Justin O'Connell 4:30 p.m., Feb. 10
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- The Single Life: Random Adventures in Awesome
Week 1 and Day 2 of Being Unemployed
My goals are simple since becoming unemployed: apply for jobs, cook (a la the movie Julia and Julia) and exercise.
So yesterday, despite staying awake until 3:00 AM because "I don't have to work the next day," my eyes popped open at 6:00 AM. I wasn't even sleepy or dragging. I jumped right up ready to start achieving my daily goals. I first thought about exercise. I looked at my sports bra, twisted in a stinky lump on the ground and vomited, just a little, at the thought of putting it on. OK, laundry first! I tore apart my bed, separated my clothes into dirty stacks and began the laundry. As I lugged my first bag down the stairs, hoisted it onto the table then transferred it into the washer, I thought, "Does this count as my daily unemployment exercise?". Since the "exercise" part of the laundry lasted five minutes at best, I decided that it did not count. I trotted back up the stairs and considered what I should do next. I looked at my running shoes poised and ready to go by the door, but then remembered the stinky sports bra was getting all cleaned up in the laundry. Decision made, I'll exercise later.
I went into the kitchen and pulled down all my cooking books. Should I Julia and Julia the Barnes and Nobles Basics of Cooking, the Daily News Cookery Book for Housewives, Cooking Around the World, Betty Crocker? I was over-whelmed. Maybe this Julia and Julia thing was too advanced for the second day of unemployment. I grabbed my lap top and began searching the internet. I found a few recipes that would create the perfect seasonal meal and headed to sprouts. As I avoided the obstacle course of Greenpeace and "Are you registered to vote in San Diego" I realized I was starving. Crap, grocery shopping while starving?! I grabbed a cart and searched the supermarket horizon for sample tables. To my chagrin, the only thing they had was a cloudy plastic bin filled with something green. I had to at least check it out. I bee lined to the bin and came to a disappointed halt. The clear plastic that contained the possibly delicious green treats looked like five children who had just eaten peanut butter sandwiches had attacked the bin. Should I put a plastic bag over my hand and then grab the handle? I could see a woman in the periphery contemplating me and the bin and the samples. She coughed and sighed. Realizing the length of time I had been standing in indecision, I moved out of the way and continued to shop in hunger. Could I count this as exercise? Clearly my lack of food was causing delusion so I finished shopping and rushed home to cook and eat.
Just like the sample bin lady, my running shoes stared and sighed as I walked though the door and ignored them. I ate a lunch quickly, glancing suspiciously at my running shoes. I finished, cleaned up and strutted toward my lonely, frustrated shoes with the clear intent of dawning my now clean sports bra and beginning my intervals. I swear my shoes perked up in response. Dang it. Again I was stopped...I couldn't run right after eating! Fine. I occupied the next couple of hours trolling the internet for job leads and filling out lengthy applications. Time could not have ticked more slowly. My lower back ached from sitting for so long, then my imaginary carparral(sp) tunnel set in, my shoes kept giving me salty looks...and I gave up. My lunch had to be settled by now, and I could take ignoring my shoes any longer. I knew it was time to get out there and fulfill the exercise part of my unemployment goals. I squeezed and shimmied into my fresh sports bra, covered it with mismatching running clothes and finally stepped into my waiting shoes. I stretched and began my warm up walk. The heat of the setting sun warmed my muscles and relaxed my thoughts. Why had I subconsciously avoided this all day? I enjoy being outdoors, feeling the breeze and jogging along the beach. I always go at my own pace, sometimes jogging and sometimes walking. I relish the time by myself since I live with a roommate and I get to listen to my favorite music. I don't force myself to exceed a goal or finish a marathon, it is simply something I do for me and my shoes. I smiled as I began my jog and decided that I needed to remember this feeling the next day when I wake up and start this all over again.