This is the post I meant to do last month with all of my new “free” time. Truth be told, I was busy finishing up a gift for my mom and wasn’t able to get it done. Sigh! So much for all my dreams of productivity. When you are done visiting, check out my extremely talented friend Val’s blog to see what she did last month!
I thought I’d use this post just to talk about what occurred over the past two years that really made me make his decision to quit my day job. Even if no one reads it, I thought it might be good to write this down as a diary of sorts to look back on. The decision did not come lightly. Anyone who was around me for any length of time knows that all I talked about for nearly two years was quitting my job. I don’t think anyone really believed I’d do it and it took some convincing with Tim and the family for sure!
I worked full-time since graduating from college in ’92. I’ve worked for Microsoft since ’97. I’d occasionally think about quitting but when I did the pros and cons, the pros always outweighed the cons. I had a great job, with people I truly liked, and I worked from home when I wasn’t traveling. What was there to complain about? Something happened in the past two years. I haven’t figured out if I changed, the job changed, or it was just a combination of both but I reached a tipping point. I found that the only “pros” I could come up with were the paycheck and the people. I figure the people will remain whether I am there or not, especially, in the era of Facebook. It is so easy to keep in touch.
Last summer, I traveled nearly nonstop from May to September. I have found myself stressed to the max on our last two summer vacations. I also felt like I had given up a lot of the things I love doing like Team in Training, photography, and just spending time with my family. Combine that with a highly visible launch at a highly visible retailer (I was managing Walmart) and I honestly felt like I was having a nervous breakdown. Bursting into tears over almost everything truly did not suit me. I can assure you neither work nor my family appreciated that very much! I asked God for signs…what should I do? Not a single sign came back that said keep working!!
Some signs came in the form of simple conversations that hit a raw nerve. Others came in the form of Facebook. Not “fear of missing out” Facebook, but things like seeing that my friend Liz spends more time with her parents WHO LIVE IN THE PHILIPINES, than I do. Her father passed away this summer and I know she doesn’t regret a single second that she spent with him and her kids. I want to make sure that I use this new found time to spend more time with my parents and my relatives.
I finally just came to the decision that I can always go back to work but I’ll never have the next few years back with the girls. Haylee started high school this year and Cameron started middle school. I’ll be honest…I never felt guilty or bad about being gone when they were little. Maybe it was because Tim stayed home with them for 4 years and I knew they were in good hands. But let me tell you, last summer…the whole weight of the world felt like it was on my shoulders. I hated that they had to get themselves up for swim and make their own breakfast because I was on another trip that I didn’t even want to be on. It was rough.
As everyone knows, and I am sure is sick of hearing by now, I made the decision to leave and decided to stay on until the Xbox Launch on 11/22. I wanted to make my last day a great one and one that I could share with the girls. As my first “Project 10” post after over a year hiatus (thanks to my photographer friends for letting me back in!) I thought I’d document our day (full disclosure, it was 2 very full days…we packed more fun in 48 hours than most probably do in a week! We were exhausted!)
Our flight to NYC left at 6:00 a.m. so we were up at 3:30 a.m.
Our first day in the city, we mainly stuck around Times Square where the launch was being held. Another thing that we did was go see Catching Fire on the day it premiered. We loved the huge billboards.
At 10 p.m. Xbox took over many of the boards in Times Square. It was pretty cool all lit up Xbox green.
We hung out, went to dinner (they FORCED me against my will to eat at the Hard Rock Café. While I would have killed to do that in 1986, I am not a huge fan of touristy spots (ok, I was in Times Square.) We had a good time and we had a great discussion how Van Halen “Hot for Teacher” would not be appropriate way for a teacher to act. 🙂
So I may not get an “A” for good parenting on this one but am hoping someday they look back fondly on the great time we had. I got them into the Xbox launch party (thanks to some work friends) and we got to see Macklemore. I had very low expectations but I gotta tell you…he was great! Very talented and entertaining. I cringed a little at the language but Haylee assured me she hears worse at school each day (ugh.) And I got to practice my concert photography which was a bonus for me!
After going to bed at 1:30 a.m. a mere 22 hours after getting up, we got up bright and early to go to see the city. We started off at the top of Rockefeller Center which you can see was pretty cloudy, rainy, and gloomy. It was also freezing. But hey, it was a good view and we already paid for the tickets and bonus…no crowds!
After that we headed to the Today show. I can thank my dad who recorded the show and then watched it frame by frame to identify me (see the red circle below?) on the way to Rockefeller Center. I was telling the girls “hey look it’s Carson Daily.” I had no idea they were filming. Later, as you can see, we made it on the show. Cameron didn’t want to be on camera so she looked away. Apparently if you don’t look at the camera, you are not actually on it.
After the Today show, we hopped on the Subway to visit the 9/11 memorial. Seeing the names of the people that we have heard so much about on the news brought back all those memories of that day. What struck me on the memorial was how many women were remembered with their unborn child. I think that struck me because I was pregnant with Cameron when that happened.
Our last stop of the day was Macy’s on 34th street. Turner Classic Movies was actually showing Miracle on 34th street outside but it was getting late when we left and didn’t know how long it would take to get to the airport so we didn’t stay. Plus it is in black and white so the girls would have zero interest in watching it.
Lucky for us, we caught a flight two hours early. We arrived back in Atlanta safe and sound at around 11 p.m. on Friday. Just enough time to rest before we drove to Cleveland for Thanksgiving! I was very thankful for so many things this year. Obviously, to be able to spend more time with the girls but also for Microsoft and the people who work there. Everyone was so supportive of me and wished me nothing but the best. It was bittersweet. I have made some lifelong friends there and seen some exciting technology take shape over the course of all those years. I am excited for what is yet to come!
I am documenting my year with a 365 project on Instagram called #mommaquitherdayjob if you want to follow along…