Eight months later – a report card

Friday, May 10, 2013 Permalink

Almost exactly 8 months ago I shared with the universe (well, those bored enough to read this blog) my plans for world domination (aka, what I was planning to do after finishing work later that month). You may recall I suspected the redundancy was coming and, by the end, was very zen about the news.

I’ve caught up with some old friends and family recently and had the inevitable question… “How is everything going?” Or more to the point, “How are you enjoying your new life?”

I must confess that today I’ve been feeling particularly low, but vanilla diet coke consumed, decided that I’d take the time to check-in on how I’m tracking against the plans I made last September.

1. I’m leaving Brisbane

I was worried about being able to sell my old property, and stressed about the idea of having it on the market. Amazingly it sold within a week or so (although I then had the inevitable 2-3 week wait for the buyer’s building and finance approvals).
The verdict: A+

PicMonkey Collage beach post

2. I’m literally pursuing a sea change

As hoped planned, I bought a lovely seaside apartment and moved to the ‘sleepy beachside town’ of Hervey Bay, about half an hour from my childhood hometown, and about 350km from my former home in Brisbane. I LOVE my apartment. My views are stellar and, after some recent rearranging, it finally it feels like home.
The verdict: A+

3. I’m going to do some writing

I’ve kept up my blogging, although struggled with the concept of sponsored posts (wondering if I’m a sell-out) and felt like just another in an endless supply of those jumping on the blogging bandwagon.
I’ve been fortunate to earn some money from my sponsored posts and have been enjoying some paid ghost-blogging opportunities (writing for someone else’s blog), but… am yet to actually approach people and organisations for business. I’ve registered my business name and am attending local business networking functions where there’s been some interest in ‘what I do’, but I’m yet to follow through or do the ‘hard sell’.
Similarly, I’ve had ideas for magazine articles but not been brave enough to pitch them. And indeed just recently… I struggled with my confidence before finally entering a local writing competition.
The verdict: C

4. I’m going to focus on my health and fitness

Oops. On arriving I attempted to join a local gym. I continued Zumba classes and wanted to step up my exercise, before falling in a big heap.
Naturally that coincided with some less-than-healthy eating habits which all resulted in 10-15kg weight gain in a pretty short time.
I am however, now trying to rein in that behavior and have – as hoped – found that a more contented me means I’m less inclined to overeat, or worse, binge-eat.
The verdict: D-

5. I’ll find something to pay the bills

I’m currently stuck on this one. I’ve started applying for jobs but got TWO rejection emails (in the one bloody day!) yesterday – hence my meh-ness today. Both jobs were at levels significantly lower than that which I used to work. I submitted another two applications this week (also for government jobs) and have put in a few applications for work in the private sector. I’d love something writing / marketing / media-related, but am otherwise happy to do almost anything (and am applying for low-level admin jobs). I only want something for a couple of days a week.
On a positive note, I finished work seven months ago and have managed to support myself since then (without resorting to unemployment benefits or maxing out my credit card). In fact, if some of my expenses weren’t so exhorbitant ($8500/yr Body Corporate bill, I’m looking at you!) I could last quite a bit longer on my meager savings.
The verdict: C-

PicMonkey Collage inside post

The biggest challenge about looking for work is that when I’m out-and-about: on one hand I have to sell myself as professional business owner looking for a certain type of work; but on the other I’m also looking for basic part-time work to supplement my business income. I struggle a bit at business networking functions to share this with those I meet.

I figure it’s time to set more goals, but I’ll keep these brief.
1. Tout for business
a) I’m going to draw up a list of potential local clients and endeavour to approach them with business/work proposals.
b) I’m going to write the feature article I have in mind and pitch it to a magazine. *gulp* 

2. Start exercising. Properly. (no explanation required!)

3. Allow myself to be vulnerable (in a good way!)
When meeting local business owners – particularly those I’ve met a few times – be up-front about my need for part-time work and ask them to talk to their networks. I hate asking for help or admitting vulnerability, but surely people won’t think worse of me if they discover I am – indeed – a wee bit needy!

So, not exactly world domination, but… while there are some things I’m struggling with, I cannot oversell how happy I am with my new life.

Indeed, I LOVE MY NEW LIFE. I love where I am living and my lifestyle. IF I can find something to help pay the bills I will be blissfully happy (well, supposedly… I’m an ungracious cow sometimes, so you never know?!).

Just today I was feeling very ‘down’. But I had options. I contemplated driving to the nearby town to visit my mother (to bitch and sook about my job rejections), but instead had decided to settle for vanilla diet coke when I drove past my aunt and uncle’s house to discover my cousin visiting from out-of-town. Half an hour (and some vanilla diet coke with ice) later, I left feeling better. Reassured. Comforted.

Any looking-for-work hints?
Any hints for a struggling carpet-bagger? (I’m not good at the cold call!)
What would your report card look like?

  • Jo Tracey
    May 10, 2013

    I don’t even want to think about my report card. Does getting through the whole 8 seasons of Bones count?

    • Debbish
      May 10, 2013

      Of course. Bizarrely I’ve had this strange ‘thing’ about watching stuff during the day since I finished work. I have a blog post about it, but it’s been wallowing in my drafts folder for a week. I told myself no-daytime-TV, but it’s become this strange thing where I don’t even put the TV on until night. Even on a weekend….

  • Jo Tracey
    May 10, 2013

    That’s what I find weird- I never used to watch TV- hence why I’ve done all series of West Wing, good Wife, Bones & goodness knows what else since I left work. Now I watch it while I work- which makes my work seriously unproductive. Seriously. Todays New Moon? New habits.

    • Debbish
      May 10, 2013

      I’m the opposite I used to LOVE watching TV on DVD and would allocate entire weekends to it! Now I sort of sit at my desk most of the day (or flop on my bed!).

      Yay to new habits!

  • Mel
    May 10, 2013

    Don’t get down on your report card; on the bright side you’ve completely changed your life and its very ambitious to expect it all to be going A+ in 8 months! You will get there, just have to be patient, continue to apply for jobs without getting down or losing confidence. You’ve achieved so much in your career and all your life experience that someone will see that and want to hire you for your experience and achievements. You live near family in a beautiful town in an amazing apartment! You’ll get there. If not, you can always re-train to do something else!
    My report card is DISMAL. I haven’t actually achieved anything from my New Years resolution yet….must sit down and refocus!

    • Debbish
      May 10, 2013

      Thanks Mel. Yes, one of the reasons I decided to sit down and do the check-in was because I was feeling ‘blah’ and had to remind myself it was just a temporary melancholy. Just looking out of my window at the ocean makes me feel better (so I need to do that more often!).


  • Eating as a Path to Yoga
    May 10, 2013

    Give yourSelf grace!!!!

    • Debbish
      May 11, 2013

      Oh Jill, thanks so much. As I was writing it I wondered if I should be doing it from the point of it still being a ‘work in progress’ rather than a pass / fail already.


  • Laura @ scribbles and sass
    May 11, 2013

    I love that you’re loving life and I also love your new apartment and view! WOW! There are not enough great things to say about beach living in my opinion.
    Giving yourself time and being kind to yourself will help in all of your goals.
    You got this!

    • Debbish
      May 11, 2013

      Thanks Laura. Yes, I’m LOVING my place. I was watching a TV show about houses last night and the woman (who’d overseen the building of her own amazing house) talked about Picasso moments. She said she’ll look out at her amazing vista and pause for a moment, gobsmacked, but then move on and go about her day. I loved it cos that’s often how I feel! (I hope that never changes and I don’t become immune to the beauty around me!)


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