Yes, you’re welcome for that particular earworm. And if you can’t hear the synth horns right now doing an inspiring yet simple trill, then I guess you weren’t listening to the radio during the 80s. Don’t go out of your way to figure out. It’s okay, really.
I walked into my friend’s office last week and held out my two hands, palms open towards him. And after a few guesses, I happily chirped, “Ten working days left!” and we had a good chuckle.
It’s been a running theme since then – me flashing finger signs at my colleagues and them giggling as I say, “Nine days!” or “Six and a half days, since we just passed lunch!” Monday’s five day count down turned into a high five.
So, at the end of work today, I was able to flash a W. Three working days left until my adventure begins. I am proud to say that I have more excitement than stress now. My replacement started and I have been doing my best to gently but quickly get him up to speed on what our job entails. I’m introducing him to our collaborators, and I have trust in my colleagues to help him out as best they can.
The process of organizing my work for my replacement to take over feels a little bit like dying. I was musing on that last week as I was going through waves of stress and frustration. I tried to explain it to someone (I think I alarmed them by speaking in this way) – I’m putting my affairs in order, so they can carry on without me. So that someone else can pick them up and not have too much trouble figuring out what has to happen next. It’s not like I’m leaving a cryptic treasure map in order to make someone’s life more interesting – the files have to be logical, complete and contain as many of the considerations as possible.
But there was something so freeing about handing over a file on Monday to my replacement and saying, “Here, this is one of the files you’re going to have to work on. Familiarize yourself with it. Feel free to come and ask questions. And then we’ll get you writing something before I go.”
Just like the lead up to my Masters thesis defense – time doesn’t slow down so you have to do what you can in the time you have. The day will come, and I will turn off my computer, lock my cabinets, and walk out the door – and then I will be on my nine weeks of leave. That day is three days away. In actuality, it’s 24 working hours away. It is – several meetings, two celebratory lunches, at least two errand runs, and one drive out to my mother’s house to drop off my dog for safe-keeping – away. Three sleeps. Three alarm clocks going off…
And then? I will go and begin to learn how to be a yoga teacher.
But I am really looking forward to the time after – when I will be able to get up, grab my cup of coffee, and head into the studio to work on one of the paintings that are desperately waiting to be released from my imagination. It’s getting crowded in there… ;)
(Okay, fine – this is the music reference I made earlier – don’t say I didn’t warn you.)