Interestingly when I announced to my workmates, friends and family that I was’t going to look for a new contract but would instead take 3-6 months off to find my inner writer, not one person, I kid you not, not one person had a negative thing to say. Every last person has been a gush of, ‘Oh my God that’s so cool, I have such respect for you following your dreams,’ and ‘I wish I was as brave as you,’ or ‘I wish I was as together as you and I knew what it is that would make me happy. I just know I’m not happy doing [insert job here].’
Wow, if I haven’t been clear up to this point, I need to establish that ‘together’ is something I’m not. Not really. Mmmm, nope not at all in fact. So having people say these things to me made me look over my shoulder, ‘What me? You actually mean me? Not the guy sat over there? Oh, OK. Yeah. Shit together, of course I have that.’ Surely my wide eyed and confused look gives me away?
Well no, apparently not. Turns out as I’m moving through my notice period the grin on my face is getting wider and wider. The fear is gradually being consumed by the overwhelming euphoria of freedom.
Oh yeah, here I come. I’m going to learn to swim (yes, yes, we’ve already established I lack any grace in the water). I’ll get into a Yoga and training schedule. I’ll get my SLR out and start taking photographs again. I’ll go to meditation classes and start a martial art class. I’ll get the decorating jobs in my house finished. My head is spinning with all of the things I want to do but have never found the time for. The ones that stand out though, are that I’m going to spend more quality time with my kids and I’m going to write every single day.
From everything I’ve read, I think the best plan would be to;
- Write out a list of high level goals i.e. improve health, publish novel, sort house, etc
- Prioritise that list
- Write specific goals for each activity, i.e. gym = lose xx ins from my waist
- Put some habits in place for each, i.e. writing = write from 8am-2pm as a minimum every day
- Measure & track my success, i.e. track word count against weekly targets (Scrivener is excellent for this)
- Tell some people who will hold me accountable or at the very least embarrass me when they ask, ‘how’s the novel coming on?’
I’ve worked for 25 years without a break in contracts, and I usually don’t take my holiday quota each year, as there’s always some deadline to meet for someone else. So this break is going to be a very new experience for me. I imagine my plan above will adjust as I learn what makes me tick in this new world order. How I go about setting targets for myself may also adjust as I read more about human nature and apply it to my own circumstances. But I’m open to it. I’ll do to the fear what I do to all emotions, bottle it (healthy I know), and just get on with the job at hand.
The job? Creating a life full of passion.
Now, lets turn off the TV and start changing our lives x