Well that was a busy week...I have to admit when I left work in July, I was really looking forward to a simpler lifestyle: walking the dogs, growing lots of flowers, maybe being a little more self sufficient...being my own boss, did it happen?
Well I grew lots of flowers this summer, in fact the garden was fit to burst, every nook and cranny was taken up. I walked the dogs everyday, so ticked that box off, but the lifestyle was still a bit, how can I describe it...bland...no not bland, just like an extended school holiday.
Looking back, I am not sure what I thought would happen. Weeks, no months of anticipation, of excitement, dreaming of what a new life was going to look like, just resulted in more anticipation because, the gift of redundancy was only the golden ticket, the main event was yet to come...when the chocolate factory finally opened its gates.
I am not a patient person, always rushing from one project to another, (not necessarily finishing them) so was this the wonderful new life my head had dreamed up? Not quite, I hadn't magically arrived in the glass elevator, instead i felt like I had been dropped off at the farthest road from the factory gates. Told to 'clock on' in 5 minutes, but not able to see which direction would lead me to the chocolate factory.
Lots of obstacles seemed to be cropping up...maybe it was because we had a litter of puppies that demanded lots of time, or maybe because the garden was demanding my attention everyday, that I didn't really stop and think how the next phase of my life would, in reality, really feel like...or maybe i had just forgotten that dreams do not follow a sequential structure.
I do feel I have been hovering nervously at the factory gates, unsure what would greet me if I committed to stepping over the threshold...because nobody wants to look like a blueberry, do they?
Whatever the reason, the transition from a life that was still driven by a strong need to 'work to buy' was proving very difficult to break.
It occurred to me this was going to be the hardest part of my old life to give up...the buying, shopping whenever I wanted something new for a project...at times I felt like the mad hatter, having silly conversations with myself. One voice being realistic, making budgets and setting goals and then another voice saying...'book a holiday'.
Re-thinking the way I had lived for the last 18years was not going to be easy. When my children were younger, I had to plan meals because I didn't have the kind of income that allowed me to fill my supermarket trolley with produce just because 'it looked nice' on the shelf. But having a good monthly income had made me lazy. I would often select food at random, only to find some of it going into the bin by the end of the week, because in reality, I was too busy or just couldn't be bothered to cook after a long day at work.
Planning meals was not for me...but also seeing food go to waste felt very wrong...there was my dilemma.
So back to this week...I have taken a step towards the chocolate factory, not close enough to clock on yet, but that's ok...the point is I am moving in the right direction now.
This week I went to work for a couple of days at a garden centre, taught a wreath making workshop and started making up some wreath orders for delivery next week. It's not a huge wage, but I have enjoyed it. I was able to be creative and most importantly it was all on my terms...'working to live'. I am not just fill my shopping trolley up with food because it has shiny packaging or because i feel that is what I should be doing with my money...no this weeks shopping trip will be carefully planned out although the chocolate aisle is looking increasing tempting.