I’ve been thinking for so long about what I’m going to do after I finish work this month that I tend to forget that I haven’t really shared my plans with others. Well… that and I don’t particularly like sharing my hopes and dreams for fear that I’ll fail and everyone will know it!
Although I’ve done some weird and wonderful things in my life I’ve always had a plan. Although I might seem it, I’m not a risk-taker. Until now.
By taking the redundancy offered to me I’m essentially ending one chapter of my life. I’m only 44 and my payout is only about half of the mortgage I owe on my apartment, so I won’t be retiring and living a life of luxury. But… despite this, it seems timely to make some changes.
I’m not overly happy with my life. I know I’m more fortunate than many and for that I am (mostly) grateful. I’ve been recently hearing of the death of people who are around my own age and two of my work colleagues are in the midst of health crises. I try to reconcile this and am horrified at how much regret I’d carry if THIS was it for me.
In my blog-reading I read a lot about happiness. It comes from within, they say. It comes from the simple things, they say. It comes from doing things you enjoy, they say.
Although I’ve liked my current workplace more than any other I’ve been in for a long time, I’m not passionate about the type of work I do. My father used to say that no one enjoyed their work. It was just a necessary evil and a part of life.
I guess I’m hoping to change that. I’ve decided I want more.
So, I will unveil to you, my great plan.
1. I’m leaving Brisbane
Ideally I’m selling my current apartment (and yes, I know this won’t be easy). Having my place on the market for three months last year nearly drove me insane. Hopefully I’m being realistic about what I’d get for my apartment but I also need to draw a line in terms of how long I’m willing to wait for it to sell. My plan B is to rent it out.
2. I’m literally pursuing a sea change
My childhood hometown is about half an hour from a relatively sleepy beachside town (Hervey Bay, for those who know Queensland). I’ve done my research and providing I can sell my place, I can buy a nice little beachfront apartment there – mortgage free. Of course not selling my place would probably mean I’d have to rent for a while. I’m also looking at another local seaside destination… my main requirements being: a lovely house/apartment; views/tranquility.
3. I’m going to do some writing
Never fear, I’m not thinking I’m going to embark on the great novel a la Hemingway or Stephenie Meyer. Rather I’m acknowledging that writing is something I enjoy doing and would like to do more of. I’m aiming to step my blogging up a notch – in terms of sponsorships, advertising and the like AND I’d love to do some paid writing elsewhere (am thinking the local newspaper could use a ‘about town’ blogger!).
4. I’m going to focus on my health and fitness
I have visions of me jogging along the fabulous path which stretches the length of Hervey Bay’s shoreline. But, given that I’m trying to be a tad realistic, I’m thinking I may need to join a gym but also plan to do some lovely beach walks. I’m hoping less stress and more fulfilment (in general) means less comfort eating and less seeking happiness from external sources!
5. I’ll find something to pay the bills
Depending on my property selling and buying adventures I’m hoping to have a bit of money to live on for a while. However… given that I’m prone to worry I suspect I’ll be starting to think about supplementing my remaining savings with some work. I’m fantasising about something mindless. My friends tell me that I won’t cope with such a thing, but I’m hoping that – if my life is about being creative and happy – then work will just be something I do solely to pay the bills. I don’t want to continually be thinking about work things at nights and on weekends. Ideally I won’t need work to ‘complete’ me.
I have a work plan B as well, which involves doing a refresher course in international aid and development. I used to work in this field but have been back in Australia for 10 years now. However, I’m thinking that a refresher may make me (again) an attractive recruit for short-term stints with UN agencies and the like. I’ve no desire to live overseas long-term and I’ve no desire to travel. But a three-month stint here and there would be okay.
So there you have it. True confessions of what I hope to do when I finish work in just two weeks.
As I said, I’m loath to share it as I’m sure my plans will fall into a big heap. I do know though, that only I can make them happen. I might need a bit of luck and some encouragement, but if it’s meant to be it’s up to me. Or something!