Last night was my ‘bi-annual’ trip to the bar! Maybe a slight exaggeration, but nevertheless, I am not a seasoned drinker. First round my brother-in-law bought, the second round, I returned the favour and passed the beers around to all concerned. “Cheers Cam” was politely returned until my brother-in-law jokingly replied, “Cheers Suzanne” (my wife’s name).
A great joke and well delivered and we embraced with a respectful ‘high five’! As the wage earner in my family, at the moment, my partner does deserve a big cheers and rightly so. However the next day, hazily remembering the night before, and the craic we had enjoyed, I remembered fondly that joke. I also thought about the bigger picture of my employment status.
For the last seven months we have asked people to refrain from calling themselves unemployed. However, as much as the word ‘unemployed’ is tainted, having the ability to not take yourself and your unemployment status too seriously is vitally important, to both your mindset and also your lifestyle.
I am proud of my ‘unemployment status’. Yes quote me on it, Mr Newspaper writer. For the last seven months I have achieved so much. If it was not for redundancy, I would still be bored, still be more stressed and still not be able to use my talents and skills half as much as I do now. Also I would like to hope, I am a better Father, spending a lot more time with my children. Don’t get me wrong, I am far from perfect, but unemployment has helped me get my sense of humour back at least…
By the way, I am no longer officially unemployed, as I am now on a Government backed self employment scheme that pays me £82 per week. I am no longer one of the few million officially unemployed. £82 is not much you may scoff, but £82 a week, in my mind, is my starting wage each week. In my mindset I am starting each week with £82 earned. However in my mind, I am still unemployed, because until I start buying my own beers again, it is unemployment for me, government statistics or not.
A couple of side notes. A couple of weeks ago it was social media week and I set the challenge of getting a post re tweeted on twitter with the goal of getting my article spread around the World. Going viral was the target – and it failed. Yes it was retweeted and read quite a lot, but viral it did not become. Perhaps the lesson here is that you cannot ask for something to become viral – it’s like praying for a cold and then getting it the next day – it rarely happens.
Second thing. For the last couple of years, our family has gone to Centre Parcs, in Cumbria. Walking, thinking and enjoying the fresh air is the joy of Centre Parcs for me, and that is a really important remedy for the stresses that can accompany unemployment. However you do not have to go to Centre Parcs, or somewhere similar, to get fresh air, as fresh air costs you £0, which will probably be as close as I get to a holiday this year. However Centre Parcs, if you’re reading, feel free to pass us on a free wee holiday, I promise I will be your best unemployed / self employed Freegan-holiday-taker ever!
Hail the Employable!
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