall is fairly high on my list of aversions.

The rest of the required background is that I suffer a bit from agoraphobia. Shopping malls are not so high on my list that I am afraid of them, but they are high enough that I tend to feel disoriented there, and to have a desperate desire to get out of them very early in the shopping experience. Left to myself, I would almost certainly buy the first jacket that came close to fitting me and wasn’t actually made of yellow vinyl.  Accordingly, I waited until #2 daughter, the champion shopper, could come along.

5 She is such a champion shopper that I was able to take the funds I’d intended to spend on one jacket, and end up with two suits. I can wear the black one when I want to seem intimidating and powerful, and the green one when I want to seem creative and friendly. Both the jackets also looked fine with the jeans I was wearing, so I can also wear them for my regular client visits.

They are of course from last season’s clearance rack, but I can’t feature myself going to interviews in this season’s jackets anyway, since they are mostly natural linen in smock-like shapes and short-sleeved numbers in ice cream colored stripes. Very pretty, but not the image I’m hoping to project.

Following this escapade, we went to lunch and made lists for ourselves for the next steps in our respective job searches.

#2 daughter is not unemployed, but she is ready to move on in her career.

As for me, I’m certainly still job hunting, but I think it’s time for me to consider what steps I would need to take to get from where I am to the point where I can think of myself as a successful freelance SEO, rather than as an unemployed person who just happens to work a lot.

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Here’s #2 daughter’s chicken salad sandwich. Handsome, eh?

Some of the things I need to do just involve action — I need to get billing and financial records and taxes and things figured out, and get my paperwork system to the point where it can accommodate more than a handful of clients at a time. I need to figure out how many clients I need and can handle, and begin approaching more potential clients.

Some involve an investment, and I am not yet prepared to go further than buying a suit. Well, okay, I’ll buy some pantyhose, too, when I actually have an interview scheduled, but I have to draw the line there. Still, it is clear that at some point I will need to upgrade my computer to handle the additional programs I am and will be using, and I will have to have a website with a proper domain name, and business cards.

The business card issue has been on my mind. I don’t think I can approach potential clients without something to hand them. And, while I have figured out what to put on business cards, I don’t think I can actually make them without a professional email address, and perhaps a website as well.

So the approaching of potential clients is currently one of those things like the story of the old woman and her pig, where there are things that must be done first, and then things that have to be done before that, and then things that have to be done before each of those things, before you can actually get the pig over the stile.

We lounged around after lunch, talking. #2 daughter was invited to parties, and I proposed that we go hiking, but it was hot and we were comfortable on the sofa with our feet on the new coffee table #2 son made, so we didn’t move much at all.