Since sharing my last blog post, our experience quickly changed from living in the “in-between” to spending the following 2 weeks going through our belongings and sorting through what to keep, what to give away, and what to toss; packing our remaining possessions into boxes; corresponding with potential buyers from Craigslist and arranging time for many to come by (a future blog post on this topic for sure!); coming up with more to-do items to add to our pre-planned list; and more. Knowing this is a time-consuming experience, we’ve prioritized all of this so that we’d gradually have as much done as possible, so that on moving day this coming Sunday, all we’ll have to do is load our filled boxes and remaining furniture into the moving truck, drive it to Fresno, unload it, and be done with the move! (Yes, the unique joy of storing your stuff for 1 year is that you don’t have to unpack once you get to your move-in destination)! I’m glad we’ve dedicated the time we have, mostly over the past couple of weekends, to preparing on the packing front (although tiring and feeling like we didn’t have much time to relax, which at this point in the game, is unlikely anyway!), as I feel relief knowing our goal of having minimal packing to do within the next couple of days before we move will be a reality. It does feel a bit strange, with empty spaces where furniture, artwork, and photos used to be, and it’s progressively felt like less of our home over these past couple of weeks, which I’m sure has helped play its role in our gradual transition emotionally. As far as logistics, when we’ve felt overwhelmed or wary of it, we’ve shed light upon the fact (and I can thank Aaron for bringing up this point) that this is all for an amazing experience that we have the opportunity to do, so come on, first world problems and woe is us, right?!
In-between packing and prep for our move in our discretionary time outside of work, we’ve scheduled in time to meet up with friends to say our temporary goodbyes (more like Bon Voyage for our travels and when having one-on-one time with close friends, for me, being able to catch up in the detailed and personal way we usually do and walking away with that feeling of fulfillment and closeness, which I hope to maintain as much as possible while not being physically available). Last Saturday night, I gathered with a group of my fitness peeps for happy hour/dinner at The Coconut on T for a last social group hangout before we leave. It was really nice to spend more time with them outside of class, as always, and it was enjoyable by all parties involved. In all of these experiences, it has not felt like “goodbye”, but rather, just like any other time hanging out; knowing it will be awhile until I see everyone again, but not yet really feeling it will be.
I taught my last Zumba class on Monday night, which certainly did not go as I had envisioned! Of all days, there was bumper-to-bumper traffic on most of Florin Road pretty much all the way to the 99 Freeway, and a commute that normally takes me about 15-20 minutes took about AN HOUR! Only a few cars got through each stoplight along the way and there were plenty of cars turning into traffic on this road. As the time kept creeping closer toward my class start time, I initially felt upset, that I couldn’t believe this was happening on the night I was to teach my last class that I had envisioned going just like clockwork, but then I changed my mindset; this wasn’t my fault, this had never happened before for this group of my students, they would understand, there’s nothing I could do about it, and I’ll get there when I can get there safely. And after all, encountering unexpected situations that aren’t ideal is an experience I’d better prepare myself for while traveling long-term, right? As it turns out, some of my students got caught up in some traffic also (there was a HUGE accident on 99 Southbound earlier in the day that completely shut down a part of the freeway and affected surface streets like this one, seemingly). At the end of it all, I arrived to my class 30 minutes late and was greeted by 12 of my fitness peeps wearing purple, my favorite color, cheering for me as I approached and they were excitedly waiting for me outside of the studio! I had quickly adjusted my playlist down to what I thought was about 30 minutes, as there was a scheduled class after ours at 7:00 p.m., and we sure did positively make it the best final class we could together! Luckily, the next class was late, so we got through the 40-ish-minute playlist I had prepared and it barely felt like any songs were cut out of it! We shared a group photo after class and many stayed so we could chat longer and prolong our inevitable parting for an indefinite period of time. I feel so happy and blessed to say that I have a group of some amazing women who are die hard Workin’ It w/ Elena fitness peeps who I also have the pleasure of calling my friends. <3 After spending the last 7 years of my life teaching fitness classes around my full-time work schedule, and the past 3 1/2 years running my own fitness business to offer my classes directly to the public, I know I’m going to miss teaching regularly tremendously and it will be an adjustment. But I’m grateful for the opportunity to have some who want to continue their progress with me through my Virtual Bootcamp program sessions while I’m on the road, and I’ll be looking forward to teaching at one or more resorts during our travels! I will also embrace the experience of constantly being a student as I meet other Fitness Instructors along the way and have the opportunity to experience fitness in other countries around the world, bringing back what I learn to my students here at home and being able to offer something unique!
