For a change of scenery I popped up to Lincoln to visit a friend’s art exhibition. After the (nearly) eight hour return journey I was shattered but it was worth it. My friend was pleased that I’d made the effort and we spent a very pleasant afternoon discussing her work and sightseeing around Lincoln’s cathedral quarter. I spent the following day doing volunteer work, so it’s been an enjoyable and productive week.
Although I’m still looking for employment, I’m starting to entertain the possibility that I could take part of my pension and avoid work altogether. I’m feeling so happy and relaxed that I’m not sure I want to spoil the mood by getting a full-time job. If I take this route I won’t have very much money to spare and I’ll have to continue to eke out a living on a very modest income, which will only be sustainable because my wife is working. It’s not easy to come to terms with and I can’t help feeling twinges of guilt.
On the other hand, there is no point in having a pension if I don’t use it and who knows what might happen in the future. I might find the perfect part-time job and be as happy as Larry. Whereas, committing myself to a full-time contract might limit my options.
I don’t miss work in the slightest. I was always of the opinion that work was a necessary evil and that had a lot to do with never finding my true vocation. I suspect I’m not alone in feeling that way and I envy anyone who enjoys their work. For me, it’s too late, or at least I think it is, so I might as well try to enjoy the fruits of my labours and start dipping into my pension fund – better to do it now than to leave it too late.
The longer that I’m out of work the more I feel like I’m finding my true self. I always felt that I was playing a part when I was at work and I had to force myself to take the job seriously. It’s not an easy admission but it is the truth. Many people must feel the same way and I’m sure it’s a cause of stress. It’s got nothing to do with the employer and everything to do with the individual. At work I was a caged animal and now that I’m free I am a very different person. Hence the reluctance to go back into the cage.
I realise that I’m rambling but writing this is helping me to come to terms with how I really feel. One thing that constantly surprises me is how difficult it is to understand my own motivations. Very often I find myself doing something for all the wrong reasons. For example, earlier in the year I applied for a teaching job. Only when I was offered the job did I finally realise I was making a mistake. It was so blindingly obvious it was untrue. How could I delude myself so easily?
Watching a programme about lying reminded me that the person I lie to most is myself. Does that sound ridiculous? I bet it does but it’s true.