A Day in The Life of the Unemployed

I will admit since being on disability, there have been days I’ve gotten next to nothing done.  Today was not one of them.

After a bowl of honey-nut cheerios and a banana, I filled a travel mug of coffee and set up a card table to start organizing my book Delight in Disorder: Meditations from a Bipolar Mind to prepare for the second draft.  As my editor, Leanne Sype, recommended I put the meditations into “rooms” of the “house” that is my bipolar mind.  I was hoping to come up with 7 (the number of completion), but wound up with 6 – “The Front Porch”, “The Family Room”, “The Living Room”, “The Basement”, “The Prayer Closet”, and “The Kitchen”.  I managed to complete the introduction for “The Front Porch” and arrange the meditations on it bef0re it was time for lunch.

I decided I wasn’t really hungry yet, so I packed a peanut butter-and-honey sandwich along with some tortilla chips and hummus and headed for Bloomington.  On the way I stopped at Best Buy to question a charge.  Evidently, my sister paid a $160 hard-drive warranty on my laptop.  So, if I get mad at something I read on another blog and slam the computer against the wall, I’m covered.

I went to the Monroe County Public Library hoping to download an audio book and do some work on-line.  I picked out Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.  I had trouble accessing the Internet and nobody at the library or on the Best Buy Geek Squad call-in line could fix it, so I abandoned the project and headed to the Scholars Inn Bakehouse to meet a pastor friend for coffee.

I got there early, filled up my travel mug with the House Blend then looked at the posters for something I might do this weekend.  I noticed that The Bloomington Storytelling Project was hosting an event called “In the Beginning” at the Bishop tomorrow night (April 26) from 8-10 p.m..  I thought I might just go.  Then I noticed at the bottom of the poster that storytellers were welcome.  I thought I might just tell a story.

I sat down at a table and started putting meditations in order within their respective rooms.  I was so engrossed in this project that I didn’t see my friend Dan pass by.  When I looked up at the clock, it was 15 minutes after the time we were set to meet, so I started to text him.  At the same time, he saw me and came over and invited me to his table.

We caught up on our lives since the last time we met for coffee (a couple months back).  He asked about my writing.  I asked about his church.   Dan is part of an effort currently called The Bloomington Project “to become a community of grace in the city of Bloomington in order to speak grace to the people of Bloomington.”  Dan is a very bright and compassionate man who has a heart for Christ and a desire to reach out to others.  We talked about many things and before we left Dan prayed for me and my family, for which I am grateful.

On the ride home, I made some calls.  It looks very good that the friend I had mentioned in earlier posts is pursuing valuable treatment and her housing needs are being met.  God has provided bountifully (through insurance coverage), such that the financial burden shouldn’t weigh heavily on her or others in the family.  Praise the Lord!

I also spoke to my Dad and it looks as though my step-mom will be coming home tomorrow (after having successful knee replacement surgery).  Dad celebrated by making a donation to his favorite cause – the casino.

I got back in time to pick up my brother-in-law and take him to the auto repair shop where he picked up his car.  I took my laptop to the in-house geek squad and it appeared as if he fixed it (though it still doesn’t work at home).

I had baked potato (actually, microwaved) with chili and cheese on top for supper.   We updated each other on our days and I asked if one of them might go with me to the Storytelling Event (to keep me awake on the drive home – 10 p.m. is almost passed my bedtime).

Now, I’m sitting here reflecting on my day, listening to John Prine singing “The Late John Garfield Blues”

John Prine

An old man sleeps with his conscience at night
Young kids sleep with their dreams
While the mentally ill sit perfectly still
And live through life’s in-betweens

What a day!  It doesn’t get much better than this.

(photo of John Prine from colleen onto I heard there was a secret chord)

6 thoughts on “A Day in The Life of the Unemployed

  1. Tony, you get more done in your ‘day in the life of the unemployed’ than a lot of ‘working’ people do. You certainly get more done than I do and I’m in a similar situation as you. I need to get out more. I used to go to the library to write, but it’s half an hour drive from my place, and with the price of petrol… :-\

    Do you still need a 7th room? How about “The Study”?

    • I like the idea of “The Study” a lot. I’ll have to look over my meditations and see what ones might fit in such a room.

      Thanks for the recommendation. It would be great to have 7 rooms.

    • Oh, I’d just like to second that. You get more done than I do!

      P.S. Remember the prompt you gave me when I was asking for help? Sorry I didn’t come through. I was—and still am—stuck again. I think there’s a great story in there, I hope time will tell.

    • He did. Nearly every song Prine records and performs is his own. I should note his authorship, however .He’s quite the poetic genius for a displaced Kentuckian.

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