A Day in the Life of the Unemployed

It has been more than four months since I lost a very lucrative paying job. I have not found conventional employment with the paid vacation, health insurance and matching 401K, as I have held all of my adult working life. Legally, I am unemployed and looking for work, but in a unique way for me. It is a path that I have never tried before in my career.

I am staying extremely “employed” by blogging, volunteering and working as an independent contractor. I am working to build myself a steady income once the unemployment and health insurance benefit from my former employer runs out.

Here is a typical day for me now. I rise between six and seven a.m. and eat a bowl of nutritious inexpensive oatmeal with walnuts, raisins, cinnamon and soy milk with orange juice and coffee. I read email, online news and blog about whatever I feel.

Since I have been ill, I am playing catch up on my training for the Music City Half Marathon. I had planned to do a 10-mile run today as preparation, but will cut it short to fit my busy schedule.

I have a 10 a.m. meeting with members of the Metro Beautification Environment Commission, Keep America Beautiful and Keep Tennessee Beautiful about the national Great American Clean Up event in Nashville on May 14. I have already emailed a local HOA this morning about their clean up event this Saturday in their neighborhood. The Great American Clean Up events will span from Saturday’s dozen or so homeowners to a statewide event involving over a 1000 volunteers.

After lunch, I need to fill out some RFPs for a potential client. Since I am an independent contractor for a local marketing group. I have also set up a blog for the company to help me sell their products. You see, I do not make money until I sell something. In my last job, I would have been paid for the blog post. Now, I get paid if the blog post brings in business. Should it have always been this way? I work to get the carrot if I am successful. I no longer eat the carrot on the way.

Then I am heading over the Green Business and Living Expo at Lipscomb University. I have officially joined the green community in Nashville since my unemployment. I am meeting its movers, shakers, workers and leaders all the time. This is my passion. At the Expo kickoff, Organic yogurt entrepreneur, author and chair of Climate Counts, Gary Hirshberg, will speak at 7:00pm in Allen Arena on the campus. I ate his company’s yogurt this week as part of my recovery from my food poisoning.

This will be a very fulfilling day for me. I am excited today. Other than my weekly unemployment check, I will receive no financial compensation, but I will be “able, available, and looking for work.”

NP NowPublic

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Doug Griffin said,

    Hi Barbara,

    You have such a good attitude, and it sounds like you’re doing everything possible to not only get through this tough time, but actually improve yourself in many ways. This economic situation is really affecting the whole country and forcing us to wake up! I think of the little 2 bedroom, NEW house my parents bought in the 50’s and how it was totally normal back then for kids to share bedrooms and the family to only have one car etc. And that was during what was thought of then as a golden era. After my own hard financial times a few years ago, I find myself smiling a lot – actually living like my parents did, in a small apartment, with no credit card debt, and a nice feeling that I don’t owe anyone anything!

    I live right on 16th Avenue South, and the Country Music Marathon goes right by me every year. I made a video of it called “The ‘Other’ Country Music Marathon” and put my own music to it. It’s to celebrate the regular, everyday people that are brave enough to run the marathon. I’d love it if you’d watch it and leave a comment there on my site. Good luck in the marathon, and with everything else you’re dealing with as well.

    Doug Griffin
    Here’s the link to the video: http://www.douggriffinart.com/Video/NashvilleMarathon/NashvilleMarathon.html

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