You know that feeling when you have worked hard and completed something challenging and you can sit back and catch your breath? It’s a mixture of accomplishment and exhaustion. That’s how I feel today.
I have completed another commencement season. This time I did five ceremonies in three cities, made especially difficult because of a huge rainstorm that swept through the South. Only half of our outdoor crowd could fit into the main auditorium, and the ones who didn’t have tickets were not pleased. I had the fun job of delivering the bad news.
My ears still reverberate, as the last veneer of sweet tea, gardenia blossoms, and “yes, ma’ams” evaporated from the normally gentle folk. Gone with the wind.
But it’s over, I survived, and we got them graduated!
So today I celebrate not only the closing of one project, but the beginning of a long-anticipated transition, a commencement of sorts for me. I’m commencing to reduce my work hours, and I’m kicking it off with a trip.
Steve and I had a plan, formulated back when I began this job, to leave my post this year. In the process of submitting my resignation, I had what I now refer to as my heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack (Billy Joel fans, anyone?). Turns out it was a Bundle Branch Block, meaning my body sends out whacky electrical signals that something’s amiss when it isn’t. (If you’ve known me awhile, that explains a lot.)
I didn’t know whether to take my medical emergency as a sign from God that I need to eliminate all stress and hence, quit for good. Or was he trying to tell me to keep working full-time so I can still get health insurance?
After we got the bill for my overnight in the Cardiac Hilton, the answer became clear. 🙂
I will stay in my office job and continue with special projects, working 10 fewer hours—the minimum to be considered full-time. That gives me a whole day to write from home!
I’ve been living for the day when I can write at home full-time. In preparation, I got a master’s degree, converted a guest bedroom into my office space, filled it with white boards, and planned every detail with writing goals and accountability.
I’m a teensy bit disappointed to defer my ultimate plan, glad to start easing into it, and mostly thankful that I still have insurance. At my age, time speeds by so quickly that it will feel like tomorrow when that blessed day finally arrives.
One day “off” per week may not sound like much, but here’s the best part.
My reduced work load won’t begin for a month.
Next week, we go to my nephew’s wedding in Arizona. We leave from the wedding on a red-eye flight home for a 23-hour-turnaround before we leave for … wait for it ….
Stay tuned for more on this.