I’ve been out of work since early March. When I lost my job I was sad, sure, but I was also a bit excited about having Time. I knew I’d have so much free time in which to do whatever I wanted. I planned so many great things. I was going to write. I was going to take long walks and get to know Seattle in a completely new way. I was I going to visit all the farmers’ markets and cook delicious healthy dishes full of delicious healthy veggies. I was going to reconnect with friends and reconnect with myself.
I did exactly zero of these things.
Things I did instead:
-Watched the entire series of Alias.
-Watched WAY too much Law and Order: SVU.
-Got frustrated with myself.
-Whined some more.
-Got a little tiny job.
-Lost little tiny job.
-Decided I am my own worst enemy.
-Tried to be introspective.
-Took a nap instead.
The upside of this is that I did not spend my months of unemployment eating junk food. I stayed Gyminee-friendly. I did take walks, but not all over Seattle, just around my neighborhood. I’ve eaten way more fruit than I have vegetables. I whined so much that I grew sick of myself and had to take naps just to avoid my own company.
Over the 4th, Jon and I went to Idaho to camp with my sister and her husband. We’d designated the drive home (8 hours) to make a list of everything I needed to do to get my life in order. My finances are a hot mess and I was dealing with that by avoiding all thought of bills and money. I was in crunch time to find a new job, any job, so we had to make a list of possibilities including: coffee shops, grocery stores, and selling my body in Denny Park. Something about making this list snapped me out of my funk; it was a Come to Jesus moment with my Jewish boyfriend, which is as weird as it sounds.
The next day, I went to visit my friend Vickie, who was about a billion weeks pregnant and getting ready to give birth at any time. I mentioned to her that I wanted to be a nanny and asked for her thoughts (as she was a nanny before she got all Smug Pregnant woman on me). Vickie put my name out on a parenting email list and the next thing I knew, I had prospects emailing me like crazy. Within two weeks, I had found the perfect families and babies and am now happily employed by the Yummy Mummies. And Vickie has given birth to sweet baby Thor, so life moves on.
I can’t be fully happy yet though. I am unsatisfied with my behavior of the past few months. Perhaps it was necessary that I tuck away into the cocoon of myself but really it just feels lame, like I wasted 4 months watching life going by. I think I always felt that something was going to come along and save me from all my problems. You would think I would have learned long ago that life doesn’t work like this, but apparently my 28-year-old self decided to regress back to my 18-year-old selfishness.
I always try to create perfect scenes in my head and recreate them in real life. For example, I can always perfectly picture myself typing away on my laptop at the bakery down the street from my house, sipping peppermint tea and eating toast and typing words that will change the world (or at least words that will be spelled correctly). But whenever I try to create this scene in real life, it’s never how I imagined. The bakery is loud and they are slicing onions in the back, so my eyes are watering and my mascara is running down my cheeks and I have the sniffles. My toast is cold and my peppermint tea kind of tastes like goat cheese (??) and I have no idea what to write about. By the time I sit down and am ready to begin writing, the whole production has exhausted me and I want nothing more than to pack it in and go home and go to sleep.
I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. I’m told my behavior is normal for someone who is unemployed. Productivity begets productivity, so when you have nothing to do, it’s hard to do anything. For me though, this doesn’t help. I’m a time-waster by nature, perfectly content to spend an entire day reading on the sofa or marathoning some silly television show. I hear people say they get antsy if they don’t have anything to do, that they wake up on a Saturday ready to tackle a huge to-do list. I’m not like that. I’d like to change, at least a little bit.
Some of this is due to hormonal issues which have now been taken care of (I hope). A lot of this is due to being overweight which should get much better now that the aforementioned hormonal issues have been resolved. I am not a lost cause. But I’m far from the person I’d like to be. I’d like to be more flexible, able to roll with changes and adapt quickly. I’d like to be on top of my life, from finances to housekeeping to knowing when my passport expires and paying parking tickets on time. I’d like to not snap at Jon for no good reason just because I’m feeling upset with myself for being lazy. And I’d really like to know why my peppermint tea tastes like goat cheese (???).
There’s really no point to anything I’m saying right now, no magic moral at the end of this story. If I had to pick a bottom line, I guess it would be that I am ready for things to change. I’m sure getting out of the house every day to go to a job I like will help tremendously. But mostly I think it’s time to start taking responsibility for the things about myself I don’t like very much and quit making excuses or expecting something or someone to charge in and fix it all.
Thankfulness. It’s a lesson I haven’t figured out yet, at all.
But I am thankful for people like you who read and listen and come back even when I’ve tucked myself away for so long. And I’m thankful for a boyfriend who has become a partner and a mirror and comic relief when things get really tough. So maybe I’ve been watching life going by but at least I’ve noticed some of the better things it has to offer.
PS: I haven’t weighed myself in a few weeks. Gyminee is still going but with the health issues I’ve had, we decided to resolve those before I got back on the scale. My doctor was quite impressed with my weight loss plan and she believes I’ll have much success in the coming months. Expect a weigh-in next week!