Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Housewifery

Some of you may not know that I've never not had a job. It's true. I'm pretty sure I started working as soon as I was legally able. My first job was helping my mom with big mailings when she worked for a tax consultant when I was in junior high. Copying, sorting, stuffing envelopes, and running them through the postage machine. Sometimes I got to answer the phone, and that was a big excitement. I've always had at least one job, and sometimes two. One summer I even worked in one of my uncle's movie theaters when we went to my dad's for a couple weeks during summer vacation. I've always loved working, and I've found it means a lot when you pay for something yourself because you know you earned it, and for me, I think, it gave me a feeling of independence. I felt this way when I bought my class ring with my own money, my first car, my college education (still paying for that one, actually).

The last time I didn't have a job was three months after I graduated from college, having just finished my summer internship in Wenatchee. The timing worked out, because my grandpa passed away just a couple days after I left Washington. I was able to devote my time to my family, helping with the service, writing the obituaries and grieving. But once the funeral was over and family started leaving, I broke down. I mean I started crying one morning and couldn't stop. I think I started to make my Dad and Deb a bit nervous. They wanted to know what was wrong and I think it was just everything - besides missing my grandpa, it was the first time in my life I wasn't in school and didn't have a job and had no idea what would happen next. Luckily, one of my uncles gave me a job for a few weeks until a newspaper offer came through. So, you see, even then I was only out of a job for about a week.

So now it's been eight days since I was laid off from the paper and it turns out looking for jobs and updating your resume doesn't take up much time. Yesterday's big excitement was washing the dishes and doing laundry. Today I went to Costco and Safeway. Tomorrow, I suppose I'll clean the bathrooms and work on my D.C. scrapbook. But, truth be told, I'm really not into this housewife business. I'm sure if we had a little more money (so I could buy craft supplies and spend my days making projects) or if there were a little one to take care of (don't get excited moms, we're still planning to wait until after grad school for that), I'd enjoy it much more. But for now, I'd much rather go to work. One of my former co-workers last week asked me if it felt like a break-up, and in a way it does. I go through periods of anger and of acceptance. I had to restrain myself today from e-mailing the paper when they misspelled a word on the home page of the Web site, and wrote an entire e-mail to my former editor pitching a video idea, then deleted it before sending. So I guess you can take the girl out of the news business, but you can't take the news business out of the girl. There is some comfort in knowing, right now, that so many other people are in the same boat. But it is a double-edged sword because with so many people out of work, there are far fewer jobs and much more competition.

I've been in kind of a funk about it all, and I feel bad for Chris for having to come home to a pouty face, so I'm resolved to try to feel better about it. People tell me it can be a great opportunity to figure out what I really want to do (which actually is a little funny because I did figure that out ... in, like, elementary school), and at least I'm eligible for unemployment so we'll be able to get by. Maybe now is a good time to start that book I've always wanted to write ... except I'm at a loss for a topic. Hehehe.

4 comments:

Nanette said...

Being a houewife is hard.

volksbloggin said...

As someone who is been out of work longer than I have worked (at least it seems that way), take the time to mourn the loss. It's OK to have these feelings. It's completely normal.
And one more suggestion: Have you considered volunteering? It may help on many levels.

Tammy said...

Actually something Kat sent me also suggested volunteering ... not a bad idea. Would get me out of the house and maybe make some contacts, too. I might wait a few days for that, though, just in case I'm able to line something up ;)

Sarah said...

You're so funny Tammy. I really enjoyed this blog. There were more layoffs at the Trib this week - 13. I know it doesn't make anyone feel better but you're definitely not alone, no one is immune.

Enjoy your time and you'll be back to work soon!