I have never been one to shy away from change. I believe, in life and trail running, we must keep moving forward and choosing the paths that intrigue and call to us. A person can chose to live their life in a rut, which is kind of like running on a treadmill at a comfortable speed and a comfortable incline. You're not really going anywhere, but it's comfortable. Getting off that treadmill, layering up for the cold, and hitting the icy trails takes a bit of effort but it feels good once you are out there. I've found myself on that rutted trail at a few points in my life, and have always been able to muster the strength to climb out and bushwhack through to the right trail.
As I have (more than) hinted at, my current job has been dragging me down the wrong trail. So after over 25 years of providing patient care in one form or another, I am taking my skills and talents elsewhere. Next month I will start work as a consultant for long term disability claims. I am extremely happy and excited about this move. Regular work days that have a beginning and an end are what I crave. Being productive, focusing my energies, and seeing a project through to the end will be a welcome change. Re-claiming my non-working hours so I can regularly get out for a late day run, bike ride, or walk with Kevin and Scout will be a joy! Not looking at work e-mails or taking work phone calls on my days off will be wonderful. Not working weekends, evenings, holidays, and on-call is going to feel like cheating after all these years. I have been doing the happy dance non-stop for the past 5 days!
It's amazing what a good change can do for one's mental outlook and physical health. Think about going off course in a race. As soon as we realize we have gone the wrong way our pace slows, our steps become hesitant, we start tripping over things, and our thoughts become negative. This isn't conducive for getting back on track, its just the way we react. Then after some wasted time and miles, we find the trail again and everything changes. Moments earlier we had been considering dropping out of the race, we were tired and disappointed, we just wanted to go home. Now, back on course, we suddenly feel energetic, positive, and ready to take on the world.
Today, for the first time in months, I have packed up my running gear to take on the road with me. Chances are, it won't happen. The work day promises to be as busy and time consuming as ever. But the fact that I have the incentive to give it a try shows what a boost this upcoming career change has given me. Who knows, I just might be able to sneak off into the woods at some point today.