Taking Control

It's a bit like I'm waking up from years in a fog. It's a bit like I've been living in dreamland. A couple of years ago I stopped living. I started existing. I got into a routine and let it rule me.

Parenting - well, my son almost raised himself for a few years, while I provided shelter and food and schooling and a good night hug or so. I didn't step up and take responsibility, or do more than was absolutely necessary. I just didn't seem to have the energy. I've let our diet slip into an unbalanced routine of what's easy to make - and our health is not what it should be as a result. Nor is my son willing to eat what he should - he's been used to what he shouldn't for too long. I should have been more of a parent and less of a "we'll let it slide" friend at times.

I've worked one job for 9 years now, going into my tenth. It's easy to take a monthly salary and get accommodation and insurance and medical aid taken care of by the company. Even if we don't always get the best deal. Even if our salaries are "non-profit scale" small. Because, after all, we're working for the Lord! And He's likely to reward us in heaven. (Perhaps, but I'm feeling a bit on the sarcastic side right now, so please bear with me) It's easy to accept your lot, because you're privileged enough to have work while millions don't - even though your passions and dreams fall by the wayside in the process.

Because we've constantly been "moving to Australia any month now" my home has not received the attention it should. I haven't maintained it or replaced things that need it, or planned long-term for my son to have his own room, or me to own a house. We've lived in a one-bedroom flat for 8 years, and he's never had his own real walled-in space.

I've gotten lazy. I've been flowing down a wide river without resistance, when my heart tells me it's not the path I should take. I should instead be tramping mountain trails, even though they're more difficult and might require a good deal of sacrifice.

But things are changing, ever so subtly. I've come to a point in my life where I need to once again take charge, and this time I'm ready to do so. I guess you could say things have come to a head, and that I'm finally crystallizing what I want out of life. It's a bit late (I'm already 33!), but better late than spend your entire life doing things you hate just because you can't leave a comfort zone of mediocrity.

One thing I really do want is to be my own boss, not to have to work for another person and be beholden to them for my livelihood, happiness or security. I keep getting job ads passed my way, but somehow can't stomach the thought of being yet another underling, a bottomfeeder, in a job I have no passion for.

As such, I am taking clear and certain steps in my quest to have a business of my own up and running at the end of this year. I've been keeping a book of ideas for ages, and my passions have not changed. They've just been cemented into one vision - with many branches. It's time to take all those little parts and meld them into a whole.

Being my own boss is not going to be easy. I'm a very realistic person, and I know what challenges I face. I know I'm pretty shy and find it hard to market myself, unless it's to friends. I'm tempted to hope THEY'LL be the ones to market me, but I cannot count on that any longer. Taking responsibility, you see. Making things happen instead of waiting for them to happen. I've been struggling with those first steps, but have been doing some research and clarifying fuzzy issues, and I think I have direction now.

Being self-employed in the future sorts out a number of other issues I've avoided. Like the "where to from here" feeling that swamps me occasionally. I'll have a goal! And the issue of office hours vs the freedom to work out of set hours. Which also has to do with how much time I can spend on parenting my son, on being with him and getting involved in his life. There's no doubt our finances will improve long-term in the future, though I will truly have to earn my pay instead of just pitch up during certain hours and expect it. However, I'll be doing something I love, something I can pour my heart and soul into, something that expresses who I am - and that hardly sounds like work, does it! Heck, I may even be able to afford a house sometime.

My profile here mentions I want to retire by 40 - what I probably should have said is retire from being an employee by 40. You see, once I'm working for me, I'd consider myself retired from what I consider work at the moment. I'd be living, not existing. I'd be in control of my life, and not dependent on someone else to control it.

Taking these first steps toward a "new" life has somehow made me feel stronger, better able to cope, filled with a renewed energy to get going. It's as if I'm slowly gathering life to myself. And it's the basis of the hope I feel for the year ahead.