My friend Melanie once told me that, being a Gemini, I can easily find myself bored. That I constantly need stimulation — people to see, places to go, projects to do. Now, I am a person who relishes laying around watching TV for 15 hours, but it’s true that I thrive with structure and purpose and fall into slovenly behavior when those are absent.
Well, it’s officially been 7 weeks since the layoff and I haven’t been bored once. I’ve actually been enjoying my mini-retirement, keeping a schedule and even tiring myself out with all that I need to accomplish. It makes me wonder how I survived when 40+ hours of my week were claimed elsewhere — did I sleep? Did I have a social life? Did I ever carry through on anything? And let’s not even think about the MBA I somehow completed.
The past few weeks have been incredibly full — I’ve had uproarious dinners/lunches/brunches out with friends, I’ve volunteered my time to good causes, I’ve stayed in touch with my b-school folks and prepared for graduation in a few weeks.
Angie and I went to another painting class and poured our creativity into a Van Gogh-inspired take on the Charlotte skyline. (We are getting so good at this!)
I joined a few Meetup.com groups, where I met some colorful characters, from the actor who offered me a production job in his amateur film company (um) to the 70-year old grandma who bumped and grinded on the dance floor against the 300-pound bouncer (for reals). Sometimes you can’t invent people as interesting (“interesting”?) as there really are in the world.
I’ve also cooked a ton, I’ve traveled to see family, I’ve started on no less than four home projects that have been sitting in a closet going on three years.
I’ve been reading like crazy. And I joined a book club that I’m very excited about. With our latest selection, I even dipped a toe into the world of e-books. I know, I’m slightly behind the times.
The best part, of course, has been all the quality time with Oliver. He makes me wake up at a decent hour, so we get up every morning and take long, leisurely walks together. Yesterday we visited a dog trainer to address some of his fearful fits toward other dogs. Outside of the 15-minute consultation then 45-minute sales pitch for the $1500, three-week “we’ll fix your dog” boot camp, I got some decent advice. It’s my turn to reclaim my place as the pack leader, and I’m glad to say that I already see some improvement. It’s true that it’s always the human’s fault.
All of this has been fun, and I’ve felt like I’ve been truly living for the first time in a long time, probably because I’m without all the stresses of “work.”
It’s too bad, though, since I start a new job next week.