“You look so good!” a few people remark “Even your voice has changed”
“How so?” I ask
“There is no edge to it”, a colleague volunteers, which makes me wonder at the harshness of my voice on any other day.
The truth is that, since I took the decision to leave my job, I do feel like my stress level has decreased substantially. On my days off, I don’t check e-mails or voice mails, I don’t think about work at all, really. And, guess what?, when I walk back into work, the place is still standing and nothing much has changed since I left.
I did love my job and the powers that be above me only occasionally made my life difficult. Since I started to let go, gradually, I realized that all the stress and the worries were created entirely by me. Or mostly. My sense of duty, my need for perfectionism and the possibility of staying connected even when not at work, created the perfect storm that made me feel like I had to be the boss, even when I was walking my dogs, or lying on the couch reading a book.
I am under no illusion that I will not feel stress ever but, watching first hand, in these last few weeks, how my mild detachment had a positive impact on my life (and the lines on my face) will hopefully be a good reminder on how things should be. Walking away from perceived difficulties can give us the perspective we need to find better solutions. The same adage that” nobody is irreplaceable” can be turned into “nobody needs to connected 24/7”. If my sense of duty plays a large part in my behaviour, I also blame these ridiculous work ethics that have become the norm in most industries.
Today I walked away from the kitchen at 1 o’clock, during the lunch rush, to have lunch with a client. Not that I would choose to do that on any given day but we were fully staffed, everyone was in a good flow and I had no qualms sitting down to enjoy some of our food. “Call me if the places catches fire”. And I meant it.
When I got back an hour later, the restaurant was still there, in the same flow. What a surprise!