Handling the Unexpected

Today’s guest poster is someone I constantly feel like is my blogging twin… but brunette. Smile

Courtney of Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life and I always laugh about just how much we have in common from our love of food and fitness to our shared unrelenting desire to eat and bake copious amounts of sweets constantly.

Courtney is in a transitional period in her life and when I reached out to her about guest posting on PBF, I told her that I thought you guys might enjoy hearing about how her unexpected unemployment has affected her from a food and fitness standpoint, but also from a personal standpoint. Courtney keeps it real, but also upbeat. She’s basically the jam.

I hope you enjoy her guest post!

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Guest Post: Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

Hi! My name is Courtney and I’m “funemployed.” (<—It was Julie, actually, who coined that phrase for me!)

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We’ll get to that part in just a second, but first let me quickly, and properly, introduce myself. My name is Courtney, and I blog over at Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life. Like Julie, I also have a huge passion for food, fitness, fashion, and baking…the two of us actually have quite a few things in common!

I am beyond excited to be helping Julie out with this guest post while she is enjoying her travels through Europe. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited to hear all about her recaps.

So as I mentioned before, I have recently become unemployed.

I am a teacher teaching fifth grade at the time. Being let go from any job is difficult, to say the least. And in this past month, I have dealt with a whole slew of emotions. One minute I would be crying my eyes out, feeling incredibly sorry for myself. The next minute, the sadness would subside and my anger would take over in full force.

Thankfully, now, my emotions have started to take more of a backseat and I’m slowly trying to settle in to my current situation. Yes, I’m unemployed. Is it the end of the world? Absolutely not. I have a wonderful husband who is always here to support me and a loving family who can always make me smile and will always be there to pick me up when I fall.

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Nonetheless, I don’t want to depend on them forever. That’s not who I am. I consider myself a fairly independent woman, and I take pride in that. So while times may be tough now, I know I’m going to land on my feet, and I’m going to find myself exactly where I’m meant to be. I believe that everything happens for a reason… and now I’m on a mission to find it!

So now, for the real reason I wanted to write this post.

I know that there are many people out there who are in a similar situation. Maybe you’ve recently been laid off from a job. Maybe you’re a fresh college graduate who is simply having trouble finding a job. Whatever your situation might be, I’m sure we’ve all dealt with some form of having a little extra downtime. So for me, I’d like to share my thoughts on how losing my job (and the free time it has provided me) has effected the aspects of my life that I love the most: food, family, fitness, and fashion.

Food

What I’ve noticed:

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Yes, lots of cupcakes…even with ice cream frosting.

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And my pants have noticed this too.

  • I’m more willing to try meals that take a little more time.
  • I’m a grazer/snacker. More often than not, I’m tempted to just graze throughout the afternoon, rather than sit down to an actual lunch. Without having a set lunch time, this is easy for me to do.

What I’m trying to work on:

  • I’m going to attempt to cut my baking time down to 1-2 baked goods per week. If it’s more than that, then there’s got to be somewhere else the goods are going. They can’t stay in the house!
  • Keep the extra snacks out of sight. Often times, I’ll roam through the kitchen, open up the cabinet, notice the box of Kashi crackers staring back at me, and grab a handful… or three. Keeping snacky foods to a minimum in the house should help curb my mindless snacking.

Family

Like I said before, my family is wonderful, and they have been so supportive during this time. But things can also get a bit stressful. Having our income drastically cut from two down to one is not easy. My husband and I have had many “civilized adult discussions” regarding the situation and are still trying to figure things out. We’re both stressed, but we know we’ll work through it.

The one piece of advice I can give to anyone in a similar situation is to communicate. Be 100 percent open and honest about everything and remember that it’s okay to not see eye-to-eye on everything.

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My husband is my realist and can be a bit of a pessimist… I’m more of a dreamer and a total optimist. Hey, I guess we balance each other out then, right?

Fitness

What I’ve noticed:

  • I have been able to incorporate more of a variety into my exercise routine.
  • I immediately saw my extra free time as an opportunity to fit in more exercise.
  • This eventually turned into an obligation. I figured that there was really no excuse not to exercise every day.

What I’m working on:

  • Exercise should never feel like an obligation. As soon as it started to feel that way, it was no longer fun.
  • Nobody says you have to workout everyday. In fact, you should take a rest day or two every now and then. Only you know what you’re capable of, and I realized that I am not capable of working out seven days a week.IMG_2714
  • Keeping exercise FUN! I still hit up my gym for a couple BodyPump classes every week, along with a mix of cardio, yoga, and Pilates. Variety, for me, is what keeps me in the groove.

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Fashion

What I’ve noticed:

This, my friends, has gotten ugly…

  • My arsenal of “cozies” has gotten more wear this past month than ever before.
  • I have a dependable rotation of sweatpants, stretchy capris, t-shirts, and hoodies that have become my newest fashion friend. I feel like a scrub.IMG_1271
  • I feel less compelled to style/wash my hair as often (probably a good thing).IMG_2304
  • My usual morning routine has gotten completely out of whack…some days I don’t shower until noon. Other days, I don’t shower at all (shhhh, don’t tell anyone).

What I’m working on:

  • Establishing a routine. After being so used to having one, it’s been really hard to adjust. But I know I feel better about my whole day when I have one in place.
  • Showers are a must. Even if it’s not until late. My husband thanks me.
  • Rotating in some more “regular” clothes every now and then, especially when I have errands to run. At least then, I have an excuse to not be slopping around in my favorite stretchy capris and Jay’s oversized sweatshirt.
  • Taking advantage of certain events, such as Date Night, to get all gussied up.

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My hope in sharing all of this with you is not to be a Debbie Downer, but to make light of a situation that can often be so daunting. Hopefully, you’re able to walk away from reading this being able to relate in some way or another.

Stressful situations happen to all of us, and if we let them, they can really become not only disruptive, but destructive. It’s how we handle these situations that allow us to strive, succeed, and be a better-rounded individual.

In the words of Catherine Pulsifer…

~ How we perceive a situation and how we react to it is the basis of our stress. If you focus on the negative in any situation, you can expect high stress levels. However, if you try and see the good in the situation, your stress levels will greatly diminish ~

Questions from Courtney

  • How do you deal with stressful situations?
  • Can you relate to anything from above?

Comments

  1. Tori (Fresh Fruition) says

    I always have the urge to bake cupcakes, too! They’re just too cute and delicious to NOT make :)

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  2. says

    Thanks for the post, Courtney! I can relate to your stress-eating. It’s so neat that you’ve been able to look at what hasn’t worked or what you didn’t like about the changes in your life and make the best out of your situation. When I’m stressed (and not eating,) I like to exercise or listen to music. Blogging has been therapeutic as well. :) Thanks again for the post and good luck with everything!!

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  3. says

    OH-My-GOSH
    Courtney, I am new to blogging and when I read this post it was like a HUGE sigh of relief….I am a teacher [haven’t gotten my first teaching job yet] and a Navy wife. We have been moving so much since I graduated that I’ve had to put my own career on hold…which is hard because I didn’t even get to start it! I’ve been SO upset with myself the way I’ve been over-snacking, stressed, and somewhat depressed :( That’s when the blog world came in and has helped me find my feet again. Now that I started my own little blog I am holding myself accountable for tracking my runs/workouts/and meals. I JUST blogged yesterday about my “circle of sweats” that I keep wearing because all of my clothes have been in storage for 5 months and…I just don’t have much of an excuse lately to wear nicer things :( I’ve ALWAYS been a morning person who loves routine. Lately, I sometimes don’t get my shower until late afternoon and the “OCD side of me” hates that! Ugh sorry I don’t mean to ramble and vent here. I just wanted to thank you for such a humble post because it has made me realize that there isn’t anything wrong with me. Everyone has ups and downs. The way you react and better yourself determines who you are…not your current job situation. Like you, I have an amaxzing husband and family to support me (even when the Navy makes use live far away from them). I can’t imagine what I’d be like without them. Sorry…more rambling…Anyway thank you a TON and know that you’re also not alone :) I’m right there with ya! Your blog was one of the first ones I decided to follow and this has given me even more desire to do so. Have a great day!

