Sunday, March 13, 2016

Finding Zen in unexpected places

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my employment may (or may not) come to a screeching halt in the next couple of months. I've been at my current job more than a decade and generally enjoy it, so it would be a bit of a wrench. For me, as for many of my colleagues, it's been a time of introspection and distraction. (And yeah, lost productivity. It is hard to work at your usual pace when there's an axe poised above your head.)

Anyway, for me it has meant considering many 'what ifs'. Tossing ideas around about how I'll support myself, and my responsibilities to our household, if I lose my job. What it would be like to suddenly have no fixed daily routine after thirty-two years of trotting off to an office most days. What else (more volunteering, cooking, gardening, sewing, socialising, decluttering, exercising, reading ...) I could do if I had more free time. How I might find more clients for my freelance work. In short, how I want the rest of my life to look.

All this brain churn has had a couple of interesting spin-offs. One expected, one not so expected.

Firstly, as always happens when I am stressed, my cupboards and freezer are full. When particular aspects of my life feel uncertain or out of control, I stock up on food. Today I made two huge pots of soup (leek, potato, bacon and cannellini bean and coconut split pea, in case you're wondering) and filled the freezer. Yesterday I cooked and froze a pile of bolognese sauce. My cupboards are similarly well-stocked. Nothing will be wasted  I abhor waste  but we now have enough food in the house to feed ourselves for a month if, say, some disaster occurs and we can't go to the shops.

The second, and less foreseen, side effect of all the thinking has been an odd sense of peace. I've always been a bit of a perfectionist, setting very high standards for myself and feeling disappointed if I don't meet them. Strangely I'm feeling quite relaxed. Less uptight than usual about timelines and correctness and making sure everything is in its place. NOTHING is in its place and that's OK.

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