How do we know?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 Permalink

It’s a bit more confronting than I expected it to be: this whole not-working and pursuing your passions malarkey.

I’ve been bleating on about the opportunity to follow my dreams for yonks, and now that I have my chance well… quite frankly, I’m struggling.

There was something I wanted to do with my life, but I can't quite remember what...

I have too much time to think about what I should or shouldn’t be doing and wondering what it is I even WANT to be doing.

I am doing the thing I’ve long wanted to do – ie. whatever the bloody hell I want. I’m not spending 10+hrs a day at work (or travelling to and from!). My head isn’t filled with the thoughts required of me by others. I’m not thinking of project milestones or what our government minister needs to know.

My life is my own. Mostly. It can be anything I want it to be*. In a recent post I talked about my over-reliance on SHOULD and OUGHT TO. And here I am – with the opportunity to focus on my own dreams. I can do whatever I’d LIKE to do.

Which leads me to my problem. Because, you see… I’m not sure I actually know what that is.

I feel like I’m on some extended holiday – unsure of its end date. I feel like I’m floating about biding time. STILL!?! I damned-well did that for 20+ years, now was the time I was supposed to start living, not just hang about!

My post-work dreams were all very non-specific. I wanted to write and blog. I wanted to focus on my health and fitness. I wanted to find some balance in my life. I wanted to find some joy. Oh… and I wanted to not-work.

So now that the world’s my oyster (sort of*) and I have a blank page before me; what is it I want to scrawl on it? What trail do I want to blaze?

And how the frig does one work that out?

Lifestyle Created Inspiration 19

On a few occasions I’ve done those likes / talents tests designed to identify appropriate careers – but wondered about their veracity. I’m so uncertain of my own mind that I really don’t trust myself to know what interests me versus what I think SHOULD interest me or what others think SHOULD interest me.

But I’m a bit believer in ‘gut instinct’. I’ll analyse something to death but ultimately go with what I think ‘feels’ right. (Scary given how confused I get when it comes to ‘thinking’ versus ‘feeling’!)

I’ve made some huge decisions of late. Many of which have shocked those who know me well. But they’ve ‘felt’ right.

And now… here I am, possibly frittering away precious time rather than doing important things I’m yet to identify. Don’t get me wrong. I have no desire to be back in the workforce. If I could afford to not-work (in the way I did previously) ever again, I’d be ecstatic. But, I’ve got that gnawing guilt in the back of my mind like there’s something I should be doing, but am not.

Does anyone know what the hell that is?
Can anyone relate?

* I should note that I can only live in this frivolous way until my savings run out!

  • Char
    November 20, 2012

    I definitely can relate. Sometimes things get really quiet with my business – as in no work for a few weeks and I start to wonder if I should be doing something else. Something which might actually earn better money or give me more personal satisfaction. And I can’t for the life of me think what that might be. I’ve always wanted to write but when I have time I don’t have motivation or ideas. And I’m not terribly disciplined. So I just ride out the quiet times so I don’t have to make a decision.

    • Debbish
      November 20, 2012

      Selfishly I’m glad to hear it’s not just me Char. I’m pretty sure I stayed in government for all of these years so I didn’t have to think what else I’d prefer to do. Even now, the danger is I’ll find some job rather than continue to find my way.

      I guess as long as it feels right it’s okay. Maybe?

  • Jo Tracey
    November 20, 2012

    God yeah! Been there- for the first few months of this year. I ended up drawing a line in the sand & structuring a “work” day from home. It took discipline that I have problems with. I did an online freelance writing course with the Sydney Writers Centre before I left work, & that was going to be my business…then I got hooked on writing a book & before you knew it the money had run out & I was back at work a few days a week. Now it’s balanced between the 2, I guess, but on my customs declaration I put “writer”.

    • Debbish
      November 20, 2012

      I’ve been thinking of doing that course Jo – it’s more the cost that’s stopping me! I know I’ll be back working at some stage, but hopefully like you, it’s only part time to support what I WANT to be doing. Which is…. writing, but what?! (Why, When, How etc)


  • Karen Collum
    November 20, 2012

    Hey Deb,
    Totally understand where you’re at – I think I’d be at a loss if I didn’t have external demands dictating a huge chunk of every day of my life. Having said that, have you ever thought of doing the Authentic Happiness VIA Signature Strengths test? It’s an online survey put together by Martin Seligman and crew of positive psychology fame and I’ve found it to be absolutely brilliant at identfying what my strengths are. I can also highly recommend his book, Authentic Happiness, which goes into great detail about these signature strengths. It would probably take about an hour of your time to do but I just thought it might be a revealing process for you. Good luck!

    • Debbish
      November 20, 2012

      I actually think I have done it Karen as it sounds familiar. My problem is going from what my strengths and interests may be (cos I kinda know what they are I guess) to working out what’s next or what to do with them. I suspect I need to learn more about the opportunities out there and the possibilities.

      Plus – a change of mindset is needed as there’s still a big chunk of me who stresses about the financial security etc.


  • Miz
    November 21, 2012

    OH GIRL.
    Im working like the proverbial, uh, mo****f***** and I still can 100% relate.

    • Debbish
      November 22, 2012

      Am sort of relieved it’s not just me then….


  • Marion
    November 27, 2012

    My guess is that you want to seriously write, and not just blog posts either. 😀

    🙂 Marion

    • Debbish
      November 28, 2012

      Yes Marion I think that’s right… I just don’t know what….

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