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  4. Holly @ The Runny Egg says

    Courtney seems like you have a good attitude about things — my husband was laid off about a month ago and what has helped us is communication (like you described here). It is a tough time but we’ll get through it (like you are too!)

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  5. says

    GREAT post, Courtney! I love that you openly shared about all of this. I bet it felt great to get off your chest.

    I am certainly a stress eater too. I just try to find other distractions. Thankfully the kiddos are good at distracting me…but then again, they are also good at stressing me. LOL

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  6. says

    SUCH a great post Courtney! although I cnt relate entirely I do find myself getting very frazzled when i get knocked off my regular routine…!
    I just tell myself that everything will work out and if i go on a different path then so be it! itll lead me to an even cooler future!

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  7. says

    One of my favorite bloggers on my other favorite bloggers’ site. Yipppee!

    Great post, and as you know, I relate to much of this, especially the stress eating. Story of my life. I’m the girl that gets a big project, walks out of her bosses’ office and promptly sticks her hand in a bag of Doritos ;-)

    But seriously, I hope you take the time to give yourself a pat on the back for how you are handling the situation. It’s certainly not an easy one, and you are taking it in stride. Every day, I read your blog, and every day, I am ABSOLUTELY AMAZED at your attitude and how much you accomplish every day. So don’t forget to remind yourself how awesome you are.

    Oh also, my best friend was laid off from her job in the summer after only 3 months. Like you, she took it in stride. A few months later, she found herself at a better job, one that was perfect for her. While it was a tough experience, she’s so much happier now and she loves her job! I just know something good will come out of this for you :-)

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  8. ellalinea says

    I can totally relate to this post! I model for a living and sometimes I only have like 5 days of work in a month (off season) In those, month I really have to keep myself bizzy and if I have a lot of time on my hands I tend to see exercise as an obligation..

    Thanks for your honesty Courtney.. I love your blog btw :))

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  9. says

    Good tips! I’m currently transitioning from college to a new job that doesn’t start for a month and your days pretty much describe me too. If I get bored I sometimes make up errands to run just get my lazy booty out of the house.

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  10. says

    What a great post, Courtney! Routines are my bread and butter, so to speak, so I totally relate to needing one to stay grounded. Even in the summer when I’m off from teaching, I need some kind of routine, even if it’s run, shower, lunch, pool, ya know?

    I find that making myself get dressed and put on real clothes sets the tone for a productive day and also keeps me from overeating. If I am wearing baggy sweats, it’s easier to hide the bloated tummy that creeps up when I overeat. Wearing “real” clothes, or even something more form fitting, like a tank top rather than a t-shirt, makes a difference for me!

    Oh–and you are 100% right. You’re going to be just fine. :D XOXO

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  11. says

    What an awesome post! I can definitely relate to not having a schedule, though it’s a little different for a student like me. I often go days without having anything specific to do, especially during the begin of summer right now. And yea, many days I go without real clothes or washing my face before noon.

    But I kind of want to enjoy that freedom right now, before I switch to having to work every day in a couple years. And I love the freedom to be able to schedule my time, go to the gym, relax, get bored, etc. The only downside is when my friends are all busy and leaving for internships/jobs.

    But despite the downer moments, I know that it’s going to turn out better than alright, and keep at the optimism :)

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  12. says

    I can definitely relate! I just graduated from college, and I don’t have a job lined up yet. I have only had one week off so far, with two days of interning, and my schedule already feels out of whack. Next week will be my first with no commitments, and it’s such a weird feeling. I like having a routine, so I guess I have to create one for myself!

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  13. says

    you’re the best court! i think alot of us can relate, especially those in college/just out of college who can’t find a job. it’s easy to just lose any sense of a routine. that’s one of the things i’m working hard on is establishing a routine, even if i don’t necessarily “have” to. loved this post ladY!

