Yesterday, I drove up to my old office to have lunch with a friend who still works there. Despite my best intentions of keeping in touch, it had been a while since we talked at any length, so there was lots to catch up on over a meal at one of my favorite lunch spots that sadly I only discovered a few months before I stopped working. She’s got a new boyfriend and a new roommate (not the same person), and I of course am selling my house and trying to establish a new routine for my life.
Driving there and back, I was once again reminded how, while I don’t miss dealing with traffic, I do miss having nearly two hours every weekday when I was pretty much guaranteed not to have anyone else talk to me. Sure, I got the rare phone call through the Bluetooth, but most of the time I was free to enjoy the quiet and think or listen to podcasts or talk to myself if I had something to say. That I want my alone time doesn’t mean I don’t love my husband or don’t want to spend time with him or talk with him, it’s just that I enjoy the time with him more if I’ve had enough time on my own. We’re still working on how best to get me that alone time.
After lunch, I went up to my old floor with my friend. She moved into my office when I left, so arriving at her desk which used to be my desk, I was right back where I used to be. I chatted with my former boss and some of my former direct reports and a couple random folks who wandered by. I was not at any point seized with regret that I’d left the work, though I do miss the people and the casual socializing. Which is surprising, since I don’t think of myself as particularly sociable or outgoing. Since I stopped working, I’ve been filling that need by going to discussion groups and lectures and such that I find on the internet, which is working pretty well for me but confuses Mr. Karen as he didn’t expect I’d want to do those sorts of things as much as I am. Like the alone time, we’re working on finding a balance here. The only problem is when we move to Idaho, we’ll have to start fresh. I think there won’t be as many opportunities as I have to choose from here in metro Detroit, and that makes me a little sad. But at least I’ve gotten some practice these last six months going to new things, which is not traditionally one of my strong suits.
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