Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Well after letting this blog languish for a few months, it suddenly has a new life. That's because I'm entering a new life myself!

I got fired yesterday. Whew! Is that hard to say. It really blindsided me, too. I expected a contentious review, but I never saw a termination coming. The boss used a sports metaphor. He said that we had not grown membership up to the potential he perceives there to be and just like a sports team that isn't performing, it means it is time for a new coach. He had called me in around 12:30. After the conversation, I went downstairs, packed my things, tried to arrange for an orderly transition of my work, and left for the day and forever around 3:30. Even now, almost 24 hours later, I'm still having trouble getting my head around it. I feel a little numb and it just doesn't feel like it can possibly be real.

Obviously, I haven't had the time, energy or distance yet to figure out where I go from here. I don't feel particularly panicky, but that may just be the numbness again. If anything, I feel cautiously optimistic. About a year ago I explored the option of becoming a personal financial advisor and there was a company I liked that was ready to hire me. So one option is to reopen that discussion and go there. But I feel like I need more time to get past the numbness, experience some grief over this loss, and really assess what I want before I pursue that or any other specific option. There are money worries, of course, but so far they are not of crisis-proportion. I believe God will lead me to a right next step, before the wolf is at the door but in His time. And again, I am well aware of a level of numbness that must be worked through before I am ready to make good decisions.

I will say that compared to the time I was unemployed about six years ago, I feel better equipped to just face the start of a new day. I got up when my husband got up for work this morning, dressed in my walking clothes, and as soon as he and my son left for the day, I went out for a walk. When I returned I had breakfast and read the paper, showered and dressed. (There was a brief moment of thinking "How do I dress when the day is without shape or plan?" But then I sucked it up, put on khakis and a sweatshirt and moved on.) Then I started identifying people from my former work life to whom I wanted to say some kind of good-bye, and sent out some e-mails and made some phone calls. I also sent my old boss a list of items I had remembered that needed attention that were probably on no one else's radar.

It's been kind of funny. Before I left the building yesterday I found that my very top priority was making sure my wonderful staff that I left behind had everything they needed to continue to be successful, and that work could go on without me. And this morning, as I said, I sent that list of additional items for follow up. There is some little voice in my head that says, "Why? Why do you care?" But there is a louder voice that says, "I care because it is who I am, and I will not allow being fired to make me any less than who I am."

I plan to use this blog as a bit of a diary for a while, with the purpose of making it easy for loved ones to check on me. I know I am often reluctant to call a friend too often when they are going through an upheaval, but I really do think about them and wonder how they are doing on a regular basis. This will allow my friends to check in without discomfort.

So wish me luck! I need to work through what happened, figure out what I want to do next, launch a search to find that next thing, and still keep my family running and all that. Oh, here's one lesson learned from my unemployment six years ago -- that time I was too depressed to get a lot done at home. I will not let that happen this time. We have almost twelve-years worth of accumulated junk in the basement, and its days are numbered! And if I conquer the basement, there are plenty of other household projects where I can apply my nervous energy.

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