Skip to main content

A much anticipated change: Week One of Occupy Life

I have been waiting and waiting (and waiting and waiting) to finally, at long last, be laid off.  I kept hearing "you should know something next week," for so many weeks that I stopped believing I'd ever hear anything ever.  And then it happened: last Friday was my very last day.  Which makes this week Week One in my Occupy Life project (aka, the Year of Writing).

WoooooooooooooooooHooooooooooooo!!!

I realize anyone who has been laid off who did not want to be laid off might find my celebration odd, and to you I send positive thoughts and hopes that you find livable work soon.  For me, this couldn't happen at a better time in life to be able to take advantage of it to the fullest.  For one thing, it's been on the horizon for a while which means I've been able to mentally (and to some extent, financially) prepare for months and months.   I can't imagine how awful it would feel to be surprised by a layoff, that would be a terrible cruelty.  But not having a mortgage or babies means that this layoff is a giant window of opportunity to focus on writing, as well as gain a much needed healthier perspective about work before going back to it (as well as the time to think creatively about what I might go back to).  I am enormously grateful for this opportunity.  Last year, on my 35th birthday, I listed out some goals I wanted to reach by the time I hit forty, and my biggest stretch goal by far was being able to take a year off to just write.  And now I get to (and having time to focus on writing will also help with some of those other goals on that list).  Score one for The Secret!  ;-)

What is Occupy Life?  For the last couple months my head has been playing with the metaphor of the occupy movement.  It's such a great phrase: Occupy, occupation.  What if you could occupy your own life: claim it for yourself?  That's what I most admire about those who have stayed and occupied: they claimed that street's sidewalk as something they had rights to, that they were part of.  Yes, the movement lacks cohesion, but change doesn't usually show up with a clear agenda complete with bullet and talking points.  Just like sometimes you have to write to figure out what you are thinking, sometimes you have to gather and gather your thoughts and gain some perspective, and then you realize what it was you meant. We are seeing leadership in a new form, of course it's going to take some time to understand it.

I have been craving Occupation.  While employed (that is, until Friday), I haven't had enough to do while waiting to be laid off, so I played games of keeping my mental health intact through inspirational blogs, pictures of kittens, and holding desperately to the people who speak sanity and leave a space for me to go gently crazy.

But I've also been thirsting to occupy my Life--to plant my own feet back into it, to say This is Mine.  I have a history of giving it over to others, assuming they know better than I do.  I want to be busy--occupied--with the things that matter to me so that I can again reclaim my life.

Occupation is a form of mindfulness.  It's intentional inhabitation.  I've been in limbo much, much too long.  My unhappiness with work occupied a tremendous amount of mental space.  Now I get to occupy my thought stream in a way that gets it to pay attention.  Like an occupier, I need to hold up my cardboard and marker sign for myself to see what it states plainly, in large distinct font:  PAY ATTENTION.  YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS.

Occupied.  Occupation.  Occupy.



Writing and life are deeply intertwined for me (I wouldn't be able to make sense of my own life without also writing about it), so Occupy Life for me means writing, writing, writing: writing to remember who I am, writing to recreate myself, writing to go beyond myself.  What would Occupy Life look like for you?

Comments

  1. OMG Christin this is such a wonderful post! I'm so happy for you and looking forward to seeing you again. P.S Would you believe my new cube is adjacent to your old one?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The 2018 Iceland Report: Part Last

The exciting (or at least the inevitable) conclusion of Part One and Part Two of Icelandic awesomeness....


Day Six: Ekra Cottage/ Lagarfljótsvirkjun to Höfn
This day was all about epic scenery. Kilometer after kilometer of stunning beauty. The ever-shifting sweeping views afforded us herds of wild reindeer, giant snowy fjords, a mossy valley, snow blowing across the road like dry ice, lava rock, waterfalls. It was a total feast.













Our halfway point was Djúpivogur which houses a collection of giant roadside marble eggs, each one fashioned after a particular type of bird's egg.



We arrived in Höfn and checked out the harbor and the free museum (a welcome respite from the windy harbor) before checking into our guesthouse. Which we had all to ourselves. We made one last meal of fusilli and bell pepper (fusilli meal #4 for the trip for those keeping track - I'll be taking a good long break from fusilli now) and read. I found a left-behind copy of The Silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurðar…

Quarterly Reading Report: Q2

The end of the second quarter snuck up on me: it feels like only three weeks have passed since my last quarterly report. Part of the speedy passing of time was from all the good books I've been reading lately. I've already told you how much I loved re-reading The Magic Summer. Here are my other favorites from this season:

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, by Mary Roach. This gem is from one of my favorite local authors. Mary Roach's sense of humor should really get it's own zip code, it's so wonderful. I learned a great deal, sometimes about things I wasn't sure I wanted to know (like how to properly use flatus in a sentence), and I can't tell you the amount of times per week I find myself thinking about the nutritional content of my dinner compared to my cats' on account of this book.


As a delighted listener once said at a reading she did: "You keep writing books about exactly the thing I'm most interested in, except I didn't know I…

The Quarterly Reading Report

It's been waaaaaay too long since I posted a Quarterly Reading Report. I'm about to amend that situation. I have lucked on some pretty spectacular reading in 2018 so far--some recent publications but most not--and I'd be a bad friend if I didn't share these titles with you.

In the excellent crime detective/thriller department, we have Yrsa Sigurðardóttir's THE SILENCE OF THE SEA, which I've already posted about. It was the perfect book for atmospheric Iceland. I also loved Tana French's THE TRESPASSER. Set in Dublin, Ireland (I think 80% of what I love best about a crime detective/thriller is that it is placed in an incredibly interesting setting), the protagonist is a difficult (and therefore interesting) woman in a man's world working the hardest case of her life. The writing is super in this engrossing page-turner.

I got to fill in some sad gaps in my consumption of books written in the 80s and 90s and early Oughts. Also a thriller, Peter Hoeg's