Last Friday of the year, last day of full time

Well, it’s finally here. If life goes as I’m planning, I’ll be in my office tomorrow for my last day of full time work. Not that I’m retiring…oh no, I’m at that awkward age…too young to retire, but old enough to be ready for a change in my work life. And definitely still in need of income…haven’t won the lottery yet, or made the proverbial fortune.

So I’m launching…I’m not quite sure what, just yet! There are ideas rolling around in my head…possibilities…I’m cushioning the first few weeks with some project work and relief work I had already lined up. But I’m also building in down time. I’ve discovered it is almost impossible to design a next step in life when you’re consumed by the commitments you’ve already made.

Some days I’m brimming with ideas and energy. And some days I’m scared. I haven’t been without income for twenty years, except for a few months here and there when we’ve made a geographical move. I’m also lucky. I have savings, and I have a safety net. Rob is able to keep us afloat while I sort myself out, so this is not going to be an experiment in Ramen noodle recipes.

I’m excited because I get to see what I can do, all on my own. I’m scared because I get to see what I can do, all on my own. If you’ve stepped away from the corporate security blanket, you know what I mean. I keep reading about all the entrepreneurs this economy is producing, and I hope I can soon be part of that group.

I’ve been a great employee, if I do say so myself. I take direction easily and work well with others. How can it be so frightening to take control of my own destiny and be the one in charge? I think it may be a matter of experience. I’ve only known what it is like to work in a corporate structure. The freedom and reward I’ve glimpsed are out there, somewhat obscured by the risk of solo flight.

Well, in a few more hours I’ll know. Or at least I’ll begin to know. Do I have what it takes? Can I transition to a self-starter? Here’s hoping! May the bridges I burn light the way! And may the future be bright!

See you on the other side of the new year! Happy 2012!

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9 thoughts on “Last Friday of the year, last day of full time

    • Thank you for your positive words! I hope to shine! But the first steps are about creating the vehicle for success. I remind myself that I can’t rush past this stage, but also, don’t want to get bogged down in making everything just right before I begin to begin! ~ Sheila

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  1. You absolutely have what it takes.

    Make your lists and by that I mean make 2: 1 list of everything that’s important to you in a “job” – flexible schedule, etc and list #2, don’t want to work alone etc. I made such a list 20 years ago and still have it – it’s served me well when deciding to take new opportunities – or not. You will never go wrong if you listen to your heart. Most of us make our mistakes out of fear – fear of the unknown.

    Cheers!
    MJ

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    • Thank you, MJ, as always, you have a good grasp of the right approach to difficult decisions! It is strange to be redefining this piece of my life at this point in my life, but maybe I’m just now brave enough and strong enough to step out on this limb. I’ll definitely make those lists, and I hope that I’ll be able to navigate the currents successfully!

      Thanks for sharing, and happy Friday! Hope you’re feeling better!

      Sheila

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  2. I dropped out of college half way through the first semester, loaded my wife, two daughters, a Dachshund, and everything we owned in a little van and headed for Alaska to start a life. I had $900 in my wallet. We drove from Laguna Beach, CA to the tip of Vancouver Island, then took the ferry to Ketchikan. Within two days we’d made a down payment on a 1ac lot a little past Ward Cove, and started building a house (meantime staying in a cabin on the property next door). By the end of the first week I’d landed a job at the Ketchikan Pulp Mill, and that took care of our immediate financial worries. By the end of the third month I’d finished enough of our house to begin living there. Three months later I put a (tiny) down payment on a small, very old sawmill (first begun in the 20’s as the Alaska Log Cabin Mill) at the back of Ward Cove, quit the Pulp Mill job, and began logging, sawing, and selling timbers to area builders, and dimensional lumber to the local lumber yard. So, a total of six months, and I’d transitioned from being a very bored college student (who had never driven a nail into a piece of wood before), to a carpenter, plumber, electrician, and owner-operator of a small (but promising) logging & sawmill operation.

    And you know what? I had no idea what I was going to do in Alaska when we got on that ferry. But the one thing I didn’t do was worry about it. And why? Because I was too damn busy ‘doing it’ to have time to worry.

    And my point? Simply this: Put your nose to the ground, pick up an engaging scent, and follow where it goes. ‘Cause nothing gets more done, than doing it! And that, I’m sure you understand. Right? 😉

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    • Thank you for sharing this story of your move to Alaska. Who knew Ketchikan could be such a place of opportunity?! Well, certainly today, with the ability to communicate as we do, physical boundaries are not what they once were.

      I so agree with you…the main thing is to be busy doing something, and that is my first plan of action…to not “take a break” but to dive in! I hope to have a story of success to look back on one day too! (Although I’m a little later starting this adventure than you were…but oh well, some of us are slow learners, and as they say, better late than never!) Thank you for your words of wisdom. I definitely want to hear from people who have been successful at charting their own course. It helps me be brave, as I’ve never really stepped out to do that myself.

      Sheila

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    • Thank you for your vote of confidence! I hope to be successful. There’s a quote I like that I found recently, and it sums up my approach:

      “Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.”

      I want this journey to be about new experiences and challenges for myself, but I also want to find ways to give back. And that should keep things interesting, don’t you think?!

      Happy Friday!

      Sheila

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