Save Your Big Between! (Part 1)
By Jacey Eckhart
You know what you ought to do with your great Big Between? Most people think it needs killin’. Just kill that huge block of time before your Next Door opens. Netflix, I’ve heard, is good for that.
Don’t do it. Don’t be like most people who can’t recognize their Big Between as their optimal time to make a New Year’s resolution. This is probably because
A) It is not, in fact, New Year’s Day.
B) A Big Between saps your will to live. Or at least your will to stop the next episode from playing.
Luckily, I can be your little helper here, Big Betweener. I know when you are in the middle of that empty period of no money and sooooooo much time, you have a golden opportunity to take on a project. Woo! Exciting!!!
Besides, even if a project is the last thing you want, my mom says if you don’t find something to do, she will find you something to do.
In all seriousness, the research says when you are trying to change a habit, do it during a period when you have enough time to devote to it. So the next time you have a Big Between, don’t kill it—put it to work. Here is how:
Hail the Gym Rat
If you are waiting around to leave for college, or for a new job to begin, or to be settled after a move, take up a relationship with your gym. Notice how I did not say “get in shape” or “lose weight.” Take up with the gym like a dirty lover. For the underbusy, gyms are perfect—even for those of us who hate to sweat. Working out takes time. You have to get dressed to go there. You have to drive over and park. You have to take a class, which takes at least an hour. Sometimes you can take two classes. Then you meet your gym friends for coffee, drive home, shower, and then change into totally new clothes. This eats up half of an empty day and makes you feel like you are so virtuous you can bake a cake.
Engage in a Whacky Diet
When I say “whacky,” I don’t mean nutritionally unsound. I mean devoting yourself to one of those diets that require you to read up on it, talk to other people online, clear your cabinets of bad foods, learn to cook things, listen to podcasts, buy clever containers to take your whacky yet beautiful lunch somewhere so everyone can see how very healthy you are. Then, as your skin starts to glow from all those antioxidants and free radicals, your friends can be jealous they don’t have a Big Between just like yours—instead of feeling vaguely sorry for you like they do right now.
Fall for Marie Kondo
Want to feel nifty during your Big Between? Take up with Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizing guru on Netflix who wrote The Magic Art of Tidying Up. She recommends that you touch every single thing you own and decide whether or not to keep it. According to the LA Times, the average American home has 300,000 things. If you touched 821 things a day, it would take you a year to do the project. Then when people ask what you are up to lately, you can say, “My new job begins in six weeks AND I’ve learned to pack the most perfect suitcase on the planet.” Then giggle behind your hand. Because that is super cute.
I have more ideas on how to save your Big Between. Be sure to check back for the second part of this post. And in the meantime, channel my mom and find something to do. Preferably that doesn’t include a remote control.