Time to Make the Jump!

Mon 28 Nov – Sun 4 Dec 2022

In my previous blog, I wrote about the penultimate week in my current paid job and how I was getting everything ready for a smooth leaving – read it here. The final week was last week and it really was a case of closing my eyes and making the jump. Like leaping from a plane for a parachute jump. Or diving into a pool from a high diving board. Or even just stepping out from a building for a bungee jump.

The jump I am making isn’t totally into a void. I have created my own safety net relying on my bit of savings. And it may well be that I am unemployed for less time than I expected. But if you are going to do something big and audacious then you do have to take a big breath and leap. Otherwise it just becomes a pipe dream and you will always think ‘what if?’

motivational picture

Work Life Balance

E-sorting

It’s been a week of sorting through stuff on my laptop. Looking at documents and emails to decide whether to delete or forward. It is interesting how much ‘important’ data we create that is ultimately not very important. And how stuff can manage to be replicated in several different places.

A decent digital legacy

Sent out ‘goodbye’ emails to key external contacts. Some lovely responses including one on how a digital product we had built for a not-for-profit had gone from strength to strength. With their in-house team ensuring its ongoing development and it becoming a key part of several new initiatives they are undertaking. That sort of thing makes me feel my time at Thoughtworks has been so worthwhile.

Good experiences

Also did the general ‘exit spam’ email to everyone in our UK offices. Some really nice responses. It’s particularly clear that most of the people who served on the social change projects had a great experience and reached out to tell me so. Again, left me with a warm glow.

A last, great project

It was fitting that my final week finished with a showcase of some recent work we have done with an ecological charity. And it was clear those who had been on the project had got a lot out of it. As did the charity who outlined what they had got from working with our team including learning some of our business consultancy processes and sharing code for comment.

progress being made

The final jump

Friday was the jump day itself. My very last day and so I took my laptop back to the office. I have primarily worked from home in this role. This has been great for my personal convenience as well as saving time and money. However, I haven’t felt as integrated as I have in other jobs which have been totally office-based.

For my next job…

Going forward, two things I am aware of:

  • I want to carry on working in a hybrid manner but I need to think about how not to feel isolated and slightly adrift
  • But I am also clear that I quite like working on shorter, fixed-term contracts. Indeed, I enjoy the potential for a variety of experiences that this offers.

“Life is pain, anyone who says differently is selling something.”

William Goldman

Health and Efficiency

Gym

Post making the jump from working life, one of my big aims is to get to the gym more. And to return to some other forms of exercising like jogging and swimming.

Very happy that I got to the gym three times last week. Though on Monday it was a bit of a shock with 3 other people alongside me in the gym – I am so used to being there on my own! But good workouts each time especially on Tuesday which lasted much longer than usual. Didn’t overdo it but just got into the groove and didn’t want to leave.

Male gymnast

84 gym sessions since the start of the year divided by the annual membership = £5.90 per session. Will I hit £5 by the end of Dec?

Teeth and feet

In my previous blog (read it here), I mentioned how I needed to make use of my health allowances before I made the jump from my current job. Pleased to say that I managed to squeeze in a visit to the dental hygienist and the chiropodist.

Hygienist was as unpleasant as to be expected with somebody scraping stains off your teeth. But I honestly think skimping on dental care is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in life. My teeth definitely looked better afterwards.

Meanwhile, it was lovely to have someone make a fuss of my feet. And to remove a corn down the side of a nail I didn’t know I had but that was causing discomfort.

nice teeth smile

Diet

My theory is that having made the jump from paid work and into semi (or ‘pre’) retirement, so I will have more of a feeling of control over my own life. This should enable me to also have more of a grip on what and when I eat with less stress and anxiety affecting my appetite.

Wasn’t sure it was working last week until we got to Saturday and I had a decent weight result. I had stayed the same at just under 14 stone when I had thought I would have put a bit of weight on. Onwards and upwards.

Books and Reading

A big planned feature for my life after making the jump into semi-retirement is to do lots more reading. So slightly amusing in the week just gone that I didn’t manage to finish any of the 3 books I have on the go.

