Living the high life.

My friend Melanie once told me that, being a Gemini, I can easily find myself bored. That I constantly need stimulation — people to see, places to go, projects to do. Now, I am a person who relishes laying around watching TV for 15 hours, but it’s true that I thrive with structure and purpose and fall into slovenly behavior when those are absent.

Well, it’s officially been 7 weeks since the layoff and I haven’t been bored once. I’ve actually been enjoying my mini-retirement, keeping a schedule and even tiring myself out with all that I need to accomplish. It makes me wonder how I survived when 40+ hours of my week were claimed elsewhere — did I sleep? Did I have a social life? Did I ever carry through on anything? And let’s not even think about the MBA I somehow completed.

The past few weeks have been incredibly full — I’ve had uproarious dinners/lunches/brunches out with friends, I’ve volunteered my time to good causes, I’ve stayed in touch with my b-school folks and prepared for graduation in a few weeks. Keep reading »

Suffering the effects of too much sleep.

This morning I awoke at 5:16 a.m. As I type this, it is now 7:02 a.m., an hour at which I try never to willingly be awake, unless it is pre-slumber.

I have to confess that I may have buried the lead in my post a few weeks ago — I alluded to some earth-shattering news I had received just before I was to go out of town for the weekend. Well, I was laid off from a job I’d held for two days shy of 7 months. In truth it was a relief, since it was just not the right fit … an absolute square peg in round hole. But, it’s the first time I have ever left a job not of my own volition: clean out your desk, hand in your badge, leave when you’re done, the whole bit.

It’s been a rough past four years in our workforce, so I know my story isn’t unique or special. I also understand that it had nothing to do with me personally or my performance — the cuts are wide and deep for everyone. But the immediacy of such a turn of events … arriving at work expecting to spend your day/week/month/year a certain way … to have that yanked from you is quite jarring. On the plus side, it was clearly a “meant to be” for me — I wasn’t happy spending 40 hours of my week or life that way, and my family obviously needed me over the ensuing weeks. Now that drama has cleared, and I’m staring at an unknown, yet wide open, future. What in the world do I want to be when I grow up?

(If you figure it out, let me know?)
Keep reading »

Lollygagging.

It’s not often that I am truly at leisure. Even during the weekends, there’s always something pulling me away. A dog that needs walking. Homework that needs doing. Friends that need seeing. Plants that need watering. A meal that needs cooking. A garden that needs weeding. A wall that needs painting. A whole house that needs cleaning.

You get the idea.

But a week ago today I quit my job. Don’t worry, there’s one awaiting me. I just decided to take a much needed vacation during the job transition limbo. And because God’s timing is perfect, my vacation happened to fall in summer and near a national holiday … which meant I could enjoy July 4th weekend at the beach. So I’ve been lollygagging for the past few days, with nary a care in the world. There’s no work to be done, no phones to answer and no dire emails to be returned … at least for now.

It’s a revelation to wake up every day after a 10-hour slumber, have coffee on the porch in the humid ocean breeze and wonder what I’ll do with my day. Sun? Reading? A walk? Television? Playing on the Internet? A nap?

These days we live to plan each night’s dinner, and the wine and spirits flow at 3 p.m. Even though the plan was to be home by now, we’ve all looked at each other for several days in a row and said “Wanna stay another day?” Sure. Okay.

You’d think I’d be bored out of my mind by such leisure, but it’s nice to slow down, walk on some sand, soak up the sunshine and enjoy out of doors. I’ve already read two whole books and am working through the third. Most importantly, I was appointed cook during our visit. The farmer’s market is nearby, so we’ve relished the season’s best produce. I’ve been practicing all the southern delicacies that are traditions of summer:  pimento cheese, boiled peanuts, squash, okra, butter beans, creamed corn, lowcountry shrimp boil and many, many peach cobblers. Someday I’ll get around to posting some of those recipes.

The point is that it has been bliss. Extraordinary, uncommon bliss. And I can appreciate it because I know it won’t last.