Tuesday, May 01, 2012

(Non) Workers of the World Unite!

Happy May Day everyone! Ironically, this is the first official day of being unemployed as opposed to "sick". Kind of extra bummed because there are 3 public holidays in May and, unlike the last two years when at least some of them were swallowed up on weekends, I think this year they are all actually conveniently posed to break up the working week, not that it helps me.

Anyway, on to the main issue at hand which is to say thank you for all your support and kind thoughts on and off blog. Mary Kay was right in her comment that it wasn't an easy post to write. I'm not much of a sharer, especially when it comes to "problems" or "weaknesses" or whatever you might like to call them - unless you get a couple of wines in me and the stories come rolling out, like "The Irishman and the Homeless Man in Moscow" or "The Time My Tyrefitter Flatmate Wiped His Hands on My Freshly-Laundered Towel" (the latter of which happened four years ago, but I still bear a grudge, and the story was aired to great acclaim during an intense towel-centred discussion just the other night ha ha. Petty, yes, but I am of the Hitchhiker's Guide school of towel husbandry, as were my interlocuters...). This, in turn, has the effect of making me more anxious, as with the work situation where I felt like I couldn't go back and face my colleagues after the first bout of sick leave. So I took some inspiration from fellow bloggers whose tales of woe and, more importantly, of strength in the face of adversity, have inspired me greatly in recent times, and decided to open up a little bit.

There are always going to be dicks in the world who lack empathy or understanding, but I think we do learn at times like these that an awful lot of people genuinely can relate through their own experiences, or at least have the capacity to listen and empathise even if they haven't had a similar experience. I do spend an inordinate amount of time Worrying What Other People Think, but I still like to believe in the inherent goodness (despite the flaws we all have) of most people, even though someone will always come along sooner or later to be the exception to that rule.

As to some of your specific comments - tackling one day and one activity at a time is indeed a sensible approach and I am trying to keep going to the gym etc. and not spend all my time cooped up inside (says she, feeling guilty to be blogging when, oh miracles of miracles, it's actually sunny outside for the first time in weeks - I'm taking this as a hopeful sign that this is April Showers Bringing May Flowers, although in fact the forecast is for rain and thunderstorms for the next few days again at least). Of course, knowing the wisdom of something in the abstract is a lot harder than actually following through, especially when handicapped - as Ella put it - by depression. I have applied for a few jobs, which I'm waiting for further news on, and I have an appointment set up at the Pôle Emploi for getting the unemployment benefit. (And I will admit that makes me cringe slightly, never having been unemployed before, but I will try to get over the middle-class/Catholic guilt and remind myself that it's nothing to be ashamed about, I'm not planning to abuse the system, and there are a whole ton of good people in the same boat through no fault of their own.) As for the medication, I am less drugged up/it's hitting me harder than the first few days. Sorting out my sleep patterns does need work though. I've always been a nocturnal type when left to my own devices (i.e. nothing to get up for in the morning), as my Mum will testify, but it's true it's not a particularly healthy pattern nor conducive to getting things done.

More good news is that the agèd Ps, aka my parents, are coming for a visit in August - I think credit is largely due to Mary Kay for luring my Mum with talk of champagne for that decision! It will be great to have them here in summer instead of the usual miserable northern English winter (sorry, land of my ancestors, but come on) and I'm hoping we can go do something extra fun somewhere, although it's difficult to plan a holiday when I don't quite know where I'll be living or whether I'll have a) a job to take a holiday from or b) holiday time from this imaginary job. My sister and a mate are also coming over in a few weeks, by which time we will hopefully have sunshine, since she will be fresh from the Caribbean (jealous) and I don't want Tours to let the side down. A one-hour rosé dégustation is already on the agenda, so you don't need much more than that for the good times to start rolling methinks!

So anyway, thank you again to everyone, I have been really touched by your messages and it does really help to know that there are people out there sending their love. Now to go "profit" from a bit of sunshine!


  1. I suppose you at least KNEW the towel had been used....

  2. p.s. Aged P indeed!!!!

  3. It was covered in mucky black handprints! My fluffy yellow towel! And I only had 2 towels and I'd just washed the other one. He got such a talking-to! Was a bit drunk, but apparently we had a lengthy and passionate discussion on appropriate towel etiquette the other day.

    Heh heh, I knew you'd like that. Just putting the literary education to use maman.

  4. Mucky handprints on a towel! You sound more like your mother every day.

  5. Gwan, I'm so pleased to hear that your parents are coming for a visit - both for you and for them. If a trip to Paris is on the agenda, I would love to take your mom (and you!) out for champagne.

    Congratulations on the steps that you've taken to apply for another job and to meet with the unemployment agency. And please remember, the reason that you qualify for benefits is because you were contributing to the system while you were working. There's no reason to feel guilty.

    As Stephane and I didn't make it Tours while we were in the Loire Valley, I thought that I could hop on a train if you feel like getting together for a cup of coffee (or a glass of rose!). Just let me know. My schedule is relatively free until I leave for the States next Friday.

    And this weather - it would get anyone down! C'mon sunshine!


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