As you might recall, the purpose of this blog and of my entire self-professed unemployed state was to take a deep breath and ‘smell some roses’.
Well, I seem to have forgotten how to “stick shift” because I haven’t quite successfully shifted down as much as I’d like. If there is such a thing as ‘midway gears’, I’ve gone from fifth gear to four and a half. The goal is to be in first or second gear.
I’m told that such a major transition (from working in high gear to unemployment) takes several months - some say nine months, others say twelve to twenty four. Regardless, it’s much harder than you think.
I’m slowly unwinding some commitments that I made early in my ‘unemployed-ness’; in particular, those that involved ongoing involvement. Ideally, I’d like to have ‘selected involvement’, where I can commit to do things, but then not feel guilty when I can’t or no longer want to. This is a bit tricky once someone or an organization starts perceiving me as a reliable source of support. For that reason, I’m very reluctant to commit to anything more at this time.
It's not that I don't want to help or provide support, but if I don't take the time to figure out what I really want to do, I'm concerned that I'll end up doing 'stuff', just to fill in time. I'm really looking for that ultimate work/job/activity that really jazzes me up and that I can envision doing in a bigger way someday. Whether it's a paying thing of not is not the point...I want to know that what I'm spending my time on is valuable and enjoyable to me ... and hopefully someone else.
With my new awareness and philosophy in hand, I think 2011 will be very different for me. I predict that I’ll be able to move from high gear to low gear more easily. For now, I’ll just rev at a higher rate, anticipating the slowdown to the next gear.