There are  24 hours in the day. Who knew? I never really took much notice before because I never seemed to have enough time to do all that I wanted – catch up on the latest Suits series, get around to the stacks of books on my Kindle or lying neglected on shelves at home – but there simply wasn’t enough time.

Work was a big chunk of most days, or getting to and from there. By the time I got home the clock seemed to move even faster. I lived for the weekends when I could relax and play catch up, but even then there simply wasn’t enough time.

And now? Well, there are suddenly 24 hours in the day. Remove eight hours for sleep and you have a lot of time to fill, a lot of time to brood or enrich your life. With the post-Christmas hullabaloo out of the way, yesterday was my first real day to experience the new reality. Sixteen hours is a huge amount of time to fill in when work is missing from the equation.

I checked out jobs online, on LinkedIn and in the papers, but there was nothing suitable in the Cork area. It’s early January so probably not the best time to find work. Still, I’ll keep looking. I made out a list of things to do during the day.

1. Finish a blog and post it. Check.

2. Clear credit card. Check.

3. Take down Christmas tree and put away decorations. Check.

4. Lodge coins in the bank (€125 in 10c, 20c and 50c bags). Check.

5. Fill in Jobseekers Benefit form. Eh, check.

6. Hoover the house. Check.

I checked out Twitter and Facebook to see what’s happening, but only engaged once I posted a blog. Fortunately, the interest was quite strong so I was quite busy responding.

Reading has always been a passion of mine, so when asked what I wanted for Christmas a few Amazon vouchers turned up. The year is only 6 days old and so far I have eased through Roger Moore’s amusing reflections on Tinsleton  in Last Man Standing, and Mary Morrrissy’s excellent novel, The Rising of Bella Casey. I was Mary’s boss at one stage when she worked in the Irish Examiner’s Features desk as a sub editor. I am also going through Clive James’ collection of criticism and essays, Snakecharmers in Texas.

I am easing my way into watching television, although the recorder has been kept busy even if I haven’t viewed too much. No rush. and that’s the point – I have loads of time to watch TV or read books; hours and hours to pour into other pursuits that had been pushed aside because of work commitments.

One disadvantage is not having a car all the time as Trish needs it for work. We are around a kilometre from the town centre, which isn’t too bad in fine weather, but a but limiting when it rains. So far I haven’t taken up jogging, but I promise to take up walking in earnest, just as soon as I find my shoes…

Still, it’s a learning process. Who knows if I will be unemployed for weeks, months or permanently. It’s probably best not knowing the answer yet.

Now, I have a few things to sort out according to today’s list so excuse me while run off and get them done.