Thursday, October 22, 2009

Life in the Aftermath

I really am not sure what to write about this topic. Life after Work has been many things.

Unsettling
Satisfying
Quiet
Sad
Productive
Frustrating

And a dictionary's worth of other adjectives that do not currently spring to mind.

I never let the job define me (yes, I think I just heard my husband snort)... but it imprinted me more than I expected. When you do something for 5 years, and do it with passion, with verve, with breakneck speed and vigor and competence, you'd have to be made of granite not to emerge unchanged from that trial by fire.

While only 7 short days have passed, my thinking is slowly starting to change. Before, when I took vacation time it always felt like a burden instead of a relief.

"Do more! Get up! Get out! Don't waste your time, cram it all in - you've only got X days until you have to go back to work!"

Now I am beginning to feel unburdened. For the first time in 5 years, I feel lighter. I feel freedom. I feel like I have the opportunity to explore the unexplored.

That hobby/ exercise program/ new recipe/ playgroup I wanted to try?

No problem.

Need to schedule an appointment in the middle of the day?

You bet.

Want to go to the grocery on a Tuesday morning?

Go ahead and enjoy the quiet.

Sometimes I still catch myself thinking "Wow, the phone hasn't rung at all today" (because I disconnected our landline). And then I remind myself that I don't have to worry about that any longer. No more being chained to my computer (although that will be a tougher habit to break away from). No more 9pm conference calls, no more deadlines or invoices or presentations or travel or days on end away from my family.

Although my feelings are still bittersweet, I find the anxiety lessens as the days go by.

The weekend before my last day, I spent Saturday stomping around the house. Unsettled, unhappy, and not sure why. In an uncharacteristic show of communication I unleashed a barrage of verbal feeling on my patient husband. Drained, I realized that I was mourning the end of an era and the loss of a sense of control. It wasn't supposed to be this way. I was supposed to do the leaving. I was supposed to instigate the breakup - on my time & within my schedule. But that's not how it happened, and as with all crossroads in Life, I had to make a choice. I can look ahead or I can look back.

Things are still fuzzy and undefined, but from the tiny glimpses I've had, the horizon looks magnificent.

2 comments:

Robyn said...

Amy, you are amazing. Can't wait to see what is in you horizon!

sarita said...

I second what Robyn said--I can't wait to see what exciting things you choose to take on next--be sure to keep us all informed!