Today is the first day of the rest of my life. But isn’t every day. What a silly phrase.
But today is different for me. Today is my first day without a day job. I left mine yesterday.
Julie made the decision a few weeks ago that I needed to leave my day job (even though I only work a 3 day week anyway). She said, “You’re not getting any younger. Your best years are behind you.” I believe in a previous life Julie gave pep talks on the Titanic.
I railed against the idea. My day job doesn’t identify me as a person, though I’m mad keen on the benefits and pension schemes that come with it, but I got to thinking about what was important to me and my day job didn’t really feature. I really want to write. At the moment, I’m lucky enough to have more than a full plate in that department and I still have room for a little more. Unfortunately, that pesky 9 to 5 thing keeps getting in the way. Something had to give, so I handed in my notice. Obviously I prepared myself for my boss’ denial and the offers to double my salary if I would reconsider. To my boss’ credit, she held herself in check and said, “So when would your last day be?” That woman is a trooper. Brave to the bitter end.
I have to admit it took a little getting used to the idea of leaving my day job security blanket behind. I’m a very pragmatic person. I need my food and shelter requirements squared away before I can go crazy, but as Julie says, I’m not getting any younger and I could run out of time before I get to do all the things I want to do. So, I’m going for it. I’m quite fortunate to be in a position to do this. We live comfortably off Julie’s salary and mine goes towards vacations, investments, the house, etc. For the first time in my writing career, I’ll earn something close to what I earned at my day job. In addition, I have secondary income from some very nice investments and added to that I have a second job. It’s very non-traditional, super secret job and is the reason Robin Burcell stood in for me last week. So financially, I won’t be struggling for food.
So as of this morning, my job title is writer. It’s a little scary. It jars with my pragmatic sensibilities. Writer. It’s such an intangible profession and in the same leagues as cloud wrangler and attorney general. But my pragmatic sensibilities drive me to make this work. Not because I want a new car every other year, but because I like being a writer. I like being a professional liar. I want to make people believe in something I made up. I think I can do it and I hope I can pull it off. I’m going to give it my best shot.
Naturally, I’ll have to make adjustments. Some of my priorities will change. If this is my job then I have to treat it as a job. I’ll have to get my act together in some respects and work damn hard to nail down some projects I want to do. Julie has expectations as the sponsor of this adventure. Someone is going to have to look pretty for her and better have the dinner on the table when she gets home. And that someone isn’t going to be the dog or one of the cats. On the plus side, I will have certain freedoms. How many of us out there can go to work in their underpants and not have the boss complain?
So, I’ve dispensed with the safety net. I’m not sure how it’ll go. I don’t have catlike abilities where I always land on my feet, but I tend to fall on my arse and not my face, so I’m hopeful. Now please turn away, I have to scratch.
Yours flying high and not looking down,
Next month will be a special month as I’m going to make it things that I survived. I have a small talent for calamity, so I’ll be sharing some of mine.