At a time when so many are facing redundancy or desperately job-hunting, I have volunteered to leave a well-paid, professionally satisfying job that has taken me to places I've never heard of, let alone visited, before. I have signed on the dotted line and am now committed. Or perhaps I should be committed...am I mad?
The answer is a resounding "NO"
Since Steve was diagnosed with mesothelioma, life's priorities have changed. When you are live with a time bomb that could explode at any moment, time itself is more precious than anything else. I still feel gutted that I wasn't there when Steve heard the devastating news back in June 2009 that he had an incurable cancer. Why wasn't I there? I had to be in London for work reasons.
In my job, it's not possible to delegate once past the point of no return. If you are committed to being at a certain place at a certain time, then you turn up unless too ill to get out of bed, or travel is disrupted by something completely outside your control. Details of your availability are requested six months in advance; work programmes are fixed at least six weeks in advance; the main area of work that I specialize in requires a commitment on and off over a period of 20 weeks or so. That sort of working pattern is simply not compatible when you want to be with a loved one who has mesothelioma.
So I have accepted an "early exit" offer and 28 March will be the end of that particular working era for me. I can look forward to spending more time with Steve. I won't have to abandon him at critical moments. We can make last minute, spur-of-the-moment decisions to do things, go places, or simply relax. We can take off with our cameras when the light is good. We can go on life's unpredictable journey together, without me having to worry about how to be in two places at once, or letting someone down.
All sorts of exciting possibilities open up from the end of next month. We may even have time to do some spring cleaning in between all the other things on offer!
Between now and then, there's a mountain to climb work-wise; an exhibition to prepare ready for hanging. Steve's birthday is next week; Katie is coming home for the weekend tomorrow to kick start the celebrations - Steve's special day and the start of her new job next week. There are various social events to look forward to, one of which is tonight...so time to finish today's blog and get ready!