Sunday, July 10, 2011

Don't wait

One of the hardest things about this sudden unemployment is the waiting. I have to wait to hear back from jobs (or not hear back), of course, but I also feel like I have to wait to get on with my life. I bought the house just under the deadline for the Homebuyer Tax Credit, so I have the money all ready to redo the kitchen. But I feel like I can't redo the kitchen, because I don't have a job and it seems foolish to spend so much money when I don't have money coming in.

This, by the way, is the kitchen of which I am speaking. It doesn't quite look like this at the moment, since I removed the foof and replaced the stove with one that actually works. But it is still quite yellow and quite wrecked. There is virtually no prep surface. However, kitchens cost money and this one will have to wait. It doesn't stop me from dreaming, though.

I admit that I've been pretty random about choosing colors and just picked whatever I wanted for the first couple rooms. The more I look at places that are actually decorated, though, I see a common theme throughout. Not that people use the same colors throughout, but they do use colors that go together and complement one another. I've been sticking with cool colors...I have purple, blue, and teal, but complementary colors are nice too. I think most of the rest of the house is going to be in the blue-to-light-turquoise vein.

So I do my dreaming over at House of's my latest kitchen fantasy.

I love the color - very similar to the color I used for my hallway, which is somehow both peaceful and bright. The white is crisp and clean. I love open storage, though I'm not sure I would ever be able to keep things tidy enough; I have such a small space that it's hard not to cram everything in, anywhich way. I actually would love to knock out the wall, or part of the wall between my kitchen and dining room, though that's not a part of this design.

Oh, point...if I had done this already, it would be done. I might be kicking myself for spending the money; I might even wish I had the money back. But it would be done, and I wouldn't have to agonize, or wonder when I could do it.

Instead I'm going to look at my dining room and wonder if it wouldn't look so much better with wooden blinds instead of curtains, and perhaps I will spring for a can of paint.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Plan, and replan

The thing about plans, is that they change.

This is actually the best thing about plans.

I tried the 4-in-the-morning job. It only took one shift for me to realize that this was a terrible plan for me. In the abstract, it had sounded like a good idea - a job where I didn't have to think and where I could bring in a little money while conducting my job search. Others told me that it sounded horrible, and I agreed, but then I went and did it anyway and found that for me it was, indeed, horrible.

I'm not knocking people who decide to do these jobs, or who do these jobs because they need the money and can't find anything else. In six months, maybe I will feel that way too. But that's my point - I need to wait six months before feeling that way rather than jumping to feeling that way immediately. When a crisis hits - whether it is the loss of a job, of a loved one or the end of a relationship - we tend to feel desperate. We jump into things that we are not ready for because it somehow feels like doing something. It feels like fixing the problem. But problems are wily, and they don't always want to be fixed right away, or in the way that we think they need to be fixed. Just as you can't replace one person with another, you can't replace one job with another.

There are many jobs that I would do, jobs that are somewhat more like my own. In the past I have worked in childcare and loved it. I know that's not a job for everyone. Taking a job that "not everyone" would or could do is a good move, because it makes you feel valued. Your particular temperament and skills are suited to that job. I haven't applied for a job in childcare at this point because there are emotions involved (mine and the children's); it's not fair to children to form relationships with them and then suddenly leave.

What I learned from this misstep is to not jump to desperation. Save desperation for when you actually are desperate. Minimum and low-wage jobs are physically taxing and will leave you with little time or energy to apply for the job you really want - something you have to spend a lot of time doing in your first few weeks of unemployment. I lost a couple days by spending my energy on something I didn't need to do. But I'm back on that horse, and I've got dozens of job listings that need my attention.
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