Well, that was fun. Sort of. For the past 5 1/2 months, I've been without a job. I got laid off from my job in February, and at long last, I've been hired to work at a newspaper here in Denver.
Let's take stock of what I accomplished (in addition to looking for and finding work).
1) I made three baby quilts and one queen size one, all given away to friends and family.
2) I cleaned. Boy did I. I've never been much of a housekeeper, but having time on my hands allowed me to have the time to tackle those hard-to-reach areas like the back bedroom. I also cleaned out my kitchen cupboards, the fridge, and some but not all areas of the basement.
3) I painted and rehab'd my front porch. I hated the way my front entrance looked. With a tired old couch, it was time to do something. I pulled a "Trading Spaces" job on it, bought a slipcover and re-covered the cushions. I bought a couple of end tables and cleaned up the area so it looked less like a white trash front porch, and more like a place to hang out.
4) I lost my last grandmother. This wasn't necessarily a good or a bad thing. Gram was 93 and ready to go, but it was sad to lose her just weeks after my unemployment started. I was able to fly out for the funeral, help plan it, and take care of her estate.
5) I later drove to Oregon -- and picked up my grandmother's things that I wanted. I now have my grandfather's desk, Gram's dining set, and a few of her sewing things. It feels good to have those things in my house, and after re-covering the dining chair seats, it looks good too.
6) I lost 20+ pounds. I started Weight Watchers in January, and had already lost about 10 lbs. when I got laid off...I continued my diet and exercise plan, and lost an additional 20 lbs. during my unemployment. I feel lighter, and happy to be able to wear some of my "thin clothes". While I'd still like to lose a few more pounds, I'm glad to be feeling healthier.
7) I volunteered at a local homeless shelter. Just a couple of months ago, I decided that with all this free time, I could easily spend a few hours a week at a local shelter. I've learned a lot in a short period of time, and met some amazing people. I feel like I've gotten more out of it than I gave, that's for sure. I hope to continue after my job starts.
8) A little introspection. After 3 miscarriages in the past 3 years, I needed time off from all the stress and strain of trying to make a family. As much as I would like to have a child, I am coming to the point of being at peace with not having children, or possibly adopting. This is the part of my journey that is yet clear to me, but having this time to think about things and realize that my life will be complete even if we don't have kids has been invaluable.
9) Planning our trip to Europe. I've bought a few books on Paris and London, and spent a good deal of time poring over them and deciding what to see. When I was down about being unemployed, it was wonderful to have something to look forward to. Nothing eases ones heart than to know that in a matter of weeks or months, one will be in Paris.
10) Taking care of my husband. Brian works so hard, it has been fun to be able to have dinner ready for him when he got home, take care of all the housework, and allow him to relax when he got home from work. Within a few weeks of my lay-off, he said "Man, I'm getting spoiled. Can we afford this?" Of course we could for a while, but ultimately no, I'm not built to be a housewife, and we don't make enough money on a single income for us to afford it, even if I was. But it's been nice to have the time to try it out.
The only downside to being unemployed for a long time is that unemployment payments aren't enough to do all the things you want to when you have all that time on your hands. But it looks like we made it through, and next Monday will be so nice.
Back to work I go.