Actually unemployment was a helluva lot more fun than I was expecting. Especially getting to wear spandex full-time.
Also, I got to collect unemployment for the first time in my life, and while it wasn't a whole lot of money, hey, I figure I've been paying into the system for 14 years now, I might as well get something back from it. Working at totallywacknetworkingstartup.com for the last year and a half really took a lot out of me, and it was great to recharge, pay back the sleep debt, sort out things in my life and retool. Now if it wasn't for all those people calling me up about jobs the whole time, I could have gotten some real sleep!
So while I was unemployed, I...
- Went for walks! Just for walking around the neighborhood on a regular basis! Haven't done that in years...
- Sorted through a metric ton of papers and about a year's worth of piled up mail
- Excavated about half of the garage and found two cases of beer (and the remnants of several old parties)
- Dug up my old bicycle out of the garage (the Hawk-Cycle) and got it fixed up, got back into bike riding
- Helped out a friend who was very ill and took him to the doctor and on errands while he was sick
- Helped two houses move (on the same weekend no less... let's not do THAT again)
- Got to go to four different birthday celebrations and have a great time
- Grilled 58 lbs. of steak with Fox Palmer for Chairo's birthday party in February (a new record!)
- Road-tripped to the Calaveras Celtic Rennaissance Faire and had a blast
- Organized the last great massive fursuit gig, on Easter at Pixieland, with 17 fursuiters
- Planted an herb garden (well, four window-boxes of various herbs)
- Helped out a friend just moving here with getting set up in his new place
- Road-tripped with Croc and Yippee on a Saturday getaway along the coast to Santa Cruz
- Reconnected with friends that thought I was long dead after having no time to see them in the last year or two
- Caught up with old colleagues and supervisors from previous jobs to find out how they were doing
- Visited my parents at their place in San Diego on a road trip, and met up with them in San Luis Obispo
- Drove all the way back from San Luis Obispo along the Monterey County Coastline (an incredible trip)
- Took care of a ton of stuff I never had time to do while I was working
- Lost five pounds (first time I've lost weight in forever)
- Got back into cooking again after having no time for it since 2003
I had lunch about a month ago with some of the people still at my old company, and they're more
stressed out than ever. The company got rid of so many people that no one can get their work
done in time, and everybody's workload went through the roof, so I'm glad that I was one of the
lucky people cut loose, since otherwise I might still be there.
It seems like I got to do more living in the two months that I was out of work than I've gotten to do
in the last few years. Especially after three consecutive "Summers from Hell" complete with the Death March
of the "if we don't ship by Q3 we're all gonna die!" battle cry. Of course, working at
totallywackjavastartup.com followed immediately by totallywacknetworkingstartup.com didn't help.
It was really amazing digging through the detritus of my life while cleaning up, on how much of my life
had passed me by in the last 2-3 years, how much stuff I didn't have time for.
Honestly, I would have liked to have another month off, but it's nice to be actually making a paycheck again.
So much for my aspirations of being a full-time spandex-clad superhero though, I'm back in Clark Kent mode during the day.