Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Initial Shock

One of the things about being unemployed that always catches me off guard is the sense of being overwhelmed by time. With an office job, you know what you're going to be doing for 8-10 hours of your day - you don't need to question it. However, take that away and all of a sudden you realize how much time absorbs. Trying to find a new job obviously takes a good chunk of that time, but you can't look for a job all of the time. So now there's a lot of time to fill.

I mention this because i've been unemployed a few times in my life and every time there's been a transition period that I have to get past, filled with guilt and a bit of soul searching. The guilt arises because I was raised to believe that one should always be doing something productive, and so it's hard for me to relax and enjoy this free time knowing that bills are piling up (Hunter's day care doesn't pay for itself) and there are about a million chores waiting for me.

One thing I keep telling myself is that it's important to take advantage of this time to sit back, smell the flowers (or whatever the winter version of that cliche would be).and to "fill the bucket", an important idea I picked up from Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. Her book, dealing specifically with the creative process, talks about needing to restock your images, or words, or whatever though careful observation and thought about the world (done mainly through the "morning pages", a daily stream-of-consciousness journal you write in every morning). Unemployment is the perfect time to do this, as long as you allow yourself the time, without stressing out about what may be. (The ironic thing is that taking a moment to recharge yourself is probably the best thing you can do towards finding yourself a new job.)

I'll blog some more about these thoughts as I have them, but this has been what's been floating through my mind the last few days as i've been adapting myself to my new situation.

1 comment:

Dean said...

So true Todd, everything during the working week is hurry, hurry, hurry, and when you're between jobs those thoughts you've captured are dead-on. Another trueism I've found that I never before believed is that the next thing is almost always better...something to look forward too indeed.