Among the few frustrations of being unemployed is dealing with the stereotype that you’re not making good use of your time when you’re unemployed. I remember speaking to another guy not too long ago who is currently unemployed and looking for work, and when he heard that I had been hired by current employer he congratulated me and spoke of what a good thing traditional employment was, saying “At least you’re not sitting around all day.” I let it slide, but that line of thinking is one of the things in this world that really agitates me. As a person whose two greatest periods of personal growth and flourishing have come during my two times of extended unemployment, I take great offense to the notion that if you don’t have a job/career then you are somehow wasting your life. For me, jobs have always been the things that were the wastes of time, sapping my life force and keeping me from achieving my potential. Both times when I was unemployed for an extended period I experienced a personal renaissance, growing both intellectually and spiritually, and knocking out a ton of life goals. It was during these times that I learned many of my crafts and got to see the world for myself, rather than viewing it through a TV or computer screen. When I was unemployed there weren’t enough hours in the day, in the sense that I was doing so much and yet I always felt I was on the cusp of achieving even more. When I am employed there also aren’t enough hours in the day, but in the sense that I’m being robbed of so much my time that it’s difficult to get great things done. Going back to what that guy said, perhaps the most ironic thing about his statement is that now that I’ve got a job again I’m sitting around more than ever. I spend my day in a chair at a desk working on spreadsheets and being far more (personally) unproductive than I ever was when I was unemployed.

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