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 while you seek work?

• Act like nothing has happened… deny, deny, deny
• Watch more than your fair share of Netflix
• Sleep 14 hours every night, day, whatever… and take naps
• Find out what it's like to skip a shower or two
• Gain weight… pretend you're losing
• Run out of bras as the laundry piles up
• Run out of silverware as the dishes pile up
• 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
• Dig up a pet worm... name it Mr. Squiggles
• Steal the neighbor's dog for a day, return him… act innocent
• Steal the neighbor's cat and you know…
• 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
• Count your laugh lines… and your eyelashes
• Plant a container garden… watch it shrivel… blame the plants
• Name your philodendron… name its leaves… ask them to call you Grandma
• Aggressively, neurotically clean/clear rooms, closets and cupboards
• Set up a garage sale, but don't open the door… you might need that stuff
• Leave the mail in the mailbox for weeks and pretend you're on vacation
• Paint the utility room… again… same color… no reason
• Wonder if you're certifiable… take the online survey… yep, 22.7% nutsy

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. (Burn that body pillow.)

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

To share your experience, comment below or join Leaping the Chasm online (@leapingthechasm).

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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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