It’s been an interesting few weeks. I decided to focus my attentions on areas outside of my blog primarily and get a fresh perspective on various aspects of life that weren’t as positive as they should have been. I was full of ideas of where I could go and what I could do, and started by feeling motivated.
And then I got drunk, and it ended up being far more therapeutic than anything that I had planned.
Contrary to popular belief, I drink very little alcohol and I never drink at home. It actually wasn’t intentional – I’d arranged to meet my friend for lunch at a local pub which I had expected to be a few hours of chatting, a couple of glasses of lemonade and a posh sandwich. What happened instead was a seven hour marathon of catching up after not seeing each other for months, drinking strawberry and lime cider and generally talking utter nonsense in the glorious sunshine until I realised what time it was and went home. The Bloke joined us for a while after work to say hello, but he had clearly had a long day. Tipsy Suzie is a happy, but annoying Suzie, especially when you’re sober. Luckily, the pub is only a five minute walk from where I live and it was during this walk back to my house that I realised how squiffy I actually was. My friend is quite a bit younger than me and so has yet to experience the responsibilities that most of my friends have – marriage, kids, houses etc – and therefore he is yet to become jaded and cynical, so it was nice to be able to just talk about things that didn’t carry any form of baggage with it. It was an afternoon well spent and very much needed.
This week has been a bit of a turning point for both The Bloke and I.
I hinted in a blog post earlier this year that there would be some changes ahead, and those changes are already starting to happen.
The Bloke quit his job a month ago and today is his final day. After eleven years of working as a IT Technician in a school, he had reached the point where it was beginning to severely affect his mental health. It has been quite distressing to witness his decline over the last year in particular, going from someone who generally enjoyed his job to being so stressed out that he couldn’t sleep, developed anxiety attacks and was so lethargic that getting out of bed in a morning was a difficult task. I know what that feels like. Unfortunately, The Bloke’s greatest personality trait is also his biggest flaw – he’s a people pleaser who wants to make things better for others – and I’ve watched as he was constantly bombarded with tasks that weren’t always part of his job role and had colleagues take advantage, pull rank and be rude to him when he questioned it, with favours that he did for various people being quickly forgotten. So, when he found himself in a position to be financially secure enough to get away from work for a while, he took it and I have the upmost respect for him for doing so. It’s perfect timing really – we live fairly frugally, we don’t have a mortgage or children, the wedding is over and we have no major plans for the next few years that will require massive expenses – so this is an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk away and start again.
It’s been a whole mixture of emotions for him – he’s been particularly upset about leaving some of his long-term and valued colleagues, and it was a massive surprise to him (although not to me) at just how many people gave him cards and presents and joined him for a goodbye drink at the pub last Friday (watching him attempt to carry it all through the front door when he got home was quite amusing). However, the realisation that he won’t be there after half-term had prompted a whole wave of sudden ‘can you just get this done before you go’ jobs, which quashed any minor regrets or feelings of guilt that he may have had over recent weeks about his resignation.
‘You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’ is something that will be applicable to many over the next few weeks. I can’t help but feel more than a little annoyed at those who should have known better for what they put him through.
He doesn’t have a plan or timescale as such, the main focus being that he wants to rest, recoup and get back to his old self. However, he wants to start developing his photography, a passion that had been somewhat diminished by the assumption that he was the unofficial photographer at his workplace (nobody else could use a camera apparently), and I think that will be a positive start to the next phase in his life. I’m excited to see the relief I know he will feel when he finally realises that he doesn’t have to answer to anyone – he can go wherever he likes and do whatever he wants with his time, something that I don’t think has sunk in yet. With working from home my schedule is my own to decide, so I’m also looking forward to planning interesting day trips out to places we have yet to explore on my days off. A trip out anywhere with The Bloke is always fun (even food shopping can be a blast), so we get the chance to spend time together, I gain content for the blog and he gets to build his photography portfolio.
His decision has also inspired me to move into the next phase in my working life. I’ve been building on an idea for quite a while and have finally decided to set a date at the end of the year where this new project will be fully realised. However, what I have also discovered is that the end goal won’t be able to happen without a bajillion other things being set up first and what the result has been a rather epic list of working backwards to try and create a plan that actually makes some sense. I’ve never really had to do that before and it’s been a little more confusing that I initially thought it would be.
It’s exciting, but also a little daunting – it’s been a while since I really set a new challenge for myself… let’s just hope that I’m not wasting my time!
What about you guys? What have you been up to recently?