Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mad Dash

Wow, this dash to the finish line is stressful. My office is awash in paper. The volume of unfiled emails is a sin. Folks are racing to get help with their project before I escape. I want to help them all, plus finish the lingering major projects on my plate. In bed this morning, I toyed with the idea of pushing my last date back a bit, to mid-week. But that's a cop-out. Getting it over and done with is the thing. So early mornings and late nights on task for the next 2-3 days. It will be done.

My dear friend OneofHisMoms sent me a card! It's addressed to my real name, with the middle name "Freedom" inserted. The festive red envelope is marked with instructions to open it, hold it over my head and shake. What could be in it? Glitter? Pixie dust? Freedom sea salt? Whatever it is, I'm gonna shake it all over me Friday evening when I'm truly free.

Home stretch, home stretch . . . . Did I mention I set up a great job interview yesterday? Goodnees filling the empty space.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Dog Is Made of Lemonade

Dragging butt to a job I've already decided to leave to do work I'm not enthusiastic about and meet with a boss who just snubbed me -- BIG, sour, hard lemon. But having my cute little dog in the office with me is making it all better. One great thing about having already quit is that I can kinda do what the hell I want 'cuz they ain't gonna fire me! So my sweet puppy is curled up under my desk, with his head on my shoe, snoring away contentedly. Anyone comes to my door, he growls so I don't have to, then starts wiggling, and greeting and disarms any tension with his charm. This may be the way I get through the next week. And when the job is done, lots of long walks for the little guy. Wonder if I should invest in some of those silly looking dog shoes to protect his paws from the salt as we stomp through the city . . .

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Week Begins to Wear

So much to do in the next 7 work days and so little motivation to get it done. The situation is not helped by the following facts: my office has a fruit fly infestation. The continuous swatting doesn't work and threatens to destroy my computer. I already splashed some coffee on the keyboard during one frenzy. The President of my employer is taking the entire department out to dinner on Thursday as a thank you for our months of hard work and success under difficult circumstances. The entire department but me that is. Apparently my traitorous decision to depart means the memory of my contribution is erased. I no longer deserve thanks. And more and more people I haven't chosen to tell about my departure are approaching me with the news and their questions and disappointment. Some of it is sweet and well-intentioned. But though I'm comfortable with my decision, I don't like having to EXPLAIN it so much to others' frowning faces.

On the bright side, good things are continuing to come my way. Yesterday, I received a job description that made me drool. Must apply by week's end. Today, I was invited to join the board of a political club. Increasing my my political involvement is a major goal for this period, so the invitation felt perfect. I accepted almost right away. I made a family dinner including HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE!!!! The President (age 8) pronounced it "a delicious meal" and had thirds and fourths! A friend I've been concerned about just reached out to me and I'm so happy that I'll soon be free enough to help her through her hard time. time to share . . . what wealth.

For the past 3 nights, PBS has been running a program called This Emotional Life. It's so impressive that it's made me realize how much of the t.v. I watch is pure shit. They just put up a great graphic showing the effect that one's person's increased happiness has on the level of happiness of people up to four degrees of separation away from them. It's a great illustration of my hope . . . that 2010 will be a year that I honor my friendships to the full extent of their value to me.

Today I had a waking daydream that my good friend and former roommate was stood up by the childcare provider she's selected just as she was about to return to work from maternity leave. I imagined letting her know that I was available in a pinch; imagined her remembering the offer in her time of need; imagined myself saying "yes" without a moment's hesitation then showing up and having a wonderful day with the baby in a snugli. I imagined the natural bond I'd build with baby Elfie during a period of regular childcare sessions, a relationship we'd never have the chance to develop otherwise.

Hell yeah, I've done the right thing. I'm already happier. The people around me feel it. And it's only going to get better.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


He tried to convince me to stay. The carefully planned speech included the possibility of more money, a changed workload and an office upgrade! So sweet, so flattering, so impossible. I gently cut him short and instead we chatted about the recent transitions other former co-workers have made, family, his professional path. And he shared what he's valued most about my contribution. I'm left feeling very warm toward him but not at all tempted. Honestly, it's amazing how clear and confident I feel right now, facing no income in less than two weeks. Why did it take this and this long to reach a place of peace and resolve? I hope (and believe) that it means I made the right decision.

Besides the friendly vibes, the woo convo was good because I planted the seeds of a plan to consult for this place in the future. He was interested and it softened the blow a bit. Happy, happy, happy . . .

Monday, January 4, 2010


I did it! Notice given. My dear old boss. He exclaimed oh no, turned red, then stood up and gave me a big hug. I feel amazing, tingly even! And motivated enough to do these last two weeks of hard labor. Oh the beauty of an end in sight!

Delayed Gratification

I got to work so early, I beat my boss! So the big announcement's got to wait for a bit. The only other person on the floor is the President of the organization. I just said good morning and kept it moving. My supervisor, who's been something of a mentor to me, deserves to hear this first.

My sleep was full of dreams last night. The most memorable had me pushing off from a helicopter to tumble into a glittering sea. I hit the water fast and kept traveling down, down, down in a column of bubbles. I quickly realized that there was so much air around me that I could breathe as I descended. When my speed slowed and the water closed in, I started kicking. This was the point of panic. I doubted whether I was kicking in the right direction. I worried that I'd landed to far from the shore to safely swim there. (Did I mention that in real life I'm a poor swimmer and a bit of a hydrophobe?) Then I started to see sunlight and knew I was nearing the surface. When my head popped up -- euphoria! I'd landed perfectly, could swim to land, was so proud of myself. So nice when the subconcious gives you just what you need.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Heart Pounding, I Leap

Clearly I don't mind a bit of double entendre. But just so ya know, the bushes I'm talking about here are the ones within which my next professional steps are concealed. I'm writing about the bushes because tomorrow morning, as soon as I walk into my office, I am going to quit my job.

Except in matters of love, I've never before leaped without being sure of my safety net. I've worked since I was a child, literally. I only recently joined a profession that a professor described as being the province of "risk-averse control freaks." Unemployment should terrify me. Instead, I think this choice will save my sanity and open me up to possibilities far more exhilarating and fulfilling than my current path.

I'm looking for a new and different full-time gig and hoping that the search doesn't take more than 8-12 weeks. (So scary to write down those numbers! I feel I'm tempting fate. . . .) In the meantime, I'm looking forward to:

  • rediscovering my body (exercise, cooking vegetables, eating well, sleeping through the night)
  • honoring my relationships (a week with Granny Sunshine, games with the chirrens, doing BabyGirl's hair, celebrating & commiserating with friends)
  • using my words (writing, protesting, lobbying local politicians)
  • loving my 'hood (kicking off the block association, planning neighborhood events, coffee & convos with the neighbors)
  • experimenting with other ways of making $$$ (entrepreneurship, contract writing, consulting)

I've got butterflies about tomorrow's announcement and some trepidation about wrapping up my projects responsibly in the two week notice period I've planned. And of course I'm concerned about blowing through my savings if this time without work lasts more than 2-3 months. I'm pretty frugal by nature and will be pinching the pennies so this period of freedom doesn't delay other dreams too significantly. But mostly I'm happy to have finally united my resolve, my courage and my sense of adventure.

Please, please, please wish me luck! And picture pheasants, peacocks, guinea fowl, sweet little partridges, sparrows, songbirds, chickens who've flown the coop -- all wild and happy in the bush. Here I go!