So this was the post I intended to post yesterday before my melt-down. Oh, the irony. I still think it’s mostly true, and yesterday’s post just illustrates that this entire situation is a process, and I just need to take each day as it comes.
The most surprising aspect about my currently unemployed situation is that I’m not nearly as anxious about it as I would expect.
There certainly have been anxious moments, particularly right after my unemployed status became official and all I could think about was finding a job. There was one complete melt-down, after a complete unhelpful ‘pep talk’ from a mentor followed by two job rejections in the span of literally five minutes. Then I finally took to the kitchen floor and sobbed. There have been days when all I can do is stare blankly at my computer, desperately searching my brain for new ideas on where to look for jobs.
These spells are few and far between, and have been pretty brief. For the most part, I’m my usual cheerful self. I’m not freaked out by the situation. I really believe that something is going to work out, just not as fast as I want it to.
I credit this mindset to several factors. First, there’s my belief that it’s not worth worrying over things beyond my control. This is an extremely helpful life philosophy, because it applies to almost every situation I’ve encountered. As long as I do my best, I don’t (usually) sweat the results. In this case, I know I’m networking and applying to numerous jobs. I’m doing what I can, so there’s no point in causing stress- which, by the way, isn’t good for your health anyway.
Second, there’s my ability to feel sad without dwelling. When my moments of despair set in, I allow myself to dwell a bit. I owe it to myself- this is an unexpected and frankly upsetting life development. It’s a part of the ‘grieving’ process after all, I need to allow my body to process things as it needs to. And when I do that, I find these moods pass pretty quickly and I’m back to myself.
Third, I’ve been really good about keeping up my exercise routine. I’m going into this a bit more later, but while I haven’t been as good as when I have a work routine to keep me on track, I’ve still been pretty consistent and I think this has helped my body stay in balance. Plus we all know exercise is a major stress reliever.
Fourth, I’ve taken the long view. I’m not thrilled with being stuck at home all day. Sometimes I beat myself up for not doing something useful with my time. What that something useful might be, I don’t know, which is obviously the problem. But there are a lot of people I know who would be productive somehow- getting uber involved with a volunteer group, starting some adventure they always wanted, or trying out some new job ideas. But frankly, I’m not that kind of person with innovative ideas. I have done some volunteer stuff, but I’m hesitant to get really involved and then just cut back drastically and suddenly when I FINALLY get a job. Plus, a lot of stuff that you think you’d do if you didn’t have to work involve money. Seriously- think about it carefully. Since I’m an extreme pragmatist when it comes to money- just ask my husband- I feel my job is more to avoid spending unnecessarily than anything.
But I figure that I’ll never have another time in my life with no responsibilities, aside from those to my husband and dogs. So I’ve decided to just enjoy that while I can. Most days I take long walks with my big dog. I’ve been reading a lot, and admittedly watching more TV than I’d like. I cook, and have tried out different fitness classes at the gym. Most days I still get up early with my husband, but when I’m really sleepy I allow myself to sleep in because I can. The only thing I regret is not getting involved in the presidential campaign- I really should have done that. Oh well, it’s in the past now.
So I’m not super stir-crazy. I’m not that frustrated with my inability to buy stuff- I’m not terribly into shopping anyway.
The only things that I do find extremely frustrating is the inability to make plans. My best example is New Years Eve. We’ve been invited to a bit of a soiree with some good friends of ours, but it carries a bit of a price tag. If I were working, there’d be no hesitation. But since I’m not, we’re not sure. We can’t make any vacation plans until I finally line something up. It looks like a house is still far off in the future, and there’s lots of restaurants we’d love to try but just can’t. I miss DOING things because of no money. Yes there are a lot of great things we can do for free, but there are also things that we can’t. That may seem whiny and first-world problemish, but that’s what bothers me the most about my situation.
All in all, I think that’s a good place to be in. I’m young, and still have a long career ahead of me. A few months now will seem like nothing in the long run.