You may remember that back in November, I quit my job.  Aaaand by quit my job, I mean I gave notice. Ahem, five weeks’ notice.

run away, run away!

You guys!  If you are going to leave your job, I highly recommend giving way, way less than five weeks’ notice.  Here’s what happened over my last five weeks: I got less invested and they did not hire a replacement.  Both things that were not good.  Also, I made some money.  That‘s a good reason to give five weeks’ notice.

What am I getting to here?  After leaving my job, and doing lots of petsitting, yesterday marked my first day of full-on unemployment.  I know a lot of other people are also dealing with (f)unemployment, and after watching my wife survive six months of it, I have some thoughts on how to maintain my sanity and enjoy – yes, I hope to enjoy! – this temporary period of having absolutely no job at all:

First, know that it is temporary. Maybe say this to yourself every single day.  So often these days, Turtle says, “Wow, I wish I’d done this when I was unemployed!”  Because it seems so endless, it’s hard to be motivated; but it will end, so take advantage of your, ahem, unpaid vacation time.

you know, live for the moment, dance like no one is watching, all that jazz.

Second, get up at a reasonable hour. I say reasonable hour because it’s pretty subjective.  For me, a reasonable hour is sometime between 6:30 and 7am.  It gives me time to sleep in a bit, but still have my entire day.

Third, start your day with something productive. I drop Turtle off at the bus stop and then take Daphne for a good off-leash romp somewhere.  I signed up to volunteer at a local wildlife center, so every Monday morning I have somewhere to be.  It’s nice to start the week feeling like I’ve accomplished something, even if it was just show up and look at pretty raptors (you guys!  Yesterday a Broad Winged Hawk was NOT happy with me. It was awesome.).

Tuesday morning hike with the beast.

Finally, set some goals. Mine are probably very different from what yours would be, but they include working with Daph on 3 new tricks a week, taking her out for at least 30-45 minutes every day, and writing every single weekday.  They’re not big goals, but they are productive and measurable and manageable.

Yesterday I did my volunteering and then deep cleaned the kitchen and reorganized a few parts of the house that we haven’t really touched since moving here back in May.  I was nervous that I got too much accomplished yesterday and wouldn’t have anything to do for the rest of the week – but then I set up some interviews to volunteer at a few other places, and I’m excited to see what comes of those.

If you are or have been unemployed, how are you maintaining your sanity?  What advice do you have?



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13 responses to “FunEmployment

  1. I love your mentality on your (f)unemployment. I was unemployed back in the summer of 2009 for four months. I made a daily/weekly schedule and am so grateful to have had the extra time to spend with my dogs, catch up with friends who don’t have a “regular 9-5” schedule and get a lot done for our house hunting/job hunting/etc. I think you’re doing a great job and having a daily schedule definitely makes you able to tackle all of life’s projects and tasks that we let go by the wayside in the fuss of maintaining a “job.” Enjoy this time!!

    • Oooh a schedule hadn’t really occurred to me! I should really do that… I keep finding myself stuck surfing the internet. A good timesuck; the gym would be a better investment. Thanks for your encouragement!

  2. HELLO! Welcome to my world! This post makes me feel a little guilty because for a while there when things were starting to seem really hopeless in my job hunt, I did nothing remotely close to filling my days up with productivity. Anyway, now I am back on the horse of being competent at unemployment, so I have been de-cluttering the house and feeling awesome about it. Also, LET’S SOCIALIZE!

  3. I wish I was unemployed at the moment so I can be productive in ways that I can choose. Of course, I should not be saying this because I’m very lucky I have a job, but still! Today is my year anniversary of being part of the work world [which i just realized] after graduating college and i still have realizations like, “wait I actually have to come to work every day AND I don’t get the summers off”. hope you are enjoying your days.

    • I spent so much time saying, “I wish I was unemployed!” and honestly, I am grateful to be (temporarily) unemployed. I have finally have a chance to do all the things I couldn’t find the time to get to. Happy anniversary of Real Life!

  4. Kristine

    Such a great attitude to have. Good for you. I have a feeling a certain furry one is going to love your unemployment. Enjoy it!

    • My CAT is loving it! He’s like, “There’s a lap here ALL the TIME. AMAZING.” Daphne, disappointingly, sleeps most of the day. My previous guilt about leaving her home alone all day is OVER.

  5. I tried to spend time going to museum, seeing exhibits, and reading things I hadn’t had time to in the past few years. These were all things that will help my career, but weren’t so urgent that I did them while employed. I think just trying to stay involved in your field, even if it’s just through reading, writing, or visiting places is good. Keeps your mind sharp.

  6. I also think it’s funny that a “reasonable” unemployed wake up time is 6:30-7 for you, while it was 9:30-10 for me. Ha!

    • Haha! Part of the deal with quitting my job is that I wouldn’t be warm and cozy in bed while Turtle has to get up (it’s cold and still dark in the mornings)… it’s a sacrifice I had to make. I like to pretend it is for my “productivity” but honestly it’s more for my marriage. My cover’s blown.

  7. these are AWESOME – it is way easy to enjoy unemployment feeling like it’s never going to end, but we’re already getting to that, “Oh, f*ck!” stage and we haven’t been totally enjoying our days together.

    broad winged hawk = angry!? that’s no good at all.

    i’m also with bunny…although reasonable/sleepin hour for me is closer to 11 (which means 12)….what? i didn’t say i was proud of it.

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