As much as I've always believed that I would be MUCH happier if I were rich and idle, it turns out that being poor and idle is not what it's cracked up to be. Truthfully, I loved what I did working with children with autism and miss it (and the kids) more than I ever thought possible. Even the most hellish days (of which there were many) of meltdowns, tantrums, screaming, and the seemingly thankless job of trying to communicate with a child with no verbal skills whatsoever was rewarding and meaningful in ways it's impossible to express. I've been kicked, slapped, punched, bitten, had my hair pulled, been puked on, spit on, snotted on, peed on, pooped on... and while I can't say I loved every minute of it, I CAN say that I was never, EVER bored and the milestones that were reached with the children I've worked with over the years were worth every bruise and mutant virus that I came home with.
And now, as I'm entering my 7th week of unemployment, I wonder why I ever complained about my job...
Because I'm bored. Out. Of. My. Mind.
This apartment contains four rooms, all of which are spotlessly clean, because the second a spill or speck of dust appears, I pounce on it with the zeal and energy of one of those damn Scrubbing Bubbles that clean toilets and showers so enthusiastically. I'm not necessarily screaming, "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" as I mop and dust and sweep and scrub, but I'm thinking it in my head because wooo hoooo! I have a legitimate reason to stand up and do something!
I have found new joy in cleaning the refrigerator (seriously, I was looking in it today and all I could think was, "Is this really the fridge of two fat people?" There is nothing in it except yogurt, coffee creamer, pickles, and tortillas. I spend so much time throwing things away that food has not had an opportunity to accumulate and spoil.
I've given my fern a haircut, spent a ridiculous amount of time lugging it back and forth to and from the shower to make sure it's watered and misted properly, and sent pictures of it to my mother, as if I just gifted her with another grandchild.
I follow Javi and Maisy around with my camera, posing them and taking pictures of them to the point where Maisy looks embarrassed and ashamed and Javi turns his head and refuses to look at me every time I snap a photo. What used to be cute, random shots of my doggies have become a pychotic obsession that even THEY recognizes is a problem.
Every day I do my hair and make-up as if I'm about to spend a night on the town in the hottest hot spots of New York City, when in reality if I get out and go to the Big M, it's the high point of my day. I get dressed up to walk downstairs to get the mail (which doesn't even involve going outside or seeing another human being).
When I DO get out, I talk endlessly to complete strangers and have long in-depth conversations with checkers in the grocery store. I spent 10 minutes gabbing with the mayor without realizing that's who I was talking to. I'm THIS CLOSE to becoming the crazy lady that people cross the street to avoid.
And I'm powerless to stop, I tell you. I hear myself, see myself, am completely aware of my actions... and while I'm doing these things I'm thinking, "WHAT THE HELL? KNOCK IT OFF!" ... and keep right on doing it.
I need a job, y'all.
Like, right now.