I left my job at Harvard University in November when we moved to Germany. It was the first time in 5 years that I was unemployed. The first day off (when everyone else was at work) was strange, but after that, I kind of liked it.
People are always asking me what I’m going to do while I’m here. Quite honestly, I’m not sure, because I don’t know what kind of job I can get without German fluency. Currently, I’m not even eligible to work in Germany because my resident permit hasn’t arrived yet. So, in the meantime, I am loving the flexibility that not working a structured job gives me, since Chris’s job is very flexible and offers him many travel opportunities. We already have trips to Austria, Italy, and the U.S. planned for the next few months.
The question of what I do constantly comes up. Several weeks ago, I met a nice person from the U.K. She asked me the inevitable question, and I told her I wasn’t working right now. “Oh, how lovely,” she said. “You’re a lady of leisure then?”
“Why, yes,” I replied, “I suppose I am.” Upon hearing it, I have to admit, I loved this title and now find myself using it quite frequently. To me, it sounds much better than “unemployed” or “hausfrau.”
My guess is that “lady of leisure” is used more commonly in the U.K. I have a new British friend who is also not working yet, and she uses the phrase, too, as in “Since we’re ladies of leisure, I suppose we can finish off that bottle of wine tomorrow afternoon.”
Being a lady of leisure makes me feel like I’m living a luxurious lifestyle, even if I’m just eating grilled cheese for lunch every day.
Recently, I’ve been working on some plans to start my own business. Though, I’ve been keeping quiet about this, as to not stray from my fancy title.
Who knows what I’ll end up doing in the next few months. But for now, I’m appreciating the time I have to learn German, cook and bake, get to know new friends, correspond with old friends, travel, and enjoy the flexibility that this new lifestyle allows. It’s not all leisure, but it certainly makes me smile.