Things To Do On-The-Dole

If you're a woman approaching or over 50 and find yourself among the long-term unemployed, what are you doing to fill your time? Here are all of the fun things that I tried…

• Act like nothing has happened… deny, deny, deny
• Buy new clothing as if you can afford it
• Watch more than your fair share of Netflix… on your TV, laptop, tablet, phone
• Watch everything saved to your DVR, clear it, fill it, watch it, repeat
• Sleep 14 hours every night, day, whatever… and take naps
• Find out what it's like to skip a shower or two
• Complain about how much weight you gained when you were working
• Gain more weight… pretend you're losing
• Run out of underwear as the laundry piles up
• Run out of silverware as the dishes pile up
• Dig up a pet worm... name it Mr. Squiggles
• Play with your kids toys or electronics… hide the ones you break
• Draw a face on your body pillow… talk to it
• Deal your body pillow in on a game of Uno… and lose
• Demand that your body pillow do the laundry… and the dishes
• Try going goth… scare the meter reader
• Send out resume's every week… for dream jobs in Hawaii
• Steal the neighbor's dog for a day, return him… act surprised… do it again
• Borrow the neighbor's cat… etcetera, etcetera, etcetera
• Rearrange the furniture… put the furniture back where it was
• Spend a day fighting with the unemployment investigator
• Write a letter to the governor about the mean unemployment investigator
• Close all the doors, windows, curtains… walk around naked
• Count your laugh lines… and your eyelashes
• Email everyone you know and pretend that they respond
• Plant a container garden… watch it shrivel… blame the plants
• Aggressively, neurotically clean/clear rooms, closets and cupboards
• Set up a garage sale, but don't open the door… you might need that stuff
• Re-learn to cook… and bake… for an army… eat it all
• Name your philodendron… name its leaves… ask them to call you Grandma
• Leave the mail in the mailbox and pretend you're on vacation
• Hide when the doorbell rings… jump out and yell "Surprise!"
• Paint the utility room… again… same color… no reason
• Question your deodorant… use more… or less
• Take a week to review every book in your massive library
• Become an expert on everything… in your own mind
• Track your toilet paper usage… cut back
• Wonder if you're crazy… take an online survey to find out… yep
• Consult a psychic or a psycho and a shrink… get certified

Yeah, I'm certifiable now.

Surprisingly, none of this actually worked for me. Transitioning in multiple directions is just crazy-making. That's what makes it so difficult to be disciplined, but discipline is critical to finding your way through it. I learned that the hard way. So, plan your days -- deliberately -- and be productive.

Get up in the morning, get dressed, get out of the house.

Spend time with people.

Eat right. Work out.

Shut off the TV and turn on some music.

Clean your house. Do your laundry. Wash your dishes.

Review your skills and goals and resumes and references. Apply for jobs. Volunteer. Mentor.

For sanity's sake, find a purpose.

"The only thing more important than your to-do list is your to-be list. The only thing more important than your to-be list is to be." -Alan Cohen

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About Leaping the Chasm
Leaping the Chasm™ (LTC) provides candid conversations and social media engagement for women in their 40's, 50's, 60's and beyond who are undergoing the personal, physical, financial, education and employment transitions that often accompany mid-life. These conversations are intended to share experiences, transfer knowledge, improve outlook, make new friends, and help identify opportunities for this powerful demographic.

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