I lost my job at J.P. Morgan back in December, which was a blessing in disguise if ever there was one. Since that time, I’ve worked a series of consulting/freelance projects and have, by and large, remained gainfully employed. Mrs. Wife and I have always made a point to live below our means, so money hasn’t been a huge problem. Mrs. Wife, to her credit, doesn’t give a shit about material things. We don’t need much to get by.
I seem to be on the threshold of a job offer. I’m probably speaking too soon but even if this one doesn’t work out, the economy is on the mend and I suspect a hire offer isn’t that far into my future. Until then, there seems to be plenty of freelance work floating around.
This has caused me to reflect on the time between projects when I didn’t have work. I’ve had two or three week periods where nothing much was happening. I, as I’m sure all of you, have always suspected that not working would be a pretty sweet deal. I like what I do for a living and I don’t mind working. But what I didn’t realize, and now know, is that not working is FUCKING AWESOME to the 10th power, especially if you have New York at your doorstep.
I know lots and lots of stay-at-home mothers who insist that raising kids is a full time job and that they are, de facto, “working.” I respect that. I prefer Mrs. Wife stay home and take care of The Daughters. I believe they’re happier for it. Raising kids is a lot of hard work but, I’m sorry, it’s way more satisfying than the grind of commuting 2x per day, sitting at the same desk under the same florescent lights, Monday through Friday and being surrounded by people who, by and large, you wouldn’t choose to associate with. Not working is the BEST. But the pay is terrible.
Here are some things I learned while unemployed.
- I learned that if you visit any of the art museums in Manhattan during the week and get there just as they’re opening, you can have the whole place to yourself. Especially the Met. The Met is so vast that it disperses the crowd pretty well. The galleries are gloriously empty and you don’t have people walking in front of you while you’re studying a painting. Same goes for the art galleries in Chelsea.
- I learned that during the day, the gym is empty. Nobody postures and preens. Nobody is texting or cruising for tail. All the equipment is available. Get in, do your thing and get out.
- I learned that sleeping in is overrated.
- I learned that there’s an entire subculture in New York City of people who don’t work and don’t seem to have money problems. Central Park is full of people out enjoying themselves in the midday sun and I’m not counting the tourists. You can tell the visitors from the locals. I don’t know how they do it! Who are these people who are able to jog around the reservoir at 3:00 in the afternoon?
- I learned how to paint the interior of a house. I never knew! Seriously! The painting is a drag but the end results are pretty satisfying.
- I learned that having breakfast with 3-Year Old Daughter and being home when 8-Year Old Daughter gets home from school to help with her homework is a worthwhile expenditure of my time.