Today, I am unemployed. Yesterday, my employer of over 7 years laid me off and today was my last day of work. The layoff process was quite different from when I was laid off from another company in 2002. That day, there was an armed guard in the lobby of our office building to ensure we meekly accepted our booting. And, once we received word of our dismissal, not one moment more was spent working. Turn over your laptop and head out the door. Here, at least, I got one day to try and do a brain dump for my colleagues who will be left to carry on managing the 25 balls I had flying through the air.
I have experienced a lot of emotions over the last 36 hours. I'd say they are surprise, anger, sadness, relief, euphoria, bitterness, euphoria, melancholy, euphoria and a sense of loss as I bid goodbye to my work friends and my ability to exercise my professional skills (at least for now). It's been a revelation to me in the last day and half to realize just how much the demands of this job weighed on me; as the burden has gone the spirit has lifted dramatically. I see now that I can be happy again.
My severance package is generous and I do not have an immediate need to find a new job. This is a wonderful gift as I sit here at 54 and contemplate a time of respite. I want to take some time to 1) enjoy this period of freedom, 2) find ways to cut expenses from our day-to-life so our income needs drop and then 3) figure out what I can do for employment that will give me the flexibility to work from home and provide a measure of personal and professional fulfillment. This is a journey I'm looking forward to. Of course, there will also be plenty of time for relaxation.