Last Wednesday, I was waiting for a call from my GP. I waited all day but was not worried; I knew she would leave me to last. She always leaves me to last because then we can have a nice chat without worrying about the next person on her list.
Not everyone understands the heartbreak of selling my business and retiring, but she does. We talked about identity and how our whole being is tied up with what we do. She is a GP and wouldn’t wish to be anything else. I have been an Image Consultant for 22 years, and loved it. I have never wanted to do anything else. If she were forced to retire then, like me, she would be heartbroken. She would feel her life had lost its purpose.
Ill health has forced me to retire long before I’m ready – not that I would ever have been ready. So, what do I do now?
Well, for right now, I do nothing; I am still recovering. The sofa and I are no longer involved but remain close friends.
Once I am well, however, I will need to work. There are restrictions on that work, though. For most of us with health issues, whether physical or mental, there are restrictions on what we can do.
I know I can’t work full time. I can’t work in a job where I would become emotionally involved and bring my work home. My daughter tells me to forget looking for a job that will bring some kind of satisfaction. “Most jobs are boring,” she says. “You only work to get money to live.” That seems to me to be incredibly sad.
Something which is a guiding light in my search for work is my sense of life purpose. Ten years ago, I was lucky enough to win a personal development course with Richard Jacobs, on discovering your life purpose. I would highly recommend his book, “7 Questions to Find Your Purpose.” I discovered what is vital to me is to create beauty and generate joy. This works best in service to others.
But what is beauty? How does it generate joy? How do we define joy?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, goes the proverb. So, what is beautiful to you may be ugly or useless to another. Your joy may be defined by another as satisfaction or comfort.
A clean and tidy house may bring joy, a neat set of balanced accounts may evoke satisfaction, cool plumped pillows, your vomit mopped up and someone to sit with you while you swallow your pills can be a comfort.
I’m not proud, so I would happily clean houses or work as a carer in a care home. I could even use my accountancy qualification to produce those neat accounts, although that would be a last resort!
Something will turn up. It always does.
Once I am well again.
I must just keep on believing that.