While scrolling through Instagram the other day, I saw a post by a gal I follow; highlighting one big thing that has happened to her for the last ten years. I have never done anything half as impressive as donating a kidney to a friend! However, I have been pretty self-reflective lately, and well since I am unemployed, I have a bit more time on my hands. The post inspired me to sit down and contemplate what my own list would look like.
I have a book. It was a blank book when my sister gave it to me when I turned 18. We all thought my future was somewhere in art. Instead, I have used to write in. Draw little things of random places and past a photo or two of something important. Id write about about a good book ive read. Something that upset me. Past a polaroid of a drunken night with friends. Some long gone, some still around. This year marks my 10th of owning this book. I didn’t really have a plan for it. But I hope oneday kids find it and learn things they never knew about me. I hope I can keep it up for another 10 years. On the back of the book I wrote the year and one significant thing about it. Just one. It’s not as easy as it sounds. A lot can happen in a year. A lot has happened in 10 years. But this year. This one isn’t done yet, but I wrote in 2017s entry. Because its quite an entry.
I started with the last 10 years and I was pleasantly surprised. I have had some crazy milestones so far! It puts life into perspective when you think back on the one key moment of your life, for each year. I decided to take it further, and looked back on 20 years. So many ups and downs, massive life changes and small moments that actually ended up being rather pivotal key moments in my life. Things that made me sad, and things that made me laugh and remember the moment like it was yesterday. I have had an amazing life so far, and I am incredibly grateful for it. This list check made me realise, that while you are focusing on days and weeks – life has a habit of getting busy. Even when you aren’t really taking note of it, its creating moments that you will later look back on.
In the blink of an eye, 20 years goes by pretty fast. In 1997, I was 15. It was the year I got my first ever job. Ha! It was a job at the local Wimpy, as a waitress. Earning a small sum of R5 an hour, a total of R25 a day, working weekends and school holidays. The best part of the job was getting a free burger, chips and a coke. Flip, I loved that job! I saved up and bought a Smashing Pumpkins double CD with my first paycheck. Took me about 3 months, but I was so stoked when I could afford it! It was the first time in my life that I felt the true meaning of work hard and you can earn “good” money. And later, I look back and realize the lesson really was: when you enjoy your job – money actually doesn’t matter as much.
After reflecting, I realised, this is first time in 20 years that I have not earned some kind of income. Either part time or full time, I have always had a job. Right now, I am unemployed, and I am not too sure how I feel about that. I have been really focused on being more kind to myself this year. I believe that when you keep positive, good things happen. But I’m kinda not sure how to take being unemployed. At first I will admit, it made me panic. What the heck am I doing with my life?! But then I thought about it some more… I guess I realise now that you have to sometimes accept that this might be an obstacle to guide you on a path to something bigger and better. So here is hoping that this short break, leads to great things, and the best new job! In the meantime, here are my 5 tips for handling unemployment:5 tips to handle being unemployed Click To Tweet
1. Get a routine
I am enjoying naturally waking up at a normal time, without an alarm clock. At first, I slept in, but now I seem to naturally wake up, feeling well rested. In order to feel this way, I know I need to have a routine. It also means I still need to get to bed early, to get good night’s rest.
2. Plan outings
I have been fortunate to make a few friends, who are either stuck in a similar situaton, or know exactly what I am going through. Who ever says that they arrived in Ireland and found a job quick quick – LIES. Or have been incredbily lucky. It has been hard to get a job here in Ireland – the T&C’s and admin is super confusing! And I don’t seem to be the only one with this experience. It has been nice to meet up with these new friends, have a coffee and just get out the house and away from applying for jobs for a short while.
3. Get active
I walk Jack every day. It has been so great to have the time to run when I want to, and walk when I want to too. We are lucky to live close to several parks as well as a beach – so our walks are never boring! The fresh air and bit of sweat is really important to keeping your mood positive.
4. Get those odd “jobs” done
Ever find that when you actually have a job, you never get to take that short course you wanted to do, or read that blog post you have saved in your email? I have a ton of things on this list, and it is great that now I have the time to actually do some of them.
5. Find a creative outlet
For me, that is blogging, but for you it could be reading, or crafts, or perhaps even cooking? I also have a great adult colouring-in book that a friend gave me before I left SA that I love. Maybe you have always wanted to bake, or draw, or write poems? Find something that is completely for fun, and let your creativity flow. It helps to destress and distract you while you wait for call backs.
Lastly, enjoy the down time and rest up. Take a nap and binge on series if you really feel like it. When that new job comes knocking, it will be hard work and very little room for play – so make the most of your free time while you have it. Most importantly, keep being positive, the right job could be just a click or a phone call away. Trust that everything will work out as it should, and remember that you are an asset to any team. The right job will come at the right time.
Ever been unemployed, how did you handle it?
Unlock the simple life,
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