It is Saturday the 28th March 2015, and almost one month since we left our house in Brighton. If we hadn’t have left, I would be in receipt of the regular monthly pay packet for services to the corporate and the lack of it led me to some reflection and evaluation of the first month away.
My fear has always been that leaving our jobs would make us realise how much we needed the money, this fear an underpinning of the 9 to 5 ethos we have been trained to depend on. There is an absence of the thing which provides a security and a comfort, it provides a mini ‘get out of jail free card’ for the problems of the month; a way to get out and enjoy a night out, to plug into the consumer joy machine of shopping, or to put towards a future day – a holiday or a big day out.
Reflecting, writing this it doesn’t feel like I have missed out, on the basis that a month of work constitutes 25 days of not doing the things you love (unless you are lucky enough to have a job you love!) and 8 days available for recovery and pleasure. The money is largely handed straight over to the establishment in the form of taxes and bills and the really precious human commodity, time… is spent to keep our heads above water – to keep in the game. Instead we have lots of time and little money, it puts things on its head, and things take longer, but there is a greater sense of personal freedom in the mix.
I am conscious that I don’t want all our blog posts to be a barrage of humblebrag, basically saying “what we did is the best thing ever”, but I hope that writing about our socially constructing attitudes to work, rest and play may evoke some reaction, perhaps even encourage someone to give up on the 9 to 5; to be brave, when all the signs are telling you to turn around.
It is certainly hard, we have had a really hard month, it hasn’t all been beaches and sunshine, we have had all manor of ‘signs from above’ that we need to get back into line and get back on the hamster wheel; but for me, the corner has been turned, with the weather on our side, with our experience growing in how to do this life, we are having an experience.
It doesn’t sparkle golden from every angle, every day has frustration and hard work, but the balance has shifted, it has moved toward something which feels more fulfilling, more important than societal patterns and ‘norms’. It may not be something we can do forever, but the objective of this is to do something fun, until it stops being fun and right now just like the payday lift, we are having a lovely lift of warm sunshine and being by the beach.
It is different, but comforting, affirming and brings with it the drive to push on into April and see what adventures that holds!