I'm still at that stage where I've been cut loose from the dock I was tied to all too long but I'm still trying to regain my sea legs. Of course I'm still in safe harbor. I signed up for unemployment compensation yesterday, and my two-weeks severance pay will come later this week. I spent the last week contacting former freelance clients and following up on other leads, with another call scheduled today and one on Monday. As D says, I have several hooks in the water, so now wait and see what bites. I have more lines to cast, too, but I thought I should take a little breather while I can, gather strength and ready the ship -- or at any rate clean the house.
I have such a backlog of things I want to do, things I've given short shrift because of the demands of my job. Besides much needed house cleaning (not just the surface stuff, but tackling piles and boxes of stuff that needs to be sorted and gotten rid of), there's writing, walking, exploring, seeing friends, seeing art, reading, and thinking -- none of which should be rushed or done half-heartedly in a state of exhaustion. I haven't come down to that level yet.
We were busy over the weekend. We walked over to the South End for dinner at a friend's place on Saturday night, which was fun but I wished I was feeling more relaxed and less tired. On Sunday, we met up with Lorianne and J at the JFK Library to see our friend Teju Cole accept the PEN/Hemingway Award for his acclaimed first novel, Open City. (See Lorianne's blog post.) It was a lovely event, with readings by Teju and Yannick Murphy, winner of the PEN/Winship New England award for her novel, The Call, as well as a keynote address by novelist Andre Dubus III. But loveliest of all, as Lorianne says, was the chance to catch up with old friends and bask in the joy of a well-deserved honor for one of them.
It occurs to me that I haven't had a vacation in a long time. An occasional long weekend, yes, but not a good long break from work. That might have helped my ability to cope at work! Stupid not to have taken more, I guess, but hard to get the time off. Vacation is not encouraged here in the US. So I'll try to take some now. Starting today, after my noontime business call. It's shaping up to be a sunny, warm day. Time to open the windows.