November 2, 2015

Funemployment in a nutshell

Well folks, it's been a month since I walked away from my consulting job in corporate America. I would be lying if I didn't say that it's been a strange transition. I've definitely had moments of excitement, loneliness, frustration, contentment, and everything in between. I can say without a single ounce of doubt or regret that I made the right decision. I am cognizant of the fact that this break is truly a gift - a gift of time, a gift of headspace, a gift of openness in thought.

When I tell people that I'm taking an extended leave of absence, aka working my SAHW (stay at home wife) / funemployed spouse game, I usually get a lot of blank stares or "Oh, ok...." type of responses. It's weird but I'm getting used to it. I get that what I'm doing isn't the norm and a lot of people have asked how I fill my days.


Mornings:
- I still get up at the same time in the morning (usually 6 AM) to get ready for the day.
- Make Adam's lunch and breakfast...previously Adam made and/or put our workday meals in our lunch boxes before work. Now I do this for him...if he's lucky, he gets a cheesy note with some stick figures drawn on it!
- Clean up the kitchen. I swear that dishes are a vicious, never ending cycle! I try to put away anything that's dry and clean up anything still in the sink from the previous night.
- Tidy up the house...put things away, run the vacuum, start on some laundry, etc.
- Read blogs. Write blog posts. Try not to waste too much time on the book of faces.
- Tuesdays and Thursdays, I volunteer at a local preschool so I spend my mornings there. I love it! It's been a great way for me to use my time in a productive manner and also structure my days.
- Do all of the stuff that I didn't do everyday with Paddy dog...take her on a walk, brush her, run around the backyard, etc.
- Workout, unless Adam and I have plans to run, bike or hit the gym together after he gets home from work.
- I make sure to get dressed everyday and am enjoying the challenge of trying to style my professional wardrobe for everyday! Sidebar - I promised myself that I would not buy an entirely new fall wardrobe of casual clothes for my funemployment.

PS See that icky linoluem? We ripped it out yesterday and it's being replaced
by pretty new wood floors this week! 
Afternoons:
- I usually set aside afternoons for projects...like painting our baseboards, putting together our wedding album, yard work, cleaning out closets, major cleaning projects, etc.
- Start prepping dinner so that we eat at a more reasonable hour (like 7:30) instead of 9:00 like we did when we were both working.
- Run errands. I make it a point to try to grocery shop during the week...and do all the other errands that seemed to take up most of our time on the weekends. My goal is simply to create some ways for us to enjoy the weekends more.


This break has enabled me to focus on things that just didn't happen when I was also working really long work weeks, like Adam. I've been able to....
- send my car in for a repair that was long overdue;
- hit every doctor's appointment during the workday and haven't stressed about it (!!!);
- obtain estimates for having new floors put in our home, an improvement/upgrade that I've considered for about 2 years and now finally have the time to do it;
- go to the post office during the week, a feat that I didn't think was ever possible;
- talk to my grandmother on the phone once a week;
- write letters to family and friends;
- handle a lot of random household things like transferring from cable to fios (which is saving us lots of $$), etc.

This time has truly been a gift, and in some ways a luxury. I know that and appreciate it completely. Somedays, I think about all the jokes I've made with friends about sitting down to watch the Today Show and then starting to day drink with Hoda and Kathy Lee....and then proceeding to eat bon bons and watch the soaps. But really, I simply don't want to do that! I've enjoyed the ability to be productive around the house and enhance our life. I'm enjoying the time to read (so far, I've read #Girlboss, The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, and 3 issues of Garden and Gun that were sitting on our coffee table..). I'll be enjoying an impromptu girls' trip to Disney to see the Christmas decor next week and will have ample time to prepare for the holidays. This is a really good time in my life and I feel happy, rested, and well!

What's a big thing you've accomplished in your non-fitness life lately? I'm SO SO SO excited for our new wood floors to be installed this week!
{Christine}

42 comments:

  1. I love this post and can relate to it SO much! After years of both working in professional sports, I feel like this year of living on the Cape and taking classes has really been a time for Jason and I to catch up on missed time. For the first time since we've been married we've had dinner together more than once or twice a week and are actually getting to do stuff together on weekends. I know once I start PT school life is going to get crazy busy again, but for now I'm trying to soak in this gift of time we have.

    So glad you're keeping busy and enjoying your time with Adam and catching up on life!

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    1. It's amazing how a little space has meant better time with Adam...when I'm not stressed out and being a b!tch all the time! :) Glad you guys are finding your new groove. It can be so great!!

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  2. Wow, what a privilege! Enjoy every minute!

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    1. It certainly is and I am trying to take advantage and not waste this time.

