I am experiencing for the first time in my adult life the wonderful sensation of being unemployed – ahem, job-free (by choice).
I feel a tremendous sense of freedom, feelings of withdrawal and a gnawing feeling that I should check my work email notifications (no longer a thing), and an excitement to discover what life can be like now.
I also realize that losing my tribe, losing my external structure, and losing a source of meaning can be a dangerous thing. I don’t want to lose momentum or sanity in this next part of life. So here are my commitments to myself of things *not* to do, made here in public so they’re harder to break:
Staying indoors all day
I will be getting out my door every day, not (as I used to) to commute to an office somewhere, but to experience the nature that I used to wall myself away from. I *won’t* be staying inside a house watching TV all day. This is the perfect time for me to see more of the trails of the Southeast, and even to just go for walks in my neighborhood.
I’ve lost my main tribe and main source of community. But this change also means I have more time to devote to visiting friends and family, hosting guests, and organizing gatherings. I’ve got a lot of hikes with friends coming soon. I mean to have some people over for dinner. And I’ll be spending a lot of time with family before I move out of the Southeast this year.
Sweatpants as a clothing choice are the harbingers of doom. I will not be wearing them (this made easier by the fact that I do not own them), and I will not be lounging around the house in my underwear, either. You won’t find me getting fatter, more sedentary, and more self-indulgent in this part of life.
Having non-creative “zero days”
Not a day will go by in which I do not create something. Daily writing will continue to be a bedrock habit for me to keep me moving forward.
Becoming a moocher
I won’t be living on government unemployment checks, taking financial aid from family or friends (aside from a small part of an inheritance of a deceased relative), or over-indulging in people’s hospitality. While I will be spending more time with my family, I’ll be doing my best to give back at least a bit through my efforts for the lodging, food, etc. I get on visits. And I will find ways to give the time I now have more generously: visits, notes, volunteering, creative projects.
Giving too many f***s
I’ll feel a strong need to prove to people that I’ve got things together, that I know where I’m going. But I’m well past the part of my life where giving in to that social fear could be excusable. Tdhe fact that I’m writing this blog is probably a sign that I already care too much.
Waiting for life to happen
Finally, I won’t be sitting around waiting for the next part of my life to happen. Every day I’ll be taking some step toward the realization of my goals for travel/relocation, business, finances, and personal education. I have fewer excuses than ever now to really find out what I can do about all these dreams that have been floating around in my head.
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash