What I miss from my old job

… and it ain’t what you think.

It’s now been four weeks since I left my position at the Organization of American States. I can’t say that I’ve had less work or shifted into semi-retirement. Even though today is a holiday (Memorial Day for those tuning from from outside the United States), it seems like every other day of the week. I have paperwork, house upkeep, dirty laundry and writing tasks cluttering up my mind and work space. I am as occupied as I was when working full-time.

So what do I miss?

  • I have yet to find a replacement for the two miles (or more) of walking to and from the DC Metro, and climbing eight-nine flights of stairs three-to-five  times a day. This type of activity spread out during the day keeps my juices flowing.
  • I have not re-engineered my life to get in the reading time that I had on the Metro. This may in part be due to the kind of daily activities I have now.
  • At my job, I had filing cabinets that came up to just below my arm pits, the perfect height for reading, proofreading and writing while standing. That allowed me to not spend all my time in front of a keyboard in front of a monitor. That may seem a minor difference, but I find myself moving out of my study for a change and it ends up shifting my attention.
  • I miss the casual smiles and acknowledgements of my colleagues and friends sprinkled through the routine of the day.

Even though I’ve been getting to my yoga classes four or five times a week, I can’t rely on my classes alone to provide a minimum of physical activity to maintain my stamina and  health. A change as simple as no longer commuting or injecting spurts of exercise into my day can alter the formula for controlling weight or preventing disease.