Today marks five months since I got laid off.
Most of the time, it doesn't feel like it has been that long. The holidays helped - I visited my brother in Cincinnati for Thanksgiving, and my parents in Illinois for Christmas, so that kept me occupied at the end of the year and not so focused on the situation.
My last lay off lasted a little more than six months. I had a roommate at the time, and spent a ridiculous amount of time watching cop shows every day; on a good day (or a bad day, depending on your interpretation), I'd watch two hours of NYPD Blue, an hour of Barney Miller and at least three to five hours of various Law & Orders. I'm watching a lot less TV throughout the day this time.
I am taking advantage of the time to catch up on a lot of movies and TV that I didn't have time for before, via Netflix and Hulu. And since October, I've read 46 books, not including short stories and the two books I'm currently reading, or the book on search engine optimization. My reading has really slowed down since the new year, as I've branched out into authors I never read before and books that are more complicated and/or less compelling.
Not being able to apply for unemployment before January also made the situation feel less real. Now six weeks have passed and I'm keeping close track of every resume I send out and every response I get and sometimes it seems like I've applied for so many jobs that it's impossible that I'm not working yet, while other times I'm scraping to find three relevant job listings a week. I've had five phone interviews since January, none for local jobs.
I still get up by 8:30 am every morning, and try to keep a basic routine to my day. One of the things I miss most about not having a job it just the basic not having somewhere to go each day. I've always been a relatively solitary person, and if I'm not careful, I won't leave the house except to check the mail some days. I miss people too, most days; just the buzz of voices and activity around me.
It's difficult to keep a positive attitude lately; I repeat to myself that this terrible economy can't last forever, that I've been laid off before and found work again. And I make plans for a future in which I don't find anything soon and have to put everything in storage and take Zoidberg to live with my parents and see if I have any better luck in Illinois. I really don't want it to come to that - I love my parents and generally get along great with them, but it feels like such a failure.
In the meantime, I'm hemming several skirts today just in case I have occasion to wear them. I've done some research into apartment costs in the city where my most recent job interview would take me. And I continue to look for jobs, sending my resume out into the ether once more.
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