As may of you know, I left my job in June. I haven't really said much about it here, on twitter or on Facebook. I have kept a pretty low profile about the whole thing - despite it being an unavoidable topic of conversation - largely because of the decadence of it all. It's announcing to the whole world that I walked away not only from years of training but also a doctor's salary. Surly's success has allowed this reality, but it still feels weird to display something that is usually considered private in such a public way. Friends here in Mpls ask me "How's retirement?" and it feels very odd if not downright embarrassing. Who retires when they are 41? I'm not retired.
But I am also not going to work.
I'm writing. I'm cooking. I'm spending time with my parents. I'm seeing friends more. I'm getting kids on and off the bus. I'm trying to take care of my body. I'm sleeping like a normal person. I'm taking trips with my family on weekends. I'm helping with homework. I'm present.
There are the many colleagues who were deeply worried about my identity. How could I wake up each morning knowing I wasn't heading to the hospital? Well, I am here to let all of the worriers know that my identity is doing just fine! In fact, I'm surprised by how little I miss my doctor life. Sure, I miss the great saves and the mystery illnesses whose diagnosis unfurls themselves with a little work. That's why I went into the job in the first place. But let's be honest. That was a pretty small percentage of what I did day in and day out. I do miss the comradery of my many lovely partners, but I find dinner and lunch dates make up for that quite well.
Most importantly, the time I have with the boys (though maddening at times) is, without question, the best gift I have ever received. Max was chosen to perform in front of the whole 5th grade last month, and I was there. I didn't have to explain to him why mom couldn't see him. I am reading to Spencer's class today, and still have a chance to write, exercise and meet friends for dinner.
Were things different, I would still report to the hospital for every shift, smile on my face, ready to ride that horse into the real retirement sunset. That is the life I happily signed up for. But, I am the incredibly lucky gal who gets to see what else life has in store for me. And I'm pretty excited to see where that horse takes me.