Remarkable, simple days

It’s been four months since I left my job as an editor at the newspaper, and I’ve learned a few things.

  • Leaving your job, even if you’ve been looking forward to this exit for 18 agonizing months, is traumatic. I didn’t mourn it as I would a death in the family, but it was uncomfortable. The recurring question was what do I do now?

    It’s a luxury to read new library books, but the fines are not tax deductible.
  • Having more time on your hands does not mean you will return library books on time. Ditto for cleaning the house or doing yard work that has been postponed for a decade. If you had flaws before you left your job, you still will have them when you’re gone. And you’ll have more time to ponder those flaws.
  • Having no paycheck takes all the fun out of being a typical American consumer. But figuring out that you don’t have to be a typical American consumer is very freeing. I wish I had realized this when my children were small — we would have spent much less time dragging ourselves around malls and much more time enjoying childhood.
  • And finally, it’s never too late to enjoy childhood.

God has a way of answering the big questions. Ask Him what you should do now, and He will more than likely come up with a list … Drive the neighbor to her hair appointments in her snazzy Ford … Take your mother-in-law to the grocery store … Create something wonderful for dinner … Respect His discipline.

If my life lacked meaning before I left the newspaper, that same lack of depth has shown up in glaring Technicolor now that I’m unemployed. But I’m more at ease with this process after four months, more willing to look inside myself. And I love that it’s possible to enjoy each remarkable, simple day.

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