This post is inspired by my lovely friend Glenys who has discovered that trying to re-enter the job market at 50 is not the breeze she thought it would be. She raises some interesting points as to why this might be. I've also been chewing on this for some time and it seems it is not all in our heads.
You can read Glenys's post here:
Meanwhile, read on for my take on the situation and ideas to change this.
PS - You might want to grab a cuppa....
So finally after what seems weeks of hibernation, the air has changed and along with the almond blossom and geraniums, we are venturing out. I'm also feeling the need to get moving again...
Or "The Other Side of the Darkest Weeks of the Year"...
If you're reading this, you've made it too. Welcome back!
Mid-December to mid-January is a strange time. It seems however I try to approach it, it turns out the same. My body-clock just seems to go on shut-down. Things were chugging along nicely at the start of December; I had to produce 2 paintings in quick succession for a group exhibition and, although I didn't have to go through the madness of the Christmas stuff as faced by family and friends back home, I had plans to do things and stay sociable.
Then came the cold.
It's been a month since I last posted something here, but it doesn't mean I haven't been doing anything...
I've been posting photos of various accomplishments to Instagram and Facebook, written ideas and drafts for future blog posts, finished another tutorial of my Interior Design course, started experimenting with painting again, and been reading daily 'Screw Work, Break Free'.
My bullet journal is stuffed with things I have done and ideas of things I want to do. In fact, it's rather a pleasing mess.
November 4 2016. Turkey.
Facebook, Twitter, Whats App, Instagram all blocked. Not a great day to launch a new website. But looking on the bright side. I can use the time to write content without getting distracted…
Starting over is not new to me.
I've done so many times it's become an occupational hazard. My past now stretches back far enough to have included setting out to Manhattan in my single 20s as a graphic designer (pre- digital age); a spell in Singapore as the ‘trailing spouse’ plus young family, teaching antenatal classes on the side; six years as a mature student in Art, Design and Visual Communication, and in the most recent decade, teaching EFL in Turkey, Europe and the UAE.
This past year has been the cruncher, though. Although an exciting prospect had presented itself in the UAE, in retrospect it was a lot tougher to leave my adopted home, Turkey, than my native UK. By the third month in, I found myself asking where was that elusive ‘something better’?
The enhancement of my career was not happening and it certainly wasn't the money. I was missing the creative projects I'd started and the roots I'd been laying down. I had no time to be anything other than a factory robot living like a student in an expensive bedsit, plus repeating ad nauseum the difference between past simple and present perfect was wearing me down. Too old for this lark, I thought. The present wasn't perfect, for sure. The added grudge that my employer’s pension pot was growing against the stagnation of my own, and feeling time was no longer on my side began to affect my health and personality.
It didn't end prettily, surprise, surprise…
My mistake was ignoring the inner warning bells that the magic of teaching had faded. Instead, I'd been clinging on to the notion that I ‘should’ further my career as I'd invested so much in it; that things would improve in a different environment. (And it was interesting to experience the Middle East for real.) But it was the safest route. Relying on someone else's business for employment is the system I grew up with.
This gnawing in my gut that I HAD to be a free agent completely threw me. Downright scary. Apart from the negative ‘what ifs…’, having faith in my own abilities is the scariest…
But there is no time like the present, so back home in Turkey, I've boxed up the English books and said NO to offers of teaching work that have come up. It feels a bit wrong to be going against the grain of habit, turning down ready cash, but the sense of relief and freedom is greater. I want to spend my time on MY ideas. Lucky I have an understanding husband :-)
Armed with my bullet journal and a Kindle copy of John William’s ‘Screw Work, Break Free’, structuring my own time and actually seeing progress with my abandoned projects is immensely rewarding. This is the new start and this blog is part of it.
If you would like to share your story of starting over, feel free to use the comments box below.