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I wasn’t able to post my Month Four update on the correct date–the 21st of the month–because I was on a cruise ship in Bermuda and, well, the internet was really expensive on board the ship.  Sure, there was an internet cafe in the port–a few hundred feet from the ship–but I didn’t go there once.  After all, why spend time inside when the outside looks like this?

While I have been known to over-saturate my photos, this one has not been edited in any way. The colors are all real!

I did spend some time thinking about this post on that day–my four month career break anniversary.  I thought about it as I sat overlooking the port, contemplating my utter lack of plans for the day.  I thought about it while I wandered into port to inquire about the possibility of a tour of some kind.  And I really thought about it whilst snorkeling in the beautiful blue water shown behind me in the photo at the top of this post.  I thought ‘gee–maybe I am having a mid-life crisis!’  But that thought passed quickly, and I continued to float above the coral and bond with the parrot fish.

If that’s a crisis, then I’m ok with having one.

This month passed more quickly than any of the previous months.  I’m not sure why this is, but I certainly hope that time starts to slow down sometime very soon!  During this very quick month, I…

-S-L-O-W-L-Y started an exercise routine.  While I did not keep it up during my trip, I did resume immediately upon returning.

-Finally began drafting my book.  It is going well but, again, slowly.

-Determined that I need to leave the house to get actual writing done.

-Spent a lot of time at Barnes and Noble (see above!)

-Learned that I can live without the internet for a surprisingly long amount of time.

-Freaked out about the fact that my career break ‘wasn’t living up to it’s potential’.

-Took a last minute trip to Bermuda.

-Learned that I can do a great many things all by myself without even thinking about it.

-Continued to research freelance writing opportunities.

-Applied for two ‘real’ jobs–heard nothing back.

I go back and forth between feeling really good about this year and being very afraid.  On the one hand, the fact that I was actually able to seize a cheap last-minute travel opportunity makes me very happy.  That was half of the point of this year, and having done it once I’m confident it will happen again.  I can very proudly and confidently respond to the oft-asked question where are you going next? with I don’t know …because I know that I will be going somewhere–and I can’t wait to find out where that will be!

However, I don’t live in a dream world–or in a world of unlimited funds.  I need to make money somehow.  In the short term, I need money to fund these trips I so want to take.  In the long term, I need to find something to do ‘for a living’ that pays actual money–you know, so we don’t lose our home.  And while I have lots of ideas of how to do that, nothing I’ve attempted so far seems to have panned out.  Even when I do finish this book there will be a long time between typing the last word and getting the first paycheck (if there even is a paycheck–but I’ll worry about that when the time comes!)

And so, this career break continues to be an up-and-down ride.  I’m happy and content one minute, freaking out and anxiety-ridden the next.  But even in the worst of times I’m much calmer than I was this time last year–and in the best of times, I’m snorkeling in Bermuda.