I quit my job.
I said goodbye to the city. Goodbye to the cosy familiarity of work colleagues and the regular coffee spots. Goodbye to the ocasional lunchtime in Merrion Square or Stephen’s Green, to running to Marks and Spencers or Grafton St on my lunchbreak.
Leaving my spot in the swell of people moving through the city centre, first workwards, then homewards, picking-up-kids-from-creche-wards, meeting-friends-after-work-wards.
Goodbye security. The safety net of the salary at the end of the month. An employer pension plan. The comfort of the 9-5 schedule. Goodbye.
Hello to the unknown, the uncertain.
A big warm hello to a contract landing in my lap that helps with this transition from security to suspense.
Hello to the spare room of our rented house. Two desks, bad mobile phone coverage. A printer that only prints one-sided. I have to buy my own stationery now. A stapler has been on my list for weeks.
Hello to a new old way of answering the phone.
“Hello. Mairéad speaking”
Hoping they can hear me, but not the sounds of baby crying, giggling, hanging out with Daddy, or sometimes hanging out of the sling attached to me. You can work from home but must appear professional.
I am wearing shorts and slippers. I make a Skype conference call.
You can appear professional but only from the waist up.
We work out a schedule. I work in the morning, he works in the afternoon. Tomorrow who takes the morning? Who picks up the boy from pre-school ?( “I want Daddy to pick me up every day”) Who will make lunch? Dinner? When will the house be clean? (The answer is never).
We make something resembling a schedule and we get something resembling work done.
Hello to afternoon walks in the sun by the river and coffee-break cuddles and breastfeeding and playing music through the speakers instead of through headphones and taking a break to yoga-stretch on the floor.
Hello to scheduling meetings while on my phone in the playground, sending emails while making dinner.
So also hello to managing my time, and down time, establishing work time and home time, both within the same building but occupying distinct spaces in time.
Hello to figuring out how to make this work long term. Business planning and plotting. Dreaming and scheming. Worrying and fretting.
The sun is shining and I get to play in the garden. I get to spend more time with my children than many parents do. We both do. We are grateful. We are lucky.
Is it luck or something else? Not exactly design but a listening to the gut.
What will the gut tell me later? In 6 months time, in a year?
“Later never comes. Daddy told me” Wise three year old words
No point in worrying about something that will never happen then.
One step at a time, bird by bird.
Planning, plotting. Drinking tea.
I quit my job, not for the first time. But each quitting made space for the next thing.
I quit my job once to travel the world. And then another I quit because I didn’t want to travel. Then later I quit because I wanted to study and travel again. Later still I quit a job so I could return home.
Moving in circles. Moving in ever expanding circles of discovery.
Creating the space for a new future to grow.