Untethered… and not necessarily in a good way

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 Permalink

Prone to (over) self-analysis as I am, I’ve been trying to work out how I feel now that I have finished work. (Albeit temporarily. Unless I find myself that Sugar Daddy!)

I’ve always worked, since my Uni days. Work has grounded me. It’s made me who I am. With no partner or family, it’s defined me.

And now… here I am… unemployed. So… who the fuck am I?

I’ve had heaps of emails, texts and messages from well-wishers – all telling me that I can expect great things – and for this I am grateful.

It’s the little things I’m weirded-out about: like having to hand in my work security card. I mean, I have no ‘pass’ to get me into a building, no identification telling people who I am. For the first time in… god only knows how long!

Although I’m (beyond) relieved not to be driving into work each day or catching a train or bus, it feels strange that there’s nowhere I have to be. And the notion of not having to worry about what-to-wear-to-work? Also perplexing.

The last two days have been a bit angsty. The sale of my apartment fell through yesterday and then today, overseas development opportunities I was going to apply for were closed down early. I realise these are hiccups in the overall scheme of things, but… with nothing grounding me I was thrown more than I usually would be. (Never fear… that angsty post appeared in my other blog!)

When I worked out my being-made-redundant budget (making assumptions about the sale of this place and purchase of my next place) I planned to have enough money leftover to not have to work for a while. Months and months even.

When people have asked what I’m going to do… I say ‘write’. Well, actually I say ‘blog’ but to those outside of the blogging world it means little, so I explain I just like to write. Mostly I say that I just don’t want to work. At least for a while. And when I do work, I don’t think I want work to be central to my existence. Not anymore. There has to be more to life than that.

So… now that I’m floating about my for-sale apartment I’m already thinking about what all of this means. Obviously I don’t feel as if the next stage has started yet – at least – not until I move and start afresh.

The notion of not-working-for-some-time hasn’t really sunk in. On my last day at work I kept getting asked how I felt. I’d shrug and explain that I wasn’t sure. And I’m still not.

Other than the strange feeling of being cast adrift, that is. The feeling of being untethered.

Naturally I’m falling back on my control-freak ways. I have a ‘To-Do’ list and have already been stressing about ticking stuff off. (And yes, it’s day 2!)

However… on that note, I’m determined NOT to fritter away this precious not-working time. I am determined NOT to become someone who spends their days in front of infomercials and Dr Phil and the like (no offence to those who enjoy daytime TV, it’s just that I watch enough evening television not to spend my days in the same vein).

I’m also determined NOT to fall into the bad habits I am prone to on weekends or on holidays: ridiculously late nights and sleeping away most of the morning. Although I’m not planning to get up at 5.30 am (as I did this morning – damned garbage truck!) I’m keen to get up and start the day at a decent / normal hour – as if I was still a productive member of society (and yes, I am joking… I know I’ve NEVER been a productive member of society!).

I’m excited by the not-working notion (assuming I can finance it for a while) but want to be a lady of leisure who lunches out and does fabulous things, not someone with her hair in rollers still wearing her crumb-covered dressing gown while glued to The View at 2 o’clock in the afternoon!

There was something I wanted to do with my life, but I can't quite remember what...Once I’ve moved I want to get into a routine that involves exercise and being more creative… and that will take some discipline and planning; but for now I have my ‘To-Do’ list and I’m trying to work through it slowly so I can feel a sense of accomplishment; and (quite frankly) so I can move the fuck on with my life!

I DO know it’s only been two days but is my ‘To-Do’ list angst understandable? (Or should I still be kicking back drinking things with little umbrellas in them?)


  • Rebecca Bloomer
    September 25, 2012

    The ‘to-do’ list made me laugh. When I first finished work, my world was a big to-do list. Every afternoon I’d show hubby how productive I’d been in his absence…like I was justifying my existence. One day he finally said “For the love of god, you’re supposed to be NOT WORKING, not turning non-work into another form of work. This is supposed to be ENJOYABLE!” Hmmmm…One afternoon some weeks later he arrived home to find me watching the birds in my back yard (they’d been there all along, I’d just never had time to notice them). When I could tell him all about their various calls, which was the male, the female and the baby, he looked at me and asked “How long have you been sitting here?” My neurotic work-self thought he was criticising. The next day he arrived home with a bird book and a pair of binoculars.

    Looking back it seems weird that I needed permission to relax and actually enjoy myself, but we live in a world where being ‘stressed’, ‘depressed’, ‘overworked’ etc, is way more cool than being happy, relaxed or content. Some days I still need a little reminder…but I’m working on it. I’m sure you are too!

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2012

      Thanks for your comment Rebecca – very much appreciated and timely. I realised that you’re absolutely right. When I’m on hols I have a limited time period to both: do nothing AND stuff on my ‘to-do’ list. At the moment I feel flummoxed cos there are things I have to do (pack up my apartment etc) but I really can’t do that at the moment – until I know when and where I am moving. I just feel impotent in the interim I guess.


  • Miz
    September 25, 2012

    I get this.
    in an effort not to share to much publicly this is my husband right now.
    and I wish he’d get out and PLAY during this time.

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2012

      I suspect I underestimated the adjustment involved Miz! It’s day three now… I’ll be an old hand in no time! (I hope!)


  • Jo Tracey
    September 27, 2012

    It feels weird hey? When you’ve been outcome driven all your life it’s tough getting used to a different set of outcomes. I went to Bali for 2 weeks & got it out of my system, but even so it took another 3 months to adjust to a different set of outcomes.

    • Debbish
      September 27, 2012

      I guess it’s early days yet… and I’m just impatient!


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