I thought I'd check back in after my post a month ago about losing my job. The onslaught of supportive comments and offers to help, gave me hope and support when I needed it most. So thank you for making this giant internet actually seem like a place of friendship and real people.
When I was working, there were a few days (alright, more than a few) where I just wanted to turn off the alarm clock and take the day off. What I would have given just to lounge in my pjs, stroll around the neighborhood and go shopping. Life is funny--it sometimes hands you precisely what you asked for. When something big shifts like this, you can either embrace it and learn or let it trip you up and derail you.
I wanted to share a few things that I have learned over the past month. My hope is that employed or not, you can apply them to your life and maybe, just maybe like your job a little more.
1. You still want a routine and structure.
It was important for me to have a routine even though I didn't have any meetings to attend or calls to make. Consistency provides a little bit of order amongst the potential chaos of not having a job to clock in to. My alarm is still set for 7:30am every morning (if I get out of bed is another story, I can't be perfect) Ironically, it is routine that can drag us down when we are working--making us feel as if we are trapped in the dreaded hamster wheel. I have a few suggestions below on how to avoid this feeling but the bottom line is that we are creatures of habit. The structure from a job can help provide a feeling of stability.
2. You don't want to do the laundry any more than you did before.
The truth is that no matter how much free time you have you still dont want to do the boring things. Laundry still gets piled up and that dentist appointment was so challenging to book. People sometimes say "If I had more time I would…clean my closet, reorganize my bookshelf, take the clothes to the Goodwill" Well, in my experience, that just isn't true. Those mundane tasks dont suddenly become super exciting. You just simply find other things to procrastinate with. I think the key is doing a little at a time. Instead of lofty goals of the entire closet, just decide you are going to organize your shoes.
3. You dont wait for the weekend to incorporate fun.
I have been busy while I have been unemployed. I have been brunching, lunching, cocktailing organizing photoshoots, working on collaborations. So busy that I had to get a calendar to keep track of all of the plans. I dont say this to make me seem popular (that would be seriously annoying) I say it because my busiest days are Monday-Friday. And yes, while I do have more time to meet and do these fun things, I have made a point of scheduling things during the week to keep it fun. Some of the people I meet with have more flexible jobs (sales people, photographers) but most have full-time jobs. I think that it is tempting when you have a job to fall into a routine of commute > job > commute > sleep. But what if you went to the park after work to catch the last hour of sunlight, or reached out to that person you haven't seen in awhile to grab cocktails, or even met someone before work at a coffee shop? I find that time spent with people out doing things makes me so much more energized than sitting at home watching another episode of New York Housewives.
4. TV gets boring and books get exciting.
Cue record scratch. Lauren, are you turning into a grandma? Well, yes, I was already few steps there but give me a chance to explain myself. It's like when you have free Diet Dr. Pepper at work and at first you can't get enough. You are drinking that stuff for lunch, snack, early dinner. But just because you can have it all the time it makes it less special. After awhile, that Diet Dr. Pepper doesn't taste as good as when you first had it because it has just become the usual. Deep metaphor, huh? Well that is the way TV is. If you can watch as much of it as you want, you eventually work your way through every episode of Reign and lose interest. You want to read all of the books collecting dust in the corner. Because you can read books at parks and in coffee shops. And that ends up being more interesting than sitting home alone. There are plenty of things besides a screen that are entertaining. I have been making a habit of visiting new coffee shops and the park by my house has become my go-to relaxation rather than plopping down on the couch.
5. Growing your business takes time and consistency.
Having more time to dedicate to this blog has been a true luxury. Reaching out to new partners and sourcing new opportunities takes time and dedication. I have been lucky to have more time to devote to writing longer posts (like this one) and doing more intricate photoshoots (more to come on that) My hope is that I have been able to provide better content for you which leads to more readers and traffic. I'm not going to lie and say that traffic isn't important to me. My goal is to grow the blog and while I might not retire in my manson because of it, the truth of the matter is that more readers means more partnerships and fun giveaways (like the Chairish one from yesterday!) It's really a win, win for both of us. The key has been consistency and dedicated time, every single day. It may not be realistic to assume that after I get my new job I will be able to proceed as I have been, but it is a good reminder that putting the time in gets results. If you have something that you are passionate about, at work or outside of it, you know that you have to work at it. I read a quote, "No great thing is suddenly created."
So thank you for your support. I hope these lessons I have learned will help you no matter what your situation is.
All images from designlovefest.