What do I do?

It’s been a long while since I’ve done a blogging challenge, but that is what today brings. A new month, a new challenge. Later in the month I will be joining lilmisskaty in a blogathon of sorts, but in the meantime I will begin a month of blogging.

I am unemployed. There is no denying the fate that I currently hold, it is clear cut and simple. I’m out of work, I’m ‘on the dole’, I’m ‘a scrounger’, I have no job.

But when you meet new people, there is a question that often lingers: what do you do?

My usual answer to that question is that I’m looking for work. But what do I actually do with my time? That’s something which I hardly ever focus on. Instead I put all attention on that negative aspect of my life, the thing that I don’t have, instead of the things that I do.

So I’m sitting here, in front of a computer, asking myself what do I do.

I sit in front of the computer a lot. I play games, I talk to people from across the world, I share stories of my life and theirs, we share cultures from time to time too. I get mad at news articles and share my opinion on Twitter, until I get so worked up debating it with someone that I move on to something else. I run a forum for Mentalist fans, I set challenges and I meet new people online.

That is what I do.

I watch television. This week I’ve been watching One Tree Hill, Charmed and a lot of Home and Away. I fall in love with characters, with couples, and with places. I listen for new words, or phrases that I’ve never heard before. I experience other worlds, whilst sitting in my own.

That is what I do.

I go into town, where I drink Strawberries & Cream frappuccinos from Starbucks, I wander around the few open shops we have left and decide that I don’t like the fashion on offer. I go to the library occasional, I look at a few books, decide I’d like to read them, then walk out empty handed because I still can’t find my damn library card. (Beside, even if I do, I’ve got fines I’m avoiding paying.) So I go to Waterstones, the book shop, instead and I do the same thing. I browse, I mope, then I leave empty handed because despite several books catching my eye, I know I can’t really afford to buy them all, and I have plenty of other books to read, anyway.

That is what I do.

I volunteer. I sit around and talk to people about various things. I help people to feel better. I give them hope that there’s someone there for them. I socialise with my fellow volunteers. I get trained to improve my skills. I learn from others. I meet new people. I tell someone how to turn on a computer and fix a problem with the internet.

That is what I do.

I bake cakes, I bake bread, I find any excuse to get out my mixing bowl and make something yummy. I experiment with flavours, textures and healthier options. I mash up banana to use instead of a bit of butter, I lather my bread dough in olive oil because I prefer how that bread feels in my mouth. I cook baked beans in a pan with onions. I make toast in the microwave (yes, really) and take it upstairs before it’s even buttered. Then I leave it on a plate for a couple of hours whilst I do other things.

That is what I do.

I write blog posts. I write fiction. I write anything that comes to mind in the hope that I can pull myself out of this long term state of writer’s block. I make notes on paper, I type words into my computer, I use a website that makes me accountable for not writing today. I stare at blank pages for periods of time because I just can’t quite make it work.

That is what I do.

I’m unemployed. But I don’t do nothing. I’m out of work. But I’m working hard some days. I’m ‘on the dole’. But I make sure I have a few spare coins for a Starbucks frappuccino. I’m a ‘scrounger’. But I look for work. I have no job. But I do have jobs.

That is what I do.

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One thought on “What do I do?

  1. Sounds like you’re doing well at filling the hours miss, especially enhancing those baking skills. Does banana work well instead of butter?

    I know unemployment is horrible, and comes with a sense of guilt at times – but it’s not like you’re not actively seeking work at every opportunity. You’ll get something, keep strong x

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