Quitting the Man: 85 Days Since Freedom

Time for another at-irregular-intervals update on what’s been happening since I quit my job.

My last update was technically last year. Feels weird to say that. What’s even weirder is that we’re fast approaching the end of the first month of 2010.

And it’s been almost three months since I quit. Weird.

Knitting

There was knitting that happened regularly for a while, but I haven’t picked it up in at least a week.

Time management stuff

There was a span of about a week where I was doing actual pomodoros. With a timer and everything. I even got away from the computer for my breaks.

It was pretty amazing and I felt incredibly productive.

But I haven’t done a real pomodoro in at least a week now.

It appears that pomodoros only work for me (or I’ll only submit to doing them) if I have certain kinds of work to do. And very little stuckness about said work.

Good information to have, but I’m not sure what it all means or what to do about it, yet.

Somebody get me a midwife

I’ve been working and working and working on my new course.

I’m super excited about it, but I’m also exhausted. And frustrated. And tired of thinking about it and looking at it and massaging it.

I want to get this thing out into the world where it belongs.

Oh the horror

(Said while channeling my inner Marlon Brando.)

How to have your stuff come up in one easy step: Take a stand and claim that you can help someone in a particular way.

Enter the voices:

This will never work.
Who the hell do you think you are?
Everyone will hate you.

And don’t get me started on the needing of hand-holding and wanting people to tell me what to do, how to do it and when to do it.

It’s as though I go into shut-down mode and can’t think for myself at all.

Picture a three year-old in desparate need of a nap:

But what do I doooo neeeext?
How much should I chaaaaaarge?
How do I make sure the right people sign uuuuuup?
Why isn’t anyone asking for my Thing even though they don’t know what it iiiiiiiiiiiis?

Also, cue the Waiting.

I know my stuff is trying to protect me. And I know that this sense of desperately needing answers is really about wanting safety.

Maybe soon I’ll write more about the whole safety thing. But right now, I just want to kick my stuff in the nuts.

Putting it all together

Once I was oscillating between making great progress on my course and getting completely stuck and anxious about it, I got really bad with the self-care.

Not going outside. Staying at the computer for waaaay too many hours per day. Not allowing myself time to relax or even go for a hike.

My back had been feeling great, and now my right hip is very unhappy.

I pushed it all aside because I would get to a certain point on my course page and think, “This is so close to finished, if I push a little longer, I can send this information out today.”

But then I’d hit another layer of stuckness about it, and I’d try to push through then and there, or the next day.

The answer seems obvious: Don’t give up the self-care when you’re creating something new.

But believing (even mistakenly) that I’m so close to finishing makes it hard to just stop.

I want to do this right (where “right” means giving the course the best possible chance of success), but I’m also feeling like I just want to get it done, consequences be damned.

The cost of creation

Perhaps the most interesting part of this course-creation process is that I feel really drained much of the time.

It’s as though this is the first time I’m really tapping into (and using up) my creative energy. Apparently I don’t have good ways to replenish the supply, either.

And this creates its own sense of frustration, because I have less energy for hanging out on Twitter and commenting on blogs that I love.

It signals growth, I suppose, but it still makes me a little sad.

Ack, another downer update

Yes, it’s been challenging and often infuriating. But also really fascinating. I’m about to embark on all this new stuff, like a group class, and next week I’ll hold my first ever free call.

Things are moving rapidly in between the bouts of stuck, which is pretty cool.

Has the reality of this change set in, yet?

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being “fully aware of this new reality,” I’d have to give the last couple weeks a 5 (slight uptick from last time).

Starting a huge project really let me feel like I am a business owner. Making something happen rather than waiting for something to happen.

This is the most excited and in control I’ve felt since my self-employment began.

Quick reminder

I linked to it above, but I’ll mention it again. My free call about the No-Brainer Scenario decision-making tool is next week on Tuesday 1/26 at 12pm Pacific. You can read the announcement and sign up here, or you can just sign up to get the call in info and recording here.

Looking forward to hanging out with bunches of you!

