Forced to stop

While I’m gutted about being retrenched, part of me is relieved.

One of the reasons is that I can finally catch my breath – I was exhausted from effectively doing two jobs in one.

As communications manager, my responsibilities included producing a monthly newsletter featuring nine articles, creating invitations, attending and reporting on the events, and compiling quarterly PowerPoint presentations for each of the five corporate partners.

As the editor of a news website, I was writing around six to eight articles each day and promoting them on social media, plus publishing an electronic newsletter every Friday.

I scheduled all the advertising for the website and wrote all the advertorial material. I’d also contribute around six to 12 pages to a quarterly print publication.

I loved the writing, but the volume of words I produced was really full on. It was the hardest I’d ever worked, even harder than when I was the editor of a weekly magazine.

My holiday to Forster last month was the first time that a freelancer took over part of my job while I was away. Usually, I’d just take a few days off either side of the weekend so I could still get the weekly newsletter out.

I taught my replacement to use the back end of the site, publish articles and produce the newsletter, which meant I could have a regular week off. But there was still a daunting amount of work waiting when I got back.

Sometimes I’d be almost wild eyed from the pace needed to get everything done each month.

Being forced to stop feels quite freeing … as long as I don’t think about the bills piling up.

Yesterday I walked the dogs, went to a gym class, applied for a job, made a roast corn salsa for dinner, dropped the eldest to the train station, had lunch with a friend, popped a beef brisket in the oven to slow cook, went for a swim with DD, made soft tacos for dinner and pottered around the house.

I didn’t get paid to do any of it, but some of the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. I still have a way to go in the recovery process – I didn’t fall asleep until 3am this morning, today will be a tired blur.

When it’s time to start working again, my heart rate and sleep patterns will have returned to a more normal level. And I’ll be ready to hit the ground running – my favourite speed – with my next challenge.

Oh! And a fancy bottle of bourbon arrived on my doorstep from Wild Turkey – Master’s Keep Bottled in Bond. The 17-year-old whiskey was engraved with my name by the PR agency before they found out I’d been retrenched, so they figured they might as well send it to me anyway. Quite the farewell gift, DD was very excited.

Have a good weekend. Keep your fingers crossed that I’ve processed the trauma a little better by Monday so you don’t have to keep hearing me bang on and on!

Song of the day: Kate Bush “Running up that hill”

2 thoughts on “Forced to stop

  1. Oh Alana, I understand your pain, and I sympathise. Being retrenched is brutal. Given your resume, I’m confident you’ll be head-hunted for a thrilling, challenging job. Meanwhile, try to make the most of these days you aren’t working. I remember after being unemployed for five months, I wondered how people ever had time for a job, given the full schedule I set myself. I was busier not working than I had been when I was, it seemed. Be kind to yourself and know you deserve a break. Explore that hobby you never had time for, read those books, be in the moment. You’ll shine.

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