Finding friends after forty

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This weekend, my husband and I went for a few drinks in town. Sitting in the pub, I saw a familiar face, someone called Mike who I knew from my volunteering. Mike joined us at our table and the next few hours were spent chatting and laughing. Before we knew it, the bell for last orders was being rung and Mike and my husband, who had found common ground over music, were making plans to meet the following week to see a band.

In a lot of ways, this doesn’t probably seem like a big deal, but for us it was because – since moving to a new area two years ago and being more than a little over 40 – making new friends has felt like a hard slog at times. Meeting someone I knew and making plans to see them again felt like we had turned a corner and were on the upswing, especially as a few days earlier I had met someone else I hadn’t known for long for coffee and we talked about future plans. Continue reading

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Relief, reassurance and resolutions…

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As people who have been following my blog for a while (or have read my early posts / about me page) will know, last October I took a bit of a leap into the unknown, quitting my job and setting out on my own.  I had a plan, though perhaps it wasn’t as fully thought out as I thought it was when I handed in my notice, and a huge desire to change my life.

The plan, to work freelance doing what I was already doing – bid and project management – whilst moving into a new field – writing, editing and proofreading.  I knew it was a big change, though there are lots of transferable skills with what I do now, and that it would take time.  I had figured three to six months before I even saw a sniff of new work and maybe a bit less for my current field.

Three months later, where am I?  Well, I’ve had two offers for temporary work doing what I do, which has been a relief, and I’ve been training up for what I want to do, learning the trade from the ground up and not expecting too much but enjoying every bit of it.  Which was another huge relief – what if I hadn’t?

I have also spent some time getting to know other people who are currently doing what I want to do.  They are a wonderful group of people, helpful and supportive, and it has given me courage to keep going.  It’s also made me readjust my timelines for getting where I want to, but that’s o.k. I had wondered if I was being overly optimistic anyway and I wold rather be realistic and not be disappointed when the results are slower than slow…as long as there are results.

My days are fuller than I thought they would be and so much better now the stress of my old job is gone.  The lack of early starts and calls till late into the evening are not missed, and neither is the pressure. Just before Christmas, I met with old colleagues and my old boss.   Going to meet up with people, I was anxious.  I wondered how I would feel, if I would miss work once I started seeing people again, that I had made the wrong choice.

Listening to them talk about work, about the politics, the drama and the stresses left me knowing – without a doubt – that I had made the right decision to leave.  Realising this was another big sigh of relief and reassured me that, whatever happens, I will be o.k. because I am better in myself than I have been for the last few years.  I look better, I feel better, and I know others have seen it too – though what they were saying about me before given what they are saying about me now, I have to wonder 🙂

Now, though, the big push comes.  The training is done and the work of promoting myself and getting that first job needs to start.  Which brings me to my new year’s resolution (well one, the others are getting fit, eating well – the usual).  I want to write it down here so I don’t forget and – putting it out there – will hopefully spur me on.  In 2018, I will be brave.  I will not fall back on doing what I do but push forward so that this time next year, I can change my LinkedIn Profile and leave bidding and project management behind.  What about you – do you have any work-related resolutions?

Emma x

 

 

My “new life” one week in…

books-2560206_1920So, it’s October – the 6th of October to be exact – and here I am, a week into my “new life”, the one where end up healthy, wealthy, wise and happy, or at least that’s the plan.  So how am I feeling?  If you’d have asked me that Monday the answer would have been panicked.  I woke up with no job to go to, no emails that had to be answered, no one I needed to call or tell what to do.

It was the strangest feeling.   I was convinced I’d made the wrong decision and that I needed to start looking for a job, any job, before my life was over.  Seconds later, I decided that no one would ever hire me after they realised I’d quit my job without having another to go to willingly – what type of person would do that? – and just wanted to hide. Continue reading