I am auditing a philosophy class at the local community college. It starts next week, and I’m already talking myself out of it. These are the things I’ve said to myself:
- Where am I going to find the time?
- What if I’m the oldest person in the class?
- I don’t have a good backpack.
- I need new school shoes.
- Kids these days. I don’t like the look of ’em.
Who am I? Grandpa Simpson? If ever there was a time in life to step out of myself and into the capable hands of a philosophy professor, it’s now.
My excuses are so ridiculous. It reminds me of the conversations I had as a Human Resources manager with colleagues who were stuck in a job that sucked. I worked with colleagues who had every excuse why they couldn’t change their lives. They would provide myriad reasons as to why they couldn’t make a different choice. I would end the conversation by saying, “This is America. If you hate your job so much, go work somewhere else.”
So I’m going to take that approach with my own unemployment. I have nothing to do besides feed kittens and shop, and I am getting dumber by the day. Unemployment is meant to be a period of self-discovery, but I’ve caught myself reflexively falling back into old habits of making excuses and being lazy. The truth is that I’m still living the life of a corporate slacker (not getting up from the computer very often, drinking too much coffee, wasting time on the internet) except that I’m wearing yoga pants instead of a Talbots suit.
I realize that —
- It wouldn’t kill me to watch less television.
- I wouldn’t curl up and die if I talked about Human Resources less often.
I will absolutely take the class because it’s paid for by my former employer, but I am officially copping to a certain level of anxiety. There. I said it. The woman with all of life’s answers is nervous about taking a class where she just has to show up and listen — no tests, no papers, no effort.
I didn’t show much understanding and empathy for colleagues who felt “stuck” in the past, and I’m kind of sorry about it. I am slowly learning that the process of unsticking oneself is not as easy as it once seemed to be…
if you really hate your job, just quit, already. No one likes a whiner.