I actually got to work early on my last day, which was Wednesday. I knew I had a lot to finish before I would feel good about leaving, and in the end, I just had to put sticky notes on some things and stick it in my mentor's box. I had hoped to have a much more relaxed last few days of work, so that I could feel comfortable that I had handed everything off and everyone was on the same page. Unfortunately I was quite busy with two hearings on my next-to-last day and actually writing memos, responding to clients' e-mails, and the like on my last day. Oh well, at least the days flew by, and the stress of it all made me extra glad to wake up on my own this morning at 9:00. Late tonight I entered my last billable time entry via computer and am officially finished with my job.
All of this is surreal, really. I've thought about quitting my job for well over a year now and never felt a peace about--in part because I couldn't figure out what the next step should be. I would explore other opportunities for a few days on the internet, and then work would get really busy and I'd be too exhausted when I got home to follow up. And it was hard to get excited about interviewing for other legal jobs, yet I couldn't figure out exactly what else I might like to do. And I finally realized that I didn't have to know the next perfect step to know that I should quit. And inheriting $15k from my great aunt a while back helped make that possible. And all of these steps have just fallen into place, and I have such a peace about it all that it almost doesn't feel real. Perhaps not receiving a pay check in two weeks will help it feel real:) Or sitting on the beach in Santorini will.
Anyway, the most lovely thing about my last day was the love I felt from the staff at the firm. While the attorneys all went out to lunch with me last Friday and the firm picked up the bill, the staff's generosity literally took the cake. Several secretaries took me out to lunch this week and last week. My secretary gave me a sweet card and loaf of banana bread (already eaten) on my last day. And then various staff members made goodies ranging from a homemade strawberry cake to a hashbrown casserole in honor of my last day. I had eaten about 6 pieces of cake by noon! So many of them had the sweetest things to say to me; it was so nice to feel so supported and loved.
One funny good-bye e-mail noted how much the writer loved me and that she hoped the Lord would lead me to a Godly spouse--and that it would most likely happen when I quit looking like it had with her. (Note: the lady writing the e-mail recently married a prisoner who she met through a prison ministry program; as far as I know, he's still locked up too). And yes, this is the same lady who has asked me why I'm not married yet.
p.s. I'm grateful for time with my family before I leave.