One of the great things about my job is that I get to leave it. Not permanently – but the agreement for my position includes 52 weeks of maternity leave. And since I just passed my one year probationary review (yay, what a relief! And how great to have a job that I can succeed at) I can relax and know I have a job to come back to.
Knowing I’m leaving, and particularly a job I care about a lot, gives a lot of purpose to my work for the next few months. To keep things going through the next year I’m trying to do all the planning, organizing, connecting and coordinating I can so that my replacement has a clear map of how to keep things going through the year. I suppose it’s my love of control combined with uber-responsibility over the functioning of the university in my absence.
The challenge is that this sounds like the opposite of my attempts to slow down and relax and only do what I can reasonably do. Well, that is indeed a challenge. Part of getting this done is changing my attitude so I’m not stressing while doing the work but am relaxed and enjoying. And realistically, part of it is putting some limits on what I try and get done by the end of August.
Since I’m due in early October I could work until the end of September, but that’s where I’m drawing a firm line and saying that my rest and well-being are going to be my top priority. The start of the school year is when things gear up and get busy, and that’s exactly when I want to be gearing down and preparing for baby. So the end of August – really only 2 months away – is my final deadline. Then I head off into a totally different reality. Wow … something I’ve never experienced!