10 May 2012

Unemployment is Hard.

One of these days, I promise, really, I will have an honest-to-goodness happy, upbeat post.

Yeah, today's not that day.

So, unemployment. It's hard. First of all, you have that no-money-coming-in thing going on. I am incredibly lucky as my husband is well employed in a fairly recession-proof industry. But it's meant loans have gone into deferral, credit cards are off limits, my Kindle is perpetually set to offline, etc., etc. Like I said, I'm incredibly lucky, and I know that. But given my past couple of job experiences (which frequently led to self-doubt) coupled with a chronic mood disorder, things get out of hand in my little world nonetheless.

In what will no doubt echo at least one email I will receive in response to this post, it's difficult watching people complain about their jobs on Facebook and having to physically restrain oneself from commenting "AT LEAST YOU HAVE A JOB. WAH." It's totally unfair of me and intrusive into what I call people's online living rooms, so I've managed to not actually write on people's walls/in people's blog comments/leave notes taped to their kitchen windows. But still. Hard. So then I go offline and become a hermit for a week. This is no better, because then I shuffle around the house aimlessly, half-heartedly futzing around with a project or fourteen, and then I fall asleep.

This is because, you see, time doesn't work when you're unemployed. You heard me. The time half of the time-space continuum: it's broken, trashed, kaput the second you sleep through the alarm that first day. You close your eyes for ten minutes at 10 AM because the kidlet was up in the middle of the night needing to go potty and it took her an hour to get settled back down, and the next thing you know it's four o'clock in the afternoon. Seriously--temporal disturbance. Someone page The Doctor or Jean-Luc Picard, someone who's got a clue of what's going on because I obviously have some sort of acoustic cavitation bubble cloud floating around my house. My personal theory? I think it's caused by CastleVille. (What? I'm depressive. FarmVille is too demanding.)

The other thing that happens when you're unemployed is everyone tells you that this is the perfect time to write that novel or work on that hobby you've always wanted to pursue. Yeah, not so much. I don't know about many of you out there, but I'm not great with internal motivation. Translated out of educator-speak, that means I don't get squat done without a deadline. To counteract this tendency, many writers, advice-givers, and gurus out there advise you to make your own deadline! Conquer your own destiny! Start a land war in Asia! The thing is, I know the deadline's crap. I set it. So I putter, and I putter, and I play around online, and I stare at the screen. The next thing I know the temporal flow of the universe is on the fritz again and it's 5 PM and I should really change out of my pyjamas before my husband and kid get home. Look for my future post, "Hygiene: the Silent Victim of Unemployment."

So, maybe this post was more upbeat than I realized going in. Perhaps it's true what they say about comedy stemming from tragedy. Once upon a time I had a boyfriend who thought I was hilarious when I was angry or bitter, and just hysterical if I managed both. The man nearly hurt himself listening to my commentary when we were caught in a cold downpour on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. Looking back, I should've thrown him over the rail into the cold October ocean but hindsight's 20/20, you should never invade Russia in winter, and you can't leave your fingerprints on his neck and still call it an accident.