Saturday, March 6, 2010

This Ain't No Party

Dear Friends,

Bowl of oatmeal? Check. Not-so-cold Winter morning? Check. Laptop-not-being-sold-on-Craigslist-at-this-point? Check. Ready to write.

Well, friends, I've learned a few things during this first week of our Expedition into the Uncharted Land of Unemployment. Here are some of my discoveries, do's and don'ts I can map out for you:


First of all, this ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around.

Husband at home job-searching and building and exploring other possible income streams is NOT a vacation. It's NOT a stay-cation (thanks to my facebook friends for that newly coined colloquialism).

Driven by, well, fear, it is a potential pitfall for my husband to fall into round-the-clock searching, crafting, cover letter-writing, exploring, programming, networking, etc. And for me to support that by slipping food under the door, and aspiring to singlehandedly cover nearly all of the childcare, household upkeep, etc.

If this were a stay-cation, I would have languished in the freedom of having an immaculate house, organized closets, trimmed nails, braided hair, and otherwise being caught up on two-handed tasks. Instead, I've been my husband's 100% wind-beneath-his-wings, trying to carry the weight of everything I possibly can, forgetting Daily Life is a shared activity. A burden shared is a burden halved. Certainly my actions have been fueled by my own anxieties and fears of such trifling things as, say, not having a house or affording groceries.

So. That doesn't work. Our round-the-clock nose-to-the-grindstone approach is not sustainable. This is a marathon, not a sprint, after all. Yet, you don't know where or when the race will finish. Aha! Isn't THAT a metaphor for Life? Therefore, I should be a real seasoned expert at this Game of Life by the time an employment opportunity rolls around and we settle into our New Order. Stay tuned to see if I can sustain that moment-to-moment Zen-like presence, pacing and appreciation for the gifts and treasures Life brings.


Gifts and treasures nicely segues into my first do:

Do get rid of catalogues. You can't eat curtains (although you CAN wear them. See: Sound of Music.)

Do insist on daily showers (a repetitive theme here, I know, but unless you're a stay-at-home-mom, you might not fully relate to why this is such a fundamental and pervasive desire). My Week 1 "SUCCESS" tally: 5-1/2 (one was a bath).

Do watch Idol. Just because it's fun.

Do sell items on craigslist, but try not to freak out and compulsively check your email account for potential sales.

Do count your blessings before they hatch. A hopeful attitude is imperative.

Do observe how your list of worries has suddenly changed. Example: I used to worry that my husband would lose his job. Yet, it happened, and we are surviving. And: One week used to seem like an eternity; now 18 weeks (of severance pay) seems so very short.


Don't turn down offers of Two-for-Tuesday pizza with your parents. Self-explanatory.

Don't go to the library to play during the heart of cold & flu season. Illness might add insult to injury. Oops, if you do, ask to return the cold your family picked up there along with the borrowed books.

Don't forget the Serenity Prayer. It might help keep you on course on this uncertain land and in these certainly muddy waters. Perhaps along with reading my blog.

In peace and shared love of cartography,


  1. Carrie, I so understand. In 11 months of unemployment my dear husband had 2 interviews. He was on the internet constantly the first 6 weeks or so. I finally had to hog tie him and bring him to reality, We would survive through this. He had to take showers, eat food, and be part of the family again.

  2. You are in my thoughts & prayers!!
    You will survive this & somehow you will learn from it....
    p.s. Come on over to my blog for a 2 part Spring Giveaway.....It will be fun & cost you nothin'!!