The last three weeks in particular, I’ve felt like I couldn’t possibly do anything more in a day. Between my full-time job at the dealership, my projects that I started during my unemployment, and my family and home life it seems I’ve been doing nothing, but going as fast as I can to keep from getting run over.
Today I read an interesting piece on Iconoculture about Gen X’ers and this recession. The post notes that 15 million Americans were unemployed as of May 2010. Mind you, that is a government statistic, which is probably only reflecting those eligible to receive unemployment compensation, not necessarily all of those job seeking. It also doesn’t include those who stay at home. So the number of folks ‘not working’ is probably much higher.
The point of the piece, though, was that the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics indicated that in 2009 Americans gained 15 minutes of free time and on average spent 6 more minutes watching TV and another 6 sleeping.
I found my year on unemployment to be the exact opposite. I’ve had less time to watch TV, which I often don’t do much of anyway, but also less time reading, which I love to do.
Instead, I was networking, browsing corporate sites for job openings, reading job boards and searching job sites, and working on projects that I had hoped would grow to become a full time position. Nearly three months ago when I got hired full-time, I didn’t want to shut those projects down, so I rolled them into my schedule.
Now I spend a few hours each morning working on them before work, get my full work day in, and if there are events at the Arts Center hit those at night.
The volume of work has taxed my capacity and I guess I simply find it hard to believe that others who are unemployed would resign themselves to watching TV or sleeping in.