about 3 weeks ago i lost my job. my contract ended and unfortunately, my employer no longer had a place for me. i wasn't too worried about finding another job - i had developed great contacts, and was well-liked in my industry - but i was worried about how to fill my time until the next job presented itself.
boredom comes easily to me - if i'm not being productive, or learning something, i start to lose it within hours. this presented a problem when i suddenly had an additional 8 hours each day to fill. as a result, i found ways to kill several hours at a time to avoid said brain meltdown. in no particular order, they are:
1. the library - become one with it. if you can stand to pick up a book now and then the library can easily take up several hours each week. even if you don't have a library card, grab a book and a seat in-house, and watch an afternoon go by.
2. ze internet - a wealth of information and entertainment at your fingertips. if you're like me, this can get old and tired fast, but if you and the interwebz are thisclose, you could easily waste an entire day. some of my fave daily reads: celebitchy, the huffington post, and jezebel.
3. discover your inner martha stewart - when will you ever have this much time to clean, reorganize and redecorate? i'll admit, this was my favourite way to spend a day. two-year build-up of paperwork? KAPOW, gone. fur-ridden couch of doom? SHAZAM, clean. never again will my apartment look as fabulous (and diy) as it does now.
photo via the boy's iphone
4. take the dog for a walk - this will result in happy puppy faces. and you'll likely feel better, too.
5. volunteer - not only can you occupy several days, you'll build extra cred for your resume. plus, there's the whole "doing good" for the community/world thing. some ideas: big brother big sisters, world wildlife fund, or your local humane society.
6. learn something - that guitar/other musical instrument you've been meaning to master? now's the time to do it. you know once you're busy again it'll never happen (i speak from personal experience). or, pick up sword fighting, you know, just because. there's almost nothing you can't find on youtube.
got your own tricks/tips for beating unemployment boredom?share in the comments!
so you've met someone you really like. you think you're pretty compatible, maybe you see a serious future together. and now you've decided to take that first plunge - you're moving in together.
does the thought of mixing your belongings with someone else's, and maybe having to give something (or some things) up make you queasy? are you nervous about discovering unknown, and potentially unpleasant, habits?
i caught up with my newly-shacked-up love, alyssa, for the deets.
how did moving in come to be?
as mine and stefano's one-year anniversary approached, i found myself thinking about moving in together a lot. i was too scared to bring it up, since i wasn't even sure i was ready for it. i had never moved out and worried if it would turn into a disaster, like some of the horror stories i've seen first-hand. what if i move all my stuff in and it turns out we hate each other? what if my beige, everyday underwear completely turns him off and he kicks me out? i could think of a million 'what-ifs', but the hope that he would ask me to move in was still at the forefront of my mind. at this point, i was staying over at his place 4-5 nights a week. one night, while we were out to eat, he casually asked if i would consider moving in with him. i'm pretty sure i turned bright red, managed to stutter that i needed some time to think about it but yes, it's something i might consider, and then ran to the bathroom to text my best friend that 'HE FINALLY ASKED ME'. two weeks later i was packing up all my beige granny panties and moving them into his soon-to-be-reformed bachelor pad.
how did your relationship change? was there an "adjustment period" to get through?
lots of things changed when i moved into his place. things that used to be 'his' were now 'ours'. i had to learn to still make personal time for ourselves (ie: he doesn't have to be sitting beside me when i'm watching the new season of the bachelorette). meshing timetables was also a big adjustment. he's a nightowl and i'm more of a morning person, so it's hard to balance those timings when i'm ready to go grocery shopping at 9 a.m. on a saturday and he literally won't get out of bed to the point that i'm actually starting to fear he's stopped breathing. stefano also had his heart set on getting a dog (he's allergic to cats) but since i'm a huge cat person (a dog barfed on me once and i never forgave the species), we both had to compromise (we got fish!).
did you learn any unexpected/new habits of his once you moved in?
it definitely surprised me just how much time he spent on the computer researching things. i didn't understand it. i'm all for facebook creeping on my lunch break, but he'll literally hop out of bed, when we're about to sleep, to look up some sports score he forgot to check earlier, or the dimensions of a 200 gallon aquarium. he also didn't recycle, but i fixed that :).
what was the first month or so like?
the first month was bizarre. it took some getting used to getting up for work before him. our fights, in my mind, were more serious ("omg we live together, what if i want to leave? all my stuff is here now!"). as weird as it was, there were some awesome moments when i would stop and say to him, "dude, we live together - that's huge!". it's definitely weird moving in to someone else's territory, but he was and still is very welcoming of me, my stuff, and my decorating ideas (trust me babe, we NEED a houseplant.)
what would you tell someone who is looking to move in with their significant other?
my advice would be to make sure you both want to make it work. there are going to be times when you think to yourself "what have i gotten myself into? this person is impossible", but i take comfort in knowing that i'm sure i'd feel that way no matter WHO i lived with. and at the end of the day, i love my boyfriend. people have weird and annoying habits, including yourself. be forgiving, remember your sense of humour, and don't underestimate what you deserve. oh, and there's nothing wrong with granny panties.
the rose-coloured glasses may start to come off, you'll learn that living together involves work, and that compromise can be a great (sometimes frustrating) thing, but you'll find new ways to enjoy being together. you'll even discover new - positive - things about each other. (those dinner you thought he made to impress you? yeah, he actually just really likes to cook!)
the boy and i have lived together for over 2 years now, and while there is pretty much no mystery left, the experience has made us stronger as a couple. we've discovered a love for making dinners together, tea before bed, and the occasional dance party à deux. but every day is an exercise in patience and understanding - people are not static beings, so when you think you've finally kicked the wet towels on the bathroom floor, you'll start finding dirty socks everywhere. the thing to remember is why you want to do this in the first place: you love each other and want to share a life together (annoying habits and all).