Downshifting has largely been Emlyn’s recent experience.
My work life has always been more tenuous. Partly because I was pregnant one year out of uni. So there hasn’t been much time when I haven’t been a mum. Partly because I’ve had a few false starts. I did a B.A. in lefty kind of stuff. Good for talking about at coffee shops. But not an employable qualification.
So did clerk kind of work. And managed to teach myself to touch type, back in the days when people still wrote things by hand and gave them to the clerks to word process. And I wouldn’t last in a job for very long.
Then a grad dip in PR. And started working in marketing. And I didn’t last in a job for very long.
From time to time, I would get full time work and it would be a PITA with a family. I found it difficult. We are set up quite traditionally in some ways. Although while I’m typing this and can hear Emlyn in the kitchen, cooking tea… which shows that we are more contemporary than we used to be. Seems to have emerged out of downshifting. Yay. I never lasted in full time work for very long.
Mostly I found it hard to plug into offices. This sense of boredom, which I now think was a low grade hatred at work settles into my mind. Where for so many hours a day, the view is the same. Emlyn and I often wonder if everyone just hates work.
In the past, I’ve been really irresponsible about work. Whenever I got the shits, I would just leave, and rely on Emlyn to provide. And my income was really bonus money for us.
A friend of mine pointed out to me that some people enjoy the status they get from work, the feeling of contributing to society, and the money.
I sort of work now. As a sole trader – peripatetic music tutor. I’ve got a lousy hourly rate. Which is on my mind more since Emlyn downshifted. And I’m not quite ready to figure out how to fix this. Which I will need to do sometime, if we are going to buy a house in the ludicrously priced Aussie house market. I try not to want one. But I do! It’s frustrating being a tenant, because you have no say over your house.