I have less than one week to spend the remainder of my flex spending account which, when I resigned, still had over $2300 available. After scheduling copays, stocking up on contacts and scheduling an appointment for Mr. Adams to get new glasses, I still had an estimated $1000 to spend. Rather than just let that money go to wherever unused FSA monies go (where do they go?), I went on a spending spree at FSAStore.com.
I spent a good hour on the site perusing every. single. category. Anything my little heart desired, I clicked on and added to my cart. I've had dreams like this before, but it usually included more shoes and MAC makeup and less neti pots and bandaids.
But, you guys, there is some hella-cool and fun stuff on that site! Like high-end SPF 50 moisturizers, lip balm, vibrating gloves (get your minds out of the gutter - Mr. Adams works with his hands all day - they are for pain relief), lavender eye pillows and the coup d'état... an acupressure mat. A mother f'ing acupressure mat!
Now, I don't know what I thought an acupressure mat was. I mean, I saw the photos online and all. However, I didn't see close up photos, so I wasn't expecting this...
I rolled the thing out on top of my yoga mat on the back porch and proceeded to get serious about some self-care because, why not?
In the end, it felt okay. Well, at least on my back. It hurt like a BITCH on my scalp. I think my back felt better - particularly after back-to-back yoga classes - but I'm not sure. I'll give it a try again tomorrow. You're supposed to lay on it with bare skin but, like I said, I was doing so on my back porch which is rather visible to the neighbors. I am neighborly and all with my my neighbors and all but, you know... nudity might be crossing the line.
The best thing about the acupressure mat, of course, is what it symbolizes... joy, playfulness, self-care.
The last time I was unemployed - 15 years ago - it was anything but joyful. I spent my days stressing about how I was going to pay bills and when I was going to find another full-time job (between watching never-ending reruns of The Nanny) and generally feeling bad about myself - worthless, cast aside and inconsequential.
I am determined to use this time differently.
I mean, I'm still going to, eventually, stress about money. And I imagine that I'll eventually have to get another job (though I am bound and determined to figure out how to not have a "job" again), but I don't feel bad about me at all. In fact, I feel every bit as good about me as I did one month ago when I was "gainfully employed" and had plans to stay so for a while... better even.
For the most part we are told we are supposed to feel bad about not having a job. Where we work is just as much a part of our identity as any other defining factor and who are we if we are not attached to some employing entity? I know that my sense of self was wrapped up in being an United Way'er for years and years.
But what if the defining factor wasn't our job but instead was our work - our calling and purpose? Your precious work - your sacred ground - doesn't change just because where you do it has. And your calling and purpose doesn't change just because no one, at the moment, is paying you for it. Someone will eventually.
Jobless doesn't mean meaningless.
My "what" remains... the "where" and "when" is yet to be discovered.
Until then, you can find me out back playing.