So the changes hoped for in my first post on this new blog came to pass… I’m starting a new job on 17th August as a Happiness Engineer (technical support) at Automattic, the parent company of digital tools including WordPress.com and WooCommerce.

I’m hoping that this will be my last job change… I fully intend to retire at Automattic – it’s a dream role.

We’re taking some time this month before I start the job, to attempt to learn how to have holidays and time ‘away from keyboard’ or AFK as they say at Automattic, which has been more difficult than expected, due to the pressures of trying to close down my business. Wranglings about that have taken up most of the first week of my two weeks out. But I’m there now and trying to remember who I am and what I do when I’m not working. (I’ve even been trying to work on my new job before its start date, much to the amused admonishment of my new boss.)

So, instead, I have another week to police those instincts and recover some of what I am when I’m not working. I’ve pretty much been working non stop 7 days per week for eighteen months running my company, even when technically ‘on holiday’. And our holidays for the last few years haven’t necessarily been the breaks they should have been – definitely not emotional breaks when they’re spent simultaneously dealing with trying to build a way for the children to healthily and happily spend time with their dad. But with tensions having eased, and the children emerging into teenagerhood and towards adulthood and autonomy, I’m cautiously optimistic that the difficult times are in the past in that regard.

I have a few projects that I’ve neglected for years. One is to start a blog about the French singer-songwriter Francis Cabrel which I’m going to finally do this week… or today!

Another is to compose three part vocal arrangements. I’ll look at setting aside time for that when I get back, as I need my midi keyboard. I might potentially record them on Youtube.

Another is to go swimming. Not so easy with coronavirus around, so that might have to wait a bit. I have a few plans.

The main challenge will be to set healthy routines for our new life once we’re back and get started on the new normality. We’ve started by making a list of ‘things Victoria likes to do’. I’ll blog about that list when I get back from being away. It was surprisingly difficult to come up with, as it feels like I have forgotten what it’s like to be myself or who I am. So there are a certain number of baby steps to return to a healthy and happy day to day.

In my new job schedule I’m going to make myself one day per week when I’m not at work, and when I can be on my own. It feels audacious and tremendous, and free.

Photo in header (c) me Рthe son et lumi̬re at the ch̢teau de Blois, Loire Valley, France, 2020.

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