It’s been three weeks since I lost my job.
Heartbroken would be the least accurate way to describe how I felt about it at the time. Don’t get me wrong. I liked my job but I saw the change in employment status as an opportunity to do what I love. But, even with this kind of excitement, there is definitely an adjustment period.
I’ll admit that I got down. Things weren’t happening fast enough. I did’t crank out 40 pages of a new book everyday like I had in my daydreams. None of my titles conveniently hit the number one spot over night. Ridley Scott never called to make Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors his next movie.
With all of that, a little depression is to be expected.
But, I really think I’m past all that. I don’t miss my job. I expected to. At least a little. Usually when I lose things I miss them. Like my keys. If I lose those, I really miss them. Especially if I need to go somewhere. I lost my dog once. I’m still not completely over that. I don’t even like losing at Monopoly, especially when I’m cheating because WTF? I was stashing $500s under the board the whole time and I still lost?!
But, now that I’ve been home a couple of weeks, I love not being at work and I’ve started to see the upside to unemployment.
Here are just a few of the bright spots.
My kids. This is the best part. It used to be get home late, sit down to dinner, put them to bed and get back to work. Now it’s pick them up, head to a park, help with homework (okay, that part sucks) eat dinner as soon as mom is home, play charades, draw with my daughter, play Lego with the boys, teach them how to skate, patch up a skinned knee and then bedtime. That’s way better.
The Sun. The sun is up for 8 to 12 hours. I was spending at least 8 of that indoors. I missed the nicest part of everyday. Now, if it looks nice outside, I go outside instead of looking longingly at the fading day and wondering how much force it would take to kick out a plate glass window just to let some air in.
Exercise. I can make a thousand excuses for why I never worked out and every one of them would be about time. I always said, “if I had time” I’d work out. No one is more surprised than me that I wasn’t lying. I get to the pool a few times a week—I even had to buy a new suit. I lift weights at the house. I’m looking forward to taking the kids hiking on sunny days. I feel better. I look better. So, look at that, my job was actually making me unhealthy and ugly.
Naps. Holy crap that America hasn’t adopted the siesta. There should be hammocks in every office. Naps make us more productive and less whiny bitches. Before if I was tired (and I was because who works a 40 hour week anymore) coffee was my only option. Then I would be forced to struggle through the day at half capacity and hope that I didn’t fall asleep in a meeting or snap at some deserving jerk. Now it’s a 15 minute nap and I’m ready to go another 12 rounds.
Goofing off. Taking in a movie at 10 in the morning. Kayaking around the lake. Going for a simple drive. I’m really looking forward to goofing off. I haven’t had a chance yet. I’ve got a deadline. But, I will definitely get around to goofing off.
I’ll stop there for now, but there are many more bright spots to come.
When I first found out I was going to get laid off I started doing panic math. I was surprised to find that I was spending a third of my income just to go to work (daycare, gas, etc...) I’m going to miss the other two thirds of that money, but in hindsight it seems like a pretty expensive and stupid way to miss the best parts of every day.