A an ex-church staff person I’m not eligible to receive any unemployment compensation, but the unemployment experience has still afforded me some new things. I don’t want to miss the blessings God has for me in the midst of what most would consider a bad situation. Maybe I should think of this as more of a “forced sabbatical.”
Anyway, here’s a list of the things the unemployment experience has afforded me:
1. Family time. We spend many hours playing together in the afternoons now. We go on bike rides, treasure hunts (geocaching), and walks. We go to the park and hang out with our neighbors. We’ll never get this time with our kids back so we’d better enjoy it now.
2. New friends. Our neighbors have been getting together for years and we just wave at them from our car on our way to the church. Now, we’re friends. We spend most afternoons with their kids hanging out together and sharing popsicles, conversations, and laughs – sharing life.
3. Financial freedom. Not really – we’re struggling financially, but we’ve also learned new ways to live and developed new habits. When I get a job, we’ll continue to live this lifestyle and should be able to save more and give more to the things we choose.
4. A happier bride. When she gets home from work now, I usually have the house picked up and vacuumed and dishes done. I really love seeing that smile on her face when she gets to come home and relax instead of gearing up to get a few more things done.
5. A new direction. I took some classes and am now eligible to begin a new career as a public school teacher. This will allow me to work with students again, to provide for my family, to be on a schedule similar to my extended family (they’re all teachers too), to attend church as a family and to choose how we want to be involved.
6. Time to think, study, reflect, and exercise.
7. I’m sure there is more, but this seems like a good stopping place for now. Maybe I’ll add some other things later.