Today was my first day reporting for NewStart 2.0 aka JobSeeker. Zero income in the last fortnight, check.
I lost my job on the second of the month, which wasn’t that unexpected, but still sucked. The upside was that my redundancy and leave payout was enough for me to CLEAR my credit card, and to put away more than that amount as savings. So there’s no sting in the loss, yet, but there will be.
Losing your job during a pandemic isn’t an unusual thing. Lots of people are in the same boat, and have been for months already. What’s unusual about being unemployed in 2020 is that all of a sudden, the government acted (temporarily) to alleviate the crushing poverty of being on a welfare payment.
Just my luck, I lost my job after the increased payment was partially decreased and will only receive five payments before it is scheduled to go back to being below the poverty line, where the unemployed deserve to subsist. Eye roll x infinity.
On the other hand, I’ve been here before and I’m pretty wily when it comes to stretching my payments out. The major difference is that last time I was out of work, I wasn’t paying all my utilities, due to the strange mistakes that are a historical ‘feature’ of living on an old non-subdivided block with two residences on it. No such luck this time, I pay all my utilities now, like a good citizen should.
Lockdown life and being out of work is a strange mix. There’s no escaping the immediacy of my environment, aside from the beauty of the big park in my neighbourhood. I’ve visited a few times, with a book and sketch pad – to be out in the fresh air and hear birds chirping and kids playing in the distance has been wonderful. A true balm for the cabin fever of the past six months.
I started this blog in a season of unemployment. Here I am again. I hope that I will return to writing regularly, as it is something I enjoy and feel helps me with the ups and downs of having LOTS of time on my hands, as well as the fairly monotonous silence of applying for work and hearing nothing back.
These days, because I’ve neglected this space, only a few people will probably see this post. That’s okay. I’m hoping that as I write my way out of 2020 and into whatever is ahead – dear gods please let 2021 be quiet and unremarkable – I might reach people who enjoy my musings and carry the hope of better times with them.
Now that I’ve reported for duty and the vacuuming is mostly done; while the sun is shining, I think another park visit is in my immediate future. I’ll share some photos via Instagram.
However this strange, strange year has unfolded for you, I hope that you can still find reason to #lookup and that you’re carrying a little hope that we will make it through this.
Big love to you,