Greetings, allow me to introduce myself, I'm Colin or the famed Mr. CB that has appeared through these pages and the wonderful Mrs. CB has allowed me to write this little piece and post it on her blog.
The first thing to try and cope with is the culture shock. I've spent most of my adult life in one job or another - that's 15 years of solid employment. I was a driving instructor and closing my business has forced me to lose the car. Not good - it makes me feel quite isolated.
The second thing to cope with is rejection. I've applied for quite a few jobs in the past few weeks - it's not so much rejection that gets me, I'm sick of being ignored, of not even being acknowledged. Unfortunately, that's just the way it is.
The final thing to cope with is boredom. Work was quiet for a while before I closed my business so this has become the easiest thing to cope with.
I miss my car, I just loved getting into it and seeing all of lovely Yorkshire. Getting around isn't easy, I hate buses but my legs are doing me proud! We're getting used to doing all of our shopping online and it's stopped the impulse shops, the trips to Waitrose bargain bin and so on, so this has actually saved some money! I just need to stop getting into bad habits like sleeping in and staying up late and get up like I have a reason to. This is purely a psychological things but I'm getting better.
Clinging onto hope is not easy. I have sent off more than ten job applications or enquires in the past week and heard nothing. Why should I not give up hope? That's a damn good question and one that I am struggling to answer. I don't give up hope because I have to cling onto certain things - holidays, a nice house, a couple of football matches every season and a reasonable car - I don't ask a great deal from life. There are plenty of jobs out there but I want to think about career over a job. Arrogant I know, but after working for myself I just want to progress and a backward step is a tough thing to consider.
A number of things have stopped me from going stir crazy. The Gym is one of them, Judo is another. I'm about to take my first grading in Judo and I'm in the best shape for years. I recently paid the princely sum of £8 for ten trips to a little gym in Horsforth called Park Centre Fitness (courtesy of popular cheapskate site, groupon) and I've impressed myself. I got on a running machine and ran for a whole mile in just under eleven minutes - not bad for someone who weighs in at a cuddly 17st! I managed to get that down to 9:05 on my next go so it's really coming down. I'm now able to go on walks without being out of breath (take that, car!).
Writing is another thing that's keeping me going. A friend and I recently started a site called The Dodo Times, a site of daft news stories and writing for this has been a lot of fun and really brought out my creative side. I won't tell you what my pen names are but there are two Colins on there and one of them is not me.
I'm turning into a male domestic goddess. I've always enjoyed cooking and recently I've been doing more and more. Sausage Rolls, Cheesecakes, Scotch Eggs and Chocolate Mousses are my specialities but recently I did a homemade Chicken Satay and it was pretty darn good. Basically, you just mix some Sesame oil, Peanut butter, Sweet chilli sauce, and Coconut milk until you have a gooey sauce which is simmering nicely then you add some chilli powder - 2-3 teaspoons is plenty for a little kick between the two of us. Gently part cook some chicken or any other meat you wish to use (or not, if you're a veggie), sizzle some veg (onions, carrots, peppers and anything else you wish to chuck in), drain your meat, add it all into the pan with the sauce, simmer and come back in half an hour with some rice. Yummers!
All in all, unemployment is shite but we're both making the best of it and I think we'll come out of it better than before.