i’m out

after some recent changes to my overall health, alison and i decided it was time for me to leave the workforce. this is a move we knew was coming eventually, as it often does for people with ms. for me, it has become clear that time is now. a very good friend of mine who has faced a similar decision told me it is better to leave before one HAS to, so that the departure can be on one’s own terms and can be carried out with a bit more dignity.

i gave my notice today, (11/16) telling my employer that i would stay on through the holiday season, leaving cuddledown at the end of the year. i’ve been with this company for almost ten years, and have been treated with respect and honesty. i’ve worked in several departments within the company, and all of my supervisors have been very accommodating to my changing needs. it will be strange not to go into the office in 2010. alison and i now begin sifting through short and long term disability options, social security, insurance, and how to pare down our lavish lifestyle (like selling one of our 4 cars). it will be a challenge, at least in the short term, but one i think we are up to. my expectation is that, ms being what it is, we will be faced with some new health challenges as time goes on, but that some of my current issues will be eased to one degree or another by the removal of the stress of going in to work every day.

i do have a few projects that i will be pursuing on my own as sources of income – developing and marketing my skills as a “virtual assistant,” taking on some of the more  mundane tasks that professionals like realtors, lawyers, and the like, have to deal with (creating and maintaining web sites and blogs, creating peripheral marketing materials, etc.) freeing them to do what they do best. on the side, i hope to be able to recover the energy to pursue my passion for photography.

in any case, i expect to have more energy to pursue some of the things that have fallen by the wayside in the past few years, and i am very excited by the prospect of sorting out how to market my skills as a virtual assistant, and get back to living my life (a little more) on my terms.

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Author: stephen

stephen harris is a writer, painter and a photographer who lives with his family in maine.

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