I’m now officially unemployed (since Friday) and finally feeling the emotional side of redundancy. I’m not going to miss the actual job which has left me with a legacy of repetitive strain injuries (wrist, elbow, and tendons in my right foot) and wasn’t great for my mental health either. I am going to miss a lot of the people I worked with and some of the customers.
Initially the plan was to look for some Christmas temp work and then see where I was in January, but after looking around it’s become fairly clear that temping hours are not great. 16 - 20 hours a week, weekends and late nights, expected to be available Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The pay is around minimum wage too, and shifts often only 4 hours (which means you don’t have to give employees breaks) which ups the transport costs.
The plan now is to take the next 2 months off and start looking for work in January. I know this makes sense, but it also feels weird. I’ve had periods of being of relative unemployment before, but I’ve always been job hunting through them, and quite often doing part time stuff or odd jobs. I’ve day dreamed about a Christmas off for the last 20 years. Finally being able to take one is unexpectedly discombobulating.
It’s not that I’m short of things to do (there are so many things that I need to do) but my sense of where I am in the year has gone to pot. Closing a shop at the time it would normally be filling up with stock was disorienting. I’ve put off making Christmas cakes and such until I finished work and would have all the time to make them without the stress but because I haven’t started I can’t quite believe it’s almost mid November.
The baking, chutney, and mincemeat making have also been a long standing way of dealing with the stress of work, trying to carve out moments to feel some goodwill in. Taking away the main cause of stress (the work environment rather than the work) is going to take some getting used too. It’s also something I really need to do.
What next is feeling like a big question right now, equal parts exciting and anxiety inducing, but meanwhile I’ve made the Christmas chutney today, and tomorrow I might start on the cakes.