Never Get Too Settled
Just over three years ago, I finally walked away from my toxic job. I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it.
I’d been pushed to the end of my tether, and when that last straw broke this camel’s back, I gave two weeks’ notice, packed my bag and left.
I was mentally exhausted and it took me a long time to recover my resilience.
The ending was sudden and abrupt, and it left me feeling quite lost and unsure of what to do next.
By the time I felt like I had something to offer a new employer, Covid arrived in all its “glory” and the world locked down.
We all retreated and it became easier to stay at home than to worry about putting myself out there again. But life can sometimes surprise you….
Life Moves On and We Move With It
After lockdown lifted and life as we all knew it had morphed into something different, I thought I’d kissed job hunting goodbye forever and was destined to leave the workforce behind me and completely retire.
It was a strange decision based on how life had panned out, rather than on a conscious decision that I no longer wanted to work at all.
Over that quiet year I found that I was content to be at home and to know that we could afford for me to no longer be working.
I’ve loved the last three years. I’ve loved the flexibility and freedom of being in charge of my days – not fitting things in around a 9-5 job.
I’ve loved discovering new interests – I’ve become a scooter rider, I’ve discovered collaging and neurographic art, I volunteered at my local playgroup, joined a ladies discussion group, took up Gentle Gym and Tai Chi, and enjoyed lots of coffee dates with my friends.
Life has been very good to me, but change happens and life moves on.
I’ve dropped a few of my interests over the last 6 months and my days began to all look a little bit the same. I felt like I needed to add something new into the mix.
I wrote a post after I left my old job that asked ‘What’s Next?’ and I felt like I was coming full circle and asking what was missing now, and what I needed to add into my life to keep me interested, engaged and challenged.
I thought it might be a new hobby or a return to my volunteering, but life threw me a surprise curve ball in the shape of a little ad that appeared in my local free newspaper recently.
I’d seen many part-time jobs advertised over the years, but they were all for more days than I wanted, or included having to relieve for other employees when they were sick or on leave.
I didn’t want another job that took over my life. But this one caught my eye – and there was very little effort required to apply.
Could this be the next new thing I was looking for?
Leaping In and Being Brave
I decided to embrace the concept of ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ and shot an email off into the ether with absolutely no expectations.
Four hours later (wow!) I had a reply and two days later I was being interviewed!
So much for my doubts about whether employers would be interested in a 60 year old woman who hadn’t worked for a few years!
I still didn’t get too invested because I wasn’t the only one being interviewed, but lo and behold, a few days later I had a phone call offering me the job.
I’d say it was the Perfect Job for me – but I’ve learned that the perfect job can implode and become a nightmare, so I’ve decided that it seems like a good fit for where I’m at in life.
It will give me an interest, an excuse to put on a bra and a nice outfit, and an opportunity to engage my brain learning new skills.
I’ll get to meet people, get paid some pin money, and I’m hoping it will give me that last bit of working life I’d hoped my old job would have provided.
Into the Great Unknown
I start my new job this week – straight into the nitty gritty of learning a new role (without a handover because the previous receptionist has already moved on to a position with more hours).
It’ll be a little bit scary, a little bit messy, I’ll make mistakes, and I’ll be out of my comfort zone (big time!) But that’s what keeps life interesting isn’t it?
Trying new things, being prepared to be a beginner again – keeping my brain active and putting myself out there.
I still want to have a quiet, simple life, I love being retired and free to make my own choices with how I spend my time.
But, maybe there’s room for a little more if I’m prepared to stretch myself again. So….wish me luck and cheer me on as I start a new little adventure.
It’s a small thing for most people, but a big leap for me. I love that life brings small surprises to keep us on our toes and to stop us getting too complacent.
I’m also hoping this will be a little palate cleanser to leave me with happier final job memories. Stay tuned!