My former co-workers and I knew about two weeks ahead of time that layoffs were looming. The expected panic and paranoia spread throughout the office. But so did the comic relief. The average age in the office was about 35, so the impending tap on the shoulder was dubbed ‘Freedom 35′.
After I received my tap, I decided to make up my own Freedom 35 (or 33 in my case) list of the 33 best things about unemployment:
1. Better sleep. No more stressful work dreams where you show up naked and unprepared for a presentation.
2. Exercising more. (Which results in being fitter. Which results in feeling better about yourself. Which results in being relatively unconcerned that you’ve shown up anywhere, let alone your dreams, naked.)
3. Becoming more responsible with money.
4. Having more time for your friends–many of whom are also unemployed.
5. Improved diet because there is more time to cook.
6. Sleeping in when you want to.
7. Staying up late when you feel like it. And knowing if you stay up to watch both ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘The Colbert Report’, you won’t feel like a zombie in the morning.
8. Mid-week cocktails aren’t as worrisome in regards to feeling crummy the next morning.
9. Mid-week cocktails aren’t as frequent because of the need to be more responsible with money.
10. Discovering the fun ‘free’ things to do in the city.
11. Learning to cook good food from the cheapest cut of meats.
12. Eating more vegetables because they’re cheaper.
13. Having more time to clean the bath tub.
14. Having more time to call your mother. (This item is debatable, but for me is a bonus.)
15. Becoming more aware of which pubs do ‘Happy Hours’ and when.
16. Smiling more. (see no. 25)
17. Saying, with good conscience, ‘no’ to someone on the street who asks you for money.
18. Improved posture.
19. Daily doses of sun…or at least on the days it chooses to appear.
20. The beach.
21. The beach. (not a typo)
22. Having time to make cupcakes for no reason.
23. Running away to Spain for two months.
24. Mid-week matinees.
25. Better dental hygiene. Mid-day toothbrushing becomes a daily pattern, instead of a when there’s time occurrence.
26. Mending your clothes instead of buying new ones.
27. Having more time to read all of the newspaper, instead of just the headlines.
28. Breakfast is eaten at the kitchen table instead of a desk.
29. Lunch is eaten at a kitchen table instead of a desk.
30. Dinner is eat at the table instead of a desk.
31. No more tendinitis–or mouse-itis–in the wrist.
32. Having time to finish that novel. And being able to read more than one or two pages before falling asleep.
33. Finding your dream job.