17 Sep Be Careful what You Wish For
Last week I ‘delivered’ my eldest child to college in the US and this week my youngest got his drivers licence. I am officially as redundant as the white pages. Full of info that no one wants and desperately in need of reinvention. If I’m honest, I admit that I have been fantasising about this day for some time. But be careful what you wish for, because instead of popping the champers, doing nude cartwheels down the hallway and reveling in the serenity, I’m feeling decidedly unsettled, and a bit wobbly. For the first time in forever, I’ve actually got time on my hands and I have no idea what to do with it. I thought I deserved a week of ‘down time,’ but after cleaning out the Tupperware cupboard, rearranging my undies drawer and watching an entire series of House Of Cards … I’m officially bored. I’ve forgotten how to relax and I totally suck at doing nothing.
I need to find a new sense of purpose … to feel productive again. I used to have a biggish job in advertising … back when dinosaurs roamed the world, BSM (before social media) … when engagement wasn’t measured by ‘likes’ or followers and ‘influencers’ weren’t a thing. The thought of dusting off my court shoes and mixing it with all the shiny new digital gurus (who are undoubtedly younger than the aforementioned court shoes) .. sends shivers down my spine. I need to reinvent myself or risk imminent obsolescence. But here’s the thing …. If I’m totally honest with myself, I’m not sure I’ve got the energy to start again and nor do I have the same unbridled ambition or aspiration to climb the corporate ladder … or any ladder for that matter. Quite frankly, the mere thought makes me want to boil the kettle and take a nap. So, not only am I coming to terms with identifying a whole new career at age 50, but the parameters that I’ve operated within and by which I’ve measured success for the past 50 years have completely changed!
I’ve got two choices … accept my redundancy (sans any golden handshake) and come to terms with 50 mind-numbingly boring years or uncover something else that might ring my rusty old bells for the next 50. If I’m honest … my dream would be to write for a living. Maybe a column … a bit Carrie Bradshaw-esque … substituting the “sex” in the city with “gen x” in the city … and some travel writing … maybe even a book. But the annoyingly practical and pragmatic voice in my head is busy calculating the probability of this idealistic scenario paying the bills anytime soon … and to be fair the odds aren’t good. So, maybe as a back up I’ll just dust off those court shoes while I search for my Quasimodo idea that will see my bells ringing again soon.