I've just celebrated, though that really isn't the right word, 6 months unemployment. How about mourned the last 6 months of unemployment?
When I lost my job I know that getting another would be tough but I think I believed that after six months I would actually have managed to get another full time position. Well so much for that belief then, another delusion I have been under. And I believed in Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, snow at Christmas and Al Gore becoming President of the USA. And nothing imminent either so it is going to go on for some time to come. In fact it is quite easy to see how a year can go by without securing another full time position. Anyway the part time job still brings in some cash so, as I may have said before, it could be worse.
The thing is that in the last two weeks I've been busier than any other time during the last 6 months. I have had to work every work day for the last two weeks, plus a Sunday as well, to meet deadlines. In fact I even managed to get past the boundaries of the county on a number of occasions. Sometimes it feels like those scenes in Star Trek when Kirk says 'Shields up' and there is an invisible, impenetrable electronic sort of condom around the Enterprise stopping the aliens getting close. Recently there has been a reverse shield around the county seemingly stopping me get out to talk to the aliens (when you are restricted to a small area of the country you begin to think everyone else is odd, bit like they do in Yorkshire), but out I have been, as far north as Blackburn and to London twice. Marco Polo think on't.
However something odd happened. I started getting grumpy about going out. 'Look to get to Blackburn by 11am I am going to have to leave at 0700 in the morning and to get to London I'll have to catch the 0645 train to arrive on time for my meeting at 0930.' This would be followed by 'I'll be late home tonight, possibly as late as 6pm.'
6pm? When I was working I'd still have hours left in the office at that time and as for early starts, well I would laugh in the face of dawn and tell anyone daft enough to listen that this was my favourite time of day and that I had seen dawn rising all over the UK you layabeds you and didn't you know there were two 5 o'clocks in the day?
But now, now I find myself thinking 'Well I was going to mow the lawn' or 'I was going to go for a walk in sun whilst the weather was still fine'. This Friday I have to be the wrong side of the M1 to travel home and, even though I claim my fee by the hour, found myself thinking that this can't be right I should be home for a Friday afternoon and not fighting my way across the UK at the busiest time of the week.
I put this down to Darwinism as it can't possibly be anything wrong with me. I think it is a sort of adaptation to the circumstances and now, after 6 months, find adapting to work as much as a change as adapting to not working. A survival mechanism has kicked in allowing me to deal with the lack of things to do and with the pressure of work being, largely, removed. The pressure is still there but in other ways like not being able to spend on anything but necessities with the odd (very occasional) luxury item being bought.
We are still dealing with it, we have to, but as the song goes "I'd like to be unhappy but I really don't have the time.' If only it were like that really.