I've been doing the "at home" thing for just over a week now. Carter goes to daycare twice a week, and spends the rest of the time with me. I can tell he misses it, but I'm glad he gets a couple days to maintain some sense of normalcy. So far, it's been fine...different, but fine. Clearly this is not the way I'd want to spend time at home, and right now there's a false sense of stability since I'm technically pulling in a normal paycheck without having to do the work. But one of my main goals for this time was to make the best of it. So that's what I'm trying to do.
Being out of work stinks and I'm sort of dreading the process of finding a new job. I always just find it intimidating to look at job descriptions and I worry about either overselling myself and not being able to do it, or being too humble and missing a prime opportunity to show what I'm capable of. At the end of the day I know that I'm intelligent and am capable of learning a lot. I taught myself so much of what I did in my old job, and I'm confident I can do it again. But I always get nervous about getting in over my head. I liken things like this to the first day of class in college, when you see the syllabus and freak out about all you'll have to do. The thing is, though, that you don't have to do it all in one day, or even one week. And I think getting a new job is along those lines too, but I still dread those first couple weeks of not knowing what I'm doing and trying to learn without looking like an idiot. I always felt bad for new people at my old job, particularly when I'd ask them how they were settling in and I'd get a response like, "Oh, it's going okay, I'm getting there," and remembering that early awkwardness. I'm not looking forward to that part, but it is exciting to think of new opportunities.
I have a couple leads, but I can't really get started until at least tomorrow. I have a resume done, but I have no idea if it meets current resume standards. I don't know what of my college stuff still needs to be there--awards, honors, internships--or how much detail I really need to provide for previous positions. Sometimes there are entire resume sections that go out of vogue, so I need to find out how mine stacks up to current trends. I will be spending most of the day tomorrow with a job coach that was provided by my old company. Ironically it's in the building next door to my old one (good news: I can use my parking), and I'm guessing we'll be working on my resume, going over my evaluation I filled out to pinpoint jobs/industries to focus on, and hopefully working on interview questions and answers. They're buying me lunch, if nothing else, so I guess that's nice. I'm just hoping to have a good resume ready by the end of the day, so I can start applying to jobs via one lead, and reconnecting with the same headhunter that I worked with nine years ago. If none of those pan I out I will have to start digging deeper, but I think those are two good places to start. Having a resume ready is a big help, though, as smaller leads pop up.
In the meantime I'm doing what I can to enjoy the break. Extra time with Carter is nice, even if I'm already tired of cleaning up the living room five times a day. He's a pretty good little buddy and a good sport when we have to run errands. I still look forward to naptime, but knowing that I have a lot of time on my hands over the next few weeks, I'm less panicked when he wakes up from nap than I usually am on weekends when those few hours are needed to get things done. I'm trying to be more diligent around the house--doing more laundry, taking the time to clean things I normally don't, trying to plan meals better--and I've been handling most of the pick-up duties at the end of the day so Craig can maximize his time at work. I really am trying to utilize this as a "try-out" in the event I ever have the chance to work part-time or something like that.
It definitely has its bright side--time with Carter, time to read a book, time to watch my favorite old 80s game shows on GSN in the morning, time to run errands when most of the world is working--but it's not all fun and games, either. I still need to get up early to get Jacob's lunch packed everyday and get Carter ready on time to leave with Craig twice per week. I have to worry about getting a job and taking care of anything associated with that. There's more pressure now to ensure that I am available for all of the stuff I have no excuse to not do anymore. I'm committing myself to going to the gym on the two days that Carter is at daycare. Unfortunately my old gym closed and my new gym is not open in our town just yet, so I'm stuck going downtown to the gym I have a free membership at through Craig's work. I like it there a lot, but it's a bit more of a drive than I'd like. Yesterday it worked out well because I met my weekly lunch buddies for lunch afterward, and tomorrow I'll go after my job coaching. I figure that if I can use this time to drop the extra five pounds I'm toting around, that would be helpful.
It's still weird not having anywhere to go, but I'm keeping myself busy enough that it still feels a bit like a staycation or holiday time off. It's a little ironic that the last time I had this much time off it was two years ago right around this same time of year (though one month later), for maternity leave. I grew to love that time all holed up at home, but having a tiny baby made it easier to want to stay home, whereas now a break from the living room disaster area is welcomed. I can't go out and spend money, however, but there are certain things I'm taking the time to look for (a new toaster oven to replace ours that doesn't toast or new dressy work clothes). I've had a bunch of lunches out for various reasons, too, and I need to make a couple doctor's appointments before our insurance changes over.
Long story short, this isn't quite some relaxing vacation, but it's a nice vacation from having to cram everything outside of work into a couple hours per night. I'll get a little more crazy in another couple weeks, but for now I'm enjoying the chance to see what this kind of existence would be like, minus the financial hit. The real work starts tomorrow, though...so we'll see how it goes.