So yesterday was my last day at work. I had a last-minute filing, and a lot of other work left to do, plus an office to pack up/clean out. (Four boxes of personal effects plus a painting and four lamps, not to mention the rug and refrigerator I gave away; 14 boxes of files to be delivered to the poor souls who inherited my work; and two very large and very full trash cans of papers to be shredded. And I was only in that office for a year -- we moved to a new building last November.) I was there until 8 pm, and left with work still to do. Yes, I gave up on finishing everything and took home a project to continue working on, despite the fact that I won't be compensated for it. I have issues.
It does feel good to walk away from all that work and know that it's someone else's job to worry about it. But I don't feel elated, free, walking on air, etc., as one might expect. I don't think it's because of the project I took with me, either. I think it's withdrawal. When I went on maternity leave a little over two years ago, it took me weeks to stop obsessively checking my email. It's hard to let go. I had to hand my blackberry over at about 3:30, and it was weirdly hard. That was something I thought I'd be thrilled to get rid of. But just before I handed it off, I looked at the picture of Nugget that was the desktop background on it, and I thought: "But this is mine."
Walking away from my computer for the last time, knowing I would no longer be able to access my email archives, was really nerve-wracking. I am very dependent on my email archives. I certainly hope I will never need to look something up in relation to the matters that I supposedly transitioned to other people, but you never know. I gave out my personal email with all my departure memos and emphasized that they should feel free to call me if any questions arise. I know, I'm dumb. But it's not just that I don't want to burn my bridges -- although that is certainly the case. When you've spent several years conditioning yourself to be available 24-7 to provide anything that is needed ASAP, it's not easy to just turn that off.
I have more "last day" thoughts, but I also have a mound of presents to wrap. TBC.