Friday, October 15, 2010

Unemployment Benefits

On September 4 I lost my job.

It was amicable, inevitable, and in retrospect probably for the best for the company and myself.

Over the past few weeks, I have had to adjust to a new lifestyle of being out of work. Here are the main benefits I found:

1) more sleep
I was probably getting 5-6 hours a night before. It wasn't enough. Moreover, I felt tired all the time, and that had an effect on my overall energy levels, my mood, and my relationships. I was exhausted. Now I am getting closer to 8 a night, and sometimes the odd afternoon nap as well. I just FEEL better. get enough sleep. It helps.

2) Control Over My Diet
Toward the end, I was not eating particularly badly. light brekkie, moderate lunch, moderate dinner. The real issue was accessibility. Because of the 7-11 in the basement of the building, I came to use them (and their processed, prepackaged mayhem) a lot more than I should have. I cook more and eat much better now, and it shows.

3) Training
Exercise makes a huge difference. I am in the gym almost every day now and rather than making me feel tired, it has the opposite effect. By training (not over-training) I feel more energetic and generally better about myself and my life. Regular exercise is an essential part of being happy.

4) Relationships
I have time to take George to the bus every morning and walk Ray to and from school. We eat dinner together at home as a family every night. My wife and I go to and from the gym together. I help the kids with their homework. WE TALK. This has really helped me to reconnect with my family. When a typical day at work started by getting up at 5 am, getting to work at 7am, getting home at 8-9pm, during the week I hardly ever saw them. I need this time. I love it. We feel like a family again.

5) Stress
I thought I would be really stressed out about being unemployed, but I'm not. I know I will have to get back to the routine at some point, but I don't dwell on it. I am enjoying the moment and taking it as a rare opportunity; a rare gift. My stress levels are very low and I feel great.

Working or not, the above are important facets of a happy life to bear in mind. The goal is always BALANCE, so that we can have sustainability and longevity. I hope I can keep these lessons even after I start back at work someday.

Until then, see you on the mats.

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