I resigned from my job a while ago, for all of the usual reasons a person resigns from her job. After having been employed for ten years, and spending thousands and thousands of hours in a cubicle, it has been weird to suddenly...not.
There is a big chunk of my professional life that I do not miss. I do not miss the never-ending juggle, that part where everyone gets where they need to be every day, with all of the things and lunches and papers and backpacks that we all need to make it to dinner time when we finally come back together as a family. I do not miss feeling rushed and pressed for time, constantly, ohmygod CONSTANTLY. I don't miss feeling tired all the time. I do not miss Sunday night phone calls from VPs, about trivial matters that can wait for Monday. I do not miss working in the evening, on weekends, and in my sleep. I do not miss the rigid schedule and the ever-present fear of failing the schedule: missing daycare pick up, missing a meeting, missing nap linens, missing deliverables. I do not miss finding something to wear in the morning that doesn't require ironing. I do not miss the nutritional disaster that was my diet, simply because I didn't have time to think about it in advance. I do not miss never working out, because, again, there was no time. I do not miss how everything was a power struggle with the clock: there never felt like there was enough time to do everything and so, obviously, not everything got the attention I wanted to give. Whether it was simply reality or my own time management failures, I do not miss the ever-present awareness of Not Enough Time To Do It All. Everyone (kids, husband, office, kitchen floor, laundry, etc) got enough attention, perhaps more than enough to thrive but not nearly the amount that I wanted to give, and that was terribly difficult for me to be aware of.
I do not miss all of...that.
There is a sliver of my professional life that I do miss, that I think about often and wish I could have. It is the part where I was doing something I liked, something I was good at, something that was plain old fun. It is the part where I kick ass and take names, negotiate the hell out of something or make something right for a customer or a client. It was cooking up something clever or problem-solving or brilliant. It was feeling smart and intelligent and valued, even for simple things that come easy to me. It is the feeling of managing a global team from my inbox, all working towards the same goal, and closing out each day with a delightful list of Items Completed. It is power stilettos and dry-clean-only clothes and a commute by myself with time to hear my own thoughts. It is a paycheck with bright and shiny health insurance. It is a hot cup of coffee on my desk and something that is Mine, All Mine and I don't have to share it with my kids or my husband and goddamit, I am GOOD at it. People LIKE ME. These things are only a sliver, but I do think about them.
I miss that sliver.
And that's probably all I'll ever have to say on the topic.