I’ve had a little over a week now of not reporting to the job.
How did I spend it?
I spent a lot of the time not feeling well, actually. It’s probably similar to what used to happen to me in school. Vacation would start, and I’d come down with a cold.
That did manage to force me to give my body what it wanted by sleeping more.
After about four days of that, I was ready to get moving, but my body wasn’t. Rather frustrating.
It’s still too soon to draw any conclusions, but I spent a lot of time thinking about what this change will mean for me. You know, once I’ve had a bit more recovery time.
The biggest thing I’m aware of is that it will mean a lot of redefining.
Redefining my relationship to Time
For the last 15+ years of working full-time, the way I spent the majority of my days was dictated by my employers. From 8am-ish to 5pm-ish, Monday thru Friday, I was expected to be “at work.” Often, in that kind of environment, it was more important that my butt was in my seat than it was for me to be productive.
Now, I have nobody telling me when to be working. There will be nothing stopping me from turning on the TV, or meeting a friend for coffee. I can choose not to work with clients on Tuesdays, if that’s how I want to schedule my appointments.
There will also be nothing stopping me from working 12 hours a day.
When is the best time to wake up and go to bed? When is my best writing time? When should I have offline time?
There will be lots of experimentation to learn what works the best for me.
Awakening my creative muscles
Between having a mostly left-brained job, and having
some lots of perfectionist tendencies, I haven’t done a whole lot to keep my creativity tuned up.
Thanks to Charlie Gilkey, I’m doing some things to try to reawaken my creative flow. Things like mind-mapping and finding metaphors that describe this transition. And I’m trying to incorporate something artistic into my days. Mostly that’s meant drawing. Well, perhaps doodling (scribbling?) would be more accurate.
The other big thing will be to learn about my patterns around creativity and productivity. Before, so much of my time was spoken for, I didn’t have the luxury of figuring out when my most creative times were.
Figuring out what sovereignty means for my life
Another thing I’m noticing is that working for the Man has not helped me develop my sense of sovereignty.
To me, sovereignty means giving myself what I need. And it also means not ignoring my needs because I’m afraid they will affect someone else negatively.
I doubt I’m alone, but have you ever felt so busy and so pressured to get your work done that you won’t even allow yourself a trip to the bathroom or to refill your water glass? Or said yes to meetings or projects, without even considering that you could say no?
Just me? I didn’t think so.
It becomes a pattern.
Just as you can become disconnected from your heart, you can become disconnected from your sense of Self. You know, that essential part of you that gives you your you-ness.
I imagine changing that pattern will take a while. It’s closely related to the time issue, but it’s more than that.
It’s about reinventing my life in ways that serve me best, and not diminishing my creative power to meet the needs of others.
Oh, I want to take a class in the middle of the day? No problem.
I need a new sweater? I can go shopping during the week instead of waiting for the weekend, if that’s what works better for me.
This is really about developing a whole new mindset.
The hardest part
Giving myself permission to flail around for a while. Permission to feel clueless about what I should be doing with my time. Permission to be overwhelmed.
It’s not reasonable to expect to go seamlessly from having your working hours dictated to you to having 100% autonomy. Yet I do feel a certain amount of pressure to do just that.
Years and years of go-go-go don’t disappear overnight.
For now I’m going to keep focusing on giving my body what it needs, doing Dance of Shiva and spending time with the soul of my business. As much as possible, I’m going to trust that I have the answers within me, and I’ll know what I need to know when I need to know it.