Confessions of the Funemployed

By Amy Thoma

Like many in Sacramento I’m coming off a hectic, fun, intense, crazy and long election season. For about a year I was completely consumed by all things campaign. In fact, there was a time when I knew more about my candidate’s schedule, finances, likes and dislikes than my own. Everyday I would dream about November when I’d no longer start and end my day with a conference call, be able to shower without stressing about blackberry separation and actually see daylight. Now that it’s here… funemployment (fun unemployment, get it?) is tougher than it sounds. Two weeks ago I was bossing around a ton of people and now the only thing I have to boss around is my mom’s 9-year old epileptic chihuahua.

Like many GOTG readers I am slightly Type-A. Resting is not in my vocabulary, I’m not happy unless I’m contributing to society, and I don’t believe in waking up after 7am. Ever.

So as you can imagine, going from 1,000 miles per hour to about ten is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I know, poor me… forced to relax and take it easy. But really! It’s hard! And even a little depressing.

I’ve only been funemployed for two short weeks and I’ve already gone to Napa, gone to Disneyland, visited my family, had my family visit me, gone to the Cal vs. Oregon game, shopped a ton, brushed up my resume, made muffins, homemade bread, cookies, banana bread and chili, cleaned my refrigerator, watched all the Gossip Girl on my DVR, gone to Costco, gotten my oil changed, smogged and registered my car, had a contractor over to fix various things around the house, gone running and to yoga every single day, organized my closet, had coffee and drinks with everyone I’ve ever met and raked all my leaves. And it’s only Tuesday. And I’m planning on re-reading some of the classics, going on a lot of hikes, learning French, repainting my bedroom, planting winter flowers and throwing one hell of a Christmas party.

I think the only explanation for my insane (and let’s be honest, unnecessary) productivity is a combination of my own neuroses (ask my friends, I’m not normal) and feeling slightly worried about what might happen to my delicate little psyche if I slow down.

I mean, if I quit producing and slow down a little I might actually have to take a step back and figure out exactly what I want to do next and what kind of person I want to be. And I don’t know if you know this or not, but Type-A people aren’t exactly comfortable with introspection. We prefer to bury ourselves in projects and work and leave that kind of daydreaming to the free spirit, artist-types out there. In fact, if you tell me to relax it just stresses me out more!

But what I’m starting to realize (and yes, I know that 14 days isn’t enough to have any kind of revelation) is that there is a very good chance I’ll never have this time again. Time to see my friends whenever, to take time to really think about what I want my life to look like and the steps required to get there and time to screw around a little bit. I’m going to get a job at some point and more than likely I’ll throw myself into it 110%. Because that’s how I roll.

Separating myself from a to-do list is totally scary. And not being on a schedule is even worse. I love a good schedule. But I’m trying to embrace the unknown and to learn to be spontaneous and maybe even a little irresponsible.

Pretty sure I’m not the only one in Sacramento who is funemployed so if anyone wants to go for a hike, drink during the day, pick out new kitchen tile, go for a run or take on an elaborate baking project, call me!

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3 Comments

  1. Megan says

    Amy – I was on a campaign this season as well, and dealing with unemployment has certainly been a hard transition, so I completely understand what you’re going through! I still find myself awake way past an acceptable hour (3 am, anyone?), however, without the stress and duties of a campaign staffer it’s not nearly as productive staying up that late. obviously.

    I’m up for any of your suggestions for dealing with funemployment (and yes, I’m pretty confident that day-drinking is a staple), so let me know when you’re available! maybe we can help each other find our next job!

    Find me on FB (bria.bates@gmail.com)

  2. Melanie Park says

    This explains why I haven’t seen you!! It sounds like you’re doing well – try to enjoy the “time off” as hard as it may be. You deserve a break! Love ya, Mel

  3. Sonya says

    How funny to read this, I feel exactly the same! Those closest to me poke fun for having a schedule typically broke down in (seemingly) 15 minute increments of somewhere I need to be for work, school, community, social or otherwise. I thrive on not sitting for more than one of those increments, unless its in my car to head to another engagement – which has taken a 120K mi toll on my poor 4-yr old “Gertrude”. I too am fighting this thing called “down-time”?!? What to do with yourself when you have nowhere you HAVE to be – I’m sure we’ll both find a way. Cheers to what I call ‘vacation to take over the world.’ 🙂

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