Perhaps it's the weather.
Perhaps it's because I've finally started to read the bleak, dystopian vision presented in "The Handmaid's Tale".
Perhaps it's something else entirely.
Whatever it is, I've been feeling discombobulated for a couple of weeks now.
Yeah. You're right. I do know exactly why.
It's now a full 12 weeks since I stopped working. As you might expect, I haven't missed working or sitting in an office for 11 hours a day or being on call 24x7 for a moment. Not even once. It's a ridiculous way to spend your life and I've spent enough of my life doing it already. Everyone knows that, don't they? Very few people would work if they could afford not to. With the time and space to actual think about it, stopping doing that job is one of the best things that could have happened to me. Them paying me to stop doing it was even better.
With all that time back in my days, I've generally been pretty good at keeping myself busy. As well as all the usual running and coaching and things that I normally do, I've started doing some volunteer work as a sighted guide for Guide Dogs, I've been doing some facebook moderation for shift.MS and I'm going through the process of becoming a trustee for a Nottinghamshire Domestic Abuse charity. I've also been trying to do a little bit of reading and writing and generally clearing my head of the chiff-chaff of 22 years of full time work to see if I can work out what I want to do next.
I think it took the full three months to really blow away the cobwebs of all that time working a full-time job. I suppose, in the grand scheme of things and after 22 years, 12 weeks isn't really that much decompression time and I might easily have expected it to take longer. In the end, I surprised myself by actually applying for a full time job. It wasn't something that I had been planning, and I don't really need to seek paid employment at all for a little while.... but a job advert popped up in front of me the other day and I was curious enough to follow it up, to ring the recruiter up to talk to him about the role and then interested enough to apply for it.
Even more surprising to me was that this was an IT job. I've been out of IT for about 5 years and honestly never thought it was something I would want to go back to.
I don't know if anything will come of this application. After all, I'd be pretty lucky to land the first job I looked at.... but at the same time, going through the job specification and putting my application together showed me that I do actually have the skills and experience this company need and that I do apparently have the energy to help them with this thing. It's really easy to become institutionalised when you spend a long time in one place, to lose sight of your own value. Slowly rediscovering that has been a pretty positive experience and the application process was quite a revelation for me as I buffed up my CV and crafted my covering letter. I really do know how to do this stuff, whether I get this particular job or not.
The application went in a couple of weeks ago with a deadline of last Sunday. And now I wait. I haven't heard anything yet, but nor could I reasonably expect to have done so. So I wait. And as I wait, my focus on the other things I was doing seems to have drifted a little.
The very fact that I have put an application in for a job when I had no immediate plans to do has been like crossing the Rubicon: I was quite happy in my little routines and my little plans for the future, and all of that seems to have been thrown up in the air as I wait to see what happens next.
Perhaps this will come to nothing; perhaps they won't even reply at all; perhaps the won't want to interview me... who knows? What I do know is that I now feel a little trapped in no man's land as I ponder whether I should start a more systematic campaign of job applications, or if I should just be patient and trust that -- as I did with this one -- I'll know a job that I actually want to do when I see one.
I know the answer to that question too.