Quitting my job, cleaning my condo, and other adventures

It’s been a busy day.

Actually, I didn’t quit my job today. I emailed my resignation letter to my manager (who is several states away) on Monday, but he asked me not to say anything to anyone until he’d had a chance to talk to his manager (who is in a small European country) and come up with a strategy for how they were going to deal with this “problem” that I’m causing by leaving mid-project. The whole “problem” actually began when I told my manager (in a moment of foolish candor) that I was thinking about taking early retirement before the end of the year. His reaction was, basically, “What makes you think we want you around that long? Let me confer with my manager and her manager and we’ll get back to you regarding how long we’ll let you stay.” At that moment the last of the “corporate contract” was shattered as far as I was concerned, and I took the power back by deciding that I might as well just quit sooner rather than later.

My last day at work, and the last day that I ever plan to spend in a huge global corporation, will be February 24.

“Now you know the rest of the story.” When I’ve alluded to big changes brewing in my life, this is what I’ve been talking about. That post from back on January 18 — If I had all the time I needed— was me beginning to create a vision of post-corporate life.

While I’m not wealthy (1%? I’m not even in the 10%), I have been a prudent money manager over 30+ years of big-corporation life. As soon as I sell my condo, I’ll be free of major debts. This is why it is a good idea for me to sell this condo now. I should be able to live comfortably, although not extravagantly. So I’m re-reading Thoreau: “Simplify, simplify.” I’m thinking about how I can connect more fully with my neighbors and my community back home in Washington. Yes, I already have a community garden plot waiting for me when I get home. Travel will still be a priority, although I may not be able to travel first class or frequently. But that’s all right.

I’m coming home. As soon as I can take care of things down south.

Early this afternoon I turned off my work computer and got busy deep-cleaning this condo. I had to wash the floor to ceiling windows about four times. As I’d work through the layers of dirt, I’d discover the fine mist of paint overspray from when they repainted all the exteriors two years ago. I’d break out the paint scraper and then clean again… and again. When I ran out of window cleaner, I looked online and learned how to make my own window cleaner from vinegar and Ivory liquid soap. It works just as well and is much easier on my lungs — I wonder why I haven’t tried this before!

I took a break this afternoon (more on that later) and then continued cleaning well into the evening. Tomorrow morning when the light is better I’ll tackle the floors. Then I’ll pack my cats into their carriers and take them on a “field trip” for a few hours while my realtor holds an open house.

It will probably be a good day to hold an open house. There are 9,000+ bicyclists in town for the “Tour de Palm Springs,” and my guess is there will be bored family members who might stop by. Modernism Week (which is actually an 11-day celebration of all things mid-century modern) is just around the corner starting on February 16, and people are already arriving from all over the world for that.

In addition to the Tour de Palm Springs, there is a smaller affair on Sunday called the Palm Springs Half Marathon. The break I took this afternoon was to go and pick up my race packet. I’ll be #751 of perhaps 1,000 runners (numbers were assigned alphabetically). I can’t wait! I shall be slow and happy — I shall have fun!!

This morning I did my last, short, pre-race run of just two miles. It was a dance with moonset. Here is the view just before I started:

And here it is about ten minutes later when the rising sun was hitting the mountaintop:

Indeed, this place has its charms. But I am not an intrinsically bi-platial being, and I want to come home. I have so many things that I want to do and become there.

One step at a time.


Posted on February 10, 2012, in LIfe_goes_on, Place, Running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I’m thinking that kind of awesome. Given the comment I would come up with a “bite me” sort of response as well!

  2. WOOOO HOOOOOOO … Yeah for you … way to take the power back …. you will have an awesome run this week end … we are awaiting your return home ….

  3. “At that moment the last of the “corporate contract” was shattered as far as I was concerned, and I took the power back by deciding that I might as well just quit sooner rather than later.”

    ^This. Happened to me in late September. I had said I would stay put through the semester while a good friend and co-worker was having chemo and radiation, so I would be there as backup. At a weekly staff meeting, I was ambushed by the personnel committee as directed by the head honcho (pastor, no less) and we had a conversation that I thought was good. I came away from that meeting feeling good and thinking things were going to be tweaked before the end of the semester and we’d carry on. He called me back into the meeting again and gave me two weeks.

    I quit the next day and went in and packed up my office……….

    You are well on your way to being where your heart wants you to be…………and I’m pretty sure you’re not really all that slow and are most likely a lot faster than me and a lot of other people…. 🙂

    • TikkTok,

      It’s the “You can’t fire me! I quit!” mentality, and it might seem a bit self-defeating but it does feel good, doesn’t it? Why should I stick around for the convenience of the corporation when I’m so eager to get on with my life?

      Thanks for the encouraging words about my running as well. Whatever happens on Sunday, I’ll be running with a great big weight OFF my shoulders. 🙂


      • I don’t think it’s self defeating at all! I think it’s logical- what is going to be accomplished by dragging it out? In my case, I knew it would be two weeks of hell; two weeks of being reminded how they treated me, and I wasn’t interested.

        And you are right, too. In your case, why put off living your life the way you want to because of them?? They aren’t worth it!

        Thinking about you today and hoping your race goes well!

  4. Wow, Lori. If you can swing it financially, why not get out of that rat race? Good for you, and best wishes for tomorrow.

  5. Wow! i disconnect for one day and look what happens? LOL! A lot! I’m writing kind of late, but I will be holding good thoughts for you on your Sunday race! Good luck! And you are a thoughtful person…I am sure this has been in the works a long time! Good for you. It sounds so much in keeping with the intentions you listed a few weeks ago about taking good care of yourself. Hooray for that! Debra

    • Hi Debra,

      Yes, this has been in the works for much longer than my first hints about it in this blog. One of the things I’m having to learn as a blogger is how much to reveal about myself, how to say it, and when: how to be transparent while still retaining some degree of personal privacy and security. I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about!

      In my workplace we use(d) an internal “social business” platform and we are/were expect(ed) to “work out loud” — that is, to share our work in process and seek collaboration with colleagues. In a public blog like this one, the challenge is to become comfortable with “living out loud.” The reward, of course, is crossing paths with people like you who reflect my thoughts back to me and encourage, cheerlead, and sometimes gently coach me along the way.

      This morning I’m up dark and early, getting ready to run 13.1 miles and fully expecting to have a wonderful time. I’ve learned over the past year that life is far too short to waste on doing things you don’t love. I SHALL HAVE FUN (in a thoughtful sort of way, of course…)!


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