I am in a period of adjustment. I finished at work on Monday, and am now on leave until the end of the month, when my employment officially ends.
How does it feel?
It feels weird, mostly. I don't think it will actually sink in for a couple of weeks that I no longer have a job. I'm trying to resist the temptation to either panic or completely freak out*, both of which have threatened in the last couple of days. Instead, I am slowly sorting out my study, and emptying my handbag and rucksack of stuff I don't need to carry around any more every day.
I took my season ticket back to the railway station on Tuesday morning. The nice man who offered to make us tea was on duty.
"Morning," I said. "Can I cash in my season ticket please?"
"Ooh!" he said. "Have you left your job now?"
"Yes I have! Yay!" I did a little dance of joy. The ticket man did a little dance of joy behind the glass screen. His young trainee emerged from round the back somewhere and did a little dance of joy with us too.
An old lady walked in and we all stopped, embarrassed. The young trainee vanished round the back, never to be seen again.
I had to fill in many complicated forms, and hand over my season ticket - still with about £2500 left on it - and my long term parking ticket, and was assured that I would be told by the end of the week how much I was going to get refunded. I hope it's loads. Well, I'm practically unemployed now.
The last day in the office was very strange too.
I'd organised a farewell lunch at the local Wagamamas for some of my colleagues, and most of them were able to come along, including one or two who left the Department a while back, which was lovely. Before lunch I did a bit of desultory work-related stuff, chatted to people and emptied out my locker. Lunch was prolonged and animated, so I thoroughly enjoyed it, then back to the office for the last couple of hours before I could decently head home.
I was down on the first floor, chatting to a colleague, who had very kindly got me a farewell gift. As we sat there, one of my colleagues from the sixth floor, where I sat, came rushing through, looking for me. She was in a bit of a tizz.
I waved to her and she came over, all out of breath and anxious.
"You need to come back upstairs!" she said.
"Oh? What's the matter?"
"Um...you just need to come back upstairs." Bless.
Sure enough, when I arrived back at my desk, the entire team were assembled, waiting for me. The boss quickly came back from his end of the office and gave a flattering, if embarrassing, speech about how much help I'd been and how much I'd be missed. Always nice to hear. Then they gave me a huge bag of loot. How splendid.
I managed to say thank you and good luck and goodbye (I think, I actually can't really remember much of what I said) without blubbing like a great big girl, which had been a bit of a worry.
And then I went home. Handed in my security pass - first time in 23 years I haven't had one of those in my handbag - and my laptop, and left the building.
Mr WithaY had sorted out a very fine supper and a bottle of Champagne** so we sat together and drank that, and I showed him all my fab gifts, and told him how nice everyone had been.
And now I am looking at what to do next. Apart from stabbing futiley at molehills with a garden fork, I mean. Bastard.
Tell you one thing though. I am LOVING not getting up before 6am to catch the train. Oh yes indeedy.
*that's when I run in circles like Daffy Duck with his hair on fire, shrieking. It's not pretty.
**Lidl's finest - can't go wrong