The Unemployment Diaries

You know, I’d started this year with a bout of ‘productivity shall be me’ syndrome. However, in the 3 odd days it took for the drunken revelry to subside, my enthusiasm for the blogging-cooking-reading-fitness universal resolution evaporated. Instead, I decided to go with the flow. Which was very interesting because I never go with the flow. I’ve never had the time or the courage or the natural lack of uptightness to go with the flow. Yes, many occasions have seen me wringing my hands on the sidelines when I didn’t have a chance of not going with the flow. But I always knew that it wasn’t out of choice, and that at least I was panicking and resisting the flow. Or something.

This time, however, has been different. I have had three months of absolutely no plans. And may I say, shockingly few responsibilities. I wake up and I have the choice of browsing recipes involving crumbled bacon all day when I don’t even eat bacon. Or I can stalk someone’s first cousin’s spouse all day on Facebook, and by “someone” I mean my brother’s girlfriend 😀 I have tagged along with the husband on his business trips without a second thought about “leave balance” – clearly a thing of the past. On most days, I wake up feeling like God’s favourite child.

If there was a life-equivalent of stopping to catch your breath, it’s been this. I have had the time and the joblessness to form my opinion on a few things, and lose most perspective I’ve gathered over the years. Here are some realizations:

 – While I’ve been distinctly clear about my lack of ambition through all the years, there’s nothing that has outlined it more than this break. To put it simply, I don’t miss work at all. I definitely don’t miss the particular work I was doing. And I most certainly don’t miss my workplace. What I do miss? Getting out of the house at a certain time everyday. Meeting new people. The money. The feeling of being bone-tired but happy with what I had done, once in a while. However, I have never thought of these things and feelings as associated exclusively with my career. In fact, in my mind, with the exception of a few delusional moments, I have always known that I work so that I have enough money and carefreeness one day to not have to work at all. A few indignant people have taken personal offence to this take on the sacred insitution of corporate rat-race and sprung questions like “But what about your IIM degree?” and “How can you not have a passion for using your knowledge to leave the world a better place?”, and then there are the simplefolk who either ask whether my husband does not “allow” me to work or is it that we are in the family way? Little do they all know that I have already bothered myself with their questions long before this day. And all I have in conclusion is that I don’t owe a greater use of my education or knowledge to anybody. I’m not going to pretend that there are other ways of justifying an education like running an NGO. Because no, there aren’t many. There are very many ways, though, of doing things that nobody expects you to because of your education. Nor do I plan to leave the world a worse place, so there, I’ve done my bit.

– This, in a twisted way, brings me to my second thought. I’m so not a ‘lose myself’ in the role kind of person. I’ve known people who obsess about how their jobs make them see their worth in tangible terms. Then there are ones who think and talk and behave like they were always married – because married life and the spouse and the housekeeping is their current spice. And then there are the parents, who’ll let you know how you will only really feel your heart explode, when you first hold your child. It’s not to diss their way of living, but I honestly never raise the stakes in any of my relationships enough for it to control my life. Does it mean I’m in full control all the time? Hardly. And the answer isn’t very pretty infact: It just means that I know what a pest I can be when I’m too invested in something. Enough to drive people nuts. But the worse part is that occasionally, I forget that this over-investment is of my own making, and then I blame other people for my misery and like to pretend like an existential angst ridden teenager. (Have you given this blog any points for the ugly but complete honesty yet? :D) So yeah, the easy option is to chill down so nobody freaks out 🙂

– I don’t pride myself on most things because frankly, who are we kidding? I didn’t do most of those things. They happened to me. But the one thing that I do hold dear is that I have an innate ability to keep an open mind and let most ideas in. I say “most”, because no, I haven’t really been able to acknowledge certain concepts (Necrophilia is one such) as a to-each-their-own choice. But what I hadn’t yet figured was that this whole open-mind shenanigan is just that, until you can do the boring thing of saying “I don’t know” or “I really don’t have an opinion”, shrug and scoot on some days. Knowing isn’t the same as arguing both sides and drilling your opinion into someone’s head. It’s also waiting for them to come around and see both sides on their own, while you play the devil’s advocate for your own benefit only.

Meanwhile, I’m also thankful for the little things that haven’t changed. I’m still poring over blogs hopelessly, despite the Twitter bug. The fitness fever returned, after a few weekends of debauchery. The cooking has resumed, and a few new recipes added to my humble repertoire. Here’s hoping I continue to blog and also someday dust off the layers of grime on those unread books.

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17 thoughts on “The Unemployment Diaries

    • Your endorsement always means a lot, Georges 🙂 It’s really addictive and surprisingly low-guilt, but I’ll prolly join the workforce for a few more tiresome years when I’m ready to torture myself again.

  1. Very interesting.. You know that has been my life for years right. Well techincally I had the kids but nothing a little TV and/or candy couldnt solve(kidding)

    Anyways now that I have the Ebay business up and running and have ideas and designs(a booth at a antique store! consginment selling, setting up for a retail store an Ebay store amongst many things) I love this new business minded shark fangs Srraikh. I absolutely love that I do not even have time to read or work out because I am so focused on my business.

    Anyways, this post is of no help to you…All I want to say, I enjoyed my 11 years of being so carefree, going where and whenever I wanted. And now I am enjoying this as well.

  2. It’s good to see how sorted out you are. This is one of my greatest conflicts of all times – why should I care if I am leading a perfectly happy and carefree existence (for sometime at least) which is sans worries about work, boss, subordinates. It is my life after all, and the basic goal we all work towards is happiness. But there is a voice which says that I should always be making some productive use of my time – creating something, ‘improving’ myself etc. But you know what, you are cooking. That in itself is a great outlet for creation and making the world a better place. It’s surprising how happy a good meal can make us 😀

  3. Im my terms you are in a zen state now…..have fun, relax….and yes I would love to do that one day too….but there are bills to pay and the paycheck is important as of today…but when it realxes a bit….I would love to venture into that world….
    and yes we educate ourselves and we dont at all owe it to the world….. 🙂
    and only happy people can make a better world….so do what makes you happy !

  4. What? No one has asked you what your PLANS are yet? Or what you DO ALL DAY LONG (this one comes accompanied with a horror struck expression)?
    People have got a little tired of asking me this stuff, so now they’ve moved on to when I plan to have the second baby- that’s considered the only other worthy alternative 😉

  5. Ok, guess what. We are not totally wired similarly after all 🙂 And in spite of that realization, I really, really loved this post. Do you or don’t you love me a little bit more now? 😛

    Thanks for this post, I really needed it. I have been obsessing over work and home and generally feeling like a Superwoman (which I am not), and with the appraisal next month, I have become a little weird. Housekeeping and work don’t define me man, don’t know why I always seem to fall in that rut. So yes, thank you for drilling some sense into me. Off I go. Today is sloth day. Was thinking of spending the weekend filling out my appraisal form, lekin ab bhaad mein jaaye appraisal. I am not going to leave the world a worse place and for today, that is more than enough 🙂

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