As I’m writing this at almost 3am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning, it’s been just over a full day since my last day at work before starting a new job next week.
My brain and body have not accepted this yet. I was up until well after 2am on Friday night, and awoke this morning at 6, tense and thinking about things I may have forgotten to do. I didn’t get to finish updating a document and am repeatedly telling myself that it doesn’t matter, and that it’s really not my problem anymore, but I haven’t gotten used to the idea; my overdeveloped sense of personal responsibility is still reigning supreme in my head.
So, the temporary lack of responsibility hasn’t hit me yet. The temporary ability to sleep as much as I want to hasn’t hit either.
The emotions haven’t hit. Several of my work friends were fairly emotional on Friday and this kept me from maintaining a totally stiff upper lip, and I was actively avoiding large scenes or making anything feel sort of final or ceremonious (e.g. “my last lunch” – if I’m going to make any meal my “last” anything, I want to set that up, get a dozen friends together, pick one to play Judas and get that shit captured on film so I’ve got my Easter cards for the next few years). There was quite an outpouring of appreciation, generosity and “you will be missed” affirmation, and that made me feel pretty good… but the reality of everything isn’t here yet.
I have a delayed response to certain feelings: happiness, pride, excitement, relief/relaxation, for example. I feel sadness, anger, disappointment and that sort of thing very quickly. It’s my take on pessimism and how it fits into my life philosophy. Most of the time, if we are upset or angry, it’s because our expectations in a given situation were subverted or just not met.
Take, for example, road rage. If I head out onto a major highway at 4:45 pm on a Friday night, I would be naive to expect that there won’t be any traffic. So, if I drive out onto those roads, knowing full well that it will take me an entire hour (or more) to make a 20 mile drive, I’ve got a realistic expectation and I won’t be nearly as mad as someone who left work at 4:45 to make it to a 5:00 appointment 20 miles away and didn’t “expect” traffic.
It’s a little different from, “hope for the best, expect the worst.” I don’t hope for the best – that could lead to disappointment. I try for the best, expect the worst since that shoe could always drop…
Therefore, it would seem that my brain/body are not letting my conscious self know that it’s OK to feel a bit of freedom, relief, pride and happiness as they all relate to the last four years. I hope to feel them all soon because I’d really LOVE to get some quality sleep.