As any of you who have ever been without employment know, coping with your situation can be a major challenge. Sure, the life of carefree leisure sounds great to anyone stuck in a loveless job, but not having one, and having to fill your days for an indefinite period of time can be a daunting endeavor. There are after all, only so many hours one can spend searching WaPo for a new job.
I have found over the past year or so that I have become quite bad about occupying myself. I think my party-girl schedule of constant evening socializing distracted me from ever having to spend much time alone. And now that I've abandoned that lifestyle, I'm reminded of the challenge of having to entertain myself. While I love being alone, I sometimes have a hard time with it when its imposed upon me.
Today was no different. I overslept and awoke to my cell ringing, with 47 calling to ask how last night's yoga class was. After a conversation with him that resembled more of a series of grunts on my end (I am not a morning person) he got the hint that I wasn't ready to banter and let me go. Finally awake, I thought about what I was going to do today and suddenly felt very glum.
After kicking about the house for an hour or two I realized that I've been very grumpy for the past several days and that this mood was beginning to resemble depression. Since I'm prone to annual bouts of SAD, it's hard to know if my mood was situational or seasonal, but I didn't really care. I just wanted to do something about it. Luckily for me, half the battle of depression is recognizing it. I've never been one for real pharmies, but I do like to dabble in herbals, and I suddenly remembered a half full (notice how i didn't writer "half empty") bottle of 5 HTP in my medicine chest. After downing two along with a mug of green tea, my mission for the day was instantly clear: How had I not noticed all the fun activities waiting for me inside my own house? It was time to play homemaker. I felt instantly better.
So far today, I have cleaned the kitchen and have done two loads of laundry. I am also cooking. There is currently a large bowl of milk, sugar and butter cooling on my counter where it will soon meet with several packets of yeast, all in preparation for my ultimate gastronomic specialty: challah bread. I learned how to make it in batches of 50 when I was a cook at a co-op in college. Its rare that I break out those skills anymore simply because I normally don't like being tethered to the kitchen. But today is dreary and cold and I have nowhere else to go, so why not whip up several loaves of the best bread ever invented?
Unemployment is slowly reminding me of the simply joys of domesticity. Sure, it's still great to go out and eat great food at hip new restaurants and visit my favorite dive bars, but I am slowly accepting that this slower lifestyle is a good one for me. While laundry and cleaning doesn't sound glamorous, few things make me quite as happy as the site of a clean counter and a stack of warm fluffy bed linens. If I can have a fat slice of challah to eat as I climb into a well-made bed at the end of the day, so much the better.
You must excuse me now, my yeast collection beckons.