Friday, May 14, 2010

130 Good Things about Unemployment

121. May Day. When I was a kid, we made baskets from construction paper, filled them with lawn flowers and bush blooms, and brought them to neighbors. May Day is celebrated as International Workers Day or Labor Day in many countries. Today in the U.S., Mayday is a distress call from the unemployed. According to the Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative, 23% of the 15 million unemployed Americans have been jobless for a year or more. That is 3.4 million people, about the population of Connecticut, Oregon or Oklahoma. According to that great resource Wikipedia, students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland celebrate today by running naked into the North Sea at sunrise. Sounds good to me, as long as there is some snuggling after that cold plunge.

122. Laughter. Happy World Laughter Day! According to the Laughter Yoga folks, laughter will promote world peace. I agree. If we are all laughing, it seems unlikely we will kill each other. Here is a video I guarantee will make you laugh:  I found it on their website.

123. It makes you feel good to read books that feature characters with worse luck than you have. I read The Natural Laws of Good Luck: A Memoir of an Unlikely Marriage by Ellen Graf. The story includes fire, unemployment, loneliness, betrayal, isolation, car accidents, financial strain, disappointment and serious illness. And it is all true. I feel better already.

124. You photograph wildflowers in the woods. Open Salon editors feature your photos:
You are hot, well, maybe warm, well, maybe cool.

125. Spring cleaning is sweet. After a week of scrubbing, you tell your family they can no longer wear shoes in the house, they can only eat over the table, and they cannot poop in the toilets.

126. You capture a wasp dancing on Garlic Mustard. Although I hate this invasive plant and spend some of each day pulling it up, even in our 80 acres of woods, this wasp was having a good time. I watched him dance and dip, asked him what he was doing on Garlic Mustard when the lilacs are blooming (he said he preferred sour, not sweet, and it was none of my business anyway--a rather haughty guy), and then I grabbed that Garlic Mustard and yanked it until the roots let go. It was an ugly scene.

127. On Mother’s Day, you looked beautiful in your ski mask and parka at the Peace Pagoda’s Flower Festival eating picnic food around a blazing fire with your back to the bitter wind. Yes, it is upstate New York on May 9th. You wouldn’t be anywhere else, unless it is someplace warmer.

128. You use an interview strategy like this one:  Since I don’t have television service, I don’t know if this commercial is shown regularly. It was referenced in an employment service e-mail. I think it is hysterical. Now, I need a partner to implement this sophisticated approach.

129. Although the Huffington Post’s Real Misery Index is up due to lingering high unemployment, your load is lessened after talking to this lower tree who said you have nothing to complain about.

130. After a hard day in your pajamas in front of the computer after getting up at noon, you watch the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night and laugh. And what does John Lennon say to the question, “How did you find America?” “Turn left at Greenland.”

\\\ For Good Things numbered 111 through 120, see 120 Good Things about Unemployed posted April 29, 2010.
For Good Things numbered 101 through 110, see 110 Good Things about Unemployment posted April 16, 2010.
For Good Things numbered 1 through 100, see 100 Good Things about Unemployment posted April 3, 2010. ///

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