After accepting a voluntary (stress the word voluntary) separation package in order to attend to some personal business, I began to notice some strange things happening.

It was about three weeks from the announcement of my impending separation, and my leaving the building with my one box of 14 years of accumulated ‘stuff.’  Yup, one box,  I travel lightly.

Here’s what happened:

  • Almost immediately, I began hearing from people whom I had not heard from in years (within the company).  Awesome.
  • Many expressed surprise (aren’t you a company ‘girl?’) while the rest were envious
  • My email stream, often 300+ messages a day, dwindled to a mere dozen or two.  That felt a little awful as it was either due to the fact that I had no ‘juice’ anymore; or maybe folks just wanted to make my last few weeks uneventful.
  • The envious had no idea what they would do with their time if they had seized the opportunity

The last point particularly troubles me. Don’t get me wrong; I do think about what will happen when my package expires.  Will I get a job?  A job I like?  A job as awesome as the one I left?

But this is week four and I have yet to have a great deal of free time.

I’m learning to code (like a sixth grader, but still!); I’ve read a number of books and not just the junk fiction which is all I could manage when working but rather on topics that I find interesting (food industry, transgender children etc.).

So if you don’t know what you’d do if you didn’t have work, please accept one suggestion.  Find something to do outside of work; don’t make work your whole life.  None of us is irreplaceable, and none of us can foretell the future.

Balance your work with an equal or heavier dose of your life – whatever that may entail.

Be well.