I know my unemployment is soon coming to an end (thankfully!); I’m just waiting for my criminal record check to arrive in the mail. Once I drop that puppy off at the local school board office, I can begin substitute teaching, earning grey hairs, and chewing Valium by the handful.
I had one done in the spring for my certification (I do’em every six months now that I’m in education) and I lucked out that no sex offender or criminal had my exact name or birth date. I’ve heard it can take MONTHS for the check to go through if you are unlucky enough to share a birth date with a creepy pedophile (then again aren’t all pedophiles creepy?)
So, I’m twiddling my thumbs, hoping that no one has been convicted of some heinous crime since May. Otherwise, my working days and first paycheque might be delayed; otherwise the Mafia (okay, the Royal Bank) might get a little peevish about my credit card bills.
My period of unemployment hasn’t been totally wasted though. (Of course, if I added up total hours slept, I’m sure I would be shocked and pleased and horrified all at once.)
These are my following accomplishments, achieved while being an unemployed bum.
I have always been a writer. Ever since my grandmother put me in my crib with crayons and a colouring book (not that I coloured the book when I had that perfectly bare wall at my disposal) I have written like someone possessed. I started out writing Fan Fic in Grade Primary featuring Garfield and the Sleepover Friends. As I grew older (late elementary) I took a turn to the dark side and fancied myself a Edgar Allan Poe or Stephen King, writing very undark mysteries and ghost stories.
These days, I enjoy historical fiction. Literary fiction specifically, though I enjoy a good historical romance too.
While I’ve been unemployed, I’ve been trying to revamp a novel I wrote on the Halifax Explosion as a teenybopper. Now that I have some life experience and perspective, as well as two English degrees, it doesn’t fit my idea of publishable. If it never gets published, that’s okay, because there’s a gazillion novels on the Halifax explosion already and society won’t be the worst for one less novel on the topic. But sometimes you have to take care of old business before you can go on to the new.
See my last post. Nothing like some fresh paint to keep you busy. Housecleaning works too.
Reading the classics
For years, my English degrees killed my love of reading. I read so much stuff in university, I didn’t have an appetite for literature in my spare time. I watched TV instead.
Now that I’m out of school, I’m rediscovering an old love. I have been reading feverishly. I don’t just have a passion to read: I have the passion to read through my book asquicklyasIcan so I can start another. It’s a contest to see how many books I can read before I die and I’m wasting time. Must read. Must finish book.
I’ve been reading some contemporary stuff, but I’ve also been reading lots o’ classics including Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Virginia Woolf. Right now I’m reading The French Lieutenant’s Woman. I was supposed to read it for one of my undergrad classes but “may” have sped read the important parts and not read half or 3/4 of the book (sorry Dr. Quema!)
Let’s be honest: sometimes I would just rather cook up a box of Crap Dinner instead of making a MEAL. It’s quick, full of carbs and protein, and tastes cheesy. I’ll eat anything that’s cheesy. Put a cheesy flavouring on dog crap and I’d probably consider it yummy (speaking of which, I bought white cheddar rice cakes last night.)
Even though I’m a feminist and believe in equality among the sexes, there’s still this traditional voice in my head that tells me women should know how to cook. I guess the feminist in me balances that out by thinking men should know how to make food too. And more than Crap Dinner.
Thanks to online recipes and my mother’s many cookbooks, I’ve been trying new things. My favourite cooking adventures include the mastering of Canadian-Chinese cooking (you know the kind that’s usually deep fried and floating in a sugary sauce.) I can make awesome egg rolls. I can cook. I am capable of feeding myself with food that is not already prepared and boxed; therefore, I am a goddess. Martha Stewart, look out!
To summarize, unemployment need not be wasted: you can be productive and grow as individual even though you are not getting a paycheck.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going for a nap.