Making the Most of Freedom

I was thinking today about how I may have one month left of unemployment until I potentially start working full time in July.  This is assuming the best case scenario that I will be hired by the cool manager of the One Stop Career Center I interviewed with last Tuesday.  It's funny how having a limited quantity of something can somehow make you appreciate it more and become more conscious with how you are using it.

When I first became unemployed, I did have that sense of freedom that can come with a rare block of open time, like a vacation.  But those of you who have been unemployed or not worked for a longer period of time can perhaps attest - I hope I'm not the only one! - that something shifts after a while, and you naturally tend toward creating a somewhat regular (less than exciting) routine.

My routine has generally looked like:

8 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Awaken, morning routine (dressed, take medicine, make coffee), read and respond to email, write in journal and map out specifics of day, eat light breakfast and talk to housemate.

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Go running or go walk the dog I walk three days a week.  Sometimes volunteer for a couple of hours at the local Interplay office (in exchange for free classes).  Shower and make lunch.

1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Watch my soap opera.  lol  A guilty, inane pleasure that breaks up the day. . .

2 p.m. - 5 p.m. - If it's nice out, read a book/look at email and blogs on the deck for a while.  Do job search and apply for jobs.  Make necessary phone calls.  Run errands.

5 - 8 p.m. - Cook dinner, eat dinner, talk to housemate, computer stuff.  If have evening activity, attend that (community meeting, Interplay theatre, NVC group, etc.)

8 - 11 p.m. - Watch movie and or TV, computer stuff, stretching/yoga, sometimes reading.

Zzzzzzzzz.  Wake up!  Yeah, it's pretty boring stuff.  Of course, there is the occasional interview in there, or a walk around the lake/happy hour with a friend, maybe a hike.  I have done quite a few self and career exploration/personal growth activities.  But generally, that's the weekday flow.  My need for external motivation haunts me.

Yes, I've had a few specific accomplishments about which I feel good:

  • Several coaching sessions and greater clarity about my career path 
  • Three trips to Oregon to see family and meaningfully participate in my brother's wedding and grandma's memorial
  • Starting and maintaining this blog
  • Initiating a running routine and losing weight 
  • Reconnecting with an old flame, processing the past, and having a short relationship, which demonstrated we should not be in relationship 
  • Obtaining a really excellent tan. . .

Yet, I can't help but question:  Why haven't I been more motivated to take more full advantage of this time?

Which bring me to the present and the sudden possibility of this phase of abundant freedom coming to an end.  What more can I do in this next month to take full advantage of this gift before it runs out?

Maybe. . . . I could:

  • Take a beginning drawing class - low cost or for trade
  • Spend a lot of time with sound healing/chocolate man doing interesting, fun dating stuff
  • Actually break out all my new paper crafting tools my mom gifted me for Christmas and make something fabulous.  Any ideas?  Again the curse of needing external motivation. . .
  • Choreograph a dance because I love to choreograph.  Offer to teach it to some friends for fun.
  • Go on at least one "Artist Date" (from the Artist's Way) a week, like visiting local galleries and museums, painting pottery, or seeing a dance/theatre show.
  • Go up to Oregon yet again to spend a few days with family, most especially my brother, niece and nephew, and grandpa. 
  • Commit to finish all the development-focused books I started on: career assessment, emotional health/intimacy in relationship, and non-violent communication.
  • Choose to master a skill that will help me in my career and find resources to help me master it.  Possibilities include basic website design, graphic design, time management, learning about a couple of new career assessment tools, or ?.  Btw, would you be willing to share your time management system or program/resource, if it is working well for you?

What do you vote for?  Anything not on the list that should be?


  1. I have to admit, I'm insanely jealous of your routine AND your list of things to do before that routine is altered by a job.... What I wouldn't give for all that writing time!!

  2. SIF, you would probably have 3 blogs going and a published book! Nothing has lit my fire in quite the same way. . .

  3. I vote for the mastering a skill and going to Oregon again - you can do both, right?

    That, and enjoying your time while it lasts!