Yes, at last the coveted day arrived officially May 31 as my insurance with the state ended and my Medicare became primary. Although I have been off the payroll since May 9, there was much to do to wrap up the end of semester and end of 17 years. May 29, I cleaned out the last few items from my office (always good to do a final last check, as I found a packet of information that I will need for research later on!) and deleted the remainder of files from my two computers. As I closed that door for the last time on an empty building, I felt a little lighter walking down those stairs and out to the car, turned and waved goodbye to the probably empty building–I mean who would be there at 5 on a Friday in normal times, let alone in the midst of a pandemic?
Not to say I am not still working, but at least now, it is what I want to do, which is not administration. I have loved my work here for the most part, and there have been so many incredible experiences from which I have learned something about being more effective: as a social worker, as an educator, and as a human being. Yet, there are still many more experiences to come. I am working on a presentation for NASW this month on Teaching Empathy, along with training the newest member of the household and trying to bring back structure to the chaos that has been my life since Dad first became ill in 2012.
After an inspiring meeting yesterday with four of my Mississippi social work colleagues, I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get back to community work. It is going to look a little different for a while to come, but nonetheless, I feel purpose driven greater than taking care of a puppy.