Waiting to be bored.

I thought, when I finished work, that I might be bored. I didn’t choose to finish; I was made redundant. Nasty word, that, redundant.  “unnecessary, not required, inessential, unessential, needless, unneeded,uncalled for, dispensable, disposable, expendable, unwanted, useless;” Not a good feeling. So I wrote an eleven page report asking the Senior Management Team who would do all those inessential things that my job  consisted of  and, with a few changes, they reinstated the job and offered it to me. Unfortunately, by the time they did this I had been offered a good financial package and decided to retire early. More to the point, I had realised that  I could not work for a management that was so shortsighted that it thought they could run the place without someone doing what I did (Not me personally, my role was important, not me.) and so dim that they had had to read an eleven page report before they became aware of what it was they had been employing me to do for years. So I turned them down and, apparently, they were surprised. They thought I’d written the report to save my own skin and would therefore be grateful. Which tells you what they thought of me and therefore influenced what I thought of them.

Grateful is not what I was.

Lost is what I was. Over twenty five years I had devoted more and more time and attention to the work, taken on more and more responsibility and, for the most part, drawn enormous satisfaction from it. Redundancy was like an amputation.

Momentary change of subject:

During my childhood we weren’t well off but we weren’t poor either. My mother made most of her own and my clothes and later I did the same for my children. (I get the impression they weren’t always thrilled with what I made but at least they were never cold and naked.) My mum was a maker of many things. she knitted, sewed, cooked and made cross stitch pictures. (You can see some of them in the Stitch Gallery on this blog. ) We learned to crochet together when I was about twenty.  So I too have always made things. One of the the crafts I took up after the children grew up was card making and this has been enormous fun. I go to a class most weeks and we work in a companionable burble of conversation as we try new techniques and tools.

But I always wanted to create things of my own. My knitting rarely stuck to the pattern, sometimes with entertaining results, more often with hours of unpicking and re-knitting to be done. My stitching often starts from a chart. I rarely finish them. If I design my own, they stand a better chance of completion. And   I can write reasonably well. Not Shakespeare, you understand but I can get my point across. But I always wanted to be an artist. And I’m not. There are five year olds with better draughtsmanship skills than mine. So all those ideas stay inside my head because my hands can’t reproduce them.  This has not ruined my life, by the way, it’s just niggled at me on and off for years.

Until, in my fear that I might be bored when I finished full time work,  I had a look on Pinterest and found by accident, some drawings that were Zentangles. Well, that was me hooked. And that was a year ago today. In that year I have tried to learn the skills involved with varying degrees of success but I have kept on trying because there is something there that was special. I make fun of the gospel according to Zentangle but it is respectful fun, grateful fun. In that year I have become resigned to being a retired person and have learned rather more about myself than I might have wanted to but I have also found the hidden artist in me. Not with every piece of work I try, but with some things I nearly get there, wherever”there” might be.  She’s still hidden but I know she’s in there. And Zentangle has helped me to make a bit more sense of things, by relaxing instead of fulminating; by focusing on the here and now and by being mindful of what I am doing. I haven’t got it yet but I’m making progress.

DC 183Using X-did as the border, Frickle, Strircle, Dragonair, Aahs and one I can’t remember the name of.

Getting a bit heavy so I’m stopping before I go all contemplative and return for ever to the me of 1969.

So here’s the Diva Challenge for this week – to use a tangle called X- did, so I did.




17 thoughts on “Waiting to be bored.

  1. It turned out well. I was thinking it might be good border tangle and you have demonstrated that. As for being made redundant—-obviously, you weren’t actually redundant, which you realized. If you don’t need to earn money, you now have a fabulous opportunity to devote more time to your creative pursuits. If you do need to earn money, consider giving some Zentangle classes. You don’t have to be a CZT—just don’t claim you are one. Or, consider giving knitting and/or.crocheting classes. I think there’s a renewed interest in those crafts and many people did not learn these skills at their mother’s knee. Now that I’m “Boomeresque”, I’m able to step back and see that our lives really are like books—many chapters—and we even get to write some of them 🙂

  2. You drew a very cool boarder using X-did. A wonderful challenge response Tile. Thanks for your post. It seems that there are a lot of employers who take their employees for granted and have no clue how much they contribute and what they do. Twenty-five years employment can imbue one with so much “How To” information, and hints and tricks about a job. Enjoy your retirement.

  3. Love your use of X-did as a border. I really enjoy your play of structure versus those wonderful orbs in the center. Your share was great, so true. Good for you standing up for your job and double kudos for realizing that wasn’t where you wanted to be. Inspirational!

  4. Nice use of the pattern as a border. Quite a story you tell, Enjoy your retirement – it isn’t boring unless you want it to be.

  5. As I read your blog your thoughts on art and being an artist resonated with me. I had to leave Google and go through Mozilla to post my comments. Continue to grow through Zentangle(R), you may not be a Picasso or daVinci, but you will be a better artist and person. Love your tile.

  6. I loved your border using X-did, and the interior tangles were done beautifully. I too, was made redundant at my job and forced to retire, and for awhile, I too wondered what I was going to do with myself. It took me about 5 years after I retired to find Zentangle, but I finally did and it helped me to try to be an artist again. So go for it, and enjoy. Hope to see much more of your work in the future. 🙂

  7. Your tile is beautiful!!! I love ‘X-DID’ as a border, it looks wonderful!!! Thank you so much for giving it a try!! And with retirement,……….you will have more time to tangle!!!! Yeah! Once you settle into retirement you’ll probably be like all the others that say, “How did I ever have time to go to work?” Enjoy!!! :0) Annette Share humanity

  8. Lovely border, it creates a nice see-through. You’re story is impressive, I reckonize the part of vinding zentangle as a way to express yourself – and I’m hooked too 😉

  9. Hello…

    First of all, I’d like to say a big thank you for dropping in on my rather silent blog 🙂 Your comments are always a bright spark especially on this rather rainy and gloomy day, here in Singapore.

    Now onto the ‘serious’ stuff. I feel deeply about your blog post because incidentally, I had also been made to leave my work in December 2013. To cut the long story short, I had fallen gravely and suddenly ill in June 2013 and was sent to the emergency room. I eventually had two operations in the same month and was told I had PTSD. I fought really hard to get my life back to normal before my hospitalisation leave ended as I had to report back to work in August. At the time, I thought that the sooner I could get back into the rhythm of things, I’d get better slowly. Little did I know, I was in for a huge shock. Suddenly everything I did was majorly wrong in ‘their’ eyes, even things that had been done the same way for a long time. Before I knew it, I was asked to leave. I was yelled at and verbally abused every day until my resignation letter was submitted, and then I was given the cold shoulder until I left the place completely.

    It has been scary to be jobless (I am nowhere near retirement age) and I have a mortgage and household expenses too. I send resumes out every week but no reply has ever come back. This is how I got into selling my handmade jewelry online and at craft/flea markets.

    I don’t know how long I will be doing this, but I will stick to it for as long as I can, as it is better than doing zero. More importantly, I am learning to BE happy. I am happy to meet people from all walks of life at each flea, people I may not have met otherwise. I am learning to be glad for each day and the busy-ness it brings. Since finding the Zentangle method in July, it even makes me happy just to have some extra time leftover to tangle before bed. (I am thinking of becoming a CZT in 2015, if funds allow 🙂 So perhaps we might meet there, should you decide to take this route.)

    I will sign off here – sorry for the lengthy comment. Thank you for sharing your journey – it is encouragement to me, that there is really more to life than pleasing others (even if they pay our salaries!).

    Debbie from Singapore

    1. Hi Debbie, I think your experience has been more traumatic than mine, as I was approaching retirement age anyway. But I know that it took me a long time to recover from that feeling of uselessness. I think what you are doing now is great, using your talent for making beautiful things to help make a living. I also noticed one of your posts mentioned the variety of things you make and that people had commented on it. I think that’s your way forward. God forbid that your work on these things becomes just a job. Keep learning, keep enjoying and remember to value yourself. Keep in touch, M

      1. Thank you 🙂
        During my annus horribilis, I lost more than just my career but a good number of my peers too. Initially I didn’t know how to deal with it, but gradually, I have learnt which amongst them are true friends. This flea-ing thing allows me to get to know other sellers of all ages, many of whom do this full time too. I am learning there is no shame in not having a salaried job, as long as one is being fruitful. This doesn’t help pay the bills directly, haha, but minus the stigma, I can better focus on crafting 🙂
        The good and bad about participating in flea markets is that there is no fixed schedule. I never know where or when my next flea booth would be until my application receives confirmation from the organisors (that’s when the mad rush to make things to sell begins for me haha..). This unpredictability, coupled with the lively carnival environment, often makes it harder for me to liken it to a job 😛 – which of course, has been very helping in keeping the experience ‘fresh’ for me.
        Yes – I will keep in touch 🙂 I do look forward to your future posts ❤ Have a good week ahead 🙂

  10. Your tile is wonderful. I like the new tangle as a border. When I retired last summer, I gave myself a gift of becoming a Certified Zentangle Teacher because I was worried that I might be bored without a job. HAHA, joke’s on me. I never am bored and I wish for more time each day because now I am doing what I love, and it’s for me, and I appreciate myself. Enjoy your time learning more about yourself!

  11. Enjoyed your tile as X-did works well as a border. Also enjoyed your post. Unfortunately, I think in too many companies people are viewed as any other resource. Expendable. I hated it when one of the “catch phrases” was what have you done for me lately. This was in a field that was addressing the mental health needs of individuals. Enjoy your time to develop the artist in you. I wish I could retire, but finances do not make that a possibility. Look forward to seeing how you grow. Thanks also for the comment on my blog. If you did not see my response, I plan on continuing with the Diva Challenge.

  12. I was rather forced into an early retirement from the Army, so I can totally relate to your blog post. I, at age 50, was suddenly thrust into a problem I hadn’t had in some time…what to do with myself. I had worked a full time job for more than 30 years, and now, I not only didn’t have to work anymore, I was encouraged by the wonderful man in my life to do whatever I fancied. Problem was, I didn’t know what I fancied to fill my time. I had always been into creative endeavors, much like you, I made clothes, stitched, quilted, made jewelry. Then along came Zentangle…and here we are! We are artists now, and we will continue to grow and develop! Great take on the X, too!

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