The expression that finding a new job is a full time job is accurate. When I was laid off I thought that with two lessons and five years of relevant professional experience finding a new position at a similar company would be rather simple. At the time I lived in a major city and while the economy was down, there were still companies that were flourishing. Two years later, I finally found work. My new gig was a thousand miles from where I wanted to be and paid about 65 percent of what I previously made. Still, it was a new start and I was excited to be back in the working world.

After I sold my house, found a place to rent near my new company's headquarters, and moved, I had to go through some basic HR stuff. I filled out paperwork, took a drug test, and got a physical. It was at the doctor's office that I got surprising news.

I have always been a healthy person. Maybe that's fortunate, or sometimes it is because I do not have a high-risk tolerance. I frequently pass on opportunities to ski or ride motorcycles or participate in other activities that seem dangerous to me. Because of my choices I've never broken a bone in my body and by in large have very few nicks and scrapes. In any event, I got bad news when I took a hearing test.

Taking a hearing test did not bother me when I visited the doctor because it was a standard part of the check-up. Honestly, I probably had not been to doctor recently enough anyway and this was a good chance to make sure everything was alright. When the doctor told me that the hearing test results were either perfect nor alarming, I was alarmed.

The hearing test show my left ear was working at about 90 to 95 percent of what should be expected. The doctor did not see a need to do further testing but said that I needed to be aware of the situation and make sure to monitor it at least once a year. I was not so confident.

I contacted an audiologist who did a battery of tests. Her conclusion was the same as the original doctor. Keep an eye on it but do not worry. The last three years I have had no change. I hear well, just not perfectly. I love the job and got promoted less than nine months after my hiring. The area that I thought I wanted to live in pales in comparison to my new home. Life is good. Being aware that my hearing is not perfect is OK since I get it checked regularly and recognize nobody is perfect.