Unemployment Diaries: 3.5 Weeks Later, The Dust Settles

Can you believe it’s been 3.5 weeks since I last held a job? I just got my final paystub in the mail. Apparently I had 2 weeks of vacation time. So… winning! I haven’t even checked my account balances. #blessed


I’ll be honest; I really thought I would have found another job by now. That was kind of the plan; well it was definitely why I abandoned my tentative plan of quitting Sep 13. Since I had picked up momentum in the job hunt process, I was leaning into that path. I thought there’s a good chance I’ll get another job and if I quit now I’ll at least have a week or two before the next gig. Win-win!

Although this week is not officially over, I know from my recent experience that positive experiences tend to occur on Tuesdays in the world of jobbing. Yesterday was Tuesday, and all I got were a few rejections. I went to a job interview – a normal one, I might add- and I think it went pretty well. Not well enough to offer me the job on the spot, but  I feel as though I definitely got more comfortable with the questions throughout this process. The main thing I learned is you don’t really have to answer the question, and if they ask the same question just give the same answer. They probably weren’t listening. That type of scenario used to really unhinge me…didn’t you read my resume? didn’t you just ask me that? Most of the time the interviewers have been roped into this and it’s just an interruption of their day. They don’t care that much. They’ll know within the first 5 minutes if they like you. And ultimately, who even knows who makes the final decision.

But prior to this experience, I took all of these experiences very personally. I mean I still am always offended that people don’t instantly like me and choose me for everything I’ve ever wanted, but I recognize that’s baseline. I’m not going to be able to convince anyone otherwise.

Next steps…

I decided the next two weeks will be a washout period. My primary goal is NOT TO APPLY TO ANY MORE JOBS!! I think 75 in 2 months is plenty!

It’s been tough because I said this last month. But in the washout period, I want to let go of any hope that any organization which hasn’t sent me a rejection email is secretly still considering me. I need to get used to the fact that I’m not going back to work for awhile. That being said, I did sign up for some job alerts on Indeed. I made them exact title match. This is because I know I have to go back to work eventually. But at least I won’t need to cull through 6 pages of job posts on a daily basis. And I can only check that email when I feel like it. So it quells my anxiety for missing out on that one job that was going to be sooo perfect, if only…

Also, now that I gave looking for another job a try (and failed), I can focus the remaining 3- 5 months on a sabbatical! Finally. Given the emotional turbulence the first few weeks of unemployment, I was looking through our town’s recreation catalog for an activity to anchor my day. I was interested in piano, tennis, a new language, different fitness and martial arts classes. And I might try a few down the line, so it gave me some things to look forward to in early retirement.

For now, I’m tentatively decided on a 9a fitness class on Mondays. It’s about twice the distance I used to drive to work, but the timing and the cost ($60) were the determining factors. Having it near the start of a typical workday at the start of a typical week is me having a little fun with the workweek. Yes, I can still get the Sunday scaries, but it is for an optional fitness class for 1 hour and then I get the rest of the week off! It’s as though I have to psych myself out to really enjoy it. I have to remind myself what I would be doing, if I weren’t so fortunate to have this time off. It’s a big psychological exercise.

So I’ll start with that and see how it goes. I hope to supplement this with some daily walks around my neighborhood. I hope to start the daily walking in my washout period over the next two weeks so I don’t have too many grand plans I can’t follow through on.

How unemployment affects my eating habits

Also, I’ve noticed some nuanced freedoms in my eating habits. I mean no one really tells me how to eat, but what I realized was a lot of times we eat when we’re not all that hungry because there’s a fear that we won’t have time or opportunity to eat later in the day because it’s not our lunch break or we have a meeting. So it’s more eat this breakfast or lunch or dinner now in case you don’t have time to eat it later. So we’re eating food our body doesn’t need and all that does is turn to fat.

So, basically my eating has been more irregular, and that was a bit unexpected. I expected it to be regimented. But I ate grapes for lunch yesterday because it was cold and refreshing and slightly sweet. And I was hot and my sugar was low. Then I ate grapes for dinner. And in the middle of the night, I had the same craving, so I ate some more grapes.

Where before, I would have had to eat a good lunch to get me through the workday; or I would not have eaten grapes for dinner because I had to eat a good dinner to make sure I don’t get hungry in the middle of the night and then wake up and can’t go back to sleep and be groggy the next day. You see the cycle…

Another win.
My electric bill only went up $3 from the average of $35/mon. I thought since I was home all day and running the air or fan and tv pretty much all day, it would be a lot higher. Technically it’s a 10% increase, but $3 is just a bag of fancy chips I can not-buy next month. So I’m pretty pleased about that.

So that’s it.
In summary, I’m finally calming down about unemployment. I’m setting a goal to take a break from applying to anything over the next two weeks (Sep 1 to Sep 15). And I’ve decided to resume my sabbatical for at least Sept 15 to Dec 15 (about 3 months, as opposed to six). During that time, I plan to sign up for a fitness class once a week to help anchor the week and mark time.

So working people, how goes it with you?

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