Today I indulged once again in something that is both one of my best features and my worst habit: pondering. I am feeling somewhat edgy and tried to find out what exactly evokes said feeling. And here it is, the answer, an oh-so-philosophical statement, something we all know but still do not get a grip on: Time is inconsistent! Yes. In-bleeding-consistent! It does not really make sense, does it, since time is really the only continuum and yet such a capricious bitch!
Two weeks ago, I have entered the fantastic world of unemployment. Lucky me, you might think, so much time on my hands! When we work, we never find time to do fun stuff. At least we tell ourselves that we don’t. We are always stressed by time – we hurry to get to work on time, we either wait rather bored until the working hours are over or stress about not getting stuff done within our office-hours. Then we stress about getting our shopping done, throwing in some socialising and getting enough sleep to function the next day. We stress so much about our work-life-balance that we actually don’t have any. So having all the time in the world sounds like paradise, doesn’t it?
Well, I am in paradise now. Except I am not! It’s not that I got fired or left my job because I did not like it; it’s just that in my field of profession, project-bound contract work is the instrument of choice. Financial means are limited and so we get hired when there is money. And after a year or two, the project is finished. So far, this worked out for me. The only time I was unemployed was when one project ended but I knew the next one would start a few months later. This was actually great! Luckily we have a rather decent social system in Germany, so for the first year of unemployment, we get 60% of our former income. And knowing you will be back in work soon, this is something you can deal with.
Now my situation is different. I am applying for all kinds of jobs but it seems I am not the only one. You might argue that in the meantime, I am able to do fun stuff – like sleeping in and having beer for breakfast! And then sleep some more and get all the rest I was looking for when I was still employed. Well, no. First of, I don’t like beer 😉 And sleeping in is only fun when you cannot normally do it. You have to look for other things now to make you feel productive. It seems that productivity is the key for self-esteem in our culture! And the self-esteem goes down even more when you get emails and letters saying “We are sorry, but we chose somebody else for the job. Please don’t take this as a judgement of your qualifications.” Well, duh! What is it then? Don’t you like my hairdo or my email address? I am getting carried away here, though. I was talking about the inconsistency of time. I have a lot of time at the moment and I am still stressed. Instead of enjoying the rest I am now stressing about not making money to spend on my grocery shopping or on socialising outside the house. I am trying to tire myself out so I can sleep at night. I am trying to do something that feels productive apart from sending out even more applications. And I am trying to not let the disappointment and the doubts get to me too much. And at the end of the day I often don’t know where the day went.
So, how do I get out of this dilemma? I know I will find new work, I just don’t know when. And until then, I would like to use my time reasonably and make the best of it. I know what it’s like to not have time but I don’t seem to know how to use it when it’s endless. Any suggestions, dear readers? I am curious how you deal with the capricious bitch!
Yours truly, madly, deeply!
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