On my telephone call to home, my father worries about my job search. Although I have not looked for work, I tell him that I am assembling work contacts. My Dad had only two jobs his entire life, 10 miles apart. I doubt he understands the contemporary career landscape, but neither do I.
Last winter, a crew of unhappy friends pushed me to quit work. They grew disgruntled that my work sadness soured our friendships. It takes a village to quit a job. To return to work, I only have one person pushing me: my Dad.
It is October 5. On April 4, I quit my job. I have been unemployed for exactly six months. I feel like I have not worked for decades and yet the months have flown by.
Last winter I drafted a list of “What Would I Do With One Year?” In six months since leaving work, I have completed the family goals and tackled some of the hobby goals. I’m still missing “Paint Car,” but I worry that painting the ol’ Toyota may cause it coincidentally to fail.
I have yet to start the body column of goals, such as triathlon, swim, and intense yoga, although I begin a swim class next week. Spirit has just one item, a 1-week meditation, that I may conduct on a solo fall camping trip. I strive for extensive travel goals. I did just book a December flight to Morocco. If I camp in the fall and travel internationally in the spring, I’ll assess travel as satisfactorily accomplished.
I’m not exercising as much as I thought I would. I no longer attend a regular exercise class so my free-form work-outs tend to slip. Although I’m not gaining weight, I have lost the conditioning of five years of Serbecizing. I should return soon to yoga, a statement I make every Monday.
I’m tackling many of my intended projects. By the end of the year, I’ll have the apartment so much in order that I might be bored with living in it. A huge project landed on my plate over the weekend, but this project will be the subject of an upcoming post.
I’m not burning through money as fast as I thought. I estimate spending about $15,000 in six months, $9,000 of which was rent. I’m just beginning to dig into my savings, but not yet into my investments. I probably could live comfortably on my savings for two years. Fortunately, my mindset has shifted away from stuff to experiences and resourcefulness. I do spend so much time cooking all my meals. I fear more indolence than penury.
This fall, I’d like to rest more, organize more, explore more of my environs, work on projects big and small, and start anew the job search. A year away may be the exact right length for my sabbatical. I quite relish having six more months ahead of unstructured time. I almost wrote “leisure time,” but I’m busier now than when I worked. I want to work again when I have exhausted the teachings of this sabbatical. I’m still learning a lot.
I’ll likely look back at this time as one of the most happiest of my life. Slowing down has curbed my manic stress and helped straighten my posture. I’m less in a rush to get anywhere and happier to stay in one place once I arrive. This rest, however, is a strange sort of happiness – not the classic bliss, but more a basal contentment.