Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Am I over-thinking this?

I'm cold sitting here at the dining table, despite being wrapped up in snuggly track pants, fat socks and fleecy top. Outside, it's drizzling rain and the sky's leaden with disappointment. The pussins are curled up into tight balls and not even the birds are singing. It's another spring day in Melbourne.

I'm all at sixes and sevens. I still feeling reasonably unsettled. I am sort of rattling around the house, picking things up and putting them down again, not quite sure what to do with my time. I feel like sewing but can't settle on a new project.  I'd like the house to be tidy, but don't feel like tidying up. I did a bit of gardening and then couldn't be bothered any more. I'm wasting a considerable amount of time surfing the internet and not really enjoying it.

I feel almost immobilised by the freedom I've got right now, paralysed by choice. Nothing is holding my attention.

Clearly, I'm going to have to put more structure into my days. I joined the local YMCA gym so perhaps I should start doing that at a regular time each day - probably first thing in the morning so that I a) get out of bed and b) don't talk myself out of it as the day passes. I need to paint one of my fabric cupboards so I should draw up a list of the stuff that I need, go to Bunnings, buy it all, bring it home and actually make a start. I should decide on a new sewing project and get started.

Should, should, should ..... my world is made up of "shoulds" right now, because all I've got is the feeling that I ought to be doing interesting and exciting things with my time, things I never had the time to do when I was working, and yet I can't fix on a single thing to do. 

I wonder if this is a passing phase - an adjustment to the new status quo - and whether in a month or two (or three) I'll have settled into some kind of new normal?

Rationally, I know these opportunities don't come along often, and so I feel a kind of pressure to really make the most of it. But is making the most of it actually something like relaxing and letting go, and experiencing the silence and collecting the blossoms along the way; rather than launching into activities left, right and centre? Is the blessing actually having the room to NOT do anything? Is it giving myself that permission?

I really want to be enjoying this time off, but between the anxious feeling of "I should be doing interesting and exciting things" and the desire to just hang out without doing anything, and the added nervousness that I'll get a job before too long and will then fatefully discover, either way, that I've wasted this rare fallow period by a) not doing enough interesting exciting things or b) not relaxing and just letting go and revelling in it, but instead straddling a tightrope between the two and never setting a foot properly into either camp (to mix my metaphors) ..... sheesh, it's overwhelming.

As I said to the Sister Of My Heart, do you think I'm over-analysing this?


Jennie said...

From someone else who's sitting around in the same suburb trying to kill some hours... feel like a hot chocolate somewhere?

mrs smith said...

A little peace and 'unproductive' socialising time cures my restless ills, like a hot chocolate with a buddy, or champagne and cake... I find that works just as well.

PaisleyJade said...

It sounds like you have the perfectly normal 'transition blues'. Hang in there - make time to do absolutely NOTHING - and enjoy it! There is always plenty of time later to do thing.

ange_moore said...

Your should enjoy being lazy when you've got too much to do (thanks to The Whitlams for that quote)! Enjoy! I often feel better if I go for a walk and get a coffee and cupcake - and come back home with a clear head, energy and inspiration!

Erin said...

i can really identify with where you are. i too am in this stage of life, but have now had months of beating myself up for not knowing how to best utilize my "freedom" and window of opportunity. it seems to me you're doing it...writing, opening yourself up to what might drop in. it's ok to angst over it, judge yourself, run in circles...it's a product of being highly functional and in an environment where we're supposed to be busy and prove we are productive all day, even when that activity is hollow and frenetic and meaningless. just know these phases will come, and in the moments where you let go and breathe, you'll start to feel less "should" and allow yourself more "want". look for what feels good, and enjoy it when it does. don't do anything you're supposed to do. use this time to connect with the feeling of your voice, your want, and your feeling good. also, you're capturing this phenomenon really well with your writing, and it's nice to read it and be able to relate. so thank you.

Anonymous said...

The job market is tough - don't fool yourself that you'll get one easily. It's still an employer's market.

Heather said...

maybe one way to think about now is to imagine you are going back to work in 2 weeks time. What would you like to tell people about what you did on your break, other than to talk about India? If your happy to say "nothing, I had a break" then continue as you are without the stress. If you want to say "I did all those things that I've had on my wish list..." then you have the starting point for organising your time.

Alternatively, replace all of the "shoulds" with "need", "don't need to" or "want" to see if that changes your thinking.

SoMH said...

re Anonymous: more correctly, it's a market where the ease of finding employment is a direct function of one's talent level. And in the case of our dear blogger, hers is such that we must hope she finds a way to make the most of this time soon, as a bountiful offer is sure to land on her soon. (As so many have in the past, most often completely unbidden - oh what I wouldn't give to have been seriously "headhunted" myself, just once in my life!)

And more tangentially, why is it only ever the snarky comments that get made Anonymously? Hardly unique to this blog, I know, but still.

Isabella Golightly said...

Gee, thanks, Anonymous, for completely missing the point.

No, you are not overanalysing. You suddenly have all the time you ever wanted to do all those projects and the choice is simply overwhelming. Plus, you have post-holiday depression, and you are probably still a bit jet-lagged... take it easy, do little bits and before you know it, you'll be back in the mix, inspiring us all again. Love the new banner, too! Gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Hear, Here (you choose) Isabella...I am still working on my PHD & I've been home nearly 3 months!! Maybe it's the 4000 plus photos I have to sort so it's a good thing I don't have a real job...BTW anonymous ..'they who have no name also have no guts'
no anything really...I LIKE THIS BLOG...signed with love & dog kisses by KAZZ (whose account is not working properly at the moment but will be as soon as Isabella fixes it for me)

Isabella Golightly said...

Kazz, you can run but you can't hide! I love this blog too! See you Friday!