Dear Minimalist Sometimes and friends!
Yeah, I know… I know I’ve been completely out of touch lately. I bet you’ve been wondering if I dropped of the face of the earth, considering my spotty writing performance lately. Well, I’m still here 🙂
I’m really sorry I’ve been out of touch, but there is a reason.. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a “good” reason (even though I think so), but there is a reason nonetheless! Anyhow, there has been stuff going on that have occupied my mind a lot, and unfortunately there haven’t been much “energy” left over for the fun things like hanging out with the blogging community.
You see, a little while back, I had to make a decision, a decision that will affect the rest of my life!
Yeah I know, that sounds really dramatic, don’t it? I guess it’s not really that dramatic (in the big picture of things), but to me it’s been major!
Let me get you up to speed!
Remember I wrote last year about taking a couple of months hiatus from work, for health reasons? And how that two months turned into 6 months before I started back up at work January this year? I told about starting slow, first 10%, then 20% from about mid February, and how my plan was to continue to step it up to 30, 40, 50…
Not so much, I’m afraid… A few weeks back, my plan took a nosedive, straight into the ground.
Let me tell you a little non related story: When I was about 17 or 18, I was out biking, in shorts, since the weather was great. I was going down a long hill, picking up speed, not a care in the world, because I was having a great day. At the bottom of the hill there was a steep turn that I just flew through, not realising there was a bunch of gravel on the ground and that I really, really should have slowed down! Next thing I knew, I slammed into the ground and skid so hard that by the time my body stopped sliding, I had gravel in places I don’t want to mention 😉 And I think I remember not having much skin left on my left side either. Let me just say, I was not a pretty sight, by the time I finally managed to pick myself off the ground 😉
A few weeks back, I mentally slammed into the ground, just like I physically did on that bike, years back. It all happened, when we (my doctors and me), or rather I, realized that my health was not quite where we had hoped and wanted it to be.
“Realizing” this is one thing, making the decisions that naturally would follow such realization, is a whole other ball game, trust me!
It’s been 5 years since this “story” started. During these years, while I’ve been working (any % between full and nil you can imagine) I have done all sorts of “weird and wonderful” treatment, to try to get healthy enough to get back to 100% work. I really focused on treatments during my hiatus last year, in hope that a break and extensive treatments would work out.
I’ve been so focused on getting back to work, that I have never really stopped to think about if getting back to work, really was the best thing for me, health wise.
Work is and have always been a really important part of my life (I live and breath for it). I love my job, and I love hanging out with my colleagues. And having to make a decision that will have such a permanent affect on my current life, and not to mention the rest of my life, has not been an easy thing to do.
But, I’ve decided to throw in the towel when it comes to work! So that I can focus/use what energy I DO have on getting my health as good as I possibly can, and maybe have a little extra left over for me.
It seems like (I have found, during my conversations these last weeks), that what I have finally figured out (yeah, I’m a bit slow on the uptake), my doctors, specialist and even my representative at NAV (Norwegian Labour and welfare administration) seem to have figured out a while back. But since I’m the ever optimist, and have had such a drive to get back to work, they have not pushed their conclusions, they have waited for me to figure it out on my own.
It’s been 3 weeks since my meeting with HR, my boss, the company health department and the union, where I told them, that my doctors and I had concluded, that I needed to go back to 100% sick leave, and that I would apply for disability pension.
Just like I’m quite shocked that this would be the result, I think they got a bit surprised as well, especially since I’ve been so optimistic that I would beat this illness and get back to work.
It’s taken me days to write this letter/post (not to mention weeks) as I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around that this would be the end result after 5 years of struggle.
I’m under no circumstances stopping treatments and focusing on getting healthy, it’s the work part of my life I’ve decided I’m leaving behind.
And it’s tough! I still get a bit teary-eyed, thinking about it. I’ve worked for my company for 32 years and it’s going to be hard to leave.
So, what now?
For now, while I’m waiting for the results of my application (which might take a few months). I will continue to focus on my health with treatments, workouts and rest.
And hopefully, if the weather holds, you’ll find me in the garden – we all know, how I love tinkering around out there 🙂 And knowing me, since I’m a bit of a restless soul, I’m sure a small “project” or two will pop out of the woodwork at some stage – I get awfully “creative” when I have a little time on my hands 😉
I don’t yet have all the answers on that, but I’m sure I’ll figure some things out in the months to come.
So stay tuned and I’ll let you know, as I find it out 😉
With love, Anne Lene
22 thoughts on “Throwing in the towel! A letter…”
though I am new to your blog–I think you are incredibly brave and wise–it takes all of us a long time to make realizations that seem obvious
Thank you! Yes, it seems like I’ve been a bit “slow” this time around. I think it’s related to my desire to work and contribute. I’m sure I’ll find new things that I can do that with, as I move forward into my “new future” 🙂
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It sounds like you are making the right decision, Anne. Best of luck in getting better and better.
Thank you. It was a difficult decision, but I’m quite certain it was the best one I could make. Now I can focus on getting better, and hopefully before we know it, I’ll be back to being a “spring chicken” 😉
Anne, I can only imagine how hard it was to say good bye to a job and the people you’ve worked with that long. Five years is an awful long time to struggle with your health and try to work at the same time. I hope you see an improvement in your health now that you are giving it your full attention and will have the time to rest when needed.
