Showing posts from March, 2009

And so it begins

I don't know quite what I expected to feel on leaving work. I thought I would be a bit sad perhaps, to leave my colleagues behind. I thought I would be excited about the new life ahead. I thought it would feel odd. And if I am honest I probably had not thought about it too much, feeling that I couldn't really second guess how I would feel and that the important thing had been to decide that this was what I wanted to do. Heaven knows, making my mind up was hard enough to do! The last day was strange, clearing out my desk, throwing armfuls of paper into the confidential waste and rescuing a couple of articles I had written for technical journals. I don't think I will need them but my memory is so sieve-like that I won't be able to remember who published them without a copy. It felt like the slenderest of insurance policies, throwing away years of notes and journals and presentations and hanging onto two publications, too small a legacy for twenty years of professi

Time for myself

I am now speeding towards leaving work like a train towards the buffers. Last week I had my farewell meal in Manchester, a great meal in the Yang Sing, a fabulous Chinese restuarant. I looked round at all these people I have worked with for the last nine years and thought how very much I like them. Will I miss them? Well I hardly ever see them even now, we are all so busy chasing our own tails at work. Everyone wants to know what I will do and it is clear again, as in so many conversations with colleagues, that people are torn between envy and disbelief at the idea of walking away. It also is much easier for them to understand the idea that I might lecture or take on some non executive jobs than that I might just do things with no profile, no clout, no money. These are my work friends, lovely interesting people, too busy to organise a wedding, too frantic at work to spend enough time slowly recovering after an injury falling from a horse. I was just as utterly work focussed for so lon

Onwards and upwards and downwards

Giving up my job feels like a big deal. It feels right and ready and proper but it also feels like something that should be marked, celebrated, acknowledged. They don't seem to do cheesy Hallmark cards. Congratulations on turning your back on your successful career. Another door opens, complete with soft focus sunrise. I decided quite a bit ago that I would mark it by doing something which I could not have done over the last thirty years when children and work made their due claims on my time. I am going to walk the Offa's Dyke long distance path. We live about twenty minutes walk away from the path, twelve miles or so from its Northern end. Ever since we got here the sense that it is just up there, running away south and north down the ridge along the length of Wales, has called out to me. My brother lives about ten minutes away from the path too, right down at the southern end in Chepstow. I love the idea that you could just get up there and start walking and find yourself a