Financially, things have not been going well for me since July 17, 2014, when I was laid off by the newspaper where I worked for eighteen months. That’s 10 months without full-time work, folks. Recently my unemployment ran out. In January my father died. I’ve had two sprained ankles for I don’t know how long. It’s kind of been a mess.
I have wondered whether these were merely my personal circadian rhythms or whether maybe there were other larger forces at play. Do other people also get hired in late spring and let go in winter?
How many nets would each of us crash through before we ran out of options? It’s not the world’s happiest thought, but it’s certainly something I’ve wondered about more than once in my adult life. (By “more than once” I really mean “more than once a month.” Adulthood is scary.)
I woke up on a recent Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. with a slight hangover and nowhere to go, except maybe to my laptop to casually browse the internet for some sort of inspiration. I no longer had to program my alarm for 7:10 a.m., and it was no longer of a pressing nature to get to the gym before going to work because, well, there was no work, and truth be told, no desk job was forcing me to be bound to a desk. I could do Zumba in my living room at 2 p.m. if I wanted to, provided my downstairs neighbors weren’t feeling too cantankerous.
I am leaving a grocery store with my dad. It is daytime. Dad walks ahead of me in the parking lot towards the car, but when I pass a parked car, a man runs up behind me.
I suppose I could use my old wallet, but it’s full of a life I no longer lead. The owner of that wallet once had an apartment, a full time job, and disposable income, an abundant life that utilized all of the slots.
New York Mag’s new blog, The Science of Us, published a servicey guide to surviving the work day when you didn’t get any sleep the night before. There are no quick fixes — ain’t that the way? — but lots of coping strategies. Among them: don’t hit the snooze button, get outside in the daylight without sunglasses on as soon as you can, eat a healthy breakfast and a healthy lunch, do the hard work right away and save the busy work for the afternoon, when you are truly ready to die. True, true, and true.