On Change, Grieving and Touchstones...

feather at Mer Bleue Conservation Area, November 2010

I have four days left at the office.

This morning, for this first time, I allowed myself to grieve what I'm leaving: the people, the work I enjoy, the routine, the comfort and confidence, the KNOWN.*

I feel a bit like I did during the breakup of my first marriage - out with the old life and in with the new, without really knowing what the new one looks like yet. And like I was then, I'm scared. Excited and scared all at once.

 "Most people who have relinquished a job (or been fired or retired from one) grieve and feel lost for a time."

~ Marsha Sinetar, To Build the Life You Want, Create the Work You Love

So as I grieved, I remembered the small activities that ground me and made a note to do them: painting, laundry, dishes, morning pages, a walk in the woods, couch time with D. and Cassie. They keep it simple and in the moment.

Then I listed tangible things that will remain stable during my transition: my home, D., Cassie, my family and friends, the trees and the birds, my body. These remind me that work is just one aspect of my already full, rich life.

I guess it's normal to feel loss when we move on and let go of something that's been a constant for so long. What's important is to remind ourselves of the other things we can hold on to until we get to the other side.


* I just realized that a steady paycheck never even came up in my list of things to grieve - I guess there'll be time for that later.