For me, leaving a job is always fraught with tension and anxiety. In my years as a nurse, there has developed this pattern of feeling indispensable at work, that my leave-taking is a burden, and that I must give it my all to make the transition as easy as possible for my employer. Friends and family remind me that people leave jobs every day with no more than 2 weeks' notice, and people are laid off with barely enough time to clean out their desks. Still, I carry a great deal of responsibility in my job and want to do the right thing to prepare for my successor.
Since the arrival of H1N1 influenza, everyone seems to have woken up to the crucial importance of public health, and with the seasonal flu season beginning in October or thereabouts, my leaving at that time is, shall I say, highly inconvenient for many in the local public health arena. Still, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, and my plan is to find the perfect replacement for myself and leave our local health department in capable and well-equipped hands.
I have been punching the proverbial clock for years now, and I am ready to eschew the use of that ersatz timepiece and begin to decide how my days are spent. Self-employment isn't for everyone, and my self-employment may be temporary or long-term, but having a workplace to report to is no longer working for me, and I have professional wings that are readying for take-off.
I like my job a lot, and I am very fond of my colleagues. I think public health is a very important piece of the national and global infrastructure, but my time in that arena is drawing to a close, and I am choosing to not be in the middle of the battle against H1N1 that will be waged this coming flu season.
So, when my wife and I cruise the East Coast, South and Southwest U.S. in our new RV, gliding through the towns, cities and rural areas of this vast country, we will stay tuned in to what's happening out there, volunteer to help where needed, and give thanks that we have chosen to extricate ourselves from the workaday world as we create a new way of being and living as middle-aged adults on a mission to live life on our own terms.
These next three months will go by in a flash, and I will make the most of my time at work as we move out of our home of 13 years and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime.