After 6 weeks of unemployment and previously not having worked in a permanent position since December 2016 (I was supply teaching throughout the majority of 2017 as explained in The Mystery of the Missing Sparkle), I begin my new job on Monday (as announced in Taking Risks and Reaping Rewards!)! Despite the stereotypical ideal of unemployment meaning unlimited freedom, here’s what I won’t miss:
Not being constructive: In Alys Journals’ recent post Mental Chaos and Low Productivity: Living with Time Anxiety in a Non-Stop World, she quotes: “You’ll relate if you’ve ever had thoughts such as ‘it’s 5pm, I haven’t done enough today to justify how late it is‘, or if a feeling of guilt elbows its way in after an afternoon of down time, reading a book or having a movie marathon. A feeling of ‘I should maximise the amount of time I have‘.” This resonated with me massively. I felt embarrased if anyone asked me, “What have you been up to?” because I hated being perceived as lazy, even though I had made the conscious decision to leave the toxic (to me) teaching profession in order to protect my mental health enjoy a work/life balance! I think this is the crux of it though – a WORK/LIFE balance; not endlessly working but not being unemployed either!
Time being undefined: This leads on from not being constructive. If all your time is free, how can free time really be appreciated? As a teacher I looked forward to the weekends and holidays immensely because they marked a complete opposition to the interminable term time restraints, but when you’re unemployed with no definite end point, it’s just doesn’t feel the same as the school summer holidays – it’s a lethargic, unmotivated, worrysome type of freedom. However, working 4 days a week in my new job means I will once again fully appreciate and thoroughly enjoy my free time completely whilst still being able to fit in a few little projects!
Not being motivated: Some days, I struggled to see the point in even getting dressed. If it wasn’t for walking my dog, I honestly wouldn’t have bothered. As a teacher, despite the long days, I washed and dried my hair and applied make-up every single day and I wouldn’t have dreamed of turning up anywhere in unironed clothes. Being unemployed, my motivation and pride in my appearance seemed to wane dramatically to the point where I’d pop to Morrisons in a scruffy cardigan ‘rocking’ an unwashed messy bun and just not care. That’s not me, so I’m looking forward to having a reason to make an effort again (and wanting to – for myself).
Unrestrained eating!: Again, this links to not being motivated. It was too easy to trough my way through every day and frequently ‘reward’ myself with cuppas and sweets/cakes/biscuits for writing a blog post, doing the hoovering, walking the dog etc.! So, I am actually craving a healthy eating routine again and will be using my Fox & Moon diet planner to keep me in line and help me lose a bit of excess weight!
Not earning anything: Of course, money is an important driving factor for not being unemployed! I am fortunate enough to have been able to take time to search for and choose my new job out of desire not necessity, but I am extremely happy at the prospect of earning money for doing a job I am immensely interested in and proud of. I am especially looking forward to bolstering our renovation budget instead of dipping into it!