A Day in the Life

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 Winking smile, 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:

My schedule

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?

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Tags: blogging, employment, freelance, job hunting

  1. Jess’s avatar

    My shopping addiction makes it necessary to have a job.

    If my family and friends DIDN’T read my blog, I don’t think I’d have many other readers! :-)

    Reply

  2. Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle’s avatar

    No one in my family reads my blog and a very few select friends read it. It does frustrate me a little that my real life friends and family aren’t a little more supportive, because if they had blogs I would read them obsessively. But I try to understand that not everyone is into it. Some people don’t like to do extra reading or like to see pictures of my food. My biggest supporter is my boyfriend, and he tells everyone who will listen all about my blog, so he makes up for what everyone else lacks.

    Reply

  3. Michelle’s avatar

    Meghan, put down the bon and bons and stop watching your programs! I’m just kidding. I know how carefully you thought about making the decision to leave your old job and while I don’t exact know how you feel in the job hunting process, I know it can and will be frustrating. I think you are doing a great job networking and maximizing your resources. And I love that you blog several times a day now to bring more blog traffic and attention to your writing! Keep it up and if you ever need a break from the day, I’m just an email away!

    Reply

  4. Erin (Travel Eat Repeat)’s avatar

    I’m amazed by the number of my friends who don’t read my blog. Not that they *should* but it’s frustrating when they claim not to have time to read, especially when I’m traveling and am not able to respond to a million emails asking the same questions.

    Reply

  5. Daisy’s avatar

    I can’t believe the things people have said to you about quitting your job. did they know you when you were miserable at your last job? My friends and family are avid blog readers and supporters. co-workers not so much but I like to keep it that way!!

    Reply

  6. Emily’s avatar

    Thanks for sharing. While I don’t intend on leaving my “day work”, it is really interesting to see how others pursue their passions relating to food blogging! My friends and family didn’t initially read my blog because I kept it to myself. Not that I was embarrassed but I didn’t think it would be of interest. I’m pleased that there is increasing traction from people I actually know – but I don’t promote my blog much so it could be better.

    Reply

  7. Kate’s avatar

    Very interesting! I bet it takes a lot to be successful at this, so I admire you for doing it. No one (literally) reads my blog–I am thinking of making the switch over to a new website and trying to start promoting it. We’ll see!

    Reply

  8. Raija’s avatar

    Sounds like this has also become an opportunity to be more present – which is definitely not always easy. It is really not easy being unemployed, especially in this economy. You are brave and bold and doing an amazing job.

    I also especially like your reflection on a life “without want” — I wonder if it also says something about our “consumer culture” — that perhaps we don’t have enough time in our lives for the things we really love or want to do, and therefore artificially try to fill the small spaces of free time with things that we think will suffice for what we actually crave.

    As always, so impressed by you.

    Reply

  9. Michèle’s avatar

    i recently stumbled upon your blog from a link somewhere… your crab/corn chowder is what originally caught my attention… i have you bookmarked now.

    i think that only a few of my friends and family read my blog… i wish they would, it would be easier for us to stay connected. 6 months ago i left my real estate job to pursue my passion as a clay artist full time… which also involved making a move from NH to NC. many people thought it was impulsive, but it wasn’t. it took a year to make the transition and i was financially stable enough to do it.
    somedays it’s a little scary but am LOVING my new life!!!
    best of luck to you!

    Reply

  10. Elizabeth’s avatar

    My family and some friends are great supporters of my blog. But a select few never read and it is a little frustrating that they don’t realize what it would mean for them to take 60 seconds out of the day, or even once a week. Conversely, my blog has actually helped to rekindle some friendships with friends I was not in constant touch with and they began reading and let me know. That has definitely been nice.

    Reply

  11. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)’s avatar

    Some of my family and friends read my blog, but I am not concerned that much about traffic … I get what I get, and I am happy with it :-)

    Reply

  12. Megan’s avatar

    You’re such the little housewife. Just kidding. I know you are working harder than ever. I hope you’ll continue to share how you are spending your time and continue to inspire the rest of us. It takes a lot of courage to do what you did… and I’m sure that you will find something you fully enjoy!

    Reply

  13. Megan’s avatar

    Oh, and I often get frustrated because many of “my” friends don’t read my blog, but soooo many of Jeff’s friends do. Shouldn’t my own friends be more supportive?

    Reply

  14. Kelly’s avatar

    Wow, it’s amazing how rude some people can be! Maybe because I’m a teacher and constantly get the “your life is a vacation” comments- I would never say something like that to you. I pretty much assume you are keeping yourself busy! I also know you didn’t take the decision lightly as you have been planning for it since I started reading your blog/met you.

    Anyway, my parents both read my blog and my sister- I think others in my life read it occasionally when they have time. I read my sister’s blog every time she posts, but like others have said I realize that some people may not be as into it as me :) Even when my days get crazy busy I always make sure to check in on my “blog friends” because I’m just curious what is going on in everyone’s lives!

    Reply

  15. Grace’s avatar

    It takes a ton of courage to quit a comfortable job in a bad economy because you know you can do better. Good things will come your way, I guess a bit of patience will help!

    Reply

  16. Katie’s avatar

    Although I haven’t been at it that long, I can totally relate to this post! A lot of people think of it as a vacation but it’s totally a labor of love (emphasis on the labor part!) Good for you for sticking to it and for staying disciplined.

    Reply

  17. Leeanne’s avatar

    You know I understand this one…my family still doesn’t really get the freelance setup. That was never more clear then when I was at my parents’ house for a week last month after my grandfather died, trying to finish stuff for a Thursday deadline while my mother talked at me nonstop.

    The first few months were hard for me, because it took a while for the work to start flowing steadily. But it got better. The more networking I did, the more opportunities came my way. And lately I find myself working 10 and 11-hour days to stay on top of deadlines. I’m blogging for two sites, writing for print and web and teaching a college course. It is so much more rewarding than any full-time job I’ve ever had.

    But don’t talk to me about taxes. I’m scared to death to even get that process going.

    Reply

  18. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    People are rude! All that matters is that you’re happy. It sounds frustrating (the job hunting part), but following your dreams always comes with hard work.

    Reply

    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      Thank you! Your comment came at the perfect time. . . I am having such an unproductive day and was starting to get annoyed with myself :)

      Reply

    2. alicia’s avatar

      Wow — Great post. Now that I’m working part-time I can relate to a LOT of this. On my days off people think I’m just sleeping in and lounging by the TV and it couldn’t be more different…..
      I totally hear you on the lack of ‘want’ too. Now that I’m where I want to be (in CT) I’m finding I need less material ‘stuff’ to be happy.

      AND. I agree about the job hunting. I did it for a YEAR and 95% of the places I applied too didn’t even respond with a ‘no thank you’. I felt like i sent 100′s of resumes into a black hole, and I probably would not consider doing business with any of those companies in the future – since they clearly lack common decency.

      Great post MEGHAN!!

      Reply

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