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  3. It sounds like you are keeping pretty busy. Not missing your job just confirms that you made the right decision. Now that holiday season is fast approaching, I'm sure you that will keep you busy as well and you can enjoy it without any stress.

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    1. I had an epiphany recently that I can do a lot more of the things I love at the holidays...baking, crafts, fun little surprises for friends without the insanity of trying to fit it in every weekend. :)

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  4. SO happy your are enjoying this time so much! Both my husband and I own businesses and we are able to work from home. It is such a blessing to be able to choose how we spend our days and I completely relate to what you are saying. The freedom to choose and the lack of stress (at least comparatively) is something irreplaceable.
    Side note, I chose to start a business instead of becoming a Dr. and got plenty of weird looks in the beginning too ;)

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    1. I've always wondered how I would handle full time work from home. When I was consulting and worked from home on the rare occasion, I always ended up working longer days since I wasn't commuting. I could definitely see that happening especially when you own your own business. Kudos to you and your husband for finding the balance that works best for you!

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  5. I am so happy for you that you can fully take joy in your married life/ wife duties and me time without stress. I certainly don't know how those folks who work 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year do it! -M

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    1. It's amazing how much stuff I just didn't do or put off in favor of relaxing in the evenings after work or on the weekends. I'm glad to feel kind of on top of life again! :)

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  6. This is fantastic. I had about 3 months of funemployment a few years ago after finishing grad school, and I look back on it as such a worthwhile time in my life -- it's actually the time I became a runner, I trained for my first half marathon during those few months! And after the stress of grad school it felt sooooo good to focus on simpler things, and enjoy my (then new) marriage.
    We just had hardwood floors put down in our new house, and I'm obsessed with them! It no longer feels like 1979 when you walk in the house, ha!
    When are you going to be at Disney?? My friend Joyce and I are going down for Wine & Dine on Friday, and we will be there through Wednesday the 11th! Would love to see you!

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    1. It's such a nice break! It really is amazing how you never get breaks as an adult...always something to do at work or school, etc.
      I'll message you with our Disney plans - would definitely be fun to see you!

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  7. Love it- good for you for taking this break! I have no idea how I got stuff done when I worked full time. I still feel like there is barely enough time in the day! But I do love that I'm with my family a lot. It's important to me and such a blessing.

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    1. It's amazing how much I just put off or simply didn't do. It's definitely nice to feel on my game even if it is in a completely domestic capacity! I seriously cannot fathom how people manage families and work full time. That's so great that you're able to be home with your girls! :)

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  8. Love it - thanks for the update. Working full time and balancing life is so hard and I'm glad you have this break :)

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  9. Walking away from my corporate job to go into teaching was the best thing I ever did from a happiness standpoint. I won't say it hasn't been difficult at times. I miss out on things like trips with friends who can schedule vacations whenever they want to, but the trade off to work in a field I love is worth it. Regarding the time off, I know from summer breaks it is fun for a while, and I agree that sitting and watching TV is not as much fun as you think it might be when you're down to it. There are other things to be done. It might not seem like it now, but after a while you will get bored, and you'll be grateful to have had the chance to get bored. Enjoy.

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    1. I love your comment about being grateful for being bored. When you really think about it, boredom definitely can be a luxury. I'm hoping by the time that sets in, I'll be heading back to work...not sure exactly what I'll be doing but the wheels are turning!

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  10. First of all, I am jealous that you have read through your three issues of G&G as mine are still sitting on our coffee table but I have plans to read them on the plane during the flight to Disney on Thursday. Secondly, we would love to meet up or arrange a run in at Disney next week if you are available. Tre is going this time and it's Leighton's first trip and Disney race! Love that you enjoy your time now!

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    1. That is an excellent way to catch up on G&G! Before I even saw your comment, I was thinking about Wine and Dine and thought y'all were going. I'll message you with our plans. Would love to see you guys and your darling girl!! :)

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  11. I love that this is your life! Enjoy it! You totally deserve it :-) I keep trying to convince Matthew to let me be a SAHPM (Stay At Home Pug Mom) but so far I haven't had any luck! :-)

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    1. Aw thanks my friend! I love that this is my life too. It's definitely been a gift and I'm taking advantage. If you get Matthew on board, let's make sure we plan a fun racecation or something so we can catch up :)

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  12. Since leaving my job, I have also been practicing my SAHW skills and getting the same stares.. It was the right move here too and I've been spending my time doing a lot of cool things.. I'm glad you're happy.. "The new norm" will get easier I hope because sometimes I just want to tell people where they can put their judgmental comments. Oh, if we lived closer, how much I would love to have coffee with you :)

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    1. Oh Sarah, your comment made me laugh! I often times want to tell people where to put their comments...particularly one family member who lectured me on finding purpose. That was a real doozy of a conversation! And girl, if we lived closer, I would love a coffee date!

