The questions frequently posed to me throughout last year were all related to my employment status. My answer to the string of “Are you working?”, “When are you going to work?” and “Have you started working yet?” etc. was “next year”. Though I knew it was out of genuine care and concern from those who cared to spare the time to ask how I was doing, I got tired of explaining and to avoid sounding like a broken record, I gave what I thought was the most convenient, comforting and easily accepted answer.
Last week marked the anniversary of my one full year of being unemployed, and I also found myself well into “next year”! With the new year, one instinctively expects and hopes for new opportunities and unsurprisingly, I have been greeted with the same questions again.
When I left my job a year ago, first time packing it in without a job lined up and with no deadline set on how long my season of rest would be, I thought I would just be taking a few months off, half a year the most I reasoned. It then came the time for me to go back to my parents’ to help take care of my mum on her end-of-life journey. It was a tough and yet gratifying time spent with mum and we were comforted seeing her going home peacefully to be with the Lord a month later in July. In our bereavement and the months that followed, going back to the workplace was never on my mind as we were trying to settle in to a life without mum.
Now a year on being “semi-retired”, my alternate and cheeky answer to the many questions on my job front I have been bombarded with, I am finally ready to think about where I want to see myself in this regard. I have come to the realisation that, the plans and direction that I was once so sure I would take after my break which I carefully mapped out before I handed in my resignation a year ago, surprisingly though not unexpectedly, no longer seems enticing. A year of living life differently interjected with life-changing experiences has subtly and gradually shifted my thinking and adjusted my perspectives on the path ahead.
After many years of working a job that demanded so much out of me, though I enjoyed it nonetheless, at this stage of life and especially after having the courage to step away and the time to rest, think and re-evaluate, I am ready to embark on a new career path and embrace new changes. So, when the next question about my future direction comes up, I will tell the curious or concerned to just wait as in due time, they will see me changing lane from the slow one. After my year-long plus a few more months to go of a season of rest, I am ready and looking forward to a new spring.
“Life is truly a constant beginning, a constant opportunity, a constant springtime.”
– Jim Rohn (from his book “The Seasons of Life”)