Over This Shutdown

by - Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Well friends we're on furlough day 19 over here, and things are getting rough.

I spent the first week of the furlough at home for Christmas and then immediately got sick -- so mentally, I wasn't as stressed out about this shutdown as I was back in 2013. I was also still holding out hope that it would resolve quickly, and we'd be back to work before we missed a paycheck.

But that reality has come and gone, and on Friday, I'll be missing my first paycheck of the year.

The stress about paying bills is real. I've been doing my best to avoid spending money on anything other than essentials -- groceries, bills, rent. And yesterday, I filed for unemployment.

I had been putting it off because I was hoping this would resolve itself quickly. I don't like the idea of having to apply for unemployment benefits when I have a job that I should be able to do. But since there doesn't really seem to be much of an end in sight, I finally applied.

Unemployment won't come close to covering my monthly bills. Even if I qualify for the maximum amount that DC gives, it won't cover a single monthly rent payment. The only thing it will do is help buffer against a complete draining of my savings while our country's leaders all have their heads up their asses.

So what's a girl to do to distract herself from the money stress?

First, binge-watch every show that everyone has told you is so good and you must watch it immediately. So far, that includes the Jack Ryan show on Amazon, season two of Westworld, season one and part of season two of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and finishing up the Handmaid's Tale. Taking recommendations on what else to add to the queue.

Then read some books.

Then when you're desperate to get out of your apartment, have lunch at a Jose Andres restaurant. He's offering free lunch to federal employees for as long as the shutdown lasts. In case you're curious, my favorite was a toss-up between the Oyamel and China Chilcano sandwiches. (I've eaten at his restaurants four times since the shutdown began).


Luckily, some of the pay-for-entry museums in DC are also offering free admission to furloughed workers. Last week, I visited the National Building Museum and walked through a cool exhibit on the secret cities that sprung up to support the Manhattan Project.

On Monday, I went to Madame Tussaud's wax museum. The DC museum has replicas of all 45 presidents. They're incredibly life-like.


The Newseum is doing the same thing and it's on my list for early this week or next -- since I'm just assuming I won't be going back to work any time soon.

I'm incredibly grateful that these businesses are offering us an opportunity to get out of the house and do something without having to spend all the money we aren't making. But I am ready to go back to work and be a productive member of society again.

So if you're looking for something you can do to help, do me a favor and call your representatives in Congress. Tell them you want them to re-open to the government immediately. Here's where you can find their contact information.

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  1. If only I had a voting Representative but, alas, I'm like you in that regard.

    In my role as editor, "In case your curious, . . ." :-)

    If you're still able to run, you're always welcome to join my group for some runs and socializing and camaraderie. Many of the gang are also furloughed.

    Be brave.

    1. Thanks for pointing out the typo! I went back and fixed it. I really shouldn't start and stop a blog post so much without going back to re-read it before hitting publish! :)

      This has to end at some point right? Eventually we'll get back to work...I hope!

  2. Your normal editor is not editing a thing during the furlough! :) Miss ya, Jess and thinking of you.