By Mariam Williams
I’ve had jobs I loathed so much that I would cry when my weekday alarm clock signaled the time had come to get up and get dressed to go to the office of misery. Is unemployment better than that? Definitely, even with all the hassles of sitting for hours at a time at the local unemployment office, all the glitches in the system, an automated system that only understands hourly work, never being able to earn extra income, and knowing I’m one out of something like 10 million people. But it’s only better because I can still afford all the food I need and like, and I can still pay rent and most of my monthly bills without familial or charitable assistance. If that weren’t the case, I would probably be waking up and crying just as hard as I once did over a depressing, unfulfilling job.
Since October 2008, I’ve tried to avoid going back to that situation by not applying for jobs that I know would leave me depressed. (I’m presently wondering if that’s the reason there are supposedly millions of job openings out there that the unemployed aren’t filling.) I have focused instead on jobs that match my interests, experience and skills, and even ones that I think would be fun. For me, that’s the ideal: fun employment.
Not quite the same as funemployment, a new term I learned from an article in Sunday’s Courier-Journal. The funemployed have learned to enjoy their employment hiatus by spending time with their children, on their hobbies or at various, mostly free attractions. From what I gather, all of the funemployed featured in the article share my mindset: they’re still paying their bills on time and taking care of the essentials first. And one has the enviable position of having a gainfully employed and supportive spouse who’s bringing home enough for the family.
Understand, I’m not saying housewifery—or house husbandry—or lollygagging along on government assistance is the ideal setup for every American household. I am, however, suggesting that the ideal isn’t just to have a job that’s fun to go to every day; it’s to have a steady source of income and the time and ability to enjoy your passions each day, even if you don’t go to any job anywhere.
Puzzled as to how to be funemployed? It’s really just a combination of a positive attitude and knowing how to fill your free time now that you’re living life laid off. Here are some suggestions. I’ve obviously done number 13. Numbers 37, 41 and 84 are quite useful. And I strongly recommend AVOIDING number 46, but clearly it’s all up to you.
© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.