On the work front, I bittersweetly packed up my office last Friday to make it a blank canvas for my replacement, so he could feel welcome in his new space and I could dedicate as much time as possible to training him this week (which has been an exhausting but rewarding experience).
I’ve spent my days talking to brain dump everything I can, mostly side-by-side, with the new Senior Recruiter. I’ve had moments of anxiety and worry, knowing I have had some last things to wrap up on my own before leaving and noticing, especially yesterday, that the time I have left is so little and some of these things kept getting pushed off as we continued with training needs. I stayed late last night, on my second to last day at work, to get done what I felt I needed to for training and otherwise, to make my last day today flow as smoothly as possible and feel like I had prepared all the resources I could for my replacement and team; I realized that after pretty much spending the past 4 full days constantly training, I felt satisfaction knowing that making this training a priority was of the best benefit for him and my team and was exactly what I should be doing (although I must admit, I’m a bit envious of my husband, who has had pretty much the opposite experience in his final days and appears to feel a lot more relaxed than I do at this point, LOL). I truly feel like I’ve done all I can to make the transition flow as smoothly as it possibly can go, and I’ve received feedback of sincere appreciation and gratitude from my replacement, as well as confidence that we’ve worked together to get to this place where he’s feeling as prepared as he possibly could be at this point based on the week we’ve had together. As someone I’ve worked with over 5 years ago at a peer level, it was such a neat experience to get the opportunity to catch up and get him up to speed to be able to hit the ground running. We work very similarly and I am very confident he’s an ideal fit for the role and the team! I can’t wait to hear how things are going over time! The fact that I’m leaving with a competent replacement in place that I’ve spent the time to thoroughly train, and that it’s someone I personally know and have worked with before, so could recommend, and that he’s making the awesome salary I have been, which was a game-changer for my HR career and personal life (Airgas pays its Recruiters well, for those of you in the HR realm looking for opportunities!), and that I’m leaving the company, my replacement, and my HR team in a good place, feels very rewarding and worth the time I dedicated this past week.
With that being said, this past week, my last week at work, I’ve felt exhausted! Full, focused workdays with evening social goodbyes with friends and then making dinner or doing dishes (depending on whose night it was to do either) has left me feeling so tired. I’ve been getting 8 hours of sleep pretty much each night, but I’m still pooped when I go to bed and when I wake up! I have the final push of our move this weekend, and then, it’s time to wrap up last errands and clean-up in our house before turning over the keys to our landlord. Then, it’s packing up our backpacks and hitting the road to embark upon our U.S. road trip by mid-week next week! First stop, Fresno to spend time with family! 😀
I woke up this morning EARLY with a feeling of pure excitement, which is the first time in weeks I’ve felt it to this extent. I think closing the chapter of work today, while it may have its emotional moments because of the team, role, and work environment I’m leaving, is so symbolic for me of moving on to the next chapter of my life as I begin our long-awaited journey together. The buildup has been such a long time coming and there’s been so much logistically to plan and prepare for (and lately, these things have taken over our focus and have had to — and we’ll share in a future blog post exactly what those things are), and now the transition is on the brink and will happen so fast from here on out! The changes we’ve decided upon still haven’t really hit us yet, and I imagine today and over the course of the next several days, it’s finally time that they will. I anticipate feeling sad in moments, but overall happy and proud that we’ve taken control of our lives in the direction we want to go after much thought and soul-searching. We will miss family and friends while we’re physically away, but thankfully, in today’s world we can still be connected through texting, social media, video chat, etc.
So, cheers to whatever is to come of which we have little expectation but are open to experiencing in an all-encompassing way!
Until Next Time,