I have discovered an upside to unemployment. Granted, I've only been unemployed for about 6 weeks, and I still have severance and unemployment insurance keeping me going. Plus, with having interviews nearly every week I feel confident. True, I could find myself mid-May still unemployed and running out of funds, but for now, I see an upside.
For one thing, I'm staying up later than usual and getting up later than usual. Now, that only means I go to bed around midnight and get up before 7 AM. But after years of going to bed at 10 to get up at 5, or some variation of that, it's a "luxury". Plus I've been writing more, I've decided to focus on music study during this time, and I've been active in doing things in and around the house. Lorrie has me helping on her blog, and I've been catching up on series TV on Netflix, watching "Mad Men" or "Sherlock", or streaming "Downton Abbey". The house is still decorated for Christmas, but that's only because we finished decorating so late (Christmas Eve), the tree is still fresh, and I don't feel the pressing need to take them down over a couple of weekends so I can get them all back to storage. In other words, there is no pressure of work to make my life at home feel like I have to task on something because I only have the weekends to do it. Frankly, after 30 years of work, with only vacations as breaks, this does feel nice - for now.
But the biggest upside is that the kids like having me home. I make sure they get up, have a good breakfast, and get on their schoolwork. I make sure they practice (and subsequently their piano lessons have been going better), make their beds, pick up their rooms, and give them hugs and fist bumps, and make fun of their hair or what they're wearing - and they are loving it. The reward of having time with them, even if Colin does play Roblox or Minecraft all day, and Audrey stays in her room and draws without ceasing, is worth this time off. And yesterday, as part of this reward, my desk was filled with Audrey's drawings. I don't have a place to hang them (she used to give me drawings to hang up in my cubicle at work), but I am saving them for my new place - wherever that might be.
I've shared the surreal nature of having been let go in a past blog, and I still sometimes don't think this is all real. When I interview I talk of where I'd been for 30 years and speak of it with fondness. But I have never thought of this time and event - being laid off - as terrible. It has been, in a way, a blessing. And I think that lack of desperation and a relaxed nature comes through in my interviews. I feel confident, and happy, and ready for whatever comes along.