Fortunately, while I’m waiting for the answer to my application, I’m still employed with my company. This helps, as I do/will pop by now and then, having lunch with my friends and still get to see some of the familiar faces… I’m sure over the next few months things will slow down on that as well.. but for now it’s nice to know that I can do that, any time I want, without having to make “appointments”. It makes the transition easier 🙂
And I have high hopes that giving up work, this will prove to be benedictory to my health over time! I am in no way throwing in the towel on that part 😉 I’m the ever optimist and I’m SURE (OK, this is really wishful thinking, but sometimes we just have to BELIEVE) I will get back to healthy… eventually 😉
I know it’s hard to leave something you obviously care about (otherwise it wouldn’t be so hard to leave!) but I’m glad you’re concentrating on yourself and you’re health. I hope you’re 150% in no time. Gardens are definitely good therapy no matter the ailment! 😀
Absolutely, what on earth were we to do without a garden, I know I would go 150% nuts without one… ha, ha 😉
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I know just what you mean!
What a tough decision! But it sounds like you made the best choice to take care of yourself. Hopefully you can stay involved with your company by having lunch plans and things. Best wishes!
It wasn’t easy, I have to say. But I finally decided I needed to do what is best for my health. I’ve found that when I ignore listening to the body, the results have pretty much been that I end up having no life, as my time is spent in pain and sleep. And that’s NO way to live…. So now, I’mm going to try it this way, and see how things go…
I’m sure I will manage to stay in touch with work, at least some of the people there, as some have very much become my friends over the years.
Hi Anne Lene!
I know these kinds of decisions are hard and the change of lifestyle can be overwhelming. For single people, especially,our social contacts and social outlets often come through work and hobbies. We create “families” from these interactions. To be cut off from the social aspects of work can be compared to moving away from family. You are an incredibly strong, and resourceful woman and I am sure that in time you will design a highly creative and rewarding post retirement life. I am also confident that you will find new ways to interact with your work friends and create new social circles to meet your new stage of life. Endings are new beginnings and I can tell from your writings you have great character and that great things await you.
Focus on getting well. I know there will be some frustrating and down days but you will get through them because you have a fighting and independent spirit. 🙂
I have been out of touch with my blogging community as well. While my health is good, I am wrestling with my dedication to blogging and the time commitment it involves, coming up with new material and focusing on a direction for my blog, and trying to decide what is most important in my life.
I look forward to your July update. I am going to request at least one garden pic:)
thank you for your thoughtful words. You are right about your comment regarding social contacts. I have to admit, that a lot of mine have come through work over the years. And absolutely, some of them have rally become my “family”. I know some will stay with me, now that I move into a different phase of my life, but as it always seems to be, I’m bound to part ways with some. I will always treasure the moments I have had (and continue to have) with my colleagues, my friends and my work “family”.
As you say, endings are new beginnings, and I’m a firm believer in that as well. I have no doubt I will find new ways moving forward, both with living my life creatively and enhancing my circle of friends 🙂
I hear you on the frustration of the ups and down days (I’ve had a few of those…), it’s kinda par for the course.. but hopefully as I get better (because I have decided I will get better 😉 ) the frustrating days will be further and further apart!
Being selfish, I hope you continue with your blog, as I have had tremendous pleasure reading it.
But I do understand the issue with dedication. A blog takes time, and sometimes the inspiration is a bit lacking. I’ve struggled with keeping up with the blog myself lately, as my focus have been one hundred % on sorting out “the rest of my life” stuff. I’m hoping now that the decisions have been made, and the process is started, that my mind will calm down enough that I can yet again enjoy my blog. I’m a bit unfocused as well on the direction of my blog, but I have decided to get back into it first, then I can focus on finding the direction going forward.. I have a funny feeling that things will change now that I’m moving into a very, very early “retirement” phase, and I’m sure this will be reflected in the blog somehow 😉
I’ve been a bit busy lately helping out a friend with some stuff (there is a post for my blog), but as soon as I’m done, I will honour your request of at least one picture 😉
Again, thank you for leaving such a thoughtful comment, your words came at the perfect time.
I’m sorry to hear that you are still struggling with your health. I hope that this new phase in your life will help the healing process and am excited to hear about your progress.
Thank you! Yes, It’s my hope as well, that doing this will ultimately result in a healthier me. Hopefully to the point where the spring is back in my step, and, if I’m lucky, the headaches are gone (now, wouldn’t THAT be lovely). Regardless, I can’t help to think that there will be some progress to the healing, doing this… off course there will, I have decided that I WILL get better… so there… 😉
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Aww, Anne. I’m sorry you had to give it up since you love it so much. I’m disabled, and was never so happy in my life to leave teaching.
Here’s hoping you return to 100% health.
Thank you, Melinda. I’m still working on getting better, there’s been a small bump in the road lately that have put me back a little health wise (there is a blogpost in here somewhere), but hopefull as soon as things calms down, I’ll be “running” towards better health 😉
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Welcome, Anne. Just keep going, however slow it might be.
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