I retired today.  Well, sort of.  Technically, I volunteered to be laid off.  Either way, I am now a former public servant.  

Bit of a cool title, eh?  Like I’m someone that could divulge secrets of national importance to a journalist or something: “According to one former public servant . . .” 

Sarcasm aside, this is not only a major step in terms of following through with my Game Changing Decision (GCD) to move back to Toronto, it’s also a pretty ‘effin major life change.     

Thank goodness those have been my speciality over the last year . . . other wise I’m pretty sure I’d be freakin’ out right now.

Well, to be honest, I did freak out a bit last week when I first got the letter accepting my offer to switch places with someone who was laid off as part of the gov’s “deficit slaying by way of job cuts” exercise.  

Not because I had second thoughts.  

No, I remain confident in my living with intention decision to leave Ottawa in order to be near my family, and to have my own family one day, in Toronto.  

And leaving by way of a lay off meant I got to help someone keep their job, while also getting some severance money to help me transition to life outside the public service.  We all won.

No, the freaking out was not over what’s to come, but over what’s being left behind.  

Not recently, but over the course of my career as a govie policy nerd, there were major stretches of time where I spent way too much of my time working (often unpaid) overtime either at the office, or on my crack berry.  

And while in hindsight some of that was overkill, I can honestly say that as a result of this willingness to work my tail off on fairly regular basis, I got to be part of some pretty exciting stuff.  I contributed to the negotiation of a ground breaking health agreement.  I travelled with a Minister.  I was mentored by, and got to mentor, some amazing people.  

Also, hello?  Free crack berry! (Sorry iPhone.  I loves you, but you cost me lots and I’m unemployed now).        

I guess what I’m trying to say is that while walking away from this job is definitely the right decision, it is not an easy one.  There is loss. 

I put a lot of time and energy into being a govie over the past decade.  And while I am excited about the life that I will build in Toronto, leaving a job that I have at times been so committed to that I worked through my holidays is no easy thing.  
This change is good.  But that don’t mean it’s not also hard.

To help me focus on the positive, some audible energy.  

v’s retirement soundtrack: Two Door Cinema Club.  “Something Good Can Work” (click here for the video): 

Let’s make this happen, girl
You gotta show the world that something good can work
And it can work for you
And you know that it will

Let’s get this started girl
We’re moving up, we’re moving up
It’s been a lot to change
But you will always get what you want