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  14. says

    This was such a wonderful post! I really like what you said about determining what your body can handle, it be working out 7 days a week or taking a rest day here and there. I have a bad habit of reading what other people can do and then thinking I can do the same thing. I have to realize that my body is different from everyone else’s and I can only handle so much.

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  15. says

    I totally relate! I’m a newly licensed attorney and moved to California with my hubby for his great attorney job, and as soon as we moved here, it looks like we might be moving somewhere ELSE! So basically, I’ve been funemployed, volunteering, blogging, working out, and I even took a continuing education class at the local college just to keep myself meeting people. I had a part time job here for awhile, but I’ve since quit. I SO relate to the arsenal of cozies, the tendency to snack…all of it! And I also agree that it’s about our attitude and being positive in the midst of stresses. You were definitely NOT a debbie downer here; I think a lot of people can relate!! :) Thanks for the great post!

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  16. says

    I can relate to the unemployment issue… my boyfriend is a teacher and is getting bumped from full time to .7, not a good situation for bills, rents, etc. As of right now he’s looking, but so far no luck. No a good time to be a teacher or a recent graduate like I will be. But the only thing to do is stay positive and take care of yourself!

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  17. says

    What a great post! I was laid off almost a year ago, I was angry and bitter but a year later I am graduating from culinary school! I never would have done that if I hadn’t lost my job! I’m so much happier now! Hope you find a new job that makes you just as happy! ;-)

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  18. says

    I can relate to most everything above! except i’m not exactly unemployed, i’m just a stay at home mom to my 1 and 4 year old. It can be really hard to find the motivation to exercise, get dressed, or even leave the house, so I see where you’re coming from. Thank you, because this post helped me, and I hope things get better for you too!

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  19. says

    i was also unemployed for about 5 months when I got out of Undergrad. It’s so frustrating to apply and apply to jobs and not come up with anything. i wish you luck on your journey!

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  20. Jill says

    What a great post! I can totally relate to everything you said! I had a simple bunion surgery on Feb 3. During my 7th week of an 8 week recovery ( no exercise) I got a stress fracture in my foot. This caused me to have to go through another 8 weeks of no exercise. I am an exercise! I love exercise. My routine revolved around exercise. My friends are from the gym. For the past 3 1/2 months I have been away from my “normal” life. I have good days and bad days. Sad days and angry days. I had to dig deep to find the “good” in my situation. Thankfully I found the world of blogging. What a fantastic community. Such love and support. So-I decided to jump in and start my own blog which I have enjoyed so much and has helped me keep my mind of my “woes”! Thank you for the wonderful post. I look forward to checking out your blog!!!

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  21. Sarah says

    This is a great post! I think something uplifting to do would be to simply get dressed up just for YOURSELF. Also, a great blog to put you in positive spirits on the rough days is colormekatie.blogspot.com. I always visit this blog for a bit of uplift. It’s a simple blog, and it may inspire you to get creative with other things when baking is on the brain. She has a lot of great little artsy ideas. It may even spark some ideas for when you get another teaching job with children.

    Good luck!

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  22. says

    Great post! I can totally relate. I’ve been out of my Library Science program for over 3 years now and keep going between unemployment and a (very low paying) temp job. It’s driving me crazy and I really started getting down about it.

    What helped A LOT was changing my perspective on the situation. Yes, you’re unemployed now and it’s disheartening. However, you can see this as time to do something you wanted to do before but didn’t have the time or couldn’t get away from your teaching commitment. Is there anything you want to learn? Go back to school for? Anywhere else you want to get experience? People or places you want to visit?

    Seriously, this is time to do whatever you want and things have a way of working out for the best when you view things as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

    Me? Looks like I’m going back to school. Erm, in Ireland. Yeah, baked potatoes and Guinness and green rolling hills for me! Scary, but exciting.

