Six months on – a quick update

Regular readers of this blog will know that I encountered a(n early) mid-life crisis in September last year, when I decided to stop living to work, and start working to live. You can see the original and subsequent posts here.

So I jacked in my steady, pensionable job with good promotion prospects, cast myself adrift to carve a different life for myself. One with far less stress and far more happiness. Why? Because life is too damn short to be unhappy. Lots of my lovely followers over on the Tweet Machine have been enquired how life is now, so here’s a quick update.

Has it been easy? No. It’s been stressful, worrying, financially draining and I’ve wobbled. Has it been worth it? Yes. Did I do the right thing? Definitely.

So, after Christmas, I took some time out – nearly 11 weeks in total, as it turned out. I was just starting to panic – really  panic, when I was lucky enough to secure two part-time roles in wildly different industries, but both interesting and rewarding in their own way. So in the intervening months I’ve gained some experience working “client-side”, as we agency staff used to call it (we also called it the Holy Grail) and I’ve also managed to gain some experience in the non-profit sector working with brilliant people in  a brilliant charity, which has provided me with insight and an understanding of the sector I didn’t have before. I want to do more.

There are pros and cons. Cons being that I currently have short-term contracts, both coming to an end within weeks, which means it’s decision time and job-hunt time again. There’s no security, and I’m still flat broke. But – and this is a big but – on the plus side, for now I’m working, and I’m incredibly grateful. I know how lucky I am, and how lucky I was to be in a position to be able to do this in the first place. My personal life has also changed quite dramatically. I have free time now. I’m not constantly stressed or exhausted, I get to see friends, talk, write, travel, cook, watch TV, exercise, – all the things that make life worth living. I’ve had some writing published, and people seem to like it, which thrills me more than it’s cool to admit. I’m quite liking the nature of short-term work. It’s good and interesting to explore options.

Most of all, I’m happy. I wake up nearly every day looking forward to the day ahead. I feel lighter, more carefree. It’s remarkable how many people have commented on the fact that I look happy. (I really must have looked like a big bag of misery before.) I can’t describe how much I value this, having been through some darker times. It’s something I will never take for granted. I’m very lucky.

I didn’t think I was brave enough to throw the cards up in the air, but it’s worked out well. If you’re considering it, know that it can be done, and it may take time to work out, but it will.

So I look ahead, and the future’s not certain, but it looks bright, and exciting, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. The world’s still my oyster.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

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