The beginning of 2017 came with a new start of my professional life. For the first time in around 20 some years I was not going back to a 9-5 job. In the first week of January I took some time to take notice to how I would feel not having to go back into work. I wanted to acknowledge the change. It turns out, that on the 3 January I had a doctors examination at 08.15 in the morning and this meant that I actually had to get up early and at a similar time to when I was working. I thought this was funny and slightly ironic.
As the week progressed, I took pleasure in taking an afternoon nap, just because I could and also I was responding to what my body was asking of me. It felt good.
Further down the week, I had a dentist appointment in Covent Garden at 08.30 in the morning. This would mean me doing exactly the same route as I would do for getting to my former job. I had to consciously remember I was not going to work! And then, when I had to come back to Waterloo after my appointment, it all felt slightly surreal. I was walking in the completely opposite direction of everyone else.
I don't know about you, but some times, I had fantasized getting to Waterloo to get to work and get myself on the next train back so that I could go back to my bed and sleep. It felt indulgent to be able to do such a thing, but it never happened. Walking back over Waterloo Bridge, it felt strange. It felt like I was the only person going in the opposite direction, while everyone else was going back into Central London and to work. I felt I was outside the herd. The 9-5 herd. I was part of this group of people for so long and all of a sudden, in that moment, I felt a bit of an outsider. I was somehow questioning myself: 'Am I valuable member of society if I am not part of the group of people who go to work every day during those fixed hours'. I know I am a valuable member of society, but this moment on the bridge made me suddenly question it.
When I got to Waterloo Station, things changed. I suddenly was able to make true my desire of going on a train back home so early in the morning and while most people were coming into work. It felt exciting and I had a buzzing feeling in my body. It was a pleasurable experience.