So I'm an attorney by trade. When I graduated from law school in 2006, I had an offer to join a top D.C. firm as an Associate. And that I did. Everything was all fine and dandy and I was making a shitload of money ... until the rushing rapids of litigation work slowed to a near trickle as the economy started to take a nosedive into the shitter. My firm made layoffs and I was one of the casualties.
Since then, I've worked mostly on a contract basis, meaning that I take projects with an expiration date. Truth be told, I was never happy as a big firm associate and have never tried to re-enter that market. But at the same time, I have mountains of law school loans to pay, and the salary of a government attorney is simply not enough. So I've become a slave to the great-pay-but-high-uncertainty market of contract work.
And usually, it's not that bad. I've been pretty lucky to be on mostly long-term projects. The money is good and I no longer have to check my Blackberry before going to bed at 2 a.m. on a Saturday, praying that I don't have to throw together some research and a memo after imbibing one too many margaritas.
But sometimes, the uncertainty catches up to you, and you find yourself suddenly unemployed when a project grinds to a screeching halt. Enter FunEmployment 2012.
Since I'm currently in-between projects, I have a ton of time on my hands. Since I also have no idea when I'll pick up a new project, I'm trying not to spend a crazy amount of money. So I've had to be creative with my time and energy. Here's what I can report from last week, aka FunEmployment Week #1:
1. Making a to-do list for a Monday on your couch is just as miserable as making a to-do list for a Monday at your desk. But the good news about funemployment is that it's totally acceptable to reward yourself with shots of tequila.
2. The people who go visit the cherry blossoms on a Tuesday afternoon are decidedly just as stupid as the ones who swarm down there on a Saturday with the rest of the M-F employed masses. But because there are fewer of them, you have more opportunities to tune in to the ridiculous comments they make. Next time, bring headphones.
3. You shouldn't be too eager to get through your to-do list on Monday, so that you'll "have time for fun stuff the rest of the week," because, well, there's not a whole lot of fun stuff the rest of the week. A trip to Target isn't all that fun when you have to restrain yourself from spending $187 on shit you really don't need.
4. You know all those times you wish you had a weekday to yourself, unsaddled with illness, to just sit on the couch and watch as much t.v. as you want? Be careful what you wish for; it's not all that great. I started to become one of those people wandering around the gym, looking for ways to kill another hour.
5. Renting a car and driving around with no real purpose on a sunny Friday afternoon will make the entire week of boredom seem totally worth it. Even if you're just picking up random herb plants at Home Depot and lightweight gold chain at ninety-eight cents per foot that you're determined to turn into an ah-mazing necklace. Freedom tastes so good!
After treating the weekend like it was any other weekend, aside from running up large bar tabs, I'm back on my couch today with a new to-do list. It's shorter and less exciting, my apartment is already super clean and I did a load of hardly any laundry just to feel like a housewife today. I might lose my mind if the project I'm waiting on doesn't come through soon! But in the meantime, check back for inane posts about the planting I'm doing on my balcony and the sure-to-be-genius DIY jewelry I'll be making.
Although first, I need to look up some new recipes for brussels sprouts ...