What’s Next???

This time last Saturday, I posted an update to Facebook letting friends know that I had officially resigned my position from Microsoft. Resign isn’t actually the right word. I had been on a personal leave of absence (LOA) first to care for Ed, and then of course to care for myself and my family after his passing. My LOA end date was coming on January 17, 2014, and I needed to decide if I was going to go back or not. Obviously I chose not to return for a myriad of reasons, none of which I need to go into great detail other than to say this; Microsoft, while an amazing company, and amazing place to work, and a place that gave me an amazing amount of support and compassion during the most difficult time in mine and my family’s life, can be a hard place to work. And I have had enough and still have “hard” in my life. I don’t need it professionally at this point and time.

The comments I received on my Facebook post about this were incredibly supportive and humbling. I’m still never sure what to do with this other than to stay grounded in myself and accept the kind words; something I haven’t always been good about. I don’t take compliments well, but am learning to be better. The most interesting comment of course I did receive is, “What’s Next” and I haven’t posted any response, not to be coy, but just because that is not an easy answer. And there are really two ways to answer this.

The question I think inquirers are asking is, “what is your next job and/or what company are you now going to work for”? When you have worked for one of the largest and greatest companies in the world, where does one go next? First, yes, I have another job. The answer to that question is easy. I have taken a marketing role with a Schaumburg, Illinois based company, Flexera Software. My wonderful friend and former Lexis Nexis manager, Maia, called me with a job offer I couldn’t refuse, and I accepted (there is lengthy story about all of this that I will save for another time. I will only say that sometimes a good friend knows exactly what you need when you need it. And that is Maia :) ). I am now working with her, and other former colleagues in a really fun environment, and as far as enterprise software goes, a good product. I am not moving back to Illinois, rather, I am able to work from home which allows me to continue to let my dogs run my life :) So professionally, the “what’s next” answer is easy. I’ve changed jobs and companies.

But what I hear the question, “what’s next or what’s your next adventure” the answer goes far beyond what my job is, which is the second way to answer the question. The job part is only part of the answer because the reality is, I, like many other, have a mortgage to pay along with other bills, and well the dogs do eat fairly expensive food and treats :) The reality is though, I see the next chapter and adventure as more than my job and while for so many years of my life, my career and job was a big definition of who I was. That is not what I want any longer. I am, and always have been more than my career, especially as a wife and parent, but now more so than ever. And my next adventure is figuring out who that person is, what that person wants to do, and where she wants to do it. This new job at Flexera Software gives me the opportunity to learn new things as a professional marketer, and gives me the flexibility I need to learn these other things about myself. I can take the time to figure out “hobbies” as I’ve started thinking about all of things I just want to try right now. More importantly, I can decide where I want to be while doing it, as I just am not 100% certain I will stay here in this house, or potentially even Washington State.

The house I live in today was mine and Ed’s. Seattle, Microsoft and everything about where I am today is about our life. And the same would have held true if I were still in our house in Naperville. That was OUR house, our life together, our adventure together. And now it’s my own adventure to figure out and live. The kids are always part of this consideration, but as adults, in their own respective homes, it’s really about what I need for my next chapter. And like any good book, it doesn’t write itself quickly or easily. It takes thought, creativity, care, detailed planning and careful consideration; one sentence at a time, one paragraph at a time, and one chapter at a time. The “new job” chapter is a good one so far. I’m fortunate to really enjoy what I do, have fun doing it, and actually get paid to do it. Not everyone gets to say this, and I am fortunate to be able to do so. There are, however, other chapters to be written.

As we approach the one year anniversary of Ed’s death on February 3, I will continue to “write the book”. One day at a time, one sentence at a time, one paragraph at a time, and in this case, one blog post at a time. I suppose in a sense, all of our lives are just books, the contents of which, we determine. How exciting the story is, is really up to us and how we choose to live each day. I encourage everyone to go create a really great paragraph of your book today :D

And for what’s next right now…the daily dog walk…let’s hope for some exciting squirrels :D

Thanks for reading and “listening”.

Strength, courage, wisdom…faith, love and hope

Tracey

PS – GO SEAHAWKS!!!!!! :lol:

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