The Psychology of the Freshly Unemployed

Here it is, five days in. I picked up a couple of hours of contract work yesterday, which was nice. Trying to get my head into the game today. The constant rain makes me want to go back to bed. I have a couple of dozen projects which are half-completed, several of which I could get done by the end of the week. I have a few new skill sets I need to work on (mobile web, Android app development, AIR development, augmented reality), but I can feel myself beginning to succumb to option paralysis.

My instincts tell me I am still a full-time worker, and that I am home during the late morning hours means I am either on vacation or this is the weekend. This triggers my “I’ve done enough work this week” reflex, which makes it more difficult to want to spend time in front of the computer. Another oddity is that I am unemployed, but everyone in my peer group is working right now. I am out of synch with the greater part of my life.

Today I am cleaning up my house; clearing off surfaces and removing distractions. Every space can be put to use as a place to think, or meditate, or reflect. Or play. I have discovered that the TV show NUMB3RS is surprisingly inspiring, mostly because the obsessive-compulsive geek part of me can identify with Charlie Eppes.

I also applied for unemployment yesterday, which was the first work-related thing in the past week which has felt “real”. If I have the numbers figured correctly – and it’s a big “if” – unemployment should cover all of my expenses for the next few months, which means I will have time to learn some new skills and do some serious networking. Suddenly being a contractor/freelancer is a lot more appealing. Two years ago this would have been devastating. Now it is kind of invigorating.

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