So, I did it. I stuck to my plan, quit my sensible job, and am officially self employed. Bloody terrifying! So far though, the terrifying bit hasn’t really been so terrifying, perhaps it’s my unwavering optimism that things will work out? Or perhaps it’s that I have about 100 ‘in case of emergency’ fall back plans (returning to Probation as a Senior Probation Officer is roughly number 99). For whatever reason, the terror just isn’t there yet. Hopefully it won’t come at all.
I’ve enjoyed being able to nap in the afternoon as my fatigue management/ long Covid clinic advised, and have been generally happier, more creative and more productive. It’s like my previous career had placed a cloud over my creativity which was so pervasive I hadn’t even noticed it. Well, it’s lifted, and I’ve been having a whale of a time- painting, singing, writing, creating and being productive. Fab.
Talking of whales, I’m still two stone heavier than I used to be. Covid/ fatigue can only be partly blamed (dammit), the larger portion of blame can be attributed to my- well, larger portions of chocolate and crunchy fun stuff. I have no regrets- when I was struggling it provided some comfort, and now I need to shake off the comfort and get myself healthy again. I’ve noticed that the added weight has caused issues for my joints and back, and this is the primary reason -for me- that the weight needs to go. Losing weight sucks though – there’s no fun or easy way to do it, despite the claims of many New Year adverts, it’s just a case of wanting to do it, understanding how, and getting on with it. Approximately 80% of weight loss is diet based, so some of that comfort food needs to go. Meh.
EVERY DAY I’M HUSTLING…
Regarding income, I knew that this would be a period of transition, and I have fully expected to have no income at all for 2 months, and rely on savings to get me through that (I was lucky to have savings in this day and age, but had I not, I still would have done this- I would have just obtained part-time work to remain stable whilst starting back out). I adopted the approach that I would have nothing at all coming in, so that anything I do have feels like a massive win, again it comes back to reframing negative thoughts- I could easily panic over the fact that my estimated income for January is likely to be a couple of hundred quid, but instead I look at it with pride and achievement of exceeded expectations.
I have some PT intro appointments booked so far, and am also doing side-hustles, namely dog walking and card making. I hand made my Christmas cards so decided to make some for valentines day to sell on Etsy, after a neighbour told me I should be selling my cards. I may sell some, I may not- you miss 100% of the shots you never take. As for the dog walking, I love dogs. I feel energised and invigorated around them, and would love to have one when life is more settled and I can fully provide for one. I. The meantime, I steal other people’s for an hour here and there, and get paid for it. Win! The exercise is also great for me, and again – I can work around my afternoon nap time!
The admin side of the business stuff is where I struggle, but I’m trying to keep it simple- a basic Excell sheet to fill in income and expenditures, and a new bank account for recieving payments. I’m investing in a card reader to make life easier for me and clients, and keeping a folder with digital screenshots of receipts as well as a physical one. That’s it… Even I can manage that!
So, here we are: new year, new career, no money coming in and happier than I’ve been in a long time. Let’s see what happens next, and in the meantime- don’t forget to be a little brave, and always find the positives- they’re there, waiting for you to acknowledge them.