Thursday, 9 October 2008

Be careful what you wish for....

Well the first week of unemployment is nearly over. I wish I could say that I am enjoying my time off but I'm not.

I'm feeling very displaced. I feel very down at the moment. I cant really put my finger on why this is. I have been in between jobs before and I haven't felt like this. I feel lonely and quite isolated. Perhaps I have realised what a great assignment the last gig was. Realistically I don't think something that good will crop up again. Perhaps it is the stark realisation that the only people hiring at the moment are local government. Local Government pays less than private practice. But its not just the pay its the thought of those dirty offices, and uncomfortable surroundings and the general atmosphere.

Do we need work to give us routine and structure? I'll admit that I've scoffed at this possibility in the past. But think about it, maybe its not so much the routine but the social interaction. We've all heard of those lottery winners who win a fortune but then announce that they wont give up their jobs. Now I sort of understand why. Is it because you have a ready made social circle and social interaction on a daily basis?

So I am thinking that if I feel like this now how am I going to handle The Escape? But then I think that in The Escape I will be OK because I will be "living" somewhere which aligns with my core values, there will be plenty to do and I will have DH. I don't have DH to play with at the moment because he is at work. The fact is that there is nothing to do in this city unless one works.
Anyone else faced the same issues when not working/giving up work?


Jack said...

I've thought about that same issue. I think routine is important to me, so I will want to structure a good one when I get out. I will probably be taking some online courses and will have a job, of sorts, regardless. Plus, you can always make new friends whereever you go.

Take care,


Claire said...

Jack - yeah I think those are good ideas. Its like doing time at the moment isnt it? Like waiting to get out of jail.

Jack said...

tell me about it. Just today I was thinking of giving it all up by tomorrow. Very hard, very hard.


PleaseRecycle said...

Hi Claire- I linked to you from Jack's blog (you're right- he is hot). This post resonated with me because I went/am going through the same feelings. I think you hit the nail on the head- humans are social creatures.

My 4-year old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia a few months ago and I quit my job to stay home with her (and her baby sister). Even though I was really busy taking her to clinic, doing chores around the house, applying to cancer foundations for financial aid, I felt, well, lonely. And really I still do. It's been a few months, but I still haven't figured it out. It feels like cabin fever.

After quitting my job, I have had to redefine myself socially. I don't fit in with the "mommy" crowd- the stay at home moms who spend all their time worrying about what brand of clothes their kids wear, and I feel awkward towards my former co-workers because I really only interacted with them at work. I am doing some online freelance editing work, but that hasn't changed things much.

For me the best way to cope is to get out of the house!! Walk to the park, go to the market, go to the Y or the library. Each day I plan to do at least one activity that allows me to have social interaction with someone besides my husband and kids. Talking with other people validates your existence in a way that nothing else can.

donna said...

i think you will build a whole new routine in time which will be more fulfilling than the old one. take up some hobbies, get to a class or go out running/ walking/ cycling etc if you start doing things you enjoy, before you know it you will wonder how you had time to work full time. try making a point of speaking to strangers, just a hello, or moan about the weather while waiting for the bus etc, you never know where it could lead, and it will brighten the other persons day as well as your own.
good luck on your journey i'll look forward to hearing how you get on

Claire said...

jack - remember you have one year to go, I know its hard. Any chance you can take a break, a short holiday or long weekend someone in the mountains or the great outdoors, it would do wonders to refresh you?

Pleaserecycle - Hi, glad you found me. What can i say about Jack's picture? Well I shouldnt say any more, Im a married woman! yeah its going to take some adjusting but I think you are right I need to get out of the house once a day everyday instead of reading on my lap top all day in my pyjamas

Hi Donna - thanks for your post - I know i need a new routine, I am going to investigate the local library next week!

Phil said...

Hi Claire,

When I left the corporate world, it took me many months to decompress. One of the biggest challenges I had was getting past the idea that if I wasn't sitting in a cubicle along with everyone else, I wasn't being productive.

Even now, while working a full eight hour day on my home business, I still feel guilty because I'm not out there with the other 9-5'ers.

What makes it worse, is the comments from friends and family suggesting that, somehow, I'm shirking my responsibilities and taking the easy way out.

I can now see that there is a lot of jealousy going on behind the scenes.

As far as missing the corporate world: I never really got along with my coworkers anyway. LOL

Claire said...

Hi Phil!

Great to hear from you. Guilt, well, I dont feel guilty - thats not my problem. Its more to do with isolation - but on reflection perhaps that is part of isolation...?

Family - mmm I dont really have any close family, well not so that i care what they think - but thats for my next post....But i dont understand about the shirking of the responsibilities..?

Jealousy, yes read pure and simply envy - you are out of the rat race and they are still in it!

Jerry Critter said...

You know what? Maybe you are over-thinking all of this. Changes always create conflicts with in us. Things will smooth out one way of the other. You will find work and get back into the swings of the working world. If no work comes up, you will adjust your life to accommodate a new set of priorities.

There's nothing wrong with you. You are just in a transitional period now. Go have a beer and enjoy your new found freedom - however brief it may be.

Anonymous said...

Hi Claire-I've been unemployed a few times in my life. It isn't easy. My dad used to tell me that if I was feeling low, I should go visit people in a hospital. Just walking down the hall and seeing the infirm, changed my whole attitude. Made me realize how truly fortunate I was.
You are looking at your unemployment in an unrealistic light. It really is an opportunity.

Sit down and think back to all the wonderful things you wanted to do in your life but never had the chance to do? Now, you have the chance. Was it painting, visiting a local art gallery, flying a kite, walking past a certain spot, visiting a certain friend, attending a special function? Whatever. Where is it written that a person has to be productive 24 hours a day? Just sitting perfectly still is ideal. When was the last time you sat perfectly still?
Continue your efforts to look for a job. When the time is right, it will appear. Use this time to connect back to yourself. Think about the things you would love to do. Perhaps you can make money doing the things you love: like walking a dog, babysitting a child, reading a book to an elderly person, volunteering in a hospital, soup kitchen, tutoring, writing posts in other's blogs and getting paid for it......the list goes on and on. What about taking a course to learn something completely new?

Don't squander this time. You know that you will def get another job BUT you may never get this free time again.
Good luck. Keep us posted.

PS: cook DH a surprise meal.

Claire said...

JC - thanks i've had several beers!

Boomie - many thanks for your thoughtful post