The One Where I Attempt To Give Advice That Everyone Already Knows
Welcome to my second month of job searching in a small town in the dead of winter. I thought it was bad when I moved here in the summer of 2015. It was not bad. I should go back and slap Past Me and tell her not to stress so much because at least it wasn't winter when everything is dark and gray and no one leaves their homes unless they ski but you have one car and you can't walk anywhere because it's freezing and there is no where to walk to. Welcome to my run on sentences as well.The biggest issue with my growing cabin fever is that we have one car. The past two months, I've let my husband take it to work more often because I usually had it when I had my last job and he would get to work on a bike or the bus and Uber home. He deserves a break and the convenience of just walking out to the parking lot and getting home quickly. If I do keep the car, I pick him up which seems easy but 10 pm in the middle of winter when I am warm in my pajamas with cats snuggling isn't fun to drive the 20 minutes to get him. This is a lame excuse but hey, it's real.The second part, and what I miss most about the city, is walking. I miss walking so desperately. In the summer, I can walk in the park, to the beach, grocery store, a bar. I could walk downtown if I wanted to but it takes about an hour. In the city, I could take the subway and just wander. I could meet up with friends who had more open schedules. Burlington has one street that I adore but it's an outside promenade and I know every inch of it. I adore the park and beach but again, winter, and the fact those areas aren't really plowed for walkers when it snows and this winter hater definitely doesn't have snowshoes.So I've been keeping myself busy so I don't go insane. Apparently I am an advice blogger now. Why not? I've got nothing else to do!
Make a daily routine.
This is an obvious one. I try to keep myself busy by assigning myself things to do. It's basically playing pretend I have to be held accountable for something. If you have pets, you an start the morning by saying "What do we have on schedule for today?" This is usually met with blank stares. I usually make breakfast, coffee, and job search online. Then I write whatever I've set for the week. Lately it's been one blog post and working on ideas for the novel I am attempting to solidify. I've been trying to submit to sites but I need to learn more about being a writer than I do. Any suggestions welcome.
I am not sure why I am putting this one because I don't do it. I get up at a decent time but I find I don't shower until 3 PM most days. Like as I write this. Which means I'm doing stuff. Getting dressed is just not one of them. It's also standard I wear comfy clothes daily. This is not the best, guys. I am noticing on days I have things to do and get dressed, put on makeup, etc, I am happier. I also have been having more fun with putting together outfits of things that have been buried in my drawers and finding my personal style. However, I keep thinking "Do I really need to shower yet? I'm not going any where today". The answer is usually "No" and here we are.
Do tasks you keep putting off
I read the whole Marie Kondo situation and stuck to it for a bit but gave up. I decided to tackle my clothes again and I did a better job. So far I have cleaned out my drawers and closet. I actually had a blast doing my closet. I tried on all the impulse dresses I had stacked up and found I didn't enjoy a good handful as much as I thought I did when I bought them. I also found out I can still wear my Winter Ball formal dress from my freshman year of high school when I weighed about 90lbs. Pulling up that zipper felt fucking great. My closet and drawers feel lighter and so do I. I also combed through my earrings and necklaces, again mostly impulse buys, and chucked a bunch of them I never wear. I also folded my underwear...we'll see how long that lasts.
Tap into your hobbies
This one is clutch for me because my hobbies are actually my life. I guess they aren't really hobbies then. Let's call them my joys. I've started to pull a Faerie card (similar to Tarot) everyday for myself which keeps me grounded and hopeful and is helping my skills as a reader. I have been writing constantly and have stuck to my goals in that department. I'm reading a ton more. Not only because I got a bunch of books for the holidays but also I had slacked badly on reading the past year and if I want to write more, reading is the best thing I can do for myself. It also helps me escape to somewhere else besides my couch. I've been teaching myself to use our Canon better. My cats are excellent models. I've scheduled time to do these little joys, even if it is coloring, because simple pleasures like that help to keep me hopeful and energized.
Coming off of a job where I had to say this every damn day, I kind of hate this phrase with the fire of a thousand suns. That being said, I 100% support and do love it. I just was over saturated with it. I never take baths but I did the other night and my body felt much better. I used a bath bomb my husband got me for Christmas and felt very basic but content. It's like I entered the club I was always telling people to join but never joined myself. I've been painting my nails different colors. I've been teaching myself different makeup techniques. I've been using all the masks I have hoarded from my former job as well as new ones I'm acquiring since I don't get shit for free any more. I will allow myself to sink into the couch when my tasks are done and watch a favorite movie or a new one I know the husband won't want to watch. Lately it's been a lot of Sweet Home Alabama and The Goonies type of flicks. I've also dived into old Grey's Anatomy episodes because duh. It's all like comfort food for me.
Whole30 has distracted me a lot with meal planning and cooking so that helps. I plan to continue the meal planning once I am done because I feel very adult when I do. It also totally helps and makes shopping easier and cheaper. Omg, I'm really adult right now. Exercising remains a challenge but hey, no one is perfect. This is another given. Just keep yourself alive as per usual. A plus to never leaving the house: less chances of getting the flu!
Listen to music all day
Since we got the robot wife (Alexa), I tell her to play music as soon as I get up and basically all day until I am doing something I need silence for. It helps immensely. I would suggest dancing in your kitchen whenever you can as well. This counts as exercise. I said so. Personal favorite I can't resist dancing to: New Politics: Harlem. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVOUTkFkMNU&w=560&h=315]
Talk to your cats like they are your assistants
Just me? Oh, okay.This does work with any pet by the way.
Enjoy the gift of time.
This has been difficult for me. I have been unemployed before. I didn't have a job after a few acting gigs I did that paid for my life without needing a second job. This was in NYC however, where side jobs are plentiful and I picked up temp jobs, photo shoots, and a part time position that led to a full time job. This time around, I am attempting to be grateful for this abundance of hours. I was ill, suffering from negativity and toxicity surrounding me for the work day. I was sad, depressed, anxious, lost. I still am a lot of those things but I have focused attention to healing myself and listening to what I need and want to stay sane. Having this time is allowing me to pursue my dreams and goals instead of pushing them aside for the hundredth time, making an excuse of being too tired, or my job is too demanding and I can't think about anything else. I can work on myself and get rid of the bags under my eyes and the anxiety clawing at my chest. Don't get me wrong though, I do want another job. I like having something to do, somewhere to go. But I have to do something when the jobs are knocking on the door.Getting through this experience has been like a breakup of a relationship, which many people have told me it would be. This is the part where I enter back into the world, looking great, and win the breakup. One of the key ingredients I have to keep reminding myself, or have my support system remind me which is often because they are the best and I am the worst, is that I have to keep believing and hold onto the confidence something will come my way. It might not be the next thing, it might not be here. But that's okay. I know I can't compromise my happiness and time any longer. There will be jobs in the meantime to make sure I can pay my bills. It'll be worth the wait, I think. I hope. I believe.