Well, it’s official, the Republicans and Democrats in the United States Congress couldn’t work out a deal and pass a continuing resolution to fund the government for the next 6 weeks. The Affordable Healthcare Act (aka Obamacare) became the sticking point and after some last minute ping pong play, finger pointing back and forth and a bevy of hyperbolic rhetoric, for the first time in 17 years the US government is shut down.
Several thousand workers, over 800,000 of therm, not considered “essential” will not be able to go to work or get paid unless Congress comes up with some sort of resolution soon. They could easily have voted on a stop-gap measure or approved temp funding for a few days while they negotiated, but nope!
To my friends and colleagues who are federal contractors and work for the feds, chin up. I’ve assembled a list of 25 free *(or almost) things you can do during the furlough.
Hopefully, the furloughed days aren’t too many (the last one lasted over 20 days) and you don’t get to do too many of these things on the list:
- Visit a harbor, like the National Harbor
- Re-Do your resume
- Read a new book
- Clean out your basement or attic
- Ponder the meaning of life
- Discover new recipes online and experiment
- Take the kids to the park or playground
- Work on plans to turn your side gig into a full time thing
- Go the the gym, a run and/or look up a weight loss/training plan and start
- Have a picnic in the middle of the day with your fellow furloughed friends
- Call relatives you haven’t spoken to in a long while just to say hi.
- Organize your home bookkeeping and receipts files
- Window shop at the mall
- Go mall walking in the morning for exercise
- Volunteer at a local shelter
- Volunteer to feed the homeless
- Go hiking
- Go for a long drive through the country
- Organize your shoe closet
- Give yourself a homemade facial
- Fix a jigsaw puzzle by yourself or with your child
- Teach yourself how to play Chess
- Finally organize your family photos
- Get a head start on researching summer camps for the kids
- Meet up with friends for coffee
Hang in there! This too shall pass