Ever since I left my publishing job at the end of October, I have gotten ALL sorts of questions from people about what I am doing, why I quit, what my plans are, etc. In addition, I have encountered more than a few assumptions, both direct and implied, mostly that I quit for a permanent vacation with soap operas on the couch or to “become a housewife”.
I have been told I am “living the life”, that I am “lucky that I don’t have anything to do”, that I should “watch what I spend because I am probably going broke” and other interesting things here and there, so for today’s afternoon post, I thought I would share not just a day in my life over the past almost three months but also some other thoughts and reflections on what has been a really unique time in my life.
I have, without a doubt, learned more in the past three months of freelance work/unemployment/sabbatical , whatever I am calling it these days than I did in many years of working for someone else.
1) Quitting my job wasn’t something I took lightly or did spontaneously. I actually planned and saved for over a year and carefully networked throughout that year to meet as many people as possible in fields that I am interested in, wine, food, and travel. I went to plenty of events exhausted, cranky, spread too thin over that year to ensure I did as much as humanly possible to create opportunities for myself.
2) I honestly thought I would be working a few part time jobs by December 1. I never thought that the response to all of my inquiries and resume submissions would be silence. I have learned that job hunting is the rudest process where the job hunter is often not given the human courtesy of even an automated response. It makes me realize that there are many companies that I actually don’t want to work for, based on their response or lack thereof.
3) Despite the above, I am happier than I have ever been. I realized the other day that what I am feeling is what it feels like to be without want. When I was working full time, I worked near so many stores and ended up shopping a LOT. Whether I would buy something small or come back from Marshall’s with five summer dresses, I spent a ton of time wanting things, which I think justified being miserable for the rest of the day at my desk. Now? I feel like I have plenty of clothes and shoes and other things. The only place I spend money, besides essentials like mortgage and bills, is for going out with friends. Now what I crave are experiences as opposed to things to keep me occupied.
4) Being a full time blogger, freelancer, and opportunity seeker is interesting. It’s the kind of work that is 98% of the time frustrating and leaves you wanting more time in each day and especially in each work week so you can do just a little more thinking, reaching out, brainstorming, or writing. It’s the kind of work where, when you get a bite, an email from a reader, interest from a potential partner, a potential project, or some other sort of recognition or possibility, that all of that frustration magically melts away, just for that one day and the excitement is ridiculous.
It’s the kind of work that never ends. At Christmas, even though I was only doing some part-time social media work, it’s the type of work that you have to do consistently, daily, to get results. And it’s the type of work that you can never give up on, ever, even late at night or early in the morning, because you are afraid you just might miss something and not be in the right place at the right time. In this type of position, I will never take a vacation without a laptop glued to my side. When I finally get the amount of work I want, it will be a 365 days a year venture, but I hope fully that it is something I love so much, I won’t mind.
All of that said, I have had some interest in what I do at home all day. In addition to lots of loads of laundry and dishes, and other household stuff here is what a day in the life looks like:
Between 6:45-7:00 wake up & have tea
Pack husband’s lunch, general kitchen cleaning and prep for meals that take time, like marinades or slow cooker recipes
Blog post publishes
Read and respond to emails
Read and comment on blogs
Conduct various sorts of outreach and communications/Work on projects, brainstorming, outlining, depending on the day
On long run days, run at 10:30, otherwise continue the morning activities through 12:00
Eat lunch while applying to jobs (I check various sites about 100 times a day and set aside afternoon and evening for applying.)
Cook and/or bake items for blog posts
Write and publish a second blog post
On non-long run days, go to the gym or do an at home workout
Cook and eat dinner
Read a few more blogs, spend some time on blog analytics, promoting blog through social media etc.
11:30 ish- Bed
Glamorous, huh? I say it every day, I KNOW I am incredibly lucky to be able to spend my days the way I do, but they are far from shopping and sleeping in!
If you are 100% convinced you would be happier and more productive doing something else in your life, I say plan it, then plan it again, think about it, then go for it. It will surprise you how much you are capable of!
If you have a blog, do a lot of your friends/family/co-workers read it? If not, do you ever get frustrated at the amount of traffic you COULD get if they did?