Day 1 of Unemployment

When I saw the forecast for the week, my eye drifted to Thursday  – Thursday was my official last day at the company even though my termination date is still two-months away.  What kind of day would it be? Rainy? Cloudy?

Nope – sunny and warm – the warmest day of the year.

I smiled because I felt like the universe was telling me something – that it was affirming how I already felt – that this was a good thing – not bad.

The last few days, I had spent getting the last thing wrapped up before my time was done.  A mentor and generally good IT leader had given me a project she needed help doing, so I felt compelled to try to get it done for her even though it was, at times, and uphill battle.  It was a lot of hurry up and wait – which happens – but I was persistent as I wanted to leave the company with an empty to-do list.  When I wrapped it up Tuesday night, I realized for the first time in a week that I was finally done.  Just needed to wait until it was official on Thursday.

I finally dragged myself out of bed this morning, tossed on a dress and sandals (sandals that never met dress code before), and headed in to get my last few items, meet with my boss, and give my badge and computer to HR.  It was weird going into the office.  It was weird knowing that I had maybe an hour left – then I was done.  So I did what I set out to do, then walked out of that sick building with the dusty air and HVAC that couldn’t figure out the seasons even with help – and walked into the sunshine.  I couldn’t help but smile.  That chapter is closed.

I came home, grabbed a bite to eat, then headed back outside. My gardens have spent more time in neglect than they should have – so I started clearing out the weeds. I filled the entire yard debris can – but kept going.  It was nice seeing things look in order – see things as I want them instead of walking past wishing I had time to do something or the energy.  I hoed up weeds, dug up roots, and swept the dirt back on the beds.   The parking strip is finally cleaned up.  The sidewalk is finally clean and swept.  Both my raised beds are weeded and ready for vegetables.  I even cleaned off and swept the porch.  I watched my happy little mason bees zooming around and in and out of their hive – enjoying the sunshine as much as I was.  I watched the neighbor cats patrol their yards only to flop down in a sunny patch, close their eyes, and smile to the sun in contentment.  And even when I realized I had blisters on my hands, I kept going because it felt so good being outside in the sun instead of inside.

I got a call in the afternoon from a former cohort who was laid off at the end of February and found a job at a larger company.  He had pinged me the day before telling me about all of the jobs at his company – telling me he was going to pass along my contact info since I am not unemployed.  I shot him a message and told him – I’m not working anything sooner than mid-May.  I’m taking time off.  I had been clear about that a week ago when we spoke – but I reiterated it – holding firm to my decision.  He called to tell me all of the reasons I should be jumping at this.  “D, I know you believe that – and I respect the situation you found yourself in when you were laid off in February but that is not my situation.  If they are truly this desperate all of the time, they will still be desperate in 6-8 weeks.”  He told me he had already passed along my info, and as I stood in the sun, I didn’t care.

Let them call me – I am not desperate.  I am not looking for any job – when I look, I want to find the right job.  But right now – the sun is calling me.   I am feeling my body and mind and all exhale for the first time in several years.  I know all will be well….and right now, I just want to be like the cat and curl up in that warm feeling and just smile.  I want to let it recharge me – and when I’m ready, I will do something about it.

But until then…..I’ll be gardening – in the sun.

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