So far – 24 years into my chosen career – I’ve never lost a job. My fingers are crossed that the streak will continue, but who knows? The recession we can’t shake has hit a lot of mid-career workers at a point where they might have expected security and stability, setting them adrift at an awkward age – too old for entry level, too young to retire.
When House & Garden magazine shut down in 2007 and Dominique Browning lost her job as its editor-in-chief, she was caught off-guard, but in better shape than some. Her sons were grown and she owned two homes and an investment portfolio; granted, the same economic conditions that had caused her unemployment were digging into her net worth every day she was unemployed, as well as making it harder to become un-unemployed, but one thing she did have was time.
Not having a real need to rush into anything, Browning spent her first weeks of joblessness in her pajamas, literally. She came out of that initial shock slowly…and discovered the pleasures of doing and experiencing and teaching herself many things slowly, including making music, gardening, cooking, and redefining herself based on self, not work.
Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness captures Browning’s engaging, thoughtful reflections on the outcome of a lifestyle change – forced at first, but ultimately embraced. The BlogHer Book Club is reading and discussing Slow Love during the next few weeks – come join the conversation!
Plume (2011), trade paperback (ISBN 9780452297500)
Memoir, 288 pages