On Saturday, one weekend ago, I handed in my last assignment for the course I’ve been studying this year. Which means that last week was the first week that I’ve had where I having nothing “hanging over me” after work. Now, I know that “hanging over me” sounds really negative, but with being sick all semester, it was kind of a negative, guilt-based experience. I needed to do things and physically and mentally couldn’t do anything but rest after a day of work.
A New Life
For the past few months, getting home has meant feeling guilty at the piles of uni work looking at me from the telephone table in the lounge (because yes, we have a landline). It has meant stress eating to ignore the guilt I felt from being too unwell to study like I needed to. Watching old TV shows on DVD because my brain couldn’t cope with anything new. Stressing about if I had the energy to shower or wash clothes for work the next day.
On Monday, I got home and didn’t know what to do. We ate dinner, I realised I had fucked up on the moonrise time and we missed the rise part of the supermoon, but went out to take photos anyway.
When we got home, I didn’t know what to do. Literally. Nothing was on TV that I wanted to watch. My brain is still a bit too fuzzy to read books (though I do have a post-uni “to read” list in my notes app). I was really, really stumped. In the end, we ended up pulling our our favourite Wii game (Wii Sports Resort) and battling each other in dog fight, bowling, dog frisbee and swordplay.
On Tuesday morning, I logged into a business group on Facebook. They have themed days and one of them is a self talk day. I posted: “This is your time to choose and design your life”. Becuase it’s true, right now, I’m staring down the barrel of a new life.
What I realised on Monday night was more than just uni being over for the semester. I was lying on my bed, trying to think of what I had done in previous years after work. And I realised that I have had so much contract work for so many years, that many nights per week were spent job hunting. So I am literally very, very new to not having to do anything at night after work.
On Tuesday I did much the same. Bit of TV. Bit of Wii. Small glass of wine. I’ve been too unwell (tired) to drink all year, so it’s odd have an occasional glass now. I like having the flavours I’ve missed all year, but I am almost wishing they were non alcoholic.
I noticed on Wednesday that my Baskin Robbins (Robins? Something) free birthday cone was going to expire, so after dinner we went out to get it. The store was creepy and it felt like I stole it cos they just kinda said yes and gave me the cone really fast.
The store was really bright and fluorescent so I got Ben to hold the cone while I drove the block to the beach so I could go for a short walk to eat it. The supermoon may have been less super, but it was also still pretty damn impressive.
I finally remembered one of those “Oh I’ll do it after uni” things that I had in my head. Watch Firefly with commentary. We had started a while back and then lost track of where we were up to.
My free time on Friday was mostly consumed with my new weekly link up over on Bloggers and Bacon. And more Firefly. We weren’t really feeling up to anything useful on Friday, so we decided a $5 takeaway pizza on the beach was the thing to do for dinner. Normally we’re much more of a make our own type, but yeah. Some days you need a $5 pizza that someone else cooked.
While I can’t play the new RCT World game until they do a Mac release, I pulled out my old XP laptop and played RCT3. It’s a good game to play when you need to sit still cos it takes hours. And I tend to play in sandbox mode, which is just running your own park endlessly. I love it.
And more Firefly, of course.
On Sunday we went to our usual fruit and veggie market, but they didn’t have any of a few things and we only spent $10, which isn’t really enough for a week of veggies. And people were stupid at the markets. I wasn’t in a mood for crowds therefore everyone around me was stupid. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.
A few months ago, I dumped a LOT of stuff in our living room. It was all stuff that needed to be sorted out before it was allowed back in my desk/study area.
But I did find some cool stuff.
I have a feeling these types of postcards will no longer be a thing.
I decided cider would help me clean:
I also got really annoyed that I have to pay for tablets that have no point (and that I’m not taking). WHY?!?! It is the stupidest thing ever. Is there actually a reason for this?
I wanted wings and garlic bread for dinner but the bread looked like this, so it went in the bin:
Oh, and finished off Firefly commentaries.
This New Life
What did I realise after this week? I’m actually going through a pretty major transition right now. I don’t need any obligations or new projects (or at least ones that will take a lot out of me). One thing I’ve gotten better at in 2016, out of sheer necessary, is embracing my shiny object syndrome. I love getting ideas. But I’m finally comfortable with saying “later” and slotting my wild ideas into my notes app. It captures the spontaneity and enthusiasm of the original ideas but doesn’t force me to take very half assed action. I’ll never be a type A perfectionist in what I put out online, and I’ve gotten a lot better at simply trying & putting it out there thanks to blogging. But it also means working with myself to know when I can take on certain projects.
This is also a roundabout way of me saying that my Side Gig Life podcast will not happen in 2016. It will be a 2017 project for me. Because it’s not 100% interview based and I will be the driving force behind it, I need to know my new “normal” life first. I know if I launched it now, as was the plan, it would sound as wishy washy and uncertain as I feel. While there’s nothing wrong with an exploratory podcast, it’s not firm enough and not doing the topic as much justice as I want to. Important topics need the strength behind them. I’m committed to the project, but I’m not energetically behind it at this time.
For the rest of 2016, I’m allowing myself to do what I want. Because I haven’t been “allowed” to in a very long time, and I don’t know what it is that I want.
