Bittersweet

When I got home tonight, it occurred to me that I didn’t need to hang up my suit. I’m not going to need it for a while.

It was different from most days, when I decide not to hang up my suit because I’m too lazy to be bothered. Tomorrow is my last day of work, until at least the 4th of July. Today it was raw and rainy, but the next time I go through my closet in search of dry clean only clothes, it will be hot and humid, well into summer. Kids will be out of school, and a lot of the people I work with will be off on vacations of their own.

“Of their own.” Several friends have said that they’re jealous of my pending break, and I understand what they mean. It’s so easy, at times, to forget that I’m not actually going out on an extended vacation where I’ll get to sleep in, cook good food, read books that have long been on my to-read list, and just generally chill out. It’s true that I will get to do all of those things, and more. It will be the first time in a long, long time that I’m going to get time just for myself.

If only the reason why wasn’t lurking there in the background.

I think tomorrow will be a day filled with a lot of emotion, and as I’ve already disclosed in this space, I’m not one to shy away from showing emotion at work. It will be good for me to leave a lot of the stress of my job behind when I walk out the door tomorrow. But it will be tough to leave my friends, who have had so many tissues and so much patience at the ready in recent weeks. And it will be difficult to trade the identity I’ve created there for one where I’m off work because I’m a patient.

I’m going to make this break more positive than that. I know that I’m going to be more than a patient. I’m looking forward to being Michele, with the stress and craziness of the last few months stripped away.

That starts on Thursday, when I’ll be looking for myself in a day spa in Old Town. Knowing that doesn’t make looking ahead to 5 p.m. tomorrow a whole lot easier, though.

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