This past May, I quit my job of 14 years. I had been thinking about it for a while. Some things were changing, and I felt I had reached a point of mental fatigue. The day after Mother’s Day, a few hours into my work day, I knew I was done. I kept thinking the feeling would leave, but it never did. I got home from work in the afternoon, picked up my Surface and emailed my resignation to my boss.
I worked for a few more weeks, but looked forward to and wondered what my “new normal” would be. Little did I know that it wouldn’t be normal at all and I would literally have the worst summer of my life. I doubt there is anything in this world that could prepare someone for dealing with sick parents, suddenly losing the more healthy of the two, finding care for the one who was left behind, selling and cleaning out your family home, losing the second parent, and then cleaning out and preparing to sell their second home, all over a three month period of time. Grieving? No time for that. Oh, and I live 795 miles away.
I love to write, and I always feel better after I get things out and down on paper. For some time now, I have wanted to start a blog (maybe) or maybe just a journal, so doing so has been a “new normal” goal. That goal of course, has been delayed by the aforementioned events. It is now October 1st and while there is still much to be finalized at home, I have at least reached my first week where there is nothing on my calendar, except going to a cake tasting for my good friend’s daughter’s wedding. Yes. Please.
It appears that one of the hard parts about starting a blog is simply choosing a name. Over the past four and a half months, I have often had the thought, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life,” but that’s kind of cheesy and way too long for a name. Given all that I have been through since leaving my job in May, a natural choice is “My New Normal” or “Finding My New Normal”, but those are already taken and if you google that, it is all about grief or people who are struggling, and I want desperately to get out of that mindset. So yesterday, on our way back from Mobile Bay, I was thinking about possibilities.
I have a dear friend, who was my college roommate my sophomore year. Beth was from the Deep South and had an accent to prove it. She sang and played the guitar and was a French major who intentionally mispronounced all of the most common French phrases just to be humorous. She was an enormous amount of fun because she loved and lived life, and every time she had an amazing experience she would exclaim, “Life has begun!”
Post College, Beth spent some time living in Paris, but eventually returned home to teach French in her hometown high school. We have kept in touch and quite honestly, she has become my inspiration. Over the past few years, she too has been finding her new normal, losing her sister in Hurricane Katrina, and more recently retiring from teaching and losing her father. However, as I type, Beth is in France leading a walking tour of Provence and the French Riviera. When she returns, she will no doubt get back to teaching yoga and playing in her bluegrass band, all part of her new normal. Beth will quite often share on Facebook something amazing that she has experienced, to which I comment, “Life has begun!” and she always comments back with a smiley face.
So, I’m thinking “Life Has Begun” needs to be the name of my blog, or whatever this turns out to be. In a way, I am starting over, unemployed and parentless. The phrase was born out of positive energy and I need positive in my life right now. Thanks for the memories and inspiration Beth. I’m signing off to go do Yoga.