You know, the funny thing about being unemployed is that you don't have the normal routine that you do when you have a regular job. I stay up until 3 a.m., get up around 10 a.m., spend the early part of the "business day" looking for more job postings, eat more often than I used to and generally spend way too much time at home.
This is not a balanced way to be. I find myself suddenly needing to let some of that stored energy out. So I need to find a road map for that, the way to balance.
A lot of people would first say that religion is the key there, but that's not it. Religion is always there in good and bad times, and for me at least, it's a very personal thing that doesn't involve churches or reading scripture. I've never really felt any comfort in organized religion, so I kind of invented my own little denomination of Christianity that suits me well. It's based on all of the Sunday school growing up, but centers on the part about God being loving and forgiving, not the endless rules some denominations go on and on about.
My balance over much of the last year, work aside, came from travel. It's just awesome to get out into the world and take a look around. It offers perspective you can't always get at home. My trip to Orlando last month was a great example. I was there covering the big amusement industry trade show for CoasterBuzz, and doing tourist stuff while I was there. The real unfortunate part is that Stephanie (my wife) wasn't with me.
One of the things that has brought me the greatest joys in life is coaching. Last year was my first year coaching club (junior Olympic) volleyball, with two years of high school freshman experience prior to that. I had a 16 club team, which means my girls were not older than 16 and it was not a national qualifying team. This year I'm doing 17 open, which means we can go to "the big show."
What makes it fun and rewarding for me is that, for one thing, it has nothing to do with the Internet or real work. The other thing is that you build relationships with kids that look up to you, and in return for your instruction they do their best to be better athletes and people. It's an amazing process. I jokingly tell people it's like having kids only I get to give them back at the end of the day, but in all honesty there are some that I'd be perfectly happy having as my own daughters. They're good kids, and I miss not seeing them every few days.
So volleyball starts next month, and I think, regardless of my employment status, I'll regain balance.