Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.



Yesterday was my last day at work.  I haven’t been coy about the fact that I didn’t love my job so I didn’t expect to feel ambivalent when it came down to the last moments.  I expected I would get on the elevator to leave the building with something akin to the last day of school feeling as a kid – freedom and endless possibilities for the summer.   Instead, I felt a little happy and a little sad.  Every day for 2 years, I knew where I belonged and what my day would look like.  Now?  I have no idea what the future holds.  I don’t know who I am as a mom yet so I can’t forumlate a picture of what my world might look like in a month.  But I am curious and excited to figure it all out.

The other reason for my ambivalence was my co-workers.  Everyone gets busy and we forget what neat people we work with sometimes.  A few of us went out for a drink after work and I had such a good time just hanging out and laughing with them.  We rarely socialize outside of the office because everyone is as busy in their personal lives as they are at work.  I forgot how much I like some of the people I work with.  And strangely I made a new friend in my last few days – someone I hadn’t really talked to much prior to my resignation.  She said as we were leaving the bar “I wish I had started talking to you sooner!”  Me too Jill.

So, for now the work chapter in my life is closed.  Weird.  I’ve been working since I was 16 and scooping ice cream cones at Goshen Dairy.  My worst job?  I spent a summer working on a road crew, shovelling 15 tons of gravel a day as we hand patched county roads for $5 an hour.  After college I worked 3 jobs and went to grad school.  I ended this chapter of my work career on a disappointing note because I wasn’t able to make a discernable difference.  But I’ve done many things I am very proud of since I began working 18 years ago.  I’ve helped a lot of people and made a difference in their lives.  Now I am turning my focus to my own family.  It feels a little decadent and a little scary but I know this new chapter will be an adventure.

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