Some dates just stay with you. Always. There's your birthday, your wedding anniversary and the days your children are born. All Big Days For Sure. There are others too. Dates that resonate with Only You. Back in April of this year, in "This is The Day" I mentioned one of mine. Well, here's another Random Date from my archives. A Personal Milestone Day. June 19, 2009 was my last day Workin' In The Office. My last day On The Job. I'd given notice on Thursday, June 4. I gave 'em 15 days. Which made my last day Friday. Seemed like The Thing To Do at the time. It was A Big Deal. SUPER BIG. Here is My Resignation Letter:
June 4, 2009
Thank you for the opportunity to sit at the table with you in the printer negotiation meeting on Tuesday June 2. I hope you decide to move forward with Acme Printer. They sound like a hard working, innovative company that truly wants to do the best job possible for their customers. I’d love the opportunity to work with them on your catalogs.
However, it’s time for me to close this chapter and figure out what the next blank page holds. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do because I care so much about your company, the people there and the vendors I’ve worked with on two continents. The problem is I care too much and it’s hurting me and my family. I need to step away and give someone else the opportunity to develop the catalogs and run Acme In House Ad Agency.
There is a passage of text from Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, by James Patterson:
“Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls – family, health, friends, integrity – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. And once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you will have the beginnings of balance in your life.”
It would have been easy to leave in January during the thick of spring 2009 catalog season. However, I stayed and saw it through. The fall catalogs are getting off the ground now. However, my heart isn’t in it anymore and that’s what got me through all those years of meeting impossible deadlines and climbing mountains. I’m ready to coast down the other side. Summer is here and my children are out of school. I’ve missed too much at home over the years. I want to be there for more than breakfast and bedtime.
You told me recently the catalogs cost you more this year for the same number of pages and same number of titles. They cost me more too. They cost me sleepless nights and a sick stomach and missed moments that I can never get back. They nearly cost me everything I hold most dear. There is more to life than deadlines. It’s time for me to find out what life is like without a “catalog season”. Time for me to take the big red circles with catalog due dates off the calendar.
The first catalog I did for you was XYZ Fall 1998. The last one will be XYZ Fall 2009. I have five unused days of paid vacation to be added to my last paycheck.
I’ll never be “done” with the filing and sorting and teaching but it’s time for me to go after 11+ years as an Acme In House Ad Agency employee. I will return the original computer equipment from 1998 and back up disks from my house prior to my last day on June 19, 2009.
Janean M. Baird
Did you per chance notice the ragged turquoise edge on the paper? Once Upon A Time this was my resume paper. Ironic that it was used again For The Flip Side Of The Coin. My co-workers surprised me with A Pirate Party that morning to say, "Bon Voyage". We'd spent the winter talking like pirates, saying, "Arrrg" and "Ahoy, Matey" to pass the Stress Filled Days. Pirate flags were the decor. To go with the parrot hanging from the ceiling. Chocolate dessert was plentiful.
One of the artists I'd been workin' with put ball point pen to computer paper. On either side of the well armed ship he wrote these Words Filled With Wisdom:
May the sails of your life always have wind to help you through.
Beware of shark infested water…
Don't be afraid to make others walk the plank.
Let God guide your ship from time to time and don't miss the signs.
Safeguard the treasure that is your family and don't let it get buried in the sand.
Remember that you are not alone and that one captain, a whole crew does not make.
Enjoy your new voyage on this trip we all call life.
~ Your Friends & Crew Mates"
He knew me well. My First Mate. Taught him what I could. In the time we worked together. Best of all, those lessons weren't one sided. He taught me plenty too. About the Things That Really Matter. Deadlines smedlines. Who really cares?! Don't miss that event at school. Catalog schmatalog. Make sure you're home for supper. Money Schmoney. Yes, it makes the world go 'round. But you can get by on less and live a life much richer spending time with those you treasure.
I spent six months feeling burdened. From January to June of that year. I was weighted with the question, "Should I stay or should I go?" My husband said, "You're the only one holding yourself prisoner there. I can't make The Decision for you." Dramatic. Yes, I know. Then The Decision was made, Notice Given and The Countdown begun. I felt weightless as a feather. A co-worker remarked, "Your steps are lighter." It was true. I'd been walking in for weeks on legs encased in concrete. Dragging my feet and wanting to be Anywhere But There. Suddenly I felt like skipping. My father mentioned over the phone, "Your mother's right. The lilt is back in your voice." The lighter step and lilt returned were outward signs of The Change Within. Three letters say it best. J-O-Y rediscovered. The kind that Bubbles Up From The Inside. THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER.
Even now. Especially now, As We Face The Fight of Our Lives. A New Chapter is beginning as we try to keep the glass ball labeled "Health" from shattering. Fast forward nearly two years, from my resignation, to May 25, 2011. The day of my husband's Procedure. As we packed up to head toward home, still reeling from The News, the discharge nurse inquired, "Do you work?", meaning, "Outside The Home?". I replied, "Not at the moment." She said, "Good. It'll make it easier. Less stress." Truer words were never spoken. Her simple words keep resonating. Even Now. In My Mind. The thought that keeps returning is that It's God Plan. He knew we'd need those years just passed To Build A Firm Foundation. We're Praising Him even in the midst of this Storm Filled Sea. The boat we're in is Holding Course. We know God's Got It Covered. Nothing catches Him by surprise. Day by Day and Step by Step we'll Take It As It Comes as we cast off toward The Great Unknown.
"This is The day"
"Too Young For This"
PLEASE NOTE: Names of people and businesses have been changed.
© 2011, Janean Baird Turquoise Tangles