Unemployment is Not Unlimited Time

Feb 11, 2015 by



Without a job

Can be confused

Having endless time




          It is sometimes assumed that being unemployed means I have ample unallocated time. To clarify on behalf of every unemployed person out there, being unemployed does not equate to more time. Like the employed, I get 24 hours in a day. By choosing to be unemployed, I just gave myself more freedom in how I use them. Therefore, eliminating my job does not mean that I have time to do X, when X is any suggestion someone who isn’t me has about how I should be using my time. It does, however, mean that I have time to do Y, with Y being whatever the fuck I want. Sure, I could do X and X and X, but I don’t want to do what other people want me to do. My time is as precious as that of the employed. I want to use it to focus on my priorities and my interests, and rightfully so; it’s my time that I’m spending.

          For those who can’t seem to fathom what I could possibly be so busy doing without a job (cough, my second youngest sister, cough), I have a life. Actually, a friend and I were talking about this over lunch two Fridays ago.

          “I love unemployment!” I gushed.

          “Isn’t it the best?” she smiled nostalgically. She once had six months off between jobs, and if it wouldn’t sacrifice the retirement she wants, she’d still be unemployed.

          We began discussing the assumptions people make about what it’s like to be unemployed, mainly the presumptions that it leads to boredom and shitloads of time.

          “People who say they would be bored without their jobs must not have enough fulfillment outside of work,” I said. “If all you have for entertainment is your job –”

          “– you don’t have a life,” my friend finished. “Do you know how many things I’d rather be doing than my job?” she said. “How many organizations I’d volunteer for?”

          You see, friends, the unemployed have their own aspirations. We don’t have time for everyone else’s vicarious living. I came into unemployment with an already vibrant life, and I immediately reallocated my old work hours to that vibrant life when I left my job. Frankly, I’m more tired at the end of the day now than I was while working – probably due to the physical demands of pole dancing versus sitting at a desk, which only furthers my point. I don’t “have the time” for whatever other people think I “have the time” for. My days are full. Not having a job to do (which is blissful; you should try it) does not mean not having anything to do. It does not leave me bored, waiting to be entertained by other people’s propositions for my time. Quite the opposite, it means less shoulds and more wants.

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