2/12/13

What Do The Unemployed Do? . . .

So I've been unemployed, including the weekend, for four days (I'm rounding up - it has been like 90 total hours). I have to say . . . this sucks. A lot. I'm not talking so much about financially (I got my last paycheck with some additional money since we get paid in "arrears" (snickers) and I got some additional severance so I'm not yet freaking out about financials. YET. But I'm mainly talking about that boredom that is masked as frustration.

Here's what I did yesterday. Got up (normal time). Reviewed and tweaked my PowerPoint for a guest lecture I gave at WSU on "Conflict Resolution in the Workplace" (I know, I know . . . irony is a funny bedfellow). And then I went and, you know, lectured, then I was treated to lunch (I gotta' say - KUDOS - on the really good Indian food in the student center, Shockers). Then I dropped off and picked up some things at the ex's new house. I went to the old house to grab a few last things for illegal dumpster dumping. I took my iPad and the ex's to get the glass replaced (kiddo broke them both months and months ago) and then I got Valentine's Day gifts, vacuumed and washed my car, bought new and replaced my windshield wipers (my old ones only broke last April, leave me alone), folded some laundry, walked to Food for Thought for some travel bottles and snacks for the trip (and the meantime). I exchanged e-mails with a few headhunters and my realtor. I updated my Netflix Instate Queue and then I walked over and got my daughter from latchkey.

Sure. BUSY day. FULL day. But, um, what the heck is next?

What am I going to do TODAY? TOMORROW? Until I get this whole "not gainfully employed" thing done? Seriously? What do people do? We can't spend money we are not making. We can't really sleep all day? We can't just apply for every job we see (Can we all (spare the Unemployment Insurance Office) agree we should at least be excited by opportunities, feel qualified for them, and see challenge in them?). We can't hang out with our kids or friends (they have school and jobs). We can't just read all the time. We can't twiddle our thumbs. We can't . . .

Okay here's what I CAN do:

  1. Read my Jew School books/homework/suggested syllabus/websites.
  2. Practice my Hebrew
  3. Clean out my closets.
  4. Finally organize all the pictures I have of kiddo and get a copy to my parents, one to my ex-wife, and one to her parents.
  5. Volunteer. I'm seriously considering just giving my full work day (save the time I need to spend searching for and interviewing for new positions) to a non-profit or even an established business here in Wichita that may need my help and may give me something for the ol' resume.
  6. Mixtapes. If you want one - SIMPLY ASK. I'll make you one. Maybe two. MAYBE three.
  7. Blog.
  8. Search for a job. Harass the leads and network I have. Tweak my resume. Post it "everywhere" and keep a very open mind while continually putting my best foot forward. Or whatever it takes to find a good match for my skills and enthusiasm.
  9. Knit. Knit. Knit. 
  10. Exercise. I went for a walk today (not a long one but I stretched the ol' calves out and hit the sidewalks). I might even be able to squeeze in six hours a day to work out at this point (smile). 
  11. Re-Watch the Fast/Furious franchise again.

I am PROFOUNDLY against downtime. I don't ever use my vacation (unless I am actually traveling for vacation) and sick time, for me, is not a real thing (I have to be 68% to death and very contagious to use any). I need to work. I need to be challenged. I need to be engaged and moving and in the midst of it and feeling productive and making money. This is who I am.

A lot of people say they are a parent first . . . sure. I'm a parent first. I make money and provide health insurance and contribute to college savings, wedding savings, 13th birthday present/month in Europe as a family (whatever that will look like 6 years from now) savings, retirement savings, life insurance contributions, etc. etc. etc. I'm a parent because I can set an example of work ethic and commitment and financial offering. I am the Great Provider to my child. Or I was. Until Friday. And I will be again. SOON.

I'm going to get wicked depressed, quickly, if this crap doesn't stop. Every blog post will just be me typing the same crap "Jack" did in The Shining. I may snap and stop showering. Or - worse - shower with low-cost hygiene products that contain (gasp) parabens. This can NOT happen. NONE of this can happen.

Must find a job. Must stay busy. Must end this quickly. In the meantime - What do any of you currently unemployed people do to pass/fill the days? Anyone who has had a period of "underemployment" - same question?