    Hey, you could always start a bake sale… :-P

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  23. says

    I absolutely love your optimistic outlook!  After being unemployed for what seemed like forever, I know how easy it is to fall into a rut and a circle of self-pity!  From your blog and this post itself, I know you will be fine! Something great is in store for you!

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  24. says

    I can completely relate! I just relocated to Australia from the DC area, and I’m trying to find a job. I have a law degree and all I want to do is find a paralegal job while I get certified to practice in Australia. Not an easy task, sadly. I wish I could “enjoy” unemployment more, but to me it’s just stressful because you don’t know when it will end.

    That being said, I’m determined to start *trying* to enjoy my freetime more :) The day is what you make of it!

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  25. says

    Ohhh Courtney, that was such a wonderful and heartfelt post! Thank you so much for your honesty. Things will turn around for you, I’m sure of it! And in the meantime you have SUCH a great attitude! I can relate, because I love routine, too. I work part-time (and am also in grad school) and days I don’t go in for work i often don’t have motivation to get all dolled up and put on normal/pretty clothes. I love me some atheltic wear! I did use my time to find new hobbies, and I even trained for a marathon– something that I’d probably never be able to do w/ working, going to school, and training a new puppy. Sometimes the free time is a blessing in disguise!

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  26. says

    Hey Courtney!

    Love this post! I’ve actually read it a few times because SO much of what you’re talking about sounds just like me!

    I’m new to blogging, and I’m currently “funemployed” too!
    (Love that term-Thanks Julie! :) )

    I haven’t been out of work for long, but already I’ve noticed many of the things you touched on in your post. Mainly, the “trying to exercise 7 days a week, because I can”
    …Because, lo and behold, I can’t! My body was screaming at me to slow it down. I also noticed that, because of all the working out, I was pretty much living in my gym clothes and cozies.

    On the plus side, my house has never been cleaner. Ever. And I’ve had more time to really re-evaluate my life and my goals.

    I definitely think the idea of establishing a routine, making gym time and meal times more of a set thing, is a must for anyone currently out of work. It really does help! (As does adding a pair of jeans and blouse into the sweatpants rotation!)

    Thanks Again!!!!

    xoxo
    Mk

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  27. Emilia says

    Courtney,
    Thank you so much for your post! I (literally) just graduated from USF with my BS in elementary education and I never pictured myself sitting at my commencement without a job! I am married and my husband is coming home from four years in the Marine Corps and a job would be very helpful right now! Your advice on how to cope with certain, unexpected situations was really inspiring to me. Best of luck to you and thanks again!

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  28. Paige says

    I would just like to say THANK YOU for the “funemployment” terminology. I recently gave notice at my job to move to Connecticut with my boyfriend (he got a job offer out there after searching for a year for a post-graduation job!) and this is the perrrrfect way for me to look at the situation. It’s not fun facing the unknown but at least I can have a positive way to spin it! :)

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  29. Maria says

    For the past few months I have become seriously addicted to reading blogs….especially Julie’s and Courtney’s. Two of my favorite blogs in one place. Awesome! You are two beautiful, fun and charismatic women that have won a spot on my list of inspirational people. Courtney, I also strongly believe that “everything happens for a reason” and there is always light at the end of the tunnel….so stay strong and beautiful and enjoy your “funemployment!” Things WILL be brighter soon! Luv Ya:)

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  30. Anita says

    Oh my goodness! I read your blog (religiously, I must admit) and love that you can be so open about this. I can imagine that it might be tough. We all have our challenges, and I think you are handling this one just beautifully. It’s inspiring!

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  31. says

    I’m really glad I read this post. I am unemployed as well – my husband and I recently relocated to Belgium for his job. Unfortunately, my job was not as mobile.

    I have experienced many of the same emotions as you – lack of routine, wearing “comfy” clothes all the time, etc. Of course, the feeling of…well, I don’t need to go anywhere…so why shower! I love your candid-ness, thanks for sharing!

    I’ve recently discovered healthy living blogs and LOVE yours! I’ve become inspired to use my new-found time to blog about my own experiences in our move overseas!

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