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September 8, 2011

What’s The Next Course?

At the end of July I was given the chance to pursue new opportunities by my employer.  For the first time in over 16 years I found myself without the responsibility of a job and the chance at a new beginning.  It was a bittersweet feeling.  I loved my job and wasn’t looking to change at the moment but honestly I had been discussing trying some new things to take my career in a new direction and now I have the chance with a clean slate.  So now what? 

That’s a good question.  Of course it’s been on my mind and from chats and run ins with family and friends over the past month others are wondering as well.  I have been getting two questions both of which are understandable and neither of them bother me.  What have you been doing and what are you going to do?  Fortunately in my departure, my former employer did reward my long service and enable me to take some time to figure things out and be okay for awhile.

Let’s start with what have you been doing?  For one thing, time has flown by.  I started out taking things easy for about a week doing lots of “socializing” if you will with friends.  They were a huge help.  It’s such a blessing to have family and friends to count on when you need them and I am so lucky to have plenty of both.  Then I started focussing on all of the little “chores of life” as one friend said.  Cleaning up the house, calling about 401K, checking insurance plans, changing over cell phone, getting car fixed etc.  Each day I would have something to get done.  I had my lazy moments too but I made a point to not sit around daily bummed out in front of the TV.  I even canceled cable which I had been planning on doing for some time and I don’t miss it.  It really helped that there is always so much to do in St. Louis and now I had plenty of time to get stuff done all day and have fun at night and on weekends.  There were plenty of dinners, parties, events and various social outings that you may have seen photos and check ins from but I didn’t do a lot of major Facebooking or Tweeting and I haven’t blogged once.  I just wanted to enjoy a laid back period without a lot of pressure of “plans” and decompress for awhile.  It was much needed.

What are you going to do?  The emotions and thoughts I have had in regards to what’s next have been all over the place to say the least.  It is a very exciting and scary time all at once but actually I love it.  I truly do have a “clean slate” with the opportunity to try anything I want.  I have wondered what that would be like.  Well as they say be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.  So hear I am faced with all this possibility, with all of my ideas and passion and well, I’m a bit overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed in a good way but I do need some time to really figure out the next plan.  I know that right now I don’t want to just grab another career type job as the blank blank for so and so.  I’d like to take the opportunity to see if I can try a few of my own things…I just need to decide what things and make a plan.  I need some time to really think.   Time away from the distractions to clear my head and maybe do something I have always wanted to.  It’s time for a road trip!

Ever since I knew it was there I have wanted to go.  Yellowstone!  It’s the nation’s and the world’s first National Park and for over 25 years I have dreamed of taking a road trip to see it’s beauty and take in every site I can along the way.  Places like Grand Teton, Badlands, Wind Cave, Wounded Knee, National Grasslands and so much more.  I’m going to try to take as many “side” roads as possible, stop at roadside Americana attractions and of course eat my way across the country.  I’m going to try to  hit any classic or well known spot possible and see what hidden gems I might find.  I have never done a trip like this before and am more excited than I can express.

Traveling across our beautiful country I know I will find fun and adventure.  I’ll eat good food.  I’ll meet interesting people.  But will it help me find the answers I’m looking for?  Only time will tell.

Thanks to my friends and family for taking care of my house while I’m away and making it possible for me to go.  No huge parties!  I love you all.

Here’s to life and new opportunities every day!

First stop Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City!

So do you know of any places I should visit or dine on my trip?

Have you every had or wished for a “clean slate”?  What would or did you do?

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