My Realistic Life: The Pros and Cons of Unemployment

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Let me first preface this by saying I know how lucky I am. I know I’m blessed to have any amazing husband, the cutest puppy in the world & the best family and friends a girl could ask for. I know this. And I’m grateful for that. But at this moment in my life, I know that things could certainly get better.

Last week, on Wednesday, I lost my job. I hate that term, because it’s not like I misplaced it. I just hate the alternative, that I was let-go, laid off.  Although I’ve known for months that I wasn’t happy and was actively looking for a more fulfilling position, it was still a big shock to hear them say that I was being let go. I was there for two years and even though they weren’t the best, it was still a stable two years. Now, I’m the big U word and it completely terrifies me. I know thousands of people are in the same boat, the economy is still recovering and it’s completely normal, I know that. But I’ve never had this happen to me. I’ve never gone through something like this. It kind of makes me feel like a failure, like I didn’t do enough right. I have 8 hours of my day to myself now to think about what I want to do, what kind of job interests me and when I’m going to apply to graduate school. Real thoughts. It’s not that I didn’t think about this while I was working, but it wasn’t as necessary then. I didn’t HAVE to. Now I’m stuck thinking about my future, OUR future, and it’s kind of overwhelming.

As discouraging as all of this can be, I am trying to look at this situation with a more optimistic lens. I’m trying to be a glass half full person, no matter how hard that may be. So I’m trying to focus on the plus sides of this, the good things that can come from this sabbatical.

One, I get to play with this little furry ball of love every second of the day.

Two, I have time to blog. Which is HUGE. When I was working, I would either write the posts the night before or write them during my lunch break. Although on the days I had time, it worked perfectly. However, working where I did, time for lunch was never a guarantee.  I like having time to write without feeling like I’m “cheating” on my work. I know this isn’t permanent, but for the time being, it’s nice to really put time into what I love to do, which is writing.

Third, I can workout!!! This is a huge, huge, HUGE plus. When  was working 9-5, I was out of the door by 7:30 and home anytime from 6-7. Working out wasn’t impossible in this time frame, but it also wasn’t ideal. If I woke up early I was always utterly exhausted by 3pm. When I would wait until I got home to work out, I wouldn’t have time to cook, which meant, I wouldn’t have anything to blog about. I know I’m going to have to figure out a proper workout schedule for when I go back to work, but for now, when all I need to do is apply for jobs and write, I workout anywhere from 1-2 hours, 3-4 days a week! I’m working on a very detailed post about my new fitness regime, so you’ll see that next week :)

Fourth, I get to spend more time on my photography. We got an amazing DSLR for our wedding (see our honeymoon pictures here!) and taking pictures has become more to me than just pointing and shooting. Photography is a true art form and it takes years to really get the handle of what makes a beautiful photograph. But I’m really into it and I’m having fun learning the ins and outs. I’m still very, very novice, but it’s nice to have a hobby that I can really throw myself in when I’m feeling down. Plus, our backyard is perfect for trendy plant photos.

Lastly, I have more time to bake, cook & experiment in the kitchen. The only time I really had to spend playing in the kitchen before was on the weekends. And to be honest? It wasn’t really something I wanted to do after working 45 hours. Although he doesn’t show it, E is quite happy with this new arrangement because dinner is usually ready by the time he gets home. He’s home early from work today, though, so I think I’m going to make the first actual dinner we had at our new place, margherita pizza!

I’m certainly not trying to glorify unemployment, I’m just trying to look at it through a different lens. It’s one of those situations that can swallow you whole if you let it. I’m just trying to get by, day by day, and trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing in this life of mine.

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Comments

  1. Posted by Kate@Diethood.com on
    Friday, June 24th, 2011
    When one door closes another one opens. Don't be left discouraged or feel like you didn't do enough at your workplace - you'll see that this is a blessing in disguise soon enough. Enjoy your time off!!! :) 
  2. Posted by Eden on
    Friday, June 24th, 2011
    Hang in there! The right opportunity will come. I've been laid off twice- when a company was acquired and once when a company folded. Having activities I looked forward to helped keep my spirits up and in one case helped me land a dream opportunity.
  3. Posted by Layla on
    Friday, June 24th, 2011
     It's a blessing and a curse, I think. I'm starting to really enjoy it, though I would like to get back to work.
  4. Posted by Mrs. Puma on
    Friday, June 24th, 2011
    I'm glad you're able to see the positive side of the situation so early on.  I hope you find a wonderful job soon!
  5. Posted by Katie on
    Friday, June 24th, 2011
    I am totally a proponent of seeing the optimistic side of unemployment. Although I work part-time, it's not like I make insane amounts of money...so I still consider myself to be unemployed-ish. However, I really do treasure the fact that I have some flexibility in my day: time to run errands when everyone else is at work (yay! grocery store to myself), time to cook fancy dinners for the hubby and myself, time to read and write, etc etc. Yes, I would like more money and have a job that isn't below my abilities...but until then: I don't think that there is anything wrong about enjoying your life!
  6. Posted by Angela @ Swatchbook Weddings on
    Friday, June 24th, 2011
    Oh Claire :( I'm sorry you're going through this. I went through the same thing in 2009 - I was laid off from my job as a designer for a real estate company. I felt like a failure, I was embarrassed, and like you, sure I wasn't happy at that job, but I wanted to be the one who said I was leaving, not the other way around. After the initial shock wears off, you realize that this is an opportunity to reinvent yourself & as cliche as it sounds, things really do happen for a reason. You are one talented little lady & I know you will come out of this happy & successful! YOU CAN DOOOOOOO IT!
  7. Posted by Maris Callahan on
    Friday, June 24th, 2011
    Stay positive. You are going to be fine because you are doing all the right things.
  8. Posted by Steph on
    Saturday, June 25th, 2011
    I think you're looking at this in the BEST way you possibly can. I'm so, so sorry to hear that you lost your job, but I'm confident you will soon find another, more fulfilling job to replace it. And as you seem to notice, you have time (no matter how brief) to focus on yourself and what you love - enjoy it while you can! You'll bounce back - sending you lots of love and hugs <3
  9. Posted by Junia @ Mis Pensamientos on
    Saturday, June 25th, 2011
    love how you are looking at the possibilities with your free time now! it's not easy seeing the world with such a positive lens, kudos to you. hug*
  10. Posted by kjpugs on
    Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
    So I've been there twice. And as long as you're getting unemployment benefits and deferred any loans you need to, etc, and are applying for tons of jobs- you DEFINITELY can make the most of it. It's better to see it as a time to better yourself than let it get you down. I LOVE all your ideas! I want more puppy photography PRONTO!!!!!!!!! And more food if you can bring it to Indiana please.