How do you cope with major transitions?
22 Replies to “A New Life”
Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS! WELL DONE on completing this year Ness! That is a *huge* achievement, and I know (well, at least from following you on social media 🙂 ) how incredibly hard you worked to get there.
I totally hear you on scaling back on some of the bigger projects and taking some down time, too. After a year of working full-time, studying full-time and raising my daughter, I’m exhausted, and am taking 2017 off from study. I’ve realised (for the first time in 29 years, *gulp*), that while it’s fun to have grand plans and goals (I am completely guilty of always biting off more than I should probably chew!), it’s also nice to be able to relax and just enjoy existing, so that’s precisely what I’m going to spend the next 12 months doing 🙂
I look at all the work I skipped (eg readings) and think I didn’t work that hard haha. But doing the minimum I could was still a lot of work.
Sounds like taking 2017 off from study is a good goal – some mental space will probably help you study better in 2018.
Transitions and adjusting to a new normal cam be really hard! Sounds like you’ve made the right decision in putting off the podcast for now, give yourself some time to just be xx
Now if I could learn to just be…. 🙂
I think I sometimes underestimate the impact of the transitions Vanessa. I don’t mind change, well big change (I’m not fond of small changes), but it often hits me later…. that I could have coped better if I’d better prepared myself.
I think it’s good to have the time too (as you’re doing at the moment) to re-evaluate and consider life and where you’re heading – what’s important and what’s not etc… Make the most of the time you have. xx
I’ve had a lot of change, so I’m used to it, but I don’t know if that means I like it.
Congratulations on finishing! Great achievement. I think you fully deserve just to let 2016 play out day by day. Enjoy x
I nearly dropped out so many times, so (assuming I did ok on the one assignment I *still* don’t have results for) I’m glad I persevered.
So does that mean end of study … not just for this year?! I remember them feels Ness, I was the same the first year or two after I finished Uni, literally had NO hobbies because all I’d ever done was study!
Yeah, it was a grad cert so one year part time. There is a masters “attached” to it (the grad cert is basically the core masters units) but I couldn’t do another two years part time!
I often go too far into something for a few weeks until I have a little break down and then I ease off a little. New things consume my day and my nights #teamIBOT
I’m trying to notice my own patterns in that way, so I think it will be interesting to see what comes of my no-uni, no-job hunting time.
I can connect with this Ness because I’ve been through a transition over the last 2 years, since I left work. The first year was consumed with my Dad’s illness and the second with my broken knee and it’s only now that I feel comfortable with my new normal. I think taking a break and learning to relax before leaching into anything else is a great plan. Congrats on finally finishing off your study and good luck to the endless possibilities before you!
Those are two very big things that would have disrupted your transition…but this year you look like you’re really taking off which is wonderful to see.
Look at you being all “twiddling your thumbs”. Congrats on the whole uni being over thing. Have fun finding out what it is you want …
Look forward to 2017 podcasts!
Haha thank you Leanne. I was nervous about you reading the podcast part seeing as you were going to be my whip cracker… 🙂
Congratulations to you Vanessa! Finishing your course is awesome! I remember finishing my Uni degree (which I did via correspondence while running my own business – why?!) and I felt so free. It was an incredible feeling, as years of hard slog, always having those assignments and exams looming. Well done and enjoy your freedom 🙂 #LovingLifeLinky
I didn’t really celebrate finishing my undergrad degree because I finished it while working in a graduate job… so this time I feel like I should do something to mark the end of postgrad but my mind is blank (and bank account empty).
Well done on finishing your degree and here’s to the next chapter. Here’s lookin’ at you kid 😉 Enjoy the new pages you’ll be writing in this book called Life, and don’t stress about what you want to do. IT will happen 🙂 #teamlovinlife
So pleased you finished the semester. It was so hard I know! But you did it. I remember post Uni times..I would be thinking ‘what do I need to get done now” and then I would remember…nothing. And I would read a book for FUN. What does your transition look like? Is Uni continuing? I have been in transition of three different types since mid July 2014 and parts of have hurt me emotionally much more than I ever realised but I am also feeling less strange to the new way of life and thinking about my life now. I gave up 3 things that were dear to my very being all at once..not realising the impact that they would cause. My career, my home and my family life. Biggies alright!
Congrats on finishing uni! Enjoy the ease off on all the pressure. It’s a transition true but a good one. You’ll adjust I’m sure 🙂 #TeamLovinLife
I’ve realised this year that I don’t cope with major transitions very well. At least, I don’t cope when it’s things coming to an end. I was fine when I started Tafe last year, maybe because I had time to get used to the idea, and it only started out as a 1.5 days a week thing and so I was then eased into it when it became a full-time thing. But it seems that I haven’t coped very well with it all ending, and I’ve spent much of this year struggling to come to terms with it and figuring out what to do next. I’ve got a couple of big things on in the next couple of weeks which I am dedicating my time too, but in between I’m trying to take it a little easier, because the beginning of next year is going to be huge with Punky starting school and I am going to need all of the strength I have to get us all through the transition relatively unscathed, so I know I need to take some time to relax and take it easy over the second half of December and first half of January!