Today was one of those days in which I woke up and felt the overwhelm of unemployment. It’s a big thing to worry about finances, navigating new systems, finding a job- even for someone with many resources and skills. It’s been just over four weeks since I was laid off and I’ve experienced every type of delay possible in gaining unemployment insurance benefits and COBRA coverage. Today, I called the Unemployment Insurance office every thirty minutes for 5 hours to be met with the same automated message (after going through 4 previous automated menus) “Due to unusually high call volume you will have to call back later or on another day…”.
Thankfully, at 5pm I reached Lisa, who gave me an update, some clarity on the situation, and my next step for Friday. Crossed fingers that we’ll see some progress and that I’ll eventually get reimbursed for benefits. It’s been difficult funding a month without pay- continuing to fund myself is going to be even more fun.
Still, I’m lucky. I had a cushion. I keep thinking about folks who don’t. Who have less resources and capacity to negotiate systems. And then I feel thankful.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s still a wee bit overwhelming- hence the opening line of this post. I woke up this morning and felt the weight of my current situation and it caused temporary immobility- literally. It was difficult to get out of bed. And so I slept a little, and then thought of my friend Deb, who I met for a coffee today, and of my goals to balance my checkbook, follow-up with all the folks I’m networking with in this first go-around, and apply to at least two jobs.
My time with Deb was wonderful and essential. Being around a good friend, trading stories and sharing love is life-infusing. I left our time together feeling thankful and determined to smile at and thank everyone i came into contact with today. To share little acts of kindness. And I did so.
And in my being gentle with others, I remembered to be gentle to myself. I forgave myself for the difficulty I had this morning, praised myself for getting our of bed, and bought myself a small bouquet of tulips. My treat for the week. Then, I came home, enjoyed a late lunch and powered through all of my goals in five hours.
And here I am. Enjoying dinner (thanks to my lovely bf who bought me dinner yesterday and so provided me with dinner-leftovers tonight) and reflecting on this journey. I feel blessed to have the capacity to give myself space to be immobile and for my ability to get things done.
And, I’m very grateful for these beautiful tulips sitting in front of me.