Thursday, January 21, 2021

Grieving My Job

How are you? Are you a pile of mush? In my opinion, Jess said it best: January 2021 has felt like one long hangover from 2020. (And I'm not even drinking right now lol.) Personally, I have felt like crap, been very emotional, been slow to do anyyything, and basically feel like I'm just draaagging.

And like I always say, that's okay! I respect where I am.

The truth is I am grieving again. I am grieving the job I quit that I thought I wanted to retire from. 

I jumped in immediately last August, without looking, feet first, all systems go. I paid for and took expensive trainings. I bought a lot of books, materials, and supplies. I began building a collection of articles to support a research-based practice. I went ALL IN. Complete with expectations and everything. 

Ohhh... Expectations again. Thinking things were going to be one way and then. they. weren't.

Oh. Damn.
Plans foiled again...
...I shall do something else!

But first, I have to grieve what I expected and what I experienced. I have to because I feel it.

I'm journaling again. I'm sewing a little almost every day. I'm slowly but surely bringing back my yoga practice. I'm focusing on eating, sleeping, showering, doing what makes me feel good, and redirecting my negative thinking. It takes everything I have. Again, that is okay. With the pandemic still raging, it is an appropriate time to be still and quiet at home.

I'm exhausted. I cry a lot. I'm easily irritated. I've even had insomnia, which is very unusual for me. I accept it all. I welcome it. I pull up a chair and allow my sadness, anger, and massive disappointment to stay a minute. I recognize and acknowledge all of these longtime acquaintances of mine.

I feel the pressure to go get another job as soon as possible. I also know that's not possible right now. I cannot take in any new information at this time. I need to grieve and heal a little before starting my next new thing. I need to honor the fact that I have learned three different new careers in the last 18 months (teaching middle school, working in acute care at a hospital, and then working as a service provider for a school district) and I am tired. I need mental and emotional rest. (Did you read Mel's post about the seven kinds of rest on Monday? So good!!) And it's up to me to give myself what I need.

I wish our society didn't suck so much at grief. People don't understand my years-long grieving process for my children and motherhood. They sure as hell won't understand my need to grieve a job that I voluntarily quit. Well, F that noise. Grief is real and grieving is necessary. For so many different experiences.

I will jump back in the working game. I am looking forward to it. As I've shared before, caring for patients gives my life meaning. But, first, I need some time to rest. 

I need some time to grieve what was and what I thought would be.


  1. It sucks to be an expert on grieving. Especially when it doesn't make it any easier. Grieving is EXHAUSTING. And honestly, just existing in the world is exhausting right now, although it's gotten better since noon yesterday! I'm glad you're taking time for you, to care and nourish yourself. I'm glad you're bringing your yoga practice back, and journaling, and doing all the soul-feeding stuff. 💜 Abiding with you as you get through this time of transition, again.

    1. Agreed and thank you. It's a tough time period for sure. I don't really feel like anything is working out, but I've got my sense of self and all I've learned up to this point and that's not nothin'! I feel so grateful that I can afford to take a couple of months off. It helps that I don't have much so I don't have to pay for much. My soul aches for all of the other people who feel just like I do but don't get these gifts of space and time that they desperately need.

  2. Most people that I know who lost their job at the same time I did took some time off to de-stress and think about next steps before they dove into job hunting again. I think you deserve it! (((hugs)))

  3. I'm glad you're giving yourself some time. I have had a dream job twice in my life - they were brilliant, and then they weren't, and I decided I had to leave. It was hard. It's hard even now, thinking about what kind of career I could have had. One of the things I learned over the last decade or two has been that, just as I am much more than my (working or not) biology, I am much more than whatever job I do or don't do. And that leaving because of bureaucracies or managers is not my failing, but theirs. I know you're probably way ahead of me on that, but I do know how hard it can be.

    1. Exactly. We spend way too much time at work to be miserable. I mean, all jobs have periods of highs and lows, but overall feeling safe at work is a basic requirement. Leaving my job was sad but necessary. Thanks for understanding how hard it's been.