As most of you know, I have been laid off from work for the last 5 ish months.
At first I was completely beside myself. What was I going to do with all this time? What will people think of me? Slacker?
I got a job working for my Dad at the age of 12 or 13 – (I can’t remember the exact age but close enough!). Ever since then I have been working. I have never taken seasons off and always been cautious of spending too much time for myself. So naturally, having all these empty days ahead of me I began to panic a bit. The first month went by horribly slow. I made sure to stay active and get out of the house but the days seemed treacherously long.
As ski season kicked into full swing, I found myself getting out more and actually feeling fulfilled at the end of the day. It has been a strange transition having time like this to play with; time that is truly mine.
In my early teenage years one of my brothers tragically passed away. I found I was forced to grow up quickly and always kept my mind busy. I didn’t spend much time alone or let myself be with just my thoughts. Life was much too jumbled at that point.
I didn’t realize how much I needed some “me” time until this lay off. How much I needed to work on my happiness and mind. As months past by, I began to find new things about myself – like how much I enjoy painting. I have never painted or thought seriously about doing something artistic like this before. And I can honestly say, it has changed me. I usually can’t sit still for very long – always ready to get outside or do some sort of adrenaline sport. Painting has calmed my mind and let me explore different parts of myself that I didn’t know existed.
I got a lot of questions from people and a bit of guilt here and there. Repeatedly asked questions of “when will you be getting your next contract?“, “are you going crazy yet?“, and my all time favourite: “you get to play all day well Justin pays the bills?“. To those questions I would simply answer: Hopefully soon but I am in no rush, no I am really happy, and no, Justin works the same as he always has and my EI covers what I usually contribute.
It has been funny watching peoples reactions. I didn’t realize how frowned upon unemployment could be for some folks. I do have an awesome job, however, it doesn’t last all year round. To be a Park Ranger I will sacrifice some normalcies for the job. Yea, contracts can only last for summer and fall but I love what I do. I honestly adore every part of my job and not a lot of people can say that.
Over the winter I have had lots of cool opportunities that I actually had energy and time to complete! Like being a guest for Destination British Columbia and sharing some of my awesome summer experiences: Blog.hellobc.com/throughthelensofabcparksranger! And being able to continue to be an ambassador and contribute to Finding Winter for Mountain Hardwear has been great! I picked up a few more contracts with companies and found lots of time to write and enjoy it again.
In the future, I will likely find some winter work. But for this season I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I surprised myself with how daring of a skier I can be (skied 75 days and counting), discovered how quiet my mind has become and found who Sarah really is.
And Mom, yes – You can say “I told you so”.
Tips for unemployment:
- Don’t sleep in. Find a routine and stick to it!
- Treat activities like work (not in a bad way but make yourself go!).
- Listen to beats like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GglFsVSpl-U
- Be social but not too social. Make sure to not become a hermit but also let yourself have some “me time”.
- ENJOY IT!
A wonderful post to read, at a time that fits with our life at the moment! My husband just finished his last day of work before Easter. It was his choice to hand in his notice, and our choice for him to finish with his job. For him, his work was turning him into someone he didn’t want to be anymore. It’s funny how other people handle the word “unemployment”. We have told people of our plans but, once they realized this decision was actually coming to fruition, their attitudes have changed just enough to make us decide to keep some of this info to ourselves. I think it’s a wonderful time to decide what makes you happy and what contentment can look like! Everyone should be so fortunate to have a period of their life to find out what really makes them happy! 🙂
Thank you for your comment!!! Totally – do what makes you happy and don’t worry about what others think! Glad that I could give you a bit of inspiration and I have learned a lot from my experience!!