It’s 4 months now since I left my job. I said in my valedictory work blog that I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next, and that is still true. I haven’t felt any urge to rush back into an office. I’ve had little difficulty occupying myself with other things.
It’s been an odd period. I’ve struggled to name it. I was calling it a sabbatical, or a career break. But neither is quite right.
When I’ve told people that I’m not working some have been envious, but some have offered pity, as if I’d actually rather be employed (I wouldn’t), or am in the midst of a breakdown (I’m not). My situation is not sustainable indefinitely of course, but I’ve been enjoying not working.
More recently I’ve started to think about this period as delayed paternity leave, which feels more accurate to how I’m spending my days. More Swedish.
With more time available to me each day, I have occasionally felt guilty that I’ve not been using it more productively, that I’ve not made more progress on the grand plan.
But I have ticked off several little things I’ve been half meaning to do for years. And I’ve spent time with my dad, I’ve hung doors, and climbed a mountain. I’ve also had lots to divert me, like the Champions Trophy and the Women’s World Cup, and The West Wing Weekly, and elections.
I’ve spent no time at all thinking about the manoeuvring and politics of office life. I really haven’t missed any of that. But I have spent a lot of time thinking about the things I was trying to achieve through my work. A bit of distance is probably giving me some useful perspective on all that.
When I stopped working I unsubscribed from a bunch of RSS feeds and withdrew from some conversations, adjusting who and what I was paying attention to. I felt the need to clear the cache and reboot. The other day I quietly turned on an IFTTT applet, connecting my favourited Pocket articles to my dormant Twitter account.