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.
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.
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.).
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?