Posts Tagged ‘life at 40+’

Middle-aged woman turns freelance

For seventeen years, I have been working at a stable, well-paid job. I worked only for about 6 hours a day, so I had ample time to pursue any other interests – and I have: painting, crafting, writing poetry, playing the fiddle, horseriding and what not.

The problem with pursuing your interests (the real ones) is that, sooner or later, you get caught in them, and then your paying job becomes a nuisance, something you do only because you have to (we all have to eat, after all).

I realized this last year when I had a car accident that kept me at home for 5 months. At first, I was too ill to even think, and I was having medication which kept me asleep most of the day. As things got better, however, I began to realize I could not, and would not , come back to my teaching job. I wanted to paint and write, I wanted to move back to Ireland, and above all I wanted to escape from the oppressive feeling that was getting more and more at me.

So, after much thinking and planning, I decided to leave. Since my pets – two dogs and a cat- had to undergo quarantaine, I decided to buy a van (which took almost all my savings) and travel through France with a friend until I could take my extended family to Ireland. I would stop wherever fancy took me (I was thinking Normandy) and temp while I waited. I am quite a frugal person (more on that later), so I thought even if I only found a job as a waitress or cleaner or something like that, I could manage. And out we went for our great adventure.

Then, of course, disaster struck. The van’s engine broke down completely and I was left homeless, jobless and penniless. Fortunately, I could have a respite at a friend’s house and mull things over. Then I decided to come back to Spain, where I still had most of my friends, and begin afresh.

I am now living with another friend of mine (a fantastic woman who manages a dog shelter), giving private classes and doing writing and researching jobs whenever I can, sometimes for nonprofits and for free – and I’ve found it sooo liberating.

I am still – almost – penniless, but I feel completely freed from the daily drab. My private classes allow me to plan for students individually, increasing their success rate – something that didn’t happen when I was teaching large classes; and my writing and researching jobs, even if they are volunteering ones, allow me to learn and develop qualifications I didn’t even know that I had!

So I have decided to remain a freelance writer and researcher, and that journey is what I am going to talk about in this blog. Hope it is useful or entertaining to you


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