8 thoughts on “Quitting the Man: 85 Days Since Freedom

  1. Archan Mehta

    Well, Victoria, thanks for tracking your progress (so far, so good) and sharing with your readers.

    It gladdens my heart to know there are brave souls like you in this world: you had the courage of your convictions to quit your day job and seek self-employment. We will pray things will work out for you.

    Yes, the progress is slow; life is full of ups and down; but hang in there, Victoria, and keep your chin up.

    You should consider yourself lucky you are no longer employed in a dead end job. Many people can’t even figure out what to do with their career and end up slaving away for life at a job they don’t like.
    Such people make the sacrifice just so they can pay the bills and stay afloat. Best wishes to you.

  2. Alicia

    Hi Dear! I’m signed up for your call and looking forward to it.

    And here’s some extra city girl energy to help kick your stuff in the nuts :)

  3. Amna

    I literally lol’d at this – kick your stuff in the nuts! That’ll teach it!!

    Looking forward to your call coming up. Also, would it be annoying to say that I’m a teeny bit envious of where you are right now? I mean, I know you’re in the thick of the struggle to create all this stuff and make it happen, and it can be really really hard. But I am dreaming of being three months post quitting my job and being in this kind of situation. :) Wishing you enjoyment and safety and progress and replenishment.

  4. Victoria Post author

    @Archan – thanks for your encouragement and prayers!

    @Alicia – Ooh…yay for city girl energy! Thanks!

    @Amna – Not annoying at all. In fact, it really helps put things in perspective for me. It’s so easy to get tunnel vision when I’m head-down and wallowing in the stuck. But you reminded me that this is what I was wishing for 3 months ago, and it’s really helped me to feel gratitude in spite of the difficulty. I’m so glad you said what you said. :)

  5. Bridget Pilloud

    I am really super-excited for you. I deeply appreciate you documenting your process, because that’s going to make it easier for others who also need to quit the man.
    I’ve got some ideas for you to rejuvenate yourself, so you don’t feel like you’re draggin’. Maybe we can find some time to talk this week?
    hang in there-

  6. Lydia, Clueless Crafter

    Victoria it sounds like you are making huge, courageous leaps! I like the energy you’re creating, taking chances and sharing them with your readers. On the knitting front, I have been trying to pick it up but find it frustrating. I don’t have the rhythm yet, so I feel tense and self aware at my ineptitude. I’ve even watched numerous videos and for the life of me am doing something wrong that I cannot figure out. And to think that I thought I would pick it up with the snap of a finger. I’m just a bit envious that you find comfort in the needles!
    .-= Lydia, Clueless Crafter´s last blog ..Auctions and My Art Story ~ An Approach to Collecting =-.

  7. Victoria Post author

    @Bridget – Thank you for reminding me that documenting this transition is helpful…sometimes it’s so hard to see that, you know? And I’d *love* to hear your ideas for rejuvenating – I’m about to send you a DM so that we can connect!

    @Lydia – Thank you for your encouragement! And, I can imagine how frustrating it would be to feel like you’re not getting it but not knowing why. Argh! Do you have any friends who are knitters, who might be able to pick up on what’s going awry by watching you knit? Or perhaps getting a touch of help at a local yarn shop? Just throwing that out there because of course I want you to be able to enjoy it…but maybe that’s more of an investment (time- and energy-wise) than you care to make at this point. Here’s hoping it magically clicks for you with ease! xo

  8. elizabeth

    Hi, Victoria. Just a quick comment to say (in case I haven’t yet) how much I enjoy your sharing and documenting of your process. I find it so fascinating to see how you are doing post-taking the leap, because it gives me an idea of what things might come up in May (since I alternate between thinking life will be perfect, hee, or everything will fall apart because I will spend my time doing nothing or everything but work). Anyway, thank you.

    Oh! Also, your posts gave me the idea to schedule the entire month of May for freaking out and doing fun stuff – so that when I start to panic, I remember that I gave myself a month. Much thanks! (And I am excited to listen to your call recording this weekend!)
    .-= elizabeth´s last blog ..ode to joy, volume 4 =-.

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