Soul Sustenance

Lots of stuff going on over here, and because I’ve come to think of you all as friends of a sort, even though I’ve never laid eyes on most of you (with the exception of two or three), I feel like I want to tell you all about it.  Isn’t that how it goes with friends?  When stuff happens in your life, your thoughts immediately turn to those people who help support you, hold you up when the crappy things happen and lift you even higher in those moments of triumph? Right now, two of my BFF’s are out of touch one on vacation in the Desert, the other taking up residence in the Far East. So as the circumference of my real world network narrows, I feel even more drawn to all of you in the virtual world.

Here’s the deal – yesterday, I resigned from my job.

For those of you who know how much I hate fear change, you’ll appreciate the kind of cataclysmic event this is. My 10 year anniversary at this company will occur next week, so for the past 10 years I’ve been working in the same small office.  I started out at the very bottom rung of an (admittedly) very small ladder, but have worked my way to a nice, upper management spot within this quite successful and growing company.   It’s a good job, as part-time jobs go, and the people I work with are amazing – there aren’t a more supportive group of women anywhere.

So why leave?

The 10 year thing is key for me, I think.  It was 10 years into my job at the high school that I began to get the itch to move on, that “been there done that” feeling that made every day, every rehearsal, every concert, a struggle.  If I’m honest, I’ve been feeling that way  here for more than a year or so.  I started out in this job as a medical technical writer (of sorts) but have since become “head of the department” which really means I do a lot more paper shuffling than writing.  I’ve been able to handle it mostly because it was routine and easy and I could get it all done with a minimal effort.  And because when my husband lost his job in 2009, we really needed every bit of extra income we could get.

But in the last six months, business has taken a decided upswing.  And that’s all great – we’ve put some significant time into creating new marketing materials and a website, which I was really excited to be involved in.  The effort has paid off, and the business is growing by leaps and bounds.

Which means I have LOTS more paper to shuffle.

Recently, I turned 55 years of age.   I don’t want to shuffle paper anymore.

Many years ago, every Wednesday night, I would trip down the basement stairs at my piano teacher’s house.  I’d take my seat at her Baldwin grand piano, and she would settle into the dining room chair placed just slightly to my left.  She would lean back against the chair, close her eyes, smile, and say “alright.”

Then I would start to play. Perhaps it was Beethoven (the Piano Sonata #3 in C Major) or Chopin (Fantasie Impromptu or Waltz Brillante in E-flat).  Once, for a very long period of time, I was working on the Brahms Rhapsody in D minor (a bear of a piece for a tiny girl with short, stubby fingers!)

When I finished, if I was very lucky and if I had practiced very hard, she would sigh deeply and say, “That feeds my soul.”

Feeding the soul.

Perhaps it’s selfish and unrealistic in today’s world to hope that your job will also feed your soul.  How lucky am I to work where I’m not only paid well, but respected and valued?  How happy do I really expect to be?  It’s a JOB, after all – shouldn’t I just suck it up and look elsewhere for soul feeding?

Well, maybe.  But then again, I’m 55 years old.  How much time do I have left for soul feeding?

So I took the leap, hoping and trusting that the universe will provide me with the right opportunity, as it has done so generously in the past.

My dear husband wrote me a very nice note today.  In it, he said he was proud of me for taking this step, and he encouraged me to take some time to think about what I wanted to do, knowing that he would support me in whatever decision I made.

Friends, those words fed my soul.

For it is with the grace of God – and the people who love us and stand by us- that we move forward in life, and do those brave and daring things that give us sustenance, that allow us to grow and change for the better.

Thank you all for listening -it was good talking with you.






25 thoughts on “Soul Sustenance

  1. 🙂 Good for you, Becca! It comes down to trust, hope, and soul feeding now ~ and you are in the place to choose where to go from here. I cannot wait to see what lies ahead of you… and I am so, so inspired by and proud of your decision. xo

  2. WOW. Congratulations! I’m inspired and can’t wait to see what you do next (ahem, writing!). I also hope for the chance to hear you play that Chopin. xo

      • Love you, too! Change always inspires me, so glad fb offers me the opportunity to see what’s next for you.

  3. Congratulations, Becca! You are a most courageous woman. I hope there is much writing (of the kind you love) and piano playing in your future. If you could play Brahms’ Rhapsody as a kid !!) you can do anything!!

  4. Congratulations! All I can tell you right now, you will not regret it:) You know you have been waiting for this moment to happen and I think it is a perfect time and decision!

  5. To my dear neice Becky, I just loved reading your new piece and have learned a lot about you…….You are still so creative and interesting….I am blessed to have known you as a child. I am looking forward to many more articles from you….Love and hugs, Aunty Mary

  6. Wow — scary, but good scary, and I’m proud of you, too. I remember reading many a post with carefully (and sometimes not-so-carefully) veiled concerns about what you were doing, the toll it was taking on your soul. We can all do this for awhile if we see an end to it, but when it seems endless, then we have a choice. Stay in that situation or take a big breath, close your eyes, and make a choice to move on. I so applaud what you’ve done. And I am confident that you will find it was indeed the right choice.

    • Well, I hope you’re right about it being the right choice…you know me, I’m always looking back over my shoulder! But it feels hopeful and good right now, anyway!

  7. Woo hoo! Feed your soul. It doesn’t lie. It’s not selfish. Or unrealistic. Your soul is brave and honest and true. Like you.

    My memoir is about why I quit my “big career.” And sometimes, I stop writing and wonder if what I did was selfish. If I’m being unrealistic to think someone might be inspired by my story, take action in their own life and thrive.

    Your courage has reminded me to stay connected to my own. Off to continue my happy dance. You have fed MY soul! Thank you.

    • And you inspire me – today and every day 🙂 I’m glad you’re still doing the happy dance..I want to start one of my own here pretty soon!

  8. Becca, if your music feeds your teacher’s soul, your words feed ours! And now you have the opportunity to define a way of life that feeds your own, I don’t think it is ever too late for this. I also love the note that your husband wrote, I totally get how much that means to you. He has your back and you are free to explore your future, isn’t that a wonderful feeling? I haven’t mentioned it on my blog yet but it looks like I am getting my old job back with the German department at the college, it’s part-time and I would have 10 weeks off in the summer! While we cannot quite yet afford for me to not contribute at least some income my husband is thrilled at this opportunity and also very supportive. And I can’t wait to have more time for explorations of my own, I haven’t given up yet, either, on finding whatever it is that truly feeds my soul 🙂

    • Kerstin, I’m so happy to hear your news! It’s interesting that you mention a college job, because one of my friends has suggested I apply to a couple of the local small universities around here. I’ve always loved the academic world, but was not quite cut out for teaching. Maybe there’s a place for me in another part of it. Will you be teaching? or doing something else?

      It’s a bit scary to step out of a role that’s been comfortable for 10 years…but I’ve changed course before and it’s worked out just fine. So I’m eager to anticipate some new opportunities!

  9. are you in a cult?…..rather than searching for soul lets search the areas where we can give….poverty, homeless, starvation…..lets reach out!!!!!

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