Thursday, May 10, 2007

My Last Day

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.

Happy Friday!

p.s. I'm grateful for time with my family before I leave.


brandy said...

Aww, that sounds like a great way to leave. Surrounded by people who care about you and good food! (Seriously, is there anything better than banana bread? The only thing I can think of is a beach in Santorini... man you are a lucky girl!) Glad the last day went well.

Accidentally Me said...

Yay for Ally! It is always touching when you find out people care for you, sometimes more than you knew!

And I can't hear about banana bread without thinking of Apu from the Simpson's after they had 8 children and Marge stopped by with banana bread "Oh hallelujah, our problems are solved! We have banana bread!"

e.b. said...

You so captured the idea and sentiments that go into a decision to leave. I can't say enough how impressive yet how seemingly correct a decision it seems for you.

It is really really nice to know that no matter how you felt, how you were treated or how terrible a day you may have had - the staff were there to support and help you and that they seem to genuinely respect you.

Double-A said...

Too bad it took you leaving to see their loving side. Gonna miss you while you're gone. I hope you've got plenty of good pictures and stories to share.

I guess I'll have to stop in and visit when I'm in C-town now that you'll only be one hour away instead of two. :P

Ally said...

Brandy: I do feel like such a lucky girl.

AM: I had no idea banana bread had such problem solving capabilities--now I know why yesterday was such a good day!

e.b.: Yes--that support is so meaningful. I like to think I treated them that way too.

Aaron: Oh no--I'd seen their loving side before. In general, I've had a "special relationship" (as my mentor put it) with the staff. It was just extra sweet to see so many members of the staffs support all at one time. And yes, you'll have to visit!

ruby said...

Nice that you will be missed! Even nicer that there was cake!

Trixie said...

What a wonderful way to end your tenure at your firm!

It's touching to be sent off with such warm, sweet sentiments from your colleagues.

Good luck on the next chapter of your journey. :)

LeiselB said...

Love love LOVE the marriage part of the post....people crack me up and so does your blog.

The Egg said...

Have a nice time roasting in Santorini! Yes, banana bread is magic. Try the recipe from Joy of Cooking--it's grande. Best wishes.

allbilly said...

not an advertisement for "godly spouses"....but hey...they get conjugal visits.

cdp said...

So. Why aren't you married yet? Jk. Glad to hear your final days are over with and you can now focus on your family and on anticipating your trip.

I had the same feeling when I left my job to go to school. Finally I just had to accept that leaving meant that it wasn't my job anymore; and that it just wasn't possible to finish everything to the nines before I left.

How sweet of your staff to be so kind and thoughtful. You must have been good to them - and I know they're sad to see you go!

Anonymous said...

sometimes things just fall into our laps at the most perfect time.

B said...

what a nice way to end an experience- on a positive note.

Here's to moving on! Cheers

have a great week end

ella w. said...

I am so glad that you had a great experience with leaving the firm. Unfortunately that has never happened to me.

So sorry about the flakey Hollywood lady, but I am still praying that you make it out here!

Princess Extraordinaire said...

Sounds like you had a great last day with people who truly cared about you....isn't it nice to know you made such an impact?

PeeJ said...

Gawd I would love to quit my job. I have it all planned out, how it's going to happen when I graduate. It's going to be dropped like a bombshell. They expect us to work 3 months notice here but I'm going to save 3 months leave up and just take it all. I have no qualms about leaving this place in the lurch.


brookem said...

this is all so very exciting ally! im so happy for you.
and that hash brown casserole really sounds yummy right now!
will be in touch:)

Jordan said...

you ARE going to blog while you're traveling.. right?!

Ally said...

Jordan: Yes, I plan to at least a little. Hopefully I can upload photos from my new camera too!

Brookem: Thank you!

Peej: 3 months notice? That's absolutely ridiculous.

Princess: It is so nice to know that they knew how I felt about them too.

Ella: You never know!

B: I'm very glad it ended on such a good note.

Kate: You're exactly right.

cdp: That's a good way of putting it--accepting that it isn't my job anymore. I was still researching on my last afternoon!

allbilly: Ok, so one sort of upside I guess....prison ministry, here I come?

egg: Thanks for the suggestions; I'll definitely try it--I love that cookbook.

Leiselb: My favorite question I've gotten is: "When are you going to have a baby?"

Trixie: Thanks!

Ruby: Yes, cake makes everything even better.

Anonymous said...

Hey there. Here from Desiree. I did the same thing, a year and a half ago. I felt at peace with my decision, but my divorce last year sort of put a wrench in my enjoying it. Now I'm back on track, also with a gift from a departed relative, to just live and see where life takes me. I wish us both success, peace and love on our journeys.

Ally said...

Tara: I can see how a divorce might do that, but I'm glad to read you're back on track. Thanks for the well wishes.