I’m reading Paterson Joseph’s ‘Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho’ but that is the book I simply read a few pages of each night before I go to sleep. I’ve been reading a lot more of Michael Moorcock’s ‘Gloriana’ which is wonderful. An alternative reality set in the court of Good Queen Bess. It’s dense and gothic but bloody good. Finally, I’m reading Andy Weir’s ‘Project Hail Mary’ on my kindle as I move about. A nice piece of sci-fi with all the detailed features you would expect of his novels.

Rows and rows of beautiful books

Personal Development

More time = more progress

Another feature of my life post-jump is that I can focus a lot more on personal development. Particularly improving my language skills in Spanish and German. Plus, perhaps, delving into some more digital skills development. It’s all about simply having more time to do this. And I have made sure I have been spending time this week gone on my Spanish in particular.

Sustainability

Frugal living

So now I will stop having a monthly income. This is the scary bit. But in a way that is very good for my commitment to try to live a more sustainable lifestyle. I simply can’t afford to do all the things I used to do in terms of consuming and experiencing. I am going to have to learn to live a more frugal lifestyle. Might be hard to adjust to with the consumption society we live in but it won’t be impossible. And all reduced consumption is good for the planet.

“I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

Mark Twain

Family and Friends

Mum is ill

Mum has been ill with a really bad cold though I think there is a lot of it about. It’s possible that she caught it off my brother who is also ill. And my mate in Brighton couldn’t meet me because he was in a similar state – see below. No news on the window repair despite an intervention by the Housing Officer. What is to be done?

Dave – stress and destress

Dave has been really stressed as this is his busiest time of the year at work. My tactic has been to disappear and let him get on with things without me bugging him. All has gone well and he has come back down to Earth a bit. Although he has become a social media manager alongside other parts of his job and has been glued to the internet over the weekend sorting out postings. Should get easier next week – fingers crossed.

Dinner with Dom and Rich

I intend to spend more time with my friends having made the jump from paid work. And develop those friendships. Great to start on Wed evening with a meet up with my old mates Dom and Rich for a chilled meal. Dave was also able to come along, taking a break from his frenetic work commitments. And he relayed how it was so useful to take a break despite thinking that he was too busy.

Brighton

A break and a chance to catch up with friends

One of the things I would like to do now, is to travel more. No doubt it will be easier with no work commitments (though obviously I still have caring commitments for mum). But travel and accommodation are expensive which goes against my attempt to live a more frugal lifestyle.

However, I decided to reward myself with a trip to Brighton. Not a place I love having lived there for many years and had some awful experiences. But I still have many good friends there although several have also left. Down on Sunday afternoon to spend a few days particularly catching up with people I haven’t seen for a long time – some, literally years.

Unfortunate that my mate Rob had the dreaded cold / flu that is going around and had to cancel our catch-up on Sun night. Still I had a nice time chilling at my hotel and eating out whilst monitoring the England vs Senegal match. Overall, this break is almost like being on a short retreat having finished at work; time for me to relax, unwind, and think about building the future.

seagull on a brighton railing

Art and Culture

‘Casque D’Or’ – classic French cinema

I aim to have a lot more art and culture in my life. The previous week, I had a trip to the cinema and another one this week just gone. Back to my current favourite cinema, The Garden Cinema in Covent Garden. Saw the classic B&W French film ‘Casque D’Or’. Made in 1952 and the story of an ill-fated love triangle – details here. A very good film and nice to practice my French. The cinema itself was packed (albeit only having about 30 seats) and I wish the lady sitting next to me had not worn quite so much perfume.

The Week Ahead

  • Carrying on my short sojourn in Brighton with visits lined up for Paul, Antonia, Dave, as well as Em and Beth.
  • When I get back to London, must make sure to line-up meets with friends I haven’t seen for a while
  • Should get to the gym on Thursday and Friday. Consecutive days are not ideal but I don’t like going at the weekend as it gets too busy.
  • INR on Thursday to check my blood clotting levels
  • Will definitely finish at least one of the 3 books I am dealing with. Then looking forward to a couple of new ones.
  • What art and culture can I get into my life?

And Finally…

The woke 'threat'

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