I received an immediate lay off notice yesterday, rendering me unemployed. Generally, news like this causes panic, as loss of security is an incredible stressful event to experience. However, although I have noticed some tense emotions in the past day, I am feeling fine overall for the following reasons.
1. This didn’t happen because I was bad at my job, therefore there is no feeling of worthlessness or incompetence (a word that was actually used 6 years ago when I was let go for the first time; I’m not wired to be a hard sales person, but rather a source of information that allows a customer to make their own choices. That word haunted me for a really long time). The company is simply condensing operations, and my former job doesn’t exist any more on the operational chart.
2. I’m thrifty, and therefore not in immediate distress when it comes to financial matters. True, I won’t be able to sustain life as I was living it. For example, I have been making monthly donations to educational video creators and artists for quite some time, which needed to stop, and I won’t have the money to eat out as often. However, much of the reason I was eating out was time-related – I would eat between work and volunteering, or I would grab something to eat because I was too tired from working to make my own meal. That obstacle is now gone. My habit of purchasing t-shirts online needed to be stopped, anyway. Instead of buying books, I use the library.
3. I have a great opportunity to get back to a healthier version of myself. I have gained unneeded weight by sitting in that office 40 hours a week for nearly two years, and now I have ample time to get in both exercise and mental enjoyment (as stress of the job was also a factor in my physical decline).
4. I have more time to read! I have more time to write! I have more time to volunteer for things! I CAN DO THINGS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY, WHEN THE SUN IS OUT! My S.A.D. will be much more manageable now that I am not trapped inside and out of direct sunlight.
5. Severance pay and all of my build up of vacation pay are in my future. My benefits are good until the end of March, which means I actually have time to use the benefits into which I had been paying for the entire time I had been employed.
Honestly, the first negative thoughts I had about losing my job where as follows:
“Crap, I already bought next month’s bus pass” and
“Now the library I am used to is no longer convenient.”
Obviously, I can use the pass to visit that library for the next month, and have time to figure out a closer one to which I will divert all of the holds I put on books.
I will eventually need to find a new job, but I don’t have to do it any time soon. I consider this an extended vacation where I can relax, get my priorities under control, and actually enjoy my life, instead of dreading the stress and using that drain as a reason to stop doing things I actually enjoy.
I plan to only take a job when I find one that excites met; if I stick to my thrifty ways, that is a plan that I should be able to keep.
I’ve been dreaming of cutting back my hours at work so I would have time to experience life as something more than an employee – and that chance has been handed to me. Sure, it is sooner than I would have liked (I wanted to have a bigger savings account), and sure, it is a complete severance instead of having a safety net of working a day or two a week (and all the benefits that come with that), but instead of waffling about taking the leap, I’ve received a push, and I intend to make the most of it.