There’s a moment before any action when you take that deep breath to calm your nerves and fuel your muscles. The pause before whatever has to come next. I’ve felt a similar sense of tingling expectancy out in the woods before a storm. A sense that the world around you will shortly change dramatically in ways you cannot control.
I’m not given to supernatural wonderings but I have often felt a brooding sense of unease at battlefields I have visited. A feeling that a whole settled pattern of existence was irreparably shattered. Its pieces scattered and ruined beyond recognition.
The inhabitants of RPS Towers have similarly been holding our breath, ahead of the storm to come. It struck me that many of our conversations hinge around the calendar flicking over to 1 March, 2011. In many ways that’s progress.
Last year, at the start of this redundancy Odyssey, all I could see was nothingness at the end of it. Not darkness really but rather an absence of light. A void.
Now, there’s a bit of a plan. There’s a list of things we want to do. And, in lots of ways, the pause we have – this holding of the breath – is about being poised to get stuck in to whatever comes next. It’s no longer the brooding silence before the storm.
One by one I’ve felt the threads attaching me to my old life parting. That’s been disorienting and upsetting. Early on I re-wrote the lyrics to The Human League’s Don’t you want me baby with imaginative use of knowledge of the Anglo-Saxon tongue. It was something to sing to myself in times of angst allowing me to express my anger. I haven’t sung it for a long time.
I wasn’t even tempted when, unexpectedly, I got yet another HR missive dealing with the mechanics of my departure. There’s stuff in there about IT kit, learning materials, ID badges and so forth. There’s even, and this is my favourite part, a link through to an exit questionnaire. I don’t think I will be spending time on that. Sorry. I’ve got some other stuff to do. LIKE EARN A LIVING!
Sorry about that. Sometimes my good humour gene fails me.
We are working out, as a family, how to practically manage my last few days at work. My last working day is a Monday but I’m inclined to do all the admin tasks the Friday before. And start the week unencumbered by the paraphernalia of my old life.
I’ve been trying to visualise that last day in the office. And that’s where I do still draw a blank. I struggle to make that last leap of imagination between where I am now and where I will be after R-Day. I never ever thought that I would be asked to pile my goods and chattels on a meeting room table, sign a form and be escorted off the premises.
In truth I haven’t prepared enough for those few short steps. Actually I’ve been avoiding thinking about them. I think it’s almost time to take that breath and take the plunge.