Thursday, January 15, 2009

What I do all day...

As one of my nieces so elegantly put it over the holidays, "so now that you don't have a job, what do you DO all day?" I was sleep deprived and didn't feel like getting into it, so I told her I ate bon bons, slept late every day and watched DVDs. She said, "must be nice." It was Christmas, so instead of saying, "actually I'd rather have a full-time job and I've been applying all over the place and being on unemployment sucks," I said, "yeah, it is nice."

I can't even call myself a former workaholic, because I've discovered that I am a workaholic whether I have a "real" job or not. After spending almost 5 months of 12-14 hours days (sometimes longer) working on press for a congressional campaign, I'll admit to sleeping a lot in the weeks following Election Day. But that didn't last very long. I decided I needed a reason to get up in the morning, so I got a puppy. I've wanted a dog for a while (no one was more surprised than I, being a lifelong cat person) and it wasn't the only reason I decided to bring Lou into my little family, but there are a lot of benefits. The best one: I go for 4 or 5 long walks a day because she's very active and forces me to (a) get out of the house and (b) get some exercise. And having a puppy is like a job. Between Lou and Miss Kitty, I spend a lot of time feeding and brushing and bathing and taking care of my four-legged little ones.

Once I got my groove back, I started writing again. I have a schedule. I get up in the morning and after I walk the dog, I power on the laptop and start working. I've written a few pieces that haven't gone anywhere yet, one for Charleston Magazine's March issue, and have scheduled four speaking engagements and workshops to promote my book so far. When I run out of writing ideas, I run through my to-do list. I've done a lot of early spring cleaning around the house, caught up on all of the things I dropped the ball on while I was working for the campaign, and even managed to spend time socially with friends and family. I'm definitely not an anomaly. I think I actually have more friends who have been laid off or otherwise dismissed from jobs last year than I do friends who still have full-time jobs.

This is the short answer. I love working from home again, love afternoon naps, love being able to go to a yoga class in the middle of the day, love walks with Lou, and love that I always have clean clothes and a clean house, and I'm healthier than I've been in months. But since I'm on COBRA, I'm paying a ridiculous amount for health insurance, have been dipping into savings to cover bills (no idea how anyone can live off of unemployment), and have applied for jobs that I never thought I'd consider six months ago (like corporate management positions). It took longer than I thought to get my creative mojo back, but the muse is taking baby steps and she's beginning to trust me. And I've made a promise that I'll never ignore her for long periods of time again.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Should I worry?

I finally snapped a pic of a bird that visits the trees around my house when I have Lou in the yard.

Bird of prey?

I don't know what kind of bird it is, but I read that one should be careful with small dogs if you live in an area that has birds of prey. It stays in the tree and eyeballs the puppy. If we go in the back yard, it moves to the tree back there. No movement toward me or puppy yet, but I really don't want a gigantic bird carrying my little one off. It doesn't make noise either, but the smaller birds in the area go nuts when it's around.

Full size photo here if you want to get a closer look. Any ideas on what kind of bird this is and if I should be worried that it might try to get my puppy?
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