Look, I know I haven't been much fun lately. Deal with it. I'm working on a dream, and in the meantime, I'm not working. Being unemployed doesn't really bring on the comedy, you know? That is until you look at your EDD check. Now, *that's* funny. Not that I'm poo-pooing it. Not at all. I am supercalifragilisticexpialidociously grateful to be receiving that. Bless you, State of California. Really. Happy you can spare it.
And I'm not whining about being a little less than flush. We all have our shizzle to deal with. This is just a bit of a hard time. And it's the second time I've gone through a patch this craptastic in nine years. Which makes it a little more irritating. However, that was a recession. I'm not sure what this will end up being.
What I learned from Round 1 was appreciation. I'm the kind of girl who eats the heels of bread. Not just because I'm slightly addicted to carbs, but I don't like to waste anything. Not anymore. I squeeze and squeeze and squeeze the tube. Then I shake it, and squeeze some more. I can find a staggeringly good bottle of ten-dollar wine. I tend to prefer the six-dollar bouquet of flowers to the one-hundred-and-sixty-dollar arrangement. I know how much it costs to eat well and eat right, and I will pay it because I am worth it. I do my own pedicures because I do them better than the cheap places, and I can't find a good place open at nine pee-yem when I finally have the time to sit down and enjoy it. I can get away with the flared jeans I got on sale at the Gap last year because I live in Venice...and I don't care. No one is looking at my ankles anyway. Those jeans make my ass look fierce.
What these hard times tend to teach -- at least me, anyway -- is how sweet the "little" things are. The things that we can blow by or blow off when we are busy doing other things (like working). I think when we are in hard times we have two choices: 1) to fret (and sometimes that is required), or 2) appreciate what you do have. The second takes some time to master.
Being unemployed is sort of like hanging out with my family: Never more do I need a drink, yet I can't afford to have one. In the case of visiting my family, I have to stay completely sober in case I need to make a quick getaway. In the case of being sans job, I literally can't afford it. Every penny counts these days. Yet, what I do have an abundance of is time. And, I'm finally learning to -- dare I say -- enjoy that. I used to resent it. As you probably know, I don't like to wait. And that's all this really is...a long waiting period. Now, I appreciate the day. I balance the frustration of the situation with simple pleasures. I work out. I write. I cook. I don't have to rush through these things. I can savor them a bit. Not like in a vacation sort of way. The mail still comes each day, and reality is delivered in window envelopes. With all this time, I get to take a good look at what my life really is. And, outside of not getting a steady check, I really like it. As a matter of fact, I love it. Oh, it's not perfect. It's nowhere near what I thought it would be (yet). But, underneath the fear and the frustration brought on by circumstance, I am happy. Very. And peculiarly content, too. Must be a side-effect of the all-organic diet I'm on. I don't know. Talk to me next week when rent is due and we'll see how steady I hold. But, no matter how the situation might suck, much like hard candy, there's a sweetness there as well.