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Currently | The Unemployment Honeymoon Phase

currently april 10 2017

Briefly | My first week of unemployment has been… surprisingly great. I knew having some time off from the regular grind of work was going to feel good, but I don’t think I registered how hard I’d been working to hold all my shit together until I didn’t have to do it anymore. I’ve been taking long walks, spending time with friends and family, catching up on television, and, of course, reading. I know this honeymoon period will wear off eventually, but for now I’m feeling really good.

Reading | It feels like I have a lot of books in progress right now… I’m partially through Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker (nonfiction on the world of elite wine snobs), The Mothers by Brit Bennett (fiction about an unplanned pregnancy and the aftermath of that decision), Dark Money by Jane Mayer (nonfiction on the impact of ultra-wealthy conservative spending in politics) and Constructive Wallowing by Tina Gilbertson (self help on the importance of feeling rather than managing bad feelings). I’d like to settle in and finish a couple of those this week.

Listening | I am still on a hardcore podcast kick. My favorite, at the moment, is Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, a chapter-by-chapter re-read of the Harry Potter series as “instructive and inspirational texts” that can teach us about our own lives. It is delightful.

Watching | My biggest unemployment temptation is watching television constantly, which I am actively trying to avoid. I did fly through all eight episodes of Legion, a David Hawley-created series looking at David Haller and the X-Men, which was fun if also not quite as innovative as it pretended to be. Up next is probably Big Little Lies from HBO.

Hating | One thing I am still too lazy to do is cook dinner. I need some simple recipes I can put together without turning our kitchen into a disaster so I stop eating frozen meals multiple times a day… all that sodium can’t be good.

Loving | Last week I joined the 100 Day Project, an effort to do something creative every day between April 4 and July 12. I am doing 100 Days of Books over on Instagram with the hashtag #100DaysofBooksByKim. Flexing my writing muscles and getting creative with book photography has been so much fun.

Anticipating | I got invited to join a book club! This particular club meets about once a month to read through the New York Times top 10 books of the previous year (here’s the 2016 list). The next three books on the calendar are Dark Money by Jane Mayer, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, and Evicted by Matthew Desmond. Imagine me making that heart-eye emoji face right now because that’s exactly how I feel.

Promoting | I’m continuing to enjoy writing my nonfiction newsletter for Book Riot. At the end of March, I did a big round up of popular nonfiction that’s finally out in paperback… a labor of love if there ever was one. You can read the archives of True Story here, and sign up for all of Book Riot’s newsletters here.

So, that’s my first week of April. I anticipate the second week will be filled with more reading, walking, watching, and cleaning… my parents are getting ready to sell their house and have already made it clear they expect their unemployed daughter to help get things ready to go. Happy reading!

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Sarah's Book Shelves April 10, 2017, 6:49 am

    I’m glad you’re enjoying your time off and I started Big Little Lies recently and loved the first episode (even though I hated the book). It’s dark and scandalous.

    • Kim April 14, 2017, 2:03 pm

      I have the book on my shelf but haven’t read it. I aspire to read it first… but I think I’ll save and watch the show before I get to it.

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) April 10, 2017, 8:08 am

    It sounds like you need a break from the grind. I eat a lot of salads because they’re easy to fix. Your book club sounds great!

    • Kim April 14, 2017, 2:04 pm

      I wish I liked salads, but I get bored eating them too often. I also hate lettuce 🙂

  • Nupur April 10, 2017, 8:08 am

    So many good book suggestions here! Enjoy your time off to recharge.

    For quick and easy cooking, I’ve been loving sheet pan suppers lately. You put vegetables and proteins on a sheet pan, drizzle with oil and spices and let the oven do the work. A quick search will get you lots of ideas for sheet pan suppers.

    • Kim April 14, 2017, 2:16 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion, that sounds like a great, lazy way to cook 🙂

  • Bryan G. Robinson April 10, 2017, 9:35 am

    At least it’s spring as you start your honeymoon phase with unemployment, meaning you can get out more to walk than if it was in the winter.

    I have to go catch up on your Instagram project. I think I’ve missed a few days.

    • Kim April 14, 2017, 2:16 pm

      Yes, spring/summer in Minnesota is a great time to be unemployed. I’ve been getting out for walks regularly and it’s wonderful.

  • Teresa April 11, 2017, 7:43 am

    I’m glad you’re taking the time to get some much-needed rest.

    For easy meals, I recommend Budget Bytes. Her recipes are very easy, often just requiring one pan.

    And if part of the cooking thing is just not wanting to think about it, I find Blue Apron helpful once in a while. The recipes can leave the kitchen a mess, but they require no planning, which is sometimes a good thing when I’ve let myself get out of the cooking habit. I have a credit for a free box if you think it would be helpful. Just let me know.

    • Kim April 14, 2017, 2:18 pm

      Thanks for the suggestions! I used to follow Budget Bytes, but think I stopped at some point. I remember liking her simple recipes though. I’ll have to talk with my sister about Blue Apron, but if we decide to go that route I will check in with you first!

  • Edith April 11, 2017, 8:27 pm

    Kim….this nutritious soup is my latest favorite….it’s simple…make a crockpot of this recipe and eat bowls of it all week long.
    http://iowagirleats.com/2015/10/07/crock-pot-chicken-and-wild-rice-soup/

    • Kim April 14, 2017, 2:18 pm

      Good suggestion, thanks!

  • Jeanne April 11, 2017, 8:36 pm

    This all sounds good, but the book club sounds great! Ron and I tried a few weeks of Blue Apron for 2 and now Hello Fresh for 2, but they dont’ make any plans less than 3 meals in one week for two people, and we find that a lot of cooking. I often make either beef or chicken stew on Monday in a crock pot and we eat that a time or two later in the week. Basically, I put in stew beef or chicken pieces with bags of frozen vegetables, varying the broth between beef, chicken, vegetable, or V-8 (tomato) base.

    • Kim April 14, 2017, 2:19 pm

      I need to get back to using the crock pot more, that’s my favorite easy way to cook.

  • Michelle April 14, 2017, 11:15 am

    Yay for book clubs that read more than popular fiction! That is awesome!

    It sounds like this unemployment status is exactly what you need right now. Watching TV, reading, they are all good for the soul. Hopefully, the weather will continue to improve so you can get outside too!

    • Kim April 14, 2017, 2:20 pm

      I do think is what I needed. It’s been so nice to feel like I have space and time to just breathe. I could enjoy this for awhile 🙂

  • Julie @ Smiling Shelves April 15, 2017, 10:49 am

    I haven’t heard of that Harry Potter podcast. It sounds awesome! Enjoy your much-needed rest.

  • Jenny @ Reading the End April 15, 2017, 5:50 pm

    I’m glad you’re having a relaxing time on your break. It is very, very, very well deserved. I can’t wait to hear your report on Dark Money! It’s one that I’ve been wanting to read, although I’ve been a little concerned that I wouldn’t understand it. I’m so dumb about money and economics!

  • susan April 16, 2017, 2:36 pm

    Sorry about the job being down-sized but it sounds like it’s a good break for you. It’s good you’re able to enjoy it. I wish you well with all your projects.

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