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    2. Glad I'm not the only one getting "lectured" as well. Not that I wish you lectures, but I'm glad to know that I'm not alone.

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  13. Good on you- I'm happy you are getting the much-needed break though, honestly, it sounds like you are still working your bootay off! It's just a different type of busy, right?

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    1. Thanks Patty! And yes, it's hard to believe that I stay as busy as I do but yea...it's all good though! And the busy days keep me heading to bed at a reasonable hour instead of pretending that every night is Fri/Sat. I know my husband appreciates that!

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  14. This is awesome! I'm so glad you're taking this as a positive opportunity. I often say that I need a housewife for my life. I don't know how working families do it all. And I love that you also volunteer! That's one BIG thing that's missing from my life. Regular volunteering, but I never know how to fit it in.

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    1. The volunteer component has been really important to me. It was one of me "tenants" of this break...doing something good that wasn't necessarily about me. I've had a few other opportunities too but they've been less structured so preschool has been a good addition.

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  15. I've been a non-working lady for the past... what feels like forever but basically for the past 11 years. I don't really use the term SAH since I'm rarely at home these days - usually I'm volunteering at my kiddos schools these days. I have a few freelance projects I work on and I love having the flexibility to do things and create my own deadlines and goals. I'm very fortunate and I appreciate the fact that I'm able to!

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    1. That's amazing, Meridith! This experience has really opened my eyes to non-traditional working options and I've been really thinking hard about what I want and what would be best for our family (albeit just 2 humans and a shaggy dog).

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  16. I've actually never talked about this on my blog come to think of it. But I get you and totally understand this better than most! A few years back I found myself in a job that I was great at and making more money than I could have ever imagined, but I was totally and completely miserable. I can't even begin to describe how depressed I would get at just the thought of going into work. One day I decided to end it, and I walked away and never looked back. It was the greatest thing for my life I have ever done. I took a year and a half to travel, run races and do everything I loved and wanted to do. During that time I found myself, and discovered who I really am, and what I really want in life. So many people thought what I did was horrible and still look down upon me for leaving such a big career and income. But sometimes happiness is far more important than a big paycheck! Enjoy this time, catching up and finding what you really want in life, its an incredible self discovery experience:)

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    1. That's so great that you found what works for you, Kristy! It's funny...I was really hesitant to talk about this on the blog but I'm so glad I have. I have heard more similar stories from other women, some with kids and some without. It's really refreshing to feel like there are other people out there and I'm not the only one who just lept off a cliff into the unknown of funemployment.

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  17. This is a great post! I feel like one of the problems in our modern society is that things which don't get a paycheck aren't valued as much. But they should be! Things like volunteering, art, care taking, etc. are all important roles whether they result in a paycheck or not. This decision seems like it's working out really well for you :)

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    1. You are so wise! I promised myself that I would give something during this time too and between some different volunteer assignments, it's been really fulfilling. And while my husband certainly doesn't fall into the stereotypical person who needs care, it's really nice to make lunch and do some other nice things for him while he's doing the 9-5 thing.

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  18. I am so jealous! Your funemployment sounds so nice, and I would love to do the things you are doing. I love the feeling of accomplished productivity and sounds like you feel it, it really sounds nice! Jealous of the disney trip! I hope you have fun, I can't wait to see pics and of course, pics of the floors! Enjoy your homelife! Sounds great!

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    1. Thanks my friend! It's definitely been scary but I am incredibly grateful for this time...and that my husband was on board too!

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  19. Catching up backwards - looking fwd to reading your MCM and pre-NYC entries. I love this post and that you are also spending your time volunteering and catch up on all things life that that usually end up crammed into the weekends. My blog has been a ghost town as of late with this current project and looking forward to something new/different (TBD).

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  20. Sounds like you're taking full advantage of your extra time, and I love that you're trying to take care of chores and errands that would otherwise eat up your time over the weekends. This is exactly what I try to do during the couple of weeks that I'm home each summer. It definitely makes for more quality spouse time when there aren't chores and errands eating into weekend time.

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  21. I took my first summer off in 18 years and had 2 months like this in June and July, just like you I stayed busy, was still up early, and found I was able to get so much done. It was an amazing break for me and I am so glad you are enjoying it.

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  22. Ohh,I must say I am so jealous!! I do all of this now, but just add in two kids to the mix. It would be so much more fun WITHOUT the kids, lol. I will day drink with you any day ;)

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  23. I've been funemployed before. But minus kids. I did a lot of walking around and going to cafes.... and drinking way too much coffee.

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