Hard to believe it’s almost May. A month since I last checked in and I was filled with anxiety for the future, but feeling optimistic overall. We took the first steps to get preapproved for a home loan, retained an amazing realtor and started looking at houses. I was going into the office on Mondays just to try to get back to feeling of normalcy and seeing a few faces at a socially safe distance. The rest of the time I was working from home, which wasn’t bad. I was getting into a routine and with the promise of a house on the horizon things were looking like they were going to be okay.
Then I got furloughed from my job just last Friday. I didn’t know what this meant until it was explained to me but basically I am still an employee ( I have possession of my laptop and cellphone still), but they aren’t paying me anymore until at least June 10th. This is a sneaky way for a company to get out of having to pay you when things are slow, and instead making the government do it for them via unemployment. A lot of people are experiencing this right now. I’m lucky that I have an intended return to work date, but I am honestly not holding my breath. I’ll find out in six weeks if I’m still employed and in the meantime I’m trying to navigate Oregon and Washington unemployment to get paid. No surprises that unemployment is generally hard to navigate, but during a pandemic with millions of people applying every week it’s kind of a mess. Add in verifying wages between two states and you’ve got yourself a wait time. At this rate I’ll probably get paid for unemployment when (if) I get rehired. In June. What a mess.
I am trying to look at this as an opportunity though. The housing search has unfortunately had to stop, but now there’s an opportunity to put more money away for a down payment. In the meantime I get to spend more time with my in-laws, who truly are lovely people. Also there is a cute dog involved. I am spending more time on Duolingo learning Spanish. Just a side thing that I never really could find time for, but now I am just full of endless time. I’m scheduling daily time to write and exercise more. There’s plenty of TV and movies to catch up on.
The bummer is a lot of things are still closed. I’d love to look at this situation as a six week vacation, but when you can’t visit family, friends or spend time in any national parks, it’s really kind of a bummer.
The most important thing I’m trying to do is be okay with not being productive or happy. This entire situation is hard enough without forcing myself to feel a certain way. I think that goes for all of us. I’m sure we are having good quarantine days and bad ones. The most important thing to do is let yourself just feel whatever you’re feeling. I’d love to be productive and positive every day of this hopefully ‘only’ six week period out of work. But I can’t honestly say I will be. There will be bad days. I am sure I can foresee a day coming up where I don’t leave the bed and binge watch After Life season 2 on Netflix (or did I already do that..?). I am sure there will be days when I don’t feel like exercising or reading or writing or learning Spanish. That’s okay.
I’m just going to try to get through this like everyone else – by taking it one day at a time. I mean if celebrities can do it during this time – can’t we ALL? They’re the real heroes.
Things could be worse. I don’t NEED my unemployment check to come right this second. I don’t have rent right now. I have money in savings to take care of bills until it comes through. I will be okay. Not everyone can say that right now. Despite everything I am still sticking to my word of the year ‘secure’ and trying to feel that as much as possible. Despite everything we are still secure in this state. We have family to shelter us, loved ones to give us advice and we are eventually employable when all this blows over. I am privileged that this is the case.
That’s all I’ve got. Remember, don’t inject clorox into your veins, the sunlight is not a cure, but if you’re going to go out in it wear sunscreen, and finally just stay safe and listen to the professionals. Now isn’t forever.