Monday, April 5, 2010

The Unemployed Life

To the men who laid me off (not laid me . . . that would have been far more pleasurable than losing my job), I want to say thank you. That’s not to say that I enjoyed the process of losing my job nor the humbling experience of applying for unemployment, but I have learned several fantastic, hard-earned lessons that I will remember for the rest of my life. To begin with, I have learned to appreciate the people who create the unemployment booklet and applications. Their ability to make even the simplest task akin to climbing Mt. Everest is simply astonishing. It took me nearly a week to accurately fill out the forms and in that week, seemingly stripped me of my Master’s degree and made me feel like a preschooler trying to read a foreign language. Receiving my first check was better than earning my first paycheck since I am sure I worked far harder to receive my unemployment pittance.

The lessons don’t stop there, though. I took the first job I could get which happened to be subbing in a first grade classroom. I almost envied the child who sat underneath a table mooing and meowing while kicking the other kids. Quite frankly, I’d been wanting to do that from the moment I stepped into the class. There’s nothing like a subbing job to make me appreciate having the respect and authority that comes with being the full time teacher with the laser stare that strikes fear into every child’s heart. I almost missed having my own classroom filled with my own stuff cluttering up the cabinets. Sure I might not have report cards or parents to deal with but somehow when you took away my job, I became invisible to kids, parents, and principals alike. That was a nifty feat! Can you teach me how to do it to you?

And then there’s the joy of staying home all summer and into the fall with your own children. Don’t get me wrong, my children are adorable and sweet and I love them dearly but good Lord I’d be almost willing to sell them to the highest bidder just to get a moment of peace and quiet around the house. No wonder why daycare providers cost an arm and a leg! They’ve earned it and far more.

Over the course of the past year, I have also learned the true value of a smile. I don’t have to say a word when people comment that since I’m a stay at home mom my house must be spotless. I simply smile and walk away while envisioning my house overrun by clothes, dishes, and toys. Inside my mind, I’m torturing anyone who claims that being a stay at home mom is simple. Didn’t you read the above paragraph about my children? Seriously, are you insane???
So in conclusion, I thank you for teaching me to smile and appreciate my former life all the more. Now give me back my damn job!

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