Once upon a time, I did a year of “days of joy” posts on Facebook. I didn’t know I would wind up with a cohesive narrative when I began. My aim was simply to keep myself from getting bogged down in negative thinking.
The daily exercise wound up tracking my progress as I navigated the Narcissist trying to short me in a buyout agreement on the house, me needing to hire legal representation, the process and hardship of getting the buyout settled, moving into a friend’s basement, closing on a new home, then getting work done on the home, moving into it, and, finally, beginning my attempts to relax into my new life.
At the beginning of that year, the Narcissist and I had just broken up. We were still living together, but I hadn’t told many people about our separation yet. The audience for the Facebook posts didn’t know we were in separate bedrooms or that he already had a new girlfriend.
It was intense, to say the least.
It was also tremendously helpful. Every day I was forced to think of something that brought me joy, despite the fact that most days brought a lot of misery. The posts kept me grounded and positive during a time in my life when it would have been easy to give in to negativity and despair.
Something similar seems to have happened here, in these “daily achievement” posts. I started them as a way to keep myself feeling positive and worthy. It was meant to be a reminder that I am not lazy, and that I accomplish a lot on any given day.
I needed to show myself I have ample reason to feel confident and proud.
Three days ago, I lost my job. Thus, I am thrust into a new adventure. These posts will track my progress as I figure out unemployment and health insurance. I will have to determine my new monthly income and create a new budget for myself, and return to the penny-pinching strategies I’ve let slide as my income has increased over time. I must put together a resume, apply for a positions, create compelling cover letters and follow up as appropriate. Hopefully, I will have interviews. In fact, I might go through multiple rounds of interviews at more than one company.
I will, God willing, find a suitable new job and have to deal with the uncertainty that comes with the first few months at a new company, where every day is filled with the constant horrible knowledge that I have no idea what I’m doing or what the fuck is going on.
And, God willing, by the end of this year I’ll have settled into a new role, a new life, and will look back on a series of posts from a perspective I can’t yet imagine.
I haven’t done a job search for 14 years. I’ve yet to even figure out what my emotional state is about these unanticipated circumstances.
Yesterday was day #51. I mourned a little. I did my best to sit with my feelings and allow some melancholy to take over.
It was what I needed, and I’m proud to have once again recognized what appropriate self-care looks like for me.
Today, though, my self-care will take the form of looking at my health insurance options. I will set up spreadsheets and create comparison charts, and I hope to have made a decision by end of day. That will be my self-care for today.
A friend is coming over later. We will drink wine and hug and that will also be good self-care.
Unemployment is not going to be easy. I will have to take it one day at a time, one set of achievements after another.