34 and 56

Two full months of funemployment and let me tell you what I accomplished:

1………

Well, see, I had a lot of good intentions.  I did!  I really had like, this phenomenal roadmap planned out for serious life enrichment shit.  Like, walking, meditating, meal prepping, journaling, creating art, sewing, sending hand written cards…I was ready to grab life by the balls and make it my spiritual bitch.  Sounds weird, but if you know me, sounds about right.

Well, I did some of that stuff.  I wrote some cards, that was fun.  I dabbled in a little reading… I didn’t finish anything.  I *DID* manage to binge watch all of Game of Thrones and Jane the Virgin (thanks Rachel!) which felt like a pretty major accomplishment.  I went on some walks.  I journaled a smidge.  I even made ideas about the art I thought about creating.  I didn’t meal prep, I didn’t clean (much to my partner’s chagrin).  I managed an impromptu trip to Chicago to road trip back down to Florida with my best friend soulmate, with a quick stop in Nashville which was probably the highlight of my funemployment.

I think the most valuable thing I learned about all of this is how CRAZY we are about working.  I would have never had an opportunity to stop and do NOTHING if I hadn’t lost my job!  Two full months of leisure!  I’m not made of money, but I read some books, saw some movies, spent time with friends, got a Class Pass and tried new gyms…I did some things that I could do when I work but maybe wouldn’t have.  Or just would haven’t enjoyed it as much because it would have been sandwiched between whatever other banal tasks were waiting for me, like cleaning the toilet or flossing my teeth.  Why are we so fucking bad at leisure???

Now, I don’t have kids and I was lucky enough to have a decent financial situation when unemployment hit, so I am not going to go around advising people to lose their jobs.  But I’m just gonna say that maybe unemployment was one of the best things that could have happened to me in a while.  A moderately anxious person who likes to control things and know what every next step is–had to slow down and appreciate the game.  And I didn’t have to plan soul enriching bullshit like some kind of spiritual colonic.  I just had to hang out and read some magazines.  Well played, life.

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34 and 24

I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude lately.  Maybe gratitude isn’t the right word for it, maybe it’s positivity or maybe it’s both.  Anyhow, I’ve noticed a trend over the past couple of years encouraging people to always be positive and happy and grateful.  And I hate it.

To be fair, it’s important to be positive.  And grateful.  Lots of studies suggest that having gratitude can do important things for our brains, our health, etc.  Resilience is another buzzword, and resilience and positivity/gratitude are certainly intertwined.

But as the movement has grown, the positivity comes with a certain amount of pressure and begins to lack genuineness.  People say things that are positive because they feel like they have to, not because they want to or because they feel it genuinely within themselves.  There’s definitely credence to the “fake it till you make it” but this is different.  This requires people to become constant cheerleaders and police themselves and each other if they fail to spout cheerful, bullshit rhetoric.

The important thing is to know where the line is.  Yes, try to cheer up your friend if they’re sad, but–here’s the hard part for most people–if they speak of pain or sadness or suffering, don’t push it away!  I know people fear these intimate situations, and worry that they don’t know “the right thing to say.”  I hope it’s obvious by now there is no one “right thing.”  You have to trust yourself, at least a little bit, to just be GENUINE.  It seems we’ve scared ourselves aways from anything that is real or true or painful or hard.  I understand why–there is often much to lose.  There is much to gain, too.

One of the most healing things you can do if you love someone is bear witness to their pain.  To validate for them that sometimes, life sucks a big, fat bowl of dicks.  To remind them that it’s okay to hate the world and everyone in it (for at least a little while).  It can be dangerous to linger there for too long, but in this case, I’m not talking about clinical depression or suicidality.  I’m just encouraging you to sit with them in darkness for a little while when they reach out.  And help them look to the bright side when they’re ready.  And if all else fails, suggest they talk to a professional.  After all, I need the job security.

 

34 and 8

Starting a blog?  I just turned 34, not 19, but here we are.  I’m not even entirely sure what I want to write about, or what I think I have to say to the world.  But here we are!

I have a lot of thoughts, yes.  Some funny.  Some controversial.  Nothing particularly revolutionary.  Let’s see, what are some things about me?  I have a partner, three dogs, and one cat that I regularly fail to mention because she’s a bit of a bitch (see, I told you I was controversial).  I don’t have any kids.  I swear.  A LOT.  Which is pretty amazing because I’ve gotten this far without saying “fuck” even once.  I like to eat, but I think most people do…?  Which seems like a natural segue to pet peeves.

Things I Hate:  When people describe themselves as any of the following:  foodies, people watchers, or having wanderlust.  I think, like, 90% of people fit those descriptors.  Who doesn’t like food?  We eat it TO SURVIVE.  If you don’t like food, you’re generally fucked.  Don’t get me started on people watching.  Again, pretty much psychologically primed to want to watch people.  And do you know anyone who HATES to travel?  I know people who hate flying.  Or who hate being away from their bed.  Or who hate spending money to travel.  But I have yet to meet anyone who actually just straight up is like “I fucking hate seeing new things, that is the actual worst.”

Other things about me… I’m a psychologist.  I love magazines.  I used to have a real problem letting people read one of my magazine before I did, but I got over that.  I both really like stuff and also really want to KonMari the fuck out of my life and live like a fucking monk.  I’m obsessed with Jillian Michaels… seriously, she’s fucking brilliant and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.  I’m super fucking liberal.  I support the hell out of LGBTQ+ rights.  I’m an Ally, but I’m not perfect.  I currently have, and plan to have forever, purple hair.  But I’ll probably have to dye it back for some corporate job.  Oh, I’m recently unemployed… which is also partially while I’m starting this blog.  I think it will be fun to document the stuff I’m doing during my down time, because I have a lot of ideas about how to enrich the shit out of my life before I get busy again.  Including the Artist’s Way, which makes me super fucking excited.

I like theme parks…sort of.  I work out.  Regularly.  I would say I like working out but I complain about it a lot.  I really like having worked out, I need to work out, and I like buying and wearing work out clothes.  So, I guess that generally amounts to “enjoying” working out?  Sometimes I run, but I don’t consider myself a runner.  You know, the people who get energized as fuck and enjoy running a casual 5-6 miles every day?  Fuck.  That.  Shit.  WITH SCISSORS.  I am cultivating a number of random hobbies including sewing and baking and reading and etc.

Alright, enough about me.  What about you?  Have you ever been unemployed?  How did you make the most out of your time?  Any advice to a newbie?