I've worked my last afternoon at work, accepted my leaving card and gift voucher, spent a couple of hours sitting in a pub listening to my erstwhile colleagues talk about things that are now a big old heap of Not My Problem, and now I am on paid holiday time for just over two weeks while I wait for my contract end date and my P45.
Today, at about the time I would otherwise have been getting ready for work, I turned the heating on. When I would have been getting into my taxi, I went upstairs and put some nice essential oils onto an aromatherapy diffuser. Then I ran a bath (big thank you to Steve who scrubbed the tub just for this), added half a bottle of bubbles, put on a CD of meditation music, and settled down for an hour's soak that, technically, I was being paid for. Bliss.
Of course there's only so much time you can spend gazing at the bathroom ceiling, so as per the advice given on previous posts, I also contacted Business Link to find out what they could offer someone in my position. I think this was a good move. I now have a name for the type of work I'll be doing - Virtual Assistant - which is much easier than "doing admin and officey stuff from home for people who need things doing but don't have the resources for a full-time on-site admin assistant". I'm being sent an information pack about that sort of work; in the meantime my details have been passed to a much more local Business Development Agency who are affiliated with Business Link and should be able to provide more specific support. Above all, they will help me write up a Business Plan, and with a Business Plan, I can get support from Access to Work as a self-employed person, and that opens up all sorts of possibilities.
I'm scared as hell, but apart from that I'm feeling really very positive about the whole thing.
Meanwhile I just keep listing in my head all the things that I don't have to worry about any more. I'll hopefully stop having nightmares where stacks of CDs fall on top of me. I can grow my fingernails, and paint them, without them getting broken and chipped on tape dispensers and dodgy shelving. I'll hopefully be in a lot less pain. I'll be in charge of whether or not I have music on, and if so, what sort of music, and at what volume. It's going to be great.