I have been unemployed for about three weeks. In the grand scheme of things this isn't a long time but for someone who is used to filling their weeks cranking out news stories it can feel like an eternity. Last year I was hired to cover a maternity leave at CFJC News in Kamloops. When I was brought on I fully understood my TV reporting contract would most likely come to an end at the end of December. Still, handing over the keys and saying goodbye to colleagues and a building that was a central part of my life the last year was surprisingly sad.
Like it or not our careers define a large part of who we are. When it's taken away it forces you to reexamine yourself and the industry to see if there's still a passion and a spot for you to reenter. At this point I have applied for a few tourism and TV production jobs in Kamloops but know I need to jump into the job seeking world (and adult world for that matter) with both feet when I return to Kamloops in a few weeks.
As mentioned I have been unemployed for the last three weeks which means I have had time to, well, have a pretty good freakin' time. The joy of being unemployed is you have all the time in the world for family and friends. Yesterday I got to see my nephew blow out his first birthday candle which I would've never been able to go to if I was still working weekends at the news station.
I also got to go wedding dress shopping with my sister and see her say 'yes to the dress' which again, I would've missed out on if I was strapped to the news desk Saturday and Sunday.
Another joy of being jobless has been spending more time with my parents. I know that sounds cheesy but like it or not there's a lot of extra time on your hands when you aren't working for the man (did I mention I'm living with my parents right now while I fix up my condo in Squamish? That's for another column). There's been plenty of afternoons where in between watching Netflix my Dad and me have had chats ranging from '60s music to his best memories as a teen to what he enjoys most about being retired.
My royals obsessed Mom and me have also binge watched the entire two seasons of The Crown which, naturally, led to her giving me her own full history lesson of the British Monarchy (Who knew Prince Phillip had family ties to the Nazis, Princess Margaret was denied marrying a divorced man, and it was a reporter's column on the Queen's archaic ways that led to her televising her first Christmas speech in 1957?)
Of course there are some drawbacks to being unemployed, money being the most obvious. Until you're permanently 'off the clock' you don't realize how comforting it is seeing money regularly deposited into your bank account. Another shortfall is too much time to think. A person only has so many family and friends to fill the day. If you don't keep busy you can quickly get swept up in the thought vortex (What am I going to do when I get back to Kamloops? Should I even be living in Kamloops? Maybe I should travel and renovate condos instead for a year...but is that being lazy? Why am I still single? ) I have always been someone who thinks too much, it's a joy and a curse, mostly a curse, If I don't have a job heading into the spring I know I'll need to pick up more hobbies or friends (ha!) to keep my mind healthy.
There ya have it, the highs and lows of unemployment. Now excuse me, while I go drink a beer. Guess I forgot to mention the perks of daytime drinking.