Where has the time gone?

March?  Wait, what?

Egads.  My plans to write a monthly (bi-monthly?  semi-annually?) post certainly fell by the wayside.  I’ve been busy clipping coupons to save money on the budget.  Which does NOT work if you shop at Target because of the pretty displays.  I suddenly NEED those cute hand towels.  I just forgot to write them on the list.

But I digress (see how easily distracted I am?)  It’s been almost a year since my first well-intentioned monologue.  A few things have happened since I quit my job last April.  Here is an abbreviated list:

  1. I’m not employed yet.  I had planned to begin looking for employment in the fall.  But, um, well, I was enjoying not being employed, and my husband wasn’t pressuring me, and we weren’t spending as much as I thought, so….
  2. I took some art classes, and have discovered a passion for fused glass.  I love it.  Like, really really love it.  As in, I’m ready to create an Etsy site and get a kiln.  Husband isn’t on board with that scheme.  I continue to take weekly classes at a studio downtown.  I only get 2 1/2 glorious hours a week, but it is oh so glorious.
  3. I started running* again and lost some weight!  But then November came and Christmas and birthdays and Girl Scout cookies.  I think you know where I’m going with this.
  4. We still have the bunny (nothing new, but worth noting, because I still don’t think the purchase was a good idea)

*by running, I mean walking with an occasional slow jog.  On the downhills.  It’s a fast walk though.  That counts.

Hmmm.  I guess not much has changed after all.  I have, however, changed a lot on the inside I think…

I can’t believe how stress affected my health.  Not anything serious as far as I know, but my allergies aren’t as bad.  I think I was literally allergic to the corporate environment.  Or it could have been the strong cologne of the guy next to me.

I have discovered how much I hate having to put on makeup and fix my hair.  It was always a bother.  Now I can’t stand it.  If short hair didn’t make my head look like a honeydew on a stick, I would just cut it off.  Sadly, my face wasn’t made for short hair.  I know that because I have photo evidence of me with short hair in the 80’s.  And a perm.  No one needs to see that ever again (and I apologize to my classmates and friends, but it was the 80’s and we did crazy things).  My perfect day is a day in yoga pants with my hair up, and no errands to run.  Preferably with BBQ chips and Thin Mints within reach.

I’m an introvert, and I know it (I’m also sexy and I know it.  But only because I never look in full mirrors and steam the bathroom up real good during showers.  Best.Diet.Ever.)  I’ve made peace with this.  I need my alone time, and no longer feel guilty about it.  I don’t feel bad about not wanting to speak in front of large groups.  We are so pushed to be extroverts.  Well guess what, I don’t WANT to speak in public.  I’m not good at it and I don’t enjoy it and it’s not my nature.  And there isn’t anything wrong with that, no matter what people in the corporate world or PTA say.  Hmph.

I actually like spending time with my kids.  They are 9 and 11, and I know it won’t be long before they are slamming their bedroom doors, saying that we don’t understand anything.  They are girls.  I know this pattern.  When my husband says I spoil them, I say, it won’t last long – they will be moody teenagers soon.  To fully appreciate this revelation, you have to understand how much I don’t really like kids.  I can’t even believe I had TWO of them.  I don’t relate to kids, I don’t know how to speak kid, and it’s always a very awkward situation that I try and avoid as much as possible.  I don’t care for babies either.  They are exhausting.

I have moved from starting to think about looking for work, to starting to look at what kind of work is out there that I might be interested in.  It’s a process, people.  I want something part-time, where I can work from home, and do something I really enjoy.  Did I mention that I want to change careers?  Oh, and make some money.  To fund my hobby. And put kids through college.  But mostly my hobby.  Kidding, I’m kidding.  Kinda.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

April Second Chance

Friday was April Fool’s day.  It was also my last day of work.  I haven’t figured out if there is some sort of karmic irony in that yet…  I worked at the company for almost 21 years, which seems impossible because I’m always no older than 35 in my head, which means I started this job at the age of 14.  I didn’t have to leave – I didn’t get fired or laid off.  I’m still a long way from ‘real’ retirement.  I resigned because I realized it wasn’t a good fit any longer.

It seems like a simple decision, right?  Well it took me about 10 years to figure it out.  I mean, I was paid well and enjoyed a lot of amenities – there was a Starbucks downstairs, for goodness’ sake!  Surveys say this is a top TOP company to work for.  It’s crazy to think of leaving that, right?  Just work a few extra hours to come up with something innovative to really ‘wow’ management (yes, I was told to WOW people.  Wow.)  Create and deliver better presentations (“too many awkward pauses, and this didn’t flow well…”)

It finally occurred to me that it wasn’t that I was a bad fit for the company, the company wasn’t a good fit for ME.  And I got tired of trying to please people, doing something I was only moderately interested in (at times hated), feeling like a failure because of my inability to live up to their expectations.  Well, they were no longer living up to MY expectations.

When I told people I was leaving, I was surprised at the reactions. They were overwhelmingly positive! Oh I know there was some bitterness behind the smiles of some ex-coworkers, but even they seemed genuinely supportive.  Oddly enough, the hardest person to tell about my plan to resign was my financial adviser, because 3 months ago we were planning out our early retirement (surprise!)   My amazing, wonderful, incredible husband (is he reading this?) finally got tired of hearing me say each day, “I’m going to quit today”, and then me crying on the way home after not quitting that day.  He agreed to make the sacrifices that come with only half of a family income, and laughs nervously when people ask if I’m retiring permanently (“NO!”) .  My 8 year old immediately suggested possible next careers – Firefighter, Doctor, and Pet store owner.  All of which I’m highly qualified for.

The thing about this support is that people also say things like, “I know you’re going to find something you love!” and, “I’m so jealous that you get to do something different with your life!”  and, “you inspire me!”  These make me feel like I did the right thing by leaving – something that so many aren’t able to do. But there is now this burden to do something really amazing – a beacon of hope in the dreary sea of corporate life.

So.  Here we are. Today’s awesomeness agenda (hold onto your seat):

  1. Buy groceries.
  2. Wash dishes.
  3. Chip away at that laundry pile in our bedroom.

Amazed yet?  Just wait until I clean the bathrooms!