Downward Spiral (or “How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Mid-life Crisis”)

One of my co-workers pulled me aside today and asked “Is everything O.K?”  My answer, like most of my answers these days, was nakedly honest, to the point and wholly lacking in clarity.  “I don’t think so.  No.”  He wasn’t sure what to do with that response.  Frankly, neither am I.

So; I’m quitting my job.  There was nothing wrong with the job, and by all accounts I’m fairly good at it.  The pay is solid and I like my co workers.  But I’ve increasingly felt that there’s nothing right about it either; a feeling that’s been building like a futile, soul-crushing black wave over the past six months.  I just got back from an incredibly stressful, though fairly successful, business trip to Boston for a huge project I’ve been pouring my life blood into for the last ten months and I really don’t feel that I can rouse myself to the task anymore.  Bed at midnight, fourteen hour days and a constant stream of colleagues who seem more focused on project diversion rather than project development.  And all I could think was that projects like this are what I’ve invested the last, I shudder to think how many years of my life in.

As a general rule, I try not to lose my temper — reason A being that this never seems to be a productive strategy and reason B being that I’m from a family of red-heads, all of whom have ghastly short fuses on their tempers, and am keen not to further advance ginger-centered stereotypes.  But after months of work pushing against the tide, I came fairly close in Boston — a blow up ultimately avoided, but the narrowness of the miss was still fairly clear to those present.  Hence this a.m.’s follow-up from my co-worker.

Today I drafted up a very friendly, very supportive four week notice that would make my last official day on 9/29 and hopefully won’t burn any bridges.  I’ve got about six months of living expenses in my savings account and not even close to a prospect in sight — so, open question as to if I’ll mote up the courage to take the plunge.  The saddest thing is that I have no idea what I really want to do, but I know what I’m doing now isn’t it.  My mother keeps telling me that I should “do what I love and the money will follow.”  So far, can’t find a position watching curling and drinking beer that has a sound 401k plan though, so, open to suggestions.

If I do hit the send button, my clear next step is to phone my doctor and set up an appointment.  Because I clearly need my head examined.

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