What Next?

Every time I look at my last post I have a little chuckle. Sometimes, when I am very stressed about one area in my life, I seize on something else about which I know absolutely nothing and care less (sport, for instance..) and get very impassioned on the subject, in a cunning attempt at misdirection. Not misdirecting you, my lovely readers, but me. It makes me feel better to have an opinion about a thing than to be sitting under the bedclothes gibbering about the unknowns in my life. Mind you, I stand by everything I said in the last post. I may not know anything about sport, but I can see when Big Money is screwing a thing up and spitting out its vulnerable victims after it has chewed them well..

Anyway, here I am, and here is the angst I have been avoiding - some of it is child related angst, so I won't go into it, other than to say, oh, my dears, being a parent, who would have thought that the baby years actually weren't the hardest? People did tell me that, back in the day, and I just wouldn't believe them. What could be harder than NEVER HAVING ANY SLEEP? Well, I am here to tell you, parents of tiny babes, sending your kids out into the world is far more terrifying than any toddler tantrum, and trying to make good decisions for them and with them when they are teenagers - aargh. Who can be that wise? Not me. I have the most fabulous young people in the actual world. They are all crazy and brave and brilliant and kind. I wish I could make the world all soft and bouncy for them so it would never hurt them. Remind me why I can't do that? When The Girl was about six or seven she wrote a (short) novel about what the future would be like. When her characters finally got there, they discovered that the future was...PILLOWS! Pillows are everywhere and bouncing is the thing you do in the future. I want all the children, everywhere, to have that future. I can't stand it that we have conspired to make a pretty crap world for our kids to inherit, and that we are steadily making it worse, day by day.

However, some child related angst has been worked through by everyone, and some child related angst is on-going, and honestly, probably will continue for years, that being the nature of us all being human.. and that's ok. Angst that doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

In other news, I walked into work on Thursday and told them I wouldn't be coming back next year. Yes, I quit! I have been second-guessing this decision for weeks and months, and then finally, just did it. I feel a bit lightheaded now. I am going to do two things next year (who knows, maybe more!) - writing, and starting a very small gardening business. I will be offering organic vegie gardening services, and any ornamental garden services that don't require a truck or a chainsaw. I have one tentative client, and the rest is completely in the lap of the gods. When Rosy finishes her exams she is going to design a business card for me, and I will do administrative things to do with tax, and then I can begin.

Jumping off the cliff has the advantage that once it is done, you can't change your mind. You are committed, and the only way is down. To certain death. Hmmm. I don't like where this analogy is going.

There is a Maori proverb, quoted in Ruth Park's autobiography, Fence Around the Cuckoo:

If you climb a cliff, you may die on the cliff. So what?

So what, indeed..


Deborah said…
Oh, I've been trying to make that decision since I went on LSL in July, but no clear answer, except I think I'll apply for 12 months leave without pay. I love my job and miss working with small children but I love the life I'm having with my retired husband! Your plans sound very exciting....GOOD LUCK!
Treaders said…
Oh my goodness, well done you for quitting your job. I couldn't/wouldn't but only need maybe another 3 years to retire. I do so admire people who just jump in. I'm too much of a Libran to do that - I spend hours ruminating. But if you need practice on the organic gardening side in Europe ...... give me a call. Anna
simplelife said…
Oh my I'm right there with you on the parenting teens stuff... Woah what a ride it is.
As for the career change, go girl! I'm so not brave so I admire that quality in others. As to the quote you shared, we are going to die somewhere (someday) may as well be on the cliff if that's where we want to be. If I lived closer I'd definitely employ you to sort my garden out and teach me how, it would be a long term position 😂.
Anyhow good luck with it all.
Cheers Kate
jj said…
Congratulations Jo, on all fronts! Having weathered the teenage & quitting storms & now sailing in the wonderful & exciting world beyond, I wish you every success :)
Pam in Virginia said…
Hi, Jo!

You are such a brave soul (I know, I know - only on the outside . . .). Best of luck with your two new money-making ventures.

I'm with you on the child related angst - I have two sons, 29 and 33, and I can tell you, and my mother can tell you (with 3 kids and me being the oldest at 60), that child related angst is always sort of lurking there somewhere. But they make their own choices and we did our best. And they actually still need us sometimes; they realize that when they are more mature.

This is so great: "If you climb a cliff, you may die on the cliff. So what?"

Jo said…
Deborah, I know, decisions, decisions! I somehow doubt I will miss working with small children, but you never know.. glad you are loving your retired life.

Anna, I am terrible at decisions, and have spent months on this one. Would love to pop over to France and practice gardening on an alp. That would be marvellously fun! But the commute..

Kate, I would love to teach people about gardening. Maybe that is in my future too..

jj, waving to you from the other side. Good to hear there is smooth sailing in the future! How did your quitting saga go?

Pam, I know my parents still worry about me, so maybe it is just something I should get used to! And hey, you have to hand it to the Maoris for terrifyingly nonchalant insouciance.
fran7narf said…
Bravo Jo! If you want to get some seriously good qualifications that will teach you everything you want to know about gardening and a whole lot more you could always go to TAFE like we did and study horticulture. I am quite sure you will love it and sometimes, it's that little piece of paper that you can wave aloft like Excalibur, that allows people to trust you in their beautiful gardens.

The older they get, the more adult they become and the less "yours" they are, but that doesn't stop you wanting to protect them and nurture them. Did you want some more of those white cloth bags that Rabid gave to you? She gifted me a stack as well but I have never used them and they are sitting in the cupboard gathering whatever lives in the cupboard.

Again, "Bravo!" on the stepping out yourself thing. People love good gardeners and there is a lot of room for a girl to market herself to other women. A friend and I were even contemplating doing just that when we first left horticulture back in 2009 but life got in the way and now we are studying how to make short films and up to our eyeballs in editing. Funny how life goes...
GretchenJoanna said…
Your sense of humor is a good sign regarding your future! As to bravery, it would not be bravery if it did not require stepping out into the scary unknown.

I still have children angst and mine are all older than 30. Now I am developing grandchildren angst. It requires constant stepping back, breathing deeply, and remembering that life is a process of learning -- often through painful though not fatal errors. But you know that.

Your children no doubt have inherited or been taught some of your bravery and humor, which will stand them well.

Unknown said…
You are brave! And the queen of reinvention. How many times have you changed tack in your life? I'd pay you to work on my garden - if only distance wasn't a factor.

I'd wish you luck but I know you don't need it. You will work hard and do well and have equal mixture of angst and worry and enjoyment and fulfilment and peacefulness. And probably change "work", or the stuff we fill our days with, again in a few years.

I look forward to more posts on the gardens you resurrect and design. And to reading your published works in other places.

I love that concept. I've seen the future, and the future is .... pillows.
Anonymous said…
That is wonderful news Jo. So pleased that you are creating your own path.I am sure there will be heaps of gardening work for you, and word of mouth is a wonderful thing.
Yes, parenting not little people: I seriously thought long and hard about having kids as I was dreading these teenage years, but so far the good has outweighed the bad, but my stars, it isn't easy sometimes:-) Loretta
Jo said…
Fran, it was so lovely to see you this morning! Thanks for the bags and the gooseberry plant :)

Gretchen Joanna, yes, fear and bravery go hand-in-hand.. and yes, I do have brave and funny children.

Lucinda, it's true, trying new things is always more fun! And yes, the future is definitely pillows, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Loretta, yes, and the thing is my teenagers and young people are all lovely and gorgeous, and still it is worrying.. but it's all that 'life is a journey' thing, I guess.
Judy said…
Dear wonderful Jo, I'm sharing the teenage angst. My youngest son (17) passed his driving test last month and I have barely seen him or the car since! And every conversation with my youngest daughter (14) involves me being shouted at - I can't possibly suggest anything, but cuddles with no words is fine thankfully. Still it is very quiet with just 2 of them at home, now the older 2 have left. Can't wait to have everyone home for Christmas!
SOOOOOOO glad you are devoting yourself to writing. And look how brave and fearless you are :-) There really isn't enough time in life for worry or fear, especially as it never helps us, but just detracts from our happiness. I announced to my dearest husband this week that I want to sell the house and invest in bitcoins. Imagine the freedom of no mortgage or debts and having cash tucked away for when we find our perfect place? He thinks I will change my mind, but really we have far surpassed the point when some change is due, so I am determined. Clearly you are too, so I am sending you my blessings. Judy
Jo said…
Judy, my 17yo just passed her driving test too! And yes, haven't seen her or car since! Luckily she is calm and a good driver.. and doesn't mind doing errands. And again, like you, my 13yo thinks everything I do is wrong. Ah, well..

Good luck with your cunning plans for change. But.. Bitcoin? Are you sure??

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