“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


The (Brief) Luxury of Unemployment

Friday, January 04, 2008

Unemployment is a funny thing. There is a strange juxtaposition of stress and peace about it. The stress comes from the fact that I am, as of this week, no longer generating income and we are still paying two mortgages and have no prospects toward the sale of our other house.

Adding to that stress is the fact that I am looking for a job, which I am certain I am not alone in finding one of the most undesirable challenges one can undertake. This is compounded by the fact that I now live in a small town and there is only one job in the paper this week for which I am qualified. All the others call for skills in nursing, truck driving, or something called CNC machining (no clue what that is, but it seems to be in high demand); all skills which I am wholly lacking.

On the other hand, there is the abundance of time. I actually have time to keep the house clean. In the past three days since I became officially unemployed (for my pride’s sake, let me just be clear: I was not fired; my contract expired and the company had a freeze on extending contracts) I have accomplished more than I usually would in an entire month.

Some of my accomplishments have been pretty ordinary, like cleaning the house; but some have been things that I can usually only dream of, like completing the outline for a novel. I have also had the luxury of time to read. I finished "Emma", which I had been reading in bits and pieces for weeks; and today I started reading “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” by Lynn Truss (again), which is one of my very favorite books (besides which, my punctuation skills can use a little brush-up). I’ve also begun combing my year’s worth of Bon Appetit magazines for recipes I may want to try.

There is a peace about being at home, about being able to complete the tasks that need completing. Even the simply luxury of having dinner ready to eat when my husband gets home is something I find I enjoy as much as he does.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I have long aspired to be a full-time housewife, and even had the opportunity to be one for a while. I still hope to have that opportunity again someday. But alas, today is not that day. Today I am still looking for a job.

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