Well, after last week’s post celebrating lazing in the sun (which I realise was a little unfair on those of you who happen not to be on a career break but hard at work), I have to say I’ve been feeling a little bit unemployed. I had things to do but nothing desperately pressing and nothing that didn’t involve me sitting behind my laptop by myself. So when Oliver was in London for a few days last week, I caught myself doing a fair bit of aimless pottering about the flat, verging on moping.
By the way, the fact that my posts are often quite positive in nature doesn’t mean I am always positive and smiley – far from it! Writing positively is a way to make myself look at things positively rather than dwelling on the negatives/beating myself up about stuff, which I am exceedingly good at. I felt that was worth highlighting in case you thought I was one of those irritating happy-clappy types who think everything is always wonderful and can’t wait to tell you all about it.
So although I kept telling myself to stay calm and that something would probably come out of the woodwork, I have to admit I was getting a little nervous that my whole career break project would flounder and I would end up in my pyjamas in front of Jeremy Kyle after all.
Also, I’ve been working on updating my CV and my Linkedin profile, which made me think about when I will need to start applying for actual, gainful employment-type jobs. This scares the bejesus out of me. I hate applying for jobs and all the guff that goes with it: social media presence; networking; making sure your covering letter strikes the right balance between ‘hey, I’m amazing’ and ‘I’m not a psycho, promise’. Having rolled into my previous 10-year stint with the same employer via a temping job, I have never actually done any serious job-hunting – save for a few abortive attempts to change jobs before my career break.
But yesterday my mood was lifted big time by two things happening in quick succession: first, my phone pinged and I found out that WordPress had featured my blog in an article about the Bushwick theme which I use for my site. They said some rather lovely things:
“The airy feel of her site perfectly echoes the blog’s evocative title. Anne’s uncluttered design focuses the visitor’s attention on her writing, which is complemented by beautiful custom drawings in the header area and in each individual post.”
Why thank you WordPress! As soon as the article went up, my blog stats went crazy – I had nearly 2,000 views yesterday, which was pretty cool given that my previous record stood at 159. I also acquired a great bunch of new followers (hi there, and thank you for joining me!), and lots of lovely new comments and messages. It’s so good to hear from you all so please continue to share your thoughts.
Shortly after the WordPress excitement, I had a really good meeting which will hopefully result in my next unpaid assignment. I’d been slightly nervous about it beforehand but buoyed up by all the sudden online attention, I think it went well and I felt quite relaxed. I won’t say too much about it until it’s actually confirmed, but watch this space.
Finally, you may have noticed there is a football competition on at the moment. I am one of those annoying people who watch football only when there’s a big international tournament on – don’t judge me. I love the drama of international football and most of all I love having an excuse to be patriotic once every two years. My teenage self would have been disgusted – I used to be both resolutely anti-patriotic and football-hating, once nearly driving my dad insane by maintaining that really, I had no idea who Johan Cruyff was. Now, as an expat of 15 years, I actually really enjoy cheering on the country of my birth – which is doing rather well at the time of writing. So HUP HOLLAND! and here’s to the next chapter of my break which I will hopefully soon be able to report on.