Now that I’ve quit my job and most of Australia is in Covid Lock Down, it’s an ideal time to do what our government suggests. To pivot. It’s a term they came up with last year when all the gin distilleries started manufacturing hand sanitiser. It’s all about changing up the way you live your life.
So I’m pivoting. Instead of talking to angry people in English, I’m talking to teenagers in French. My son is trying his best to stay positive in the lead up to his final school exams. They call it the Higher School Certificate in NSW. His final mark will be made up of 50 per cent school assessments and 50 per cent HSC exams. But they have been stuck at home for months doing online learning, the HSC exams have already been moved once and possibly might be cancelled. My son is diligently studying anyway. I can’t do too much to help other than cook nice meals and provide moral support. Until now… He is studying French and is pretty fluent. We’ve taken the big step of only talking to each other in French. This is hard work for both of us. My brain is nearly exploding trying to go back 35 years into the vocabulary filing cabinet in my head, to retrieve words and grammar long forgotten. His patience is being tested in having to correct my grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary. It is probably like being a kindergarten teacher. In any case, he says he doesn’t mind and I’m enjoying the mental challenge.
But I will have to stop writing soon as the teacher has given me homework! Merde.
The other change I am making is to write for pleasure instead of ‘work’. This is a new concept too. Ever since I became a journalist 30 years ago, I’ve been writing for a living. And sometimes that writing has been pleasurable. Most of the time it has been purely been functional. Media releases, website copy and video scripts. I have tried my hand at a bit of fiction over the years but it has always been a hobby.
My plan over the next few months is to try to spend the majority of my time doing things I love. Writing, playing music, spending time with friends and family. And slowly weaning myself off doing things only for the money or because I think I should. Deep down I believe I will be left with a more authentic life that will bring me much more joy.