Today and tomorrow I'm going to retirement parties for people I used to work with before I left my day job 22 months ago (but who's counting). For one of these folks, its a true retirement. One had her job eliminated and got the choice between a package or trying to apply for a new job and wisely chose door number one.
I loved my old team, loved a lot of what the company stood for and the way they did things, but spent the last five years miserable after they fired a CEO and brought in a new one. She was evil in heels.
She brought in people who were bad for the company, and fired dozens of people whose jobs she didn't even understand. I remember the first time she presided over a large morning meeting for senior managers. The food had been the same for years - pastries, bagels, coffee, juice, cups of yogurt. She looked at this poor hapless secretary and said, "Where's the protein? I want bacon and eggs." And then walked away, secure in the knowledge that somehow this woman would find bacon, eggs, someone to cook them, etc. And do it all in 20 minutes.
By the time I left my job, this CEO had been fired, and nearly all of the people she had brought in were going or gone. But still, it wasn't a happy place for me. When I left, it was a huge financial gamble. My agent called it, "Sailing your boat into the middle of the ocean and setting it on fire." But it has worked out, despite some times when I despaired it wouldn't. Lately, it has worked out really well.
So if I'm going to show up at my old workplace again, this is the perfect time for it. I'm at a really great space in my career. I'm happy. My life is MY life in a way it has never been before.
If only I were 10 pounds thinner, it would be perfect. But I'll take this.