February 26, 2013

Keeping afloat


Last week my long service leave ran out and I’ve found myself in leave without pay land. I knew it was coming but the creeping sensation of being cast adrift felt like the opening scenes of Life of Pi. Where the uncle explains that the art of learning to swim is about accepting that a mouthful of water will not harm you – but panic will. He then threw Pi in the water to find his own rhythm. He didn’t panic.

Its a thought Ive had both in living with my own fears about change, in raising my beautiful babies and in reaching out to people in a state of despair for the future. The feelings of panic are the ones that set you back. Those feelings are hard to set aside.

Panic and uncertainty have a habit of making you unsteady, of making you foggy. I shared those thoughts with a friend I met for lunch today – he likened those uncomfortable feelings that invade your space as similar to living under the flight path. Where for most of your days you hear the planes fly overhead and they register, only for a fleeting moment but on others, when your defences are down, when you are tired, or uncertain the noise forces you to stop,. They interrupt your conversation and render you incapable of moving ahead.

The thing is the noise eventually gets softer, you start to notice the world around you again and you pick up and continue on. Your life keeps on regardless.

Without an office to work in, colleagues to sit with or coffee shops to inhabit your status suddenly slips away. I got to practice this new version of myself, as a person who works for themselves, while on long service leave but now that that pontoon of work is gone I’m working out a new swimming style. Its more of a flop than a fluid stroke.

My little space here fills that void most days – the chance to take a break from the writing, studying, counselling that I do – to check in with people, have a laugh and a gossip and to get back to my desk. Ready to put my head down for the remainder of he afternoon.

Thanks for dropping by my pod for a chat x

Are blogs the new office water-cooler for those working remotely?  How do you stay connected when working from home?




Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. I have read so many posts questioning the reason/purpose of blogs today (mine included!)
    I like the analogy of swimming and panic, has set me down to think about life and how that works – fighting the panic or feeling the rhythm?
    I need to set aside a few hours and watch Life of Pi
    Good luck as your venture into the unknown xx

    • Thanks Josefa – it was an odd movie but the opening and the closing were outstanding (perhaps the space in between was the bit I could have done without). Thanks for your kind words x

  2. Absolutely, all of the above. Blogs are so much work, but lately, as I’ve been hovering over whether to keep going or not, I’ve been thinking that maybe my problem is that I think of it as work rather than play. If the blog is my happy place, there’s no sense of having wasted time because I’ve enjoyed myself doing it.
    Always happy to pop by your cubicle Sarah, we work at homes have to stick together (and order the nice biscuits). x

    • Me too K. Dont overthink the whole blog thing – its a blip on a continuum of creativity – wonder if we’ll laugh and laugh when we look back as old ladies at our blogging career. Just write my love x

  3. I work from home after meeting customers at their properties.
    Having lost the office over the petition conversations was hard but I have found blogs to be the new way to impart stories and post photographs of the weekend adventure.
    For me twitter is good as well as a blog.
    Unfortunately, I have found past work associates have all but dropped off my radar but new associates in the “clouds” tend to be more passionate re their agenda and usually intelligent.
    Nothing stays the same and for those that can handle change there are more doors than in Monster inc 🙂
    On another note, I very much like your writing.

    • Thanks Malcolm and welcome! I love the new associates in the clouds – that sums it up perfectly. There are so many savvy, passionate engaged people in the online space its amazing how many new connections you can forge just by working from home alone.

      Monsters Inc has been on replay in our home for half a decade now.

      Thanks for visiting

  4. Social media is definitely the new water cooler, however I still need contact offline otherwise I find I get to rapt up in cyberspace. It’s so nice though, to have a space to chill. We all need that.

  5. Sarah – I guess you were occupying ‘that space in between’ while you were on long-service leave and now it all feels sort of scary serious. Ten years ago I took leave without pay for three months and it was the best thing. We’d given up on IVF after a long haul of 8 cycles and a lost pregnancy and we were in the midst of renovating and starting the adoption process – I really needed the break. And then it gave me courage to leave work for good and start my own consultancy – I left a couple of months after coming back. I’ve been back in a secure job since, left, lived overseas for a year, and am now back again. In some ways I’d love to make blogging work full-time, but I also get satisfaction out of what I do at work. Maybe I’m just scared too! While it is good to take a leap of faith sometimes, that space in between doesn’t have to feel like you are stuck in limbo, but can be full of possibilities – and then anyting can happen, and that’s exciting – good luck….kathy


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