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REBOOT: Dealing with the Quiet After Leaving Your Job

08/20/2012 12:08 EDT | Updated 10/20/2012 05:12 EDT
Alamy

Here I sit looking out my dining room window and wondering, WTF?

How could I have walked away from a honking big salary for the second time in not better than a year?

I MUST BE CRAZY!

Crazy as in what-were-you-thinking-how-could-you-have-done-this-hyperventilating-cold-waves-of-fear-running-from-my-head-to-my-toes crazy.

That's a lot of crazy, mark my words.

And, on top of that, it was oh-so quiet while I was sitting at my dining room table in early January 2011 looking at the snow falling softly in my backyard.

Quiet, too quiet.

No phones ringing, no Jocelyn, my old EA, standing in the doorway telling me about the back- to-back meetings that I would be enduring that day. Nothing.

Just more quiet.

And more fear -- of failure, of success and of just getting my slash career started -- was there a how to manual for that somewhere out there? I Googled it, but no luck!

Oh, and back to the fear. Well, I was having no shortage of that emotion.

And so, like any woman who is going out of her head, I called a girlfriend on the West Coast -- one that was well acquainted with the fear and would talk me off the ledge.

And, she did -- for that day anyway.

As she reminded me that I was doing what I was doing for all the right reasons and reassuring me that all I needed was to put one foot in front of the other, I started to relax.

"Yes," I thought. "I can do this."

I am a smart woman.

I am a resourceful woman.

I am a woman who owns fabulous shoes and a designer handbags.

I can do this ....

And so, feeling much better after my little chat with Trina, I did what every woman in my fabulous shoes would do. I indulged in a little retail therapy.

Not a lot, but just a little as I headed out the door to Chapters for a couple of motivational books that I had on my list to buy -- business books were good and essential for any business, weren't they?

They would get me started, wouldn't they?

It felt good to have a mission and be out of that oh-so-quiet house for just a little bit.

And, a funny thing happened at Chapters.

As I was riding up the escalator, at 2 p.m. in the afternoon, a feeling came over me.

Kind of like the Grinch when he realizes that the Whos down in Whoville will celebrate Christmas anyway without the trappings and trimmings.

A warm and fuzzy feeling...

My iPhone was off in the middle of the afternoon, on a Monday, during the week.

No one was frantically trying to get me, my EA wasn't under siege by my out of the country boss, who would of course -- Murphy's Law -- have been trying to track me down the minute that I left the office on a Monday with an ALLCAPS message to call her now "THE SKY WAS FALLING."

My phone was off.

For the first time since leaving my own business in 2003, my phone was off and I didn't care.

And a feeling like no other came over me.

Freedom.

Pure, unadulterated freedom.

I had no business plan to speak of and no clients...yet.

But, I had regained something that I thought that I had lost long ago.

The freedom to go to Chapters, in the middle of the afternoon, on Monday in January and just be.

And so I bought the books I needed and I headed home.

And I got on with the business of Rebooting my life.

And for those of you who are contemplating a Reboot, you can get started with the one book that I found most helpful: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

It's a good one.