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December Firsts

December 1, 2010

No matter the circumstances, leaving a job is hard.  I’ve left a treasured job in a fluster of tears and arms, hugs and congratulations.  I’ve left a really difficult job feeling prepared for the challenges ahead of me and thankful for my experiences and those moments of absolute confidence.  I’ve left jobs exhausted and spent, barely able to form the syllables to say goodbye.  I’ve been run out, driven away because of  my passionate hope for change and progress in a somewhat hostile environment.

But, never has leaving been so painful, so drawn out, so dramatic.  It’s a bad match, since I already have a, shall we say, an inclination toward theatrics.

I could go on, but really, the point of all of it is this: the goal of this job-quitting, poverty-entering, sacrifice-increasing social experiement is to really and truly start to measure myself up against my personal principles, values, and standards.  It sounds trite, right, but I know so many grown men and women who are still functioning for awards, accolades, praise.  I do it, too, constantly, non-stop.  Maybe by becoming even more self-centered, in a way, focusing inward, I’ll find a way for my actions and my reactions to be more genuine, and therefore, hopefully, less apologetic.

I mean, I am who I am.  Loud, verbose, not well-groomed, boasting, loving, passionate, ridiculous, gossipy, loyal, fierce.


And, so, just what are these aforementioned goals and principles?  I start with the little ones and work my way up through the months.  My December 1 through February 1 goals are:

1. De-junk.  Sal-Val, Freecycle, Facebook.  I will be decreasing our personal possessions by at least 10 large trash bags.  This includes unworn clothing, unplayed-with toys, unnoticed and unpacked items from our last move TWO YEARS AGO.

2. De-tox. In the form of: prepare tons of delicious homemade food for the freezer while I still have two incomes and a grocery budget.  In the form of: a thorough “I don’t work outside the house any more so I have no excuses” house-cleaning.  In the form of: replace as much plastic with glass in the kitchen (via Sal-Val, Freecycle, Facebook…).

3. De-compress. I’ve been working full time since age 18, with the exception of maternity leave(s).  (BTW- I consider myself very fortunate that I’ve never had any trouble whatsoever in finding a job, and that I have always had insanely unique and challenging jobs, and I’ve always been very proud of my jobs and I know how much it sucks to want and need a job, any job, and I totally appreciate how lucky I have been…)  I’m going to take a little time to get reacquainted with what it is I like to do, exactly, and then I am going to find a way to get that stuff back into my life on a daily basis.  On the short list: a walk, reading a book, steeping some tea leaves, calling a friend, planning a meal.

I’m looking forward to organizing life according to my priorities, for maybe the first time ever.  Is this the first sign of maturity, the last sign of immaturity, or something completely unrelated?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2010 8:53 PM

    Aw. Your self-description made me tear up a little. And you also SO DESERVE this fleeting time to be with your kids! You’ve got the chance, and you and Richie are so good at livin’ the hardscrabble life or whatevs in a creative and fun way. You could honestly be a tutor from home, too, if you had to make some money.

    You can rise to this. I think of your little brood as living like a super-fun Laura Ingalls Wilder-ish pioneer childhood in the Modern Age — where mom makes delicious pies from scratch and cools them on the sill, and Pa takes the clothes down from the line in the backyard after he comes home from a long day toiling at the Town Theater. I love this vision! Don’t tell me otherwise!

  2. courtney permalink
    December 2, 2010 12:28 PM

    love you syreeta/wish i had the time to tell you how much i really want to follow your journey in this / how much i want to learn from you!

  3. Faith permalink
    December 2, 2010 3:17 PM

    You are brave and wonderful and I’m SO EXCITED for you!

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