Tuesday, June 1, 2010

One Year

Today I have been unemployed for one year.

This is the longest period of time in my adult life that I have gone without working.  I am a person who marks time mentally; how long until?  how long since?  What was I doing at this time x years ago? So, of course I find myself thinking about the changes in the last year.  In no particular order:

  • I have no job. weird.
  • I have lost twelve pounds (through no apparent effort)
  • I have taken up the following hobbies: knitting, photography, letterboxing, canning, cheesemaking, blogging
  • My hair has gotten really long.  I have to sleep with it in a braid now.  It's me, but if I get another j-o-b, I'll probably have to go back to a more "professional" look.  I have also cultivated a better casual wardrobe.  Before I basically had work clothes and pajamas.
  • I'm working on this
  • I am more relaxed and most people will probably tell you noticeably more pleasant to be around.
  • I have exercised more in the last year than I have in my whole life.  I am often thwarted by injury though which has hampered my fitness progress and been very tough mentally.  In the last year I have injured my back, my right shoulder, and my right elbow.  Old age sucks.
  • I am less judgemental.
  • Being busy is not a religion - my least favorite thing is asking someone how they are and the response is "so busy".  Everybody has the same twenty four hours a day and you choose how to use them.
  • I had a lot of angst about turning 40 before the actual event. In this case the anticipation was the hard part. Now that I am 40, there's a certain freedom in it that I can't quite describe. A few months ago I was very anxious about how much I'd accomplished and where I should be in my life at this age.  I'm mostly over it now.  It was a phase and I think the trick is to live like Ted Kennedy - always keep looking forward; don't look back.
  • The big one, the one I don't know how to articulate is around how much more time I spend with my kids.  Frankly, during the school year, it isn't that much.  A few hours a day with Tank; with Big Red it's obviously much more.  In the summer, it's lots of long days just the three of us. I used to feel guilty about how long they were in daycare or afterschool care, but now I realize it wasn't that long.  Institutional care of that sort doesn't damage kids, but I think my boys' lives are less stressful than they used to be.  I know them better now than I used to.  I think they are also more attached to me and know me better.  My boys are their father's sons.  They idolize him.  I have always thought that maybe they prefer him a little more.  But I think I have a more solid footing with them now than I did a year ago.  Rather than a co-parent, I am more the primary parent now.  Tank and I are understanding each other better each day and Big Red is still my baby (sometimes :)).
  • The one I am surprised by: I prefer to be home.  The Vegas odds-makers would have lost a fortune on me.
 So begins a day of reflection.  Here I was at the half-way point.  Here was the start of this blog.  Are you a time-marker? How do you track your journey?


  1. You know what? I also prefer being at home ... but we're not supposed to say that in this age of "we're-women-we-can-do-it-all" attitude, are we? I no longer want to do it all! If I ever did ...

  2. What an awesome and honest post. I am glad you are enjoying where you are in life. I think we are wired to question ourselves and it is great to see you settling in and just loving what you do.
    It will be very cool to see your website up and running, particularly through the holidays. I have my eyes on the bacon caramels for a couple of my friends.

  3. I hear ya. It's good when you find out what works at the moment, for now. Bask in it, my friend. Reflecting is a beautiful thing. I do the reflecting thing via my journals as the years have gone by in life. I find it good for my soul, my life, my dreams, and overall happiness. Cheers to you, finding your peace and happiness of the moment.

  4. Like you, I dreaded (or was at least apprehensive) about turning 40 - where was I, where SHOULD I be, etc... I wish my 40th was better - sickness, death in the family, extended unemployment... But I'm looking forward to my 41st year.

    And yep, I'm a a time-marker and worse I think, I'm a comparer - I am constantly sizing myself up with others. She has done this or he's done that and what have I done. Something I need to work on.

  5. I mark everything in time. I can tell you how long I have had a shirt or what I was doing with my daughter five years ago, two months ago, and so on. I mark my time with my husband. I remember how long it has been since my grandparents passed away. I haven't been unemployed since I was about 15. And I have enjoyed this year (over a year for me actually) so much. It makes me cry to think of going back to work.

  6. You sound 'settled' with your soul. Its nice to hear the peacefulness in your post. Enjoy the moment - we both know how up and down it goes.