Friday was my last official day of work. Since then, I have been unemployed. Officially. Without means to support myself.
It’s strangely liberating, although I suspect that this is the hilarious void on the far side of hysteria that Terry Pratchett likes to allude to. So to celebrate, we had wine and cheese and chocolate and smoked cigarettes (no, I didn’t. Blegh. But cigarettes were smoked). We had macaroons – my new OFFICIAL weakness. Oh my word. And we made speeches and probably even sang songs. We hugged and cried and said goodbye and generally, I felt the evening fitted the occasion. It was certainly more fitting than the three business closures I’ve already had in the last 12 months. Those occasions were marked simply, with the more traditional wide-eyed terror that staves off sleep.
The truth of the matter is that I have been “without means to support myself” for some time, only now a) it’s official and, b) I no longer have to work around the clock in the vain hope that I may some day be able to support myself.
In keeping with tradition, all of us got sick. That seems to be the de facto response to having a bunch of unallocated time suddenly available. The good lady we handed our business over to is nearly well, but my business partner (BP) and I, my darling husband (DH), and all of our children, have a very bad case of ‘flu. We have been barely compos mentis for the past four days, and the kids have gone so far as to throw up and display symptoms of meningitis. No stinting on high drama in my family, I assure you.
So I’ve taken the big, scary step. I need to decide if I will seek alternative employment or not. If I do look for a job, I need to be healthy. I went to one interview this week that I absolutely cannot recall and which I suspect may require a letter of apology. I was so drugged up on pain-and-flu meds that I couldn’t hear or see or think properly!
I also need to decide what I want to do and what salary I can settle for. In this part of the world that can be trying. The salaries are very low and the jobs are far away. With only one car and no public transport I don’t know how I’d get to the office each day, nor afford the petrol and after care fees, let alone everything else that goes with working.
Alternatively I can be a stay-at-home mom. That would mean taking the kids out of school altogether because I certainly won’t have the half-a-salary their school fees cost anymore. Then I would have a lot of quality time with my babies, and lots of lovely rest, but no ability to pay the bills or buy food and clothes for those same gorgeous kids. And frankly I’m pretty sure home-schooling moms will set me to rights about how much rest they ACTUALLY get.
So what now?