So when I heard yesterday that my much younger friend had taken a second sabbatical from work in the last 3 years and that another friend was contemplating quitting her job the second time in six years, I was tempted – to give up my post at the battle field, put up my legs and say I’ve retired, temporarily at least.
What’s stopping you, people who know I’m self-employed would ask. And I have no answers. There seems to be no reason to be going to work, especially since I seem to be spending most of my working day on Facebook and blogging. And also because I now have enough people in my office taking care of everything that could possibly ask taking care of. My presence in office serves the purpose of ensuring everyone does their work – and they say that’s no mean job either – but it all leaves me unprecedented-ly idle. How do I handle all the free time I suddenly seem to have at hand? My work experience did not prepare me for this. Yet I cannot seem to part from a routine that’s on the verge of becoming monotonous. I cannot give up my financial independence, that feeling of knowing I’ve worked for the pleasures I enjoy (at least some of them).
My work life has been such an integral part of who I am that people scoff at me if I say I want to take a break. I don’t blame them – I just have been so passionate about my work all these years, enjoyed the challenges and enjoyed even more winning them – for not being able to imagine me without my workspace. My family shudders at the idea of having me home full time; they say I would be back to office within a week. The Guy says it’s impossible for me to be a full time home-body. Perhaps they are right: I really have no idea what I would do if I stopped going to work, how I would fill the hours in a day. And perhaps they are wrong: who says I ought to be doing something all the time? What I’m sure of though is that I need something more than others’ expectations of me to keep me going. I need a new challenge or I need a break.
Of course, there’s a lone voice – that of my sister – telling me to understand my true calling. And I haven’t the faintest idea what that could be, how I’m supposed to arrive at it and then pursue it. I haven’t ever taken any calcualted risks in my career, just been spurred ahead by the desire to do something new and exciting, test unchartered territory. And yet, there is this urge to get back to writing professionally. I could and I can’t. Sometimes going back is so much tougher than going forward. How can I reclaim the past that has given me up? How can I find the future that I’m waiting for?