We went to dinner at a Syrian family’s apartment last night. Dasein, Laila, Ana, Nora and Ihab. It was my first time eating “Syrian” food, though Dasein informed me that Arabic food tends to be similar across the region. Dasein played a nice Arabic melody on his flute(s) for us, and we enjoyed listening about Syria and general life there. Laila showed us some of the herbs and spices she used in the Kebbeh and the chicken dish. Apparently, the herb is from her home village and used frequently there. Kebbeh is a mixture of wheat grains, ground meat, spices and herbs, which is deep-fried until crispy. It has a wonderful flavor and aroma.

In other thoughts, being unemployed can really distort your mind, or at least shuffle things around. Some days I think that it’s impossible to find “suitable” work at a “suitable” salary in a “suitable” area. Other days I’m encouraged by the thought that being out of work doesn’t mean you’re unemployable. The agony of the wait, I suppose, is offset by the enventual joy of finding a job.

I am truly thankful that I’ve got a supportive wife and a warm family environment in our small apartment. I often overlook the smallest things in my life that bring me the greatest amount of happiness, and perhaps I often don’t realize how worse off a lot of people are. That’s not to say that I should take delight in other people’s misfortunes; rather, I can see clearly now that my employment situation (or lack thereof) is really just a small problem in the big picture. It’s so common for us to want to see the bigger picture, but I’ve realized that only God has the big picture view. All I need to see is my small part of the big picture, and be patient whenever I want to see everything.

I can only partially guess at how some long-term unemployed people feel. I wonder when that feeling of hopelessness sinks in, or if it’s simply part of a gradual decline.