For a long time, I’ve thought of my job as “just a job.” One that I’m oh-so-lucky to be able to do from home. Working at home for the last 10 years has certainly propagated that feeling — writing for a living is just what I do from my office (a spare bedroom) in between gardening, laundry, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, blogging (aka “real life”).
But as work has been painfully slow this year (in contrast to a very busy last year), I’m feeling a loss of identity in addition to a loss of income. Losing a job really does make you feel…marginalized? aimless? — who am I if I don’t have a job?
I’m sure it’s the fact that I’m supposed to be working that makes the difference. If I didn’t have a job on purpose, that would be fine. I’d be happy (really happy) being a “housewife.”
But, now I’m just a loser non-breadwinner — a condition I can tolerate for a little while (there have been slow times before), but eventually I’m going to have to remedy. Never having worked retail or restaurant, I’m intimidated by that prospect, but it would be a good old-dog-new-tricks experience. (Maybe I’d be good at it, having had a lifetime of knowing what I don’t like from service providers. Or maybe I’d be fired because I’d be terrible at working with the public.)
Maybe it’ll be back to an office.
Really, don’t know if I could stomach that at this point — the meetings, the politics, the performance reviews, the having to sit there and look busy even when you’re not. I get sick just thinking about it.
Or maybe, as has always happened before, business will pick up and I’ll once again be successfully self-employed. That’s what I’m hoping for.
In the meantime, I’m secretly enjoying the downtime if not the empty wallet and dwindling savings. The sun does still shine, the flowers do still bloom, and the chores still need to be done, even when you’re under-employed. Time to get busy being useful at something.
Nobody can think straight who does not work.
Idleness warps the mind.
~ Henry Ford