Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The little and BIG difference between a staycation and being unemployed

This one is from my mainest mainest mayo man Zach G - an On & True contributor.

If college is a short story full of drinking and debauchery, then the epilogue is titled “Unemployment.” It sure seems like a lot of us have been writing/reading the sparknotes of this same story recently. Including me. But while being unemployed, with the time on my hands to do whatever a 20-something could think of doing, I chose to do nothing.You see, that lack of motivation is the key separator between being unemployed and being on a staycation.

I had a job these past couple months... sorta. It started as a 40-hour week, chalk full of gchats, pregnantly long lunches, and those moments in the morning when I would think, “will anybody notice if I don’t shower today?” But then my hours were dropped significantly (unrelated to the fact that I always answered "no way, no one will notice!" to the question above). So for all of the intents and purposes that you could dream up, I was unemployed.

But then I got an offer for a new, better, more job-ish job. And BOOM. Just like that, I was on a staycation. Despite there being no adjustment to my daily routine, I went from being bored out of my mind to absolutely loving it. Here's the difference.

A Staycation is a vacation from the working world. You lose your pants, rent a mini-fridge for your newly discovered rooftop terrace, work out, go everywhere, take up smoking - you do it all. Cause when you’re on that staycation there is the ever-present deadline, the end of the trip looming, at which time you will have to pack it in and go back to work. And with the deadline peaking over the horizon, you cram in as many naps and excessive indulgences as you possibly can. You're like a squirrel in late October, hoarding naps rather than nuts, because you know that it all comes to an ugly end at 8:00 AM on Monday.

But unemployment is a totally different dog, cause even though you have just as much free time as you did on your staycation, you end up doing jack shit.

Unemployment is life without work. You don’t lose your pants cause you never care to look, you get a mini-fridge but you don't plug it in, and you go nowhere. Because there is no deadline. You could do this forever - and that’s what stops us from doing anything of substance: like visiting that science museum, hitting the gym, or meeting up with friends that you haven’t seen in years, that is if you don't count all the times you've "seen" them while stalking on Facebook.

Without that deadline, we say “I’ll do it tomorrow.” But that version of tomorrow conveniently never comes. How perfect for my lazy ass!

But when I quit my shred of a job this morning, and told my new employer that I’d be starting Monday, I felt the instant jump from unemployed jackass to vacationing bachelor. I signed up for a yoga class, took the dog for a walk, and read a book - not cover-to-cover mind you, but cover to a solid 50 pages in. Quite significant accomplishments in comparison to my days of unemployment, during which I merely stared at girls who took yoga, usually forgot that I had a dog, and used books only as tools to level the foosball table.

Ah staycation, how you motivate me.

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