I'm sitting here at home at 3:30 a.m., freshly returned from my official Last Day of Work. It's a little later than I expected to be home, but packout takes quite an effort in these days of ubiquitous computer use. Aside from the usual desk cleaning (I found two 34-cent stamps in the junk drawer), you have to clear Explorer caches, save IM logs, shift personal work files to the server, shift personal personal files to an external drive, clear Winamp's playlist down to the single song "Goodbye" by Nina Simone, that sort of thing.
It still hasn't sunk in yet. In the slightest. It may take a week or two.
That the end of my time at the Journal is passing with such a whimper indicates, I think, just how much I had settled into the daily routine of working there. It doesn't really feel like I'm done yet; despite all the cleaning, I have this odd sort of inner feeling like I'm still going to walk in on Tuesday after a weekend of goofing off. Except, in this case, if I do end up going back, it's going to be a Tuesday in October, and a hell of an exciting "weekend."
It's been a long while since my life was so stable over such an extended period. Probably not since college.
And after some thought, I've decided that that's just another reason why what I'm doing this year is the right thing. I was starting to really carve out some ruts there -- not bad life habits, just ... not completely the way that I wanted to go. It was a comfortable routine, and there are a lot of things to miss about it, but without leaving I wouldn't have been able to change direction as drastically as I'm doing now. No matter what happens out on the trail, I'm the better for pushing myself to test my limits, take a chance, and step out for new territory.
Life is like a snowglobe -- it's at its most interesting when you shake it up once in a while.