Its been four years, nearly, since I proceeded on leave . Its been four eventful years in which I have re discovered a passion for poetry , become acquainted with dozens of music genres that I was ignorant of, developed an abiding interest in the so called occult sciences, experienced the joys of gardening and composting, participated in citizens' initiatives, grown interested in politics, specially local governance, made acquaintance with dozens of 'activists" whose lives appear far more meaningful and useful than mine, read books that I never would have had the time to, stumbled upon minimalism, spent countless hours in the kitchen cooking newly learnt recipes for my sons, and last but not the least, established a strong, enduring bond of honest communication with my teenage sons.
Now, the time draws near when the leave period will expire and I will be back at the desk, chasing revenue targets or adjudication targets, compiling reports, attending endless meetings, or, if I am fortunate, framing policy/procedure that is enforced more in default than in compliance, spending the weekends in office, sitting till late in the evening simply because the boss chooses to work late etc etc ------- the prospect is not cheering.
The solution is simple and straightforward ---seek voluntary retirement ------but it is also a little scary. Will I be able to mentally adjust to being stripped of my professional identity? Will I not regret giving up a job I had worked hard to secure? What if I am unable to find something meaningful to do which fills my days once my sons leave for college in a few months? What if I begin to resent my husband's busy days? What if, what if, what if -------the questions are endless , yet my gut feeling is that I will manage just fine.
At another level, I am also looking forward to the freedom that such a decision will bring, which will rather fortuitously coincide with fewer responsibilities vis a vis my children. As I edge closer to entering the third quarter of my life, the freedom to live a little more for myself seems exciting .
I still haven't quite made up my mind ----- I await a divine signal!