Well, my first week of full-time lawyering, post quitting my long-term job is in the bag. It was a truly fabulous week. I enjoy working with clients to make their lives better, if at all possible. I enjoy seeing the looks on their faces when they realize that their issues are solved, they are free of a bad marriage, they now have a new member of their household through adoption, or their mother’s estate is closed out in probate. It’s the same look of relief that I’m sure people see on my face, knowing that I’m no longer stressed out all the time at my job. I have no more worries about space requests for which I have no space, things being requested “soonest” which is utterly annoying (ask sooner if you want it soonest), and just dealing with committee after committee to get anything done. Even taking a day off sometimes was trying.
Now, I find myself looking forward to work every day. I no longer have to have a flu shot or be fired, no more TB test every year, and no more pressure from so many entities to do things that are sometimes on the cusp of usefulness. The things I do now matter! I’m sure that at my old job, had I been in patient care itself, I would have felt the same way I do now. That things matter. That I made a real difference every day. It’s something I craved, and something I just could not achieve with my position there. No fault of the company – just a congruence of situations that caused it to happen that way.
I no longer dread Sunday evenings. I typicaly got a stomach ache or head ache every Sunday evening at my old job. I dreaded going in to work some days, just knowing that someone would yell at me, someone would not like what me or my team was doing, or God forbid, we chose the wrong color of laminate and the world was going to stop turning. I had grown quite weary of that existence, so I started wondering what I could do about it. Leaving a job with a large salary was tough. We just bought a house, but we bought one we could afford on what just one of us makes, just to make sure that my options were still open. One child left at home – a senior no doubt – made the decision for us to move easier than it had been in the past. When you have a 15-year old telling you where she will move and where she won’t move, it kind of narrows down your choices. With this one, we didn’t have that hang up and surely didn’t have to ask. This house is our “long-term” house. I want to live here for a very long time as I enjoy it, the neighborhood, the neighbors, and the way of life in the country. I don’t want to move back to town!
My stress level is so low these days that it feels like I’m having an out-of-body experience. Yes, there are a few things that still bother me from time to time, but a lot of it I’m letting go of, simply for the fact that I don’t care anymore about those things. Holiday parties that people believe they should control? Cool – go for it, dear. I could care less when or where it’s held so long as you understand that my dime won’t be funding the whole thing and the 25 of the rest of us won’t be waiting on you to tell us when we can all get together. Children who won’t listen when we tell them their lives will be crap if they don’t do what they are supposed to do? Cool – don’t listen. Also don’t ask for money or advice, as those boats have both left the harbor, never to return. You’re on your own.
It’s freeing being happy. I feel free to chase my dream, finally. Free to be me. Free to not worry about every. single. thing. All day long.
And, I feel, more than anything, content. I don’t feel like I’m looking for the next-best-thing. I have found it – in myself, my husband, my Moxie dog, and my job. I have arrived.