Last week I got laid off. Or ‘restructured’, really. Basically, a workplace is sometimes a game of musical chairs, and when the music stops, there’s suddenly fewer chairs and too many people. It’s a normal part of the work experience of this generation. But it still sucks.
I packed up my unicorns, spare pairs of shoes, and three dozen post-it notes where I’ve written down interesting social media sites to explore. I threw everything in a box, went home, and eventually, went to bed.
The next morning I woke up with my regular alarm, because I’ve learned from past experience that when you’re off work, maintaining a normal routine is paramount. But I couldn’t pull myself out of bed. I lay there, hitting snooze, for almost an hour. Eventually my pug Mr Darcy climbed up on the bed—something that’s against house rules—and I didn’t stop him. It was my pity party, and I could invite whoever I wanted. So come on up, dog; sink into the sticky darkness of my angst. Mr Darcy belly-crawled up the bed ‘til he was right beside my face, did the typical doggy 360-spin in a circle, put his butt directly in my face, and farted loudly. With his resonating fraaaaap sound and face-melting stench, he’d clearly stated it was time to get up and put my big girl pants on. And open a window.
So far, I’m mostly glad I’ve had the time off. I’ve been catching up on a thousand tasks that I actually think would never have been completed without the extra time. This is why vacations should be taken in four-week increments: two weeks to catch up on life, and then two weeks to really rest.
I’m re-evaluating what I do with my career time. I am taking time to make new goals and consider options. I've got lots of irons in the fire, but I'm taking some time to decide what I'm doing. Consequently, I am alone a lot, so I’m also getting more eccentric by the hour. Yesterday I did the gardening wearing my sparkly green lycra roller derby short-shorts and a pilon-orange tank top, because who’s really around midday? (Turns out, lots of people are.) Last night I cleaned my room and folded laundry naked, because I couldn’t be bothered to find my pyjamas and again, living singly, no one is around for whom I’d need to suck in my gut or lower the lighting. Of course, the hot weather of June has resulted in a major fly problem in the house, so I ended up chasing a giant one around my room, attempting to smack it down with a magazine while it repeatedly—I kid you not—tried to dive-bomb my…lady garden. And then, because no one’s around to talk me down, I obsessed on the fact that I’m old and laid off, and flies are literally circling my reproductive organs.
|I could literally end up in another country, without my GPS.|
My salvation this week has been a new iPad. I had one at work, and she became my right-hand lady; so much so, in fact, that the day I was let go, I left work and parked to call my mom, got in the car to head to Alan’s place, and realized that I didn’t know how to get there because I always use Siri. I have shed more tears over the loss of my iPad than the loss of my actual job. So on Monday when Alan showed up with one, purchased with some of those airplane points, I was entirely unable to express the depth of my gratitude. Alan was indeed being sweet, but also pragmatic: if you’re going to invest all this time building a long-term relationship, there’s no point in losing the relationship when your girlfriend ends up accidentally driving to Missouri instead of Bank Street. Smart man.
So, armed with my usual freelance work, the dubious support of my dog, an iPad, and my sweet loved ones, I’m coping quite well and I’m frankly ready for something new in my field anyway. I’ll just have to be sure to switch out of the lycra hotpants before any interviews.