Unemployment Is Hard Work

It may sound like a complaint, but really, it’s an observation.
Friday, November 11, 2005

You may think that the life of the self-selected unemployed is glamorous and relaxing, but in actuality it has its own types of stress. Take today, for example. I woke up on the early side of 8:30 and after showering and grabbing some toast and OJ, went to go run a few errands. Turns out today is Veterans’ Day, and so the bank was closed. That is one more errand I have to push off until Monday. I came back home and although I have a bunch of household chores hanging over my head, I decided to head out to read at a cafe for a bit. The whole time I was there, I felt like I needed to get back so I could get more things done before leaving on vacation. So I rushed back home, looked up the Goodwill donation center and made two trips to drop off clothes and an old computer. Finally, with a feeling of, well, goodwill in my heart, I decided to treat myself to a burrito, before coming back home to more chores.

When I was working, this would have seemed like a fine way to spend a weekend day: allocating some time to leisure amid the few hours of things that had to be done. Now, the few hours of “work” feel like they get in the way of what should be uninterrupted leisure time. The problem with this is not so much an issue of time, but really of attitude. I have more than enough time in my day to do what I want and what I need, but given the lack of structure to my day, I find it hard to motivate myself to do my “wants” because I become so mired in the “needs.” On the other hand, when I worked during the day, I made sure to spend some time in the morning reading and time in the evening with friends. The structure of work, gave me a structure for leisure as well.

I guess, given this short experiment, it is a good thing I have a job lined up in December. I don’t know how much more free time I can handle.