Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Starting on "The List"

This Monday is my last day with AT&T and I’m excited, but I’m also a little nervous. In fact, I’ve been wound up tighter than a tenor banjo at times.
As long as I worked for MaBell, I’ve never worried about having something to do. In fact, my plate was always overflowing.
My boss is panicking trying to figure out who will take over all the projects I managed.
When I walk out of that building this coming Monday, I will no longer have a boss.
Well, that’s not exactly true, I’ll only have one boss and her initials are J-I-L-D-A.
But for the most part, I’ll be setting my own agenda.
When things go well, I can pat myself on the back but when things go south, the only person I’ll be able to blame is the person standing in my shoes. That’s both exciting and scary.
All the things I’ve put off for years because I didn’t have the time can now proceed. The last few weeks I’ve awakened several times in a cold sweat thinking –  what if I can’t make it on my own?
What if after a few weeks, my lovely spouse discovers she really doesn’t like me being around?
What if the economy goes sour and all the contingency plans I’ve made fall through? What if a meteorite falls from the sky and – well, you get the picture.
When I voiced these concerns to Jilda, she listened attentively before saying, “Shut up you big whiney baby! You’ll do fine as long as you stay out of my way.”
“Wow! That was so helpful,” I said sarcastically as I scooted to the other end of the couch to mope.
The thing is, I know she’s right. I have skills and interests that can keep me busy for the rest of my life. I’ve gotten tons of calls and emails from friends who promise me there is life after corporate America.
The first and most important thing I HAVE to do is relax. Jilda and I have not had a real vacation in years. We have taken “work-ations.” We go out of town, but we work. We have fun, but it’s seldom relaxing. I think I’ve forgotten how.
One of the last times we took a non-work vacation was when we went to Ireland. We spent 10 days drifting around that lush garden without an itinerary or schedule.
We ate the food the local’s ate (except for blood sausage), we listened to local singer/songwriters and we were invited to perform in pubs, restaurants, coffee houses and other venues. We heard stories, visited art museums, and castles older than America.
We saw so many stunning sites that our brains couldn’t process all the visual information coming through our eyes. Now that was a vacation.
We got a St. Patrick’s Day card from our Irish friends Dominic and Marguerite this week. Dominic and Tony are two singer/songwriters we performed with while we were on the Emerald Isle. We cut the stamp off of the envelope and put it in a small picture frame on our mantel to remind us of how much we enjoyed our time there.
I know the next few weeks will be touch and go, and we plan to go back to Ireland someday, but the first thing I’m going to do is go fly-fishing and unwind, before I get started on “The List” that Jilda has for me.

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