Monday, November 07, 2005

The Gambler

My parents are country music fans. Every family trip we took in the car meant hours of forced listening to guitar twangs and drunken binges, bar brawls and cheatin' women. We weren't old enough to revolt. We just sang along.

I am not a country music fan. I'm a classic rock girl. But as you can tell from my high score on the '80s quiz I have a freakish (and mostly useless) retention for song lyrics. Every so often, a country song will be piped into a store we're in, or pop up while scanning through radio stations, and much to my horror, I will sing every word. I know lyrics to songs I didn't even remember hearing before. It's crazy.

Today's guest song lyrics come from Kenny Rogers. As Kenny says:

You got to know when to hold 'em,
Know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away
And know when to run.


I guess I've known for quite a while that the time had come to walk away. Today it was time to fold 'em, and time to run. Today I gave my two weeks notice and quit my job. I started there in August of 1990, just months after college graduation. It was a nice place to work, filled with fun people who were like a happy little family. We worked as a team and got everything done.

I don't know how it morphed so far from that. All I know is that it happened very gradually over the years. I just got used to being so miserable there and for a long time it didn't occur to me that it just wasn't right. Working through lunch every day isn't right. Coming home crying several nights a week just isn't right. That sense of dread and depression every Sunday afternoon because another week of work is about to start just isn't right. The job makes me into someone I don't like. I scream at Sweetpea for no good reason, just because my last nerve was shot at work. I don't want to leave the house on the weekend, even to do something fun, because I'm spent from the week. Also, I'm diabetic, and all the stress just isn't good for my health. It makes my blood sugar skyrocket.

The part I dreaded the most was telling my boss. We've been through so much together, and I hate to desert her. I don't mean to sound conceited, but the truth is I do more work in the department than anyone else, so I know it will be hard when I'm gone. I think I do a lot of stuff no one even realizes I do. But my boss was so supportive and understanding, and is ultimately happy for me. The support I got from everyone really touched me. I knew I would feel relief, and I sure do. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted from me. But I didn't realize how sad and sentimental I would feel about everything.

When all is said and done, no matter how hard and sad it is, I know it's time to move on. I have no plans for what's next, and I'm not even going to start thinking about it until after the New Year. I need to just recover and relax. Then I'll look around and see what's next.

It's a gamble that I know will pay off in the long run. Deep down I know great things will come . . . and that you will never win big if you don't take the gamble in the first place.

10 comments:

christine said...

Sounds like you did the right thing to me. Change, for whatever reason, is hard, I think. So, I applaud your bravery for taking such a big step. Plus, more time for knitting!!!!! I will expect great things.......

keohinani said...

i LOVE LOVE LOVE that song :) i guess one of my idiosyncracies is that i love country. i'm probably alone in my preferences here in hawaii, but i developed a liking after dating my college bf. he was a cowboy :)
i can't imagine what it'd be like to quit a job. especially if you've been working there for almost 15 years. that's a huge leap, but i think you made the right decision. i've only been a working class stiff for about two years, but i firmly believe i doing what you love and loving what you do. even if the money's not there, the job is a great one if you can actually say you love it.
knitting therapy will do you good, and perhaps some ice cream with your BFF...and definitely some QT w/ Sweetpea to make up for your residual work grouchiness.
and hey, why not open a yarn store? hehe...that's my long term alternative plan if this whole engineering thing doesn't work out.

candsmom said...

I'm so happy and relieved for you, Karen!! I was thinking about you today and wondering how everything was going knowing today was D-Day. I know the next few weeks may be sad and scary, but your health and happiness are absolutely primary. You're such a good person and you deserve to be happy!! I wish you peace, comfort and clarity as you recuperate....and lots and lots of knitting time!! Anytime you feel sad, just think of how you'll be able to knit with all that fantabulous yarn and new Addis in your stash! :-) I'm glad that everything went well today and that you're at peace with your decision. Great things are definitely in your future...starting with loads of knitting! :-)

Laura said...

Wow, Karen, what a brave thing to do! You are right -- I mean, there is a reason jobs are called "work" and not "fun" but they should not make you miserable or, worse, sick. Yay for you! Now, knit a hat! LOL! :)

Cathy said...

Good for you - Such a hard thing to do, I know - I was once there - and it was such a painful thing leaving people that I had grown to care for very much, but what I learned was, I still saw those people, and the stress of the horror show of a job was gone. Good for you for taking such a big step! I wish you all the best - rest, relax and recoup. Enjoy the holidays, I'm sure there are wonderful things ahead.
oh..... and...... Happy Knitting ;)
Cath

Talitha said...

I know that Sunday dread very well, and I agree it sucks and nobody should have to feel it. I'm happy for you and am confident that you will find a better fit. I finally have a job where the only Sunday dread I get is, "Awww... I have to set the alarm tonight." Far better. I also agree that actually quitting is the hardest part of quitting a job. I always feel like I am letting people down, but one can only deal with their own problems in life or we hit overload. It sounds like you are in the right place with your decision, which is more than most people are able to accomplish successfully so yay you. Plus, with any major health issue you have to be double careful to take time out for yourself. Ah, you know all this already I guess I'm just saying good job and don't worry you did the right thing for yourself. I must say I'm rather jealous of all the extra knitting time you're going to have ;).

knittinmom said...

Good job, sister! I can't say much because the boy is at the end of his patience, but I was thinking about you yesterday and I'm glad everything went well! This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for you (and now you'll be able to enjoy the holidays even more)!

Beak-Knits said...

Yeah!! It is SO hard to make a change like that. I totally emphathize...I just left a job I'd had for nine years this last spring.

And, think of all the new knitting time...


I have to say, just the mention of "The Gambler" brings back such memories. We all heard it on the radio for the first time when I was 5 and we were being transfered from Ft. Ord California to Ft. Kampbell Kentucky. I think we drove my parents nuts singing that song.

Ragan said...

You have made thr right choice...it may not seem right at first...but after that HUGE stress is gone, you will be happier. I enjoy reading your blog.
And...join you in the stupid habit of knowing song lyrics for no reason. So...could sing along with your gambler tune...
"when the dealin' is done"....
You will be alright.

keohinani said...

i dare say that having a lot of yarn lying around makes a knitter anxious; i guess that's what happens when you've got so much yarn and so little time before christmas. the tenants of my yarn containment unit sure are getting cheeky while awaiting their turns. project polygamy is inevitable, much to their jealous disappointment.
crazy is all relative. the first yarn harlot book has become my reference of comparison; i don't have yarn in every room of my house, nor must i resort to hiding yarn wherever possible (yet). Sweetpea would be grateful to know we're not at that level of yarn obsession (yet). key word: